I do not know if there is an afterlife.
When I admit this, some readers send me emails telling me I better choose their brand of truth, based on a book they seldom read, if I want to escape the contradictory fires of eternal darkness.
Although my responses are more cordial than their missives, I stick to my view — obligated by intellectual honesty — that it is impossible to know what, if anything, awaits us.
Most respondents then promise to pray for me. Based on the lack of results, I doubt they are carrying through.
If there is a God, he or she should punish me for some of my behavior and reward me for others. Unless there is a specific passing grade, I deserve to shuttle between heaven and hell.
I enjoy life, and do not need the carrot of reward or threat of punishment to shape my behavior. Leading a fulfilling life is motivation enough.
Existence itself, in a universe that is larger, stranger and more mystical than anything we could imagine, is a supernatural-enough miracle.
Anything beyond is icing on the lottery cake.
If there is an afterlife, I would be content to spend it with departed loved ones — doing the same ordinary things we did here.
Their deaths were profoundly sad. What ameliorates their absence are memories and what I’m still learning from them.
I would love — and even hope — to see them again.
If it is not to be, I accept the brief moment that we happened to be on Earth together — and the hell of them leaving before me.
Contact Wendel Sloan at: