by - Neil Perry Gordon
During the writing of my novel, The Righteous One, my eighty-three year old father, suddenly passed away. This heart-wrenching calamity, shifted my intention, from what started out as a light-hearted adventure story, into an exploration of the connection between our physical body, and our eternal consciousness, or soul.
The plot of The Righteous One is about the quest of the protagonist, Moshe Potasznik, a humble cobbler and tzaddik, who’s sought out as the reluctant hero, to destroy the soul of the evil gangster, and rasha, Solomon Blass. As Moshe learns, this deed could only be accomplished within the unbound freedom of the dream world.
During the writing process, I pondered what had become of my father’s soul. At the funeral service, I heard comforting words from his rabbi, who offered the Judaic version of the afterlife. But I wondered, if there was more of an understanding, than one proselytized by faith. I wanted more substance to help me understand the journey of the consciousness, once the body had passed.
I’ve read about theories implying that the death of the consciousness simply does not exist. One interesting analogy offered, was that we receive our consciousness the same way a computer receives a WIFI signal, and that signal doesn’t just disappear at the end of the computer’s life, but continues to broadcast. This caused me to wonder - could our consciousness have an ability of existing, without a human body to receive it?
Let’s circle back to our dreams. In The Righteous One, Moshe learns of the power and freedom of dreaming, while lucid. This is not just a casual experience for Moshe, like watching a movie, but more of a demonstration that our dreams have no physical limits, and perhaps, if you allow me to extrapolate, neither does our consciousness.
Recently my father visited my dreams. I could have chosen to believe that this was a random occurrence, stirred up by my subconscious. But what if instead, it was his consciousness making a purposeful visit, since it was no longer restricted by his physical body?
Many cultures in history such as the Ancient Egyptians, had sought to preserve and praise the deceased body, instead of recognizing it as merely a vessel for whom we once were. But there are other groups, or religions that take the view that says, when the body dies, the soul lives on.
The burial rituals of Orthodox Jews is one that demonstrates such a belief. The law among this sect stipulates, that the body must be buried as quickly as possible, and placed inside a plain wooden coffin, allowing the body to decompose quickly. The body is never embalmed, for the purpose of display.
There’s another intriguing burial belief, for those interested in limiting our footprint from this earth, once we’re done with our bodies. Italian designers Raoul Bretzel and Anna Citelli have come up with an alternative burial solution. They have created the Capsula Mundi, which translates from the Latin into world’s capsule.
It’s a biodegradable burial pod, in the shape of an egg, where the deceased body is placed within. Once the egg is buried, the body and the shell biodegrades, allowing the nutrients from its remains to nourish a sapling tree, planted directly above it.
What if we knew for sure, that our consciousness lived on, and the way for us to connect with our immortality, was by being lucid in our dreams? This would create an environment where humans would be driven to perfect the techniques of lucid dreaming. Workshops, and conferences touting its wonders, would be offered. Graduate degrees in the advanced methodologies of lucid dreaming, would be taught at prestigious universities. We would instill it in our children, as young as toddlers.
What do we experience by being aware in our dreams? Of course, there are fun things to do, such as flying like a bird, or singing on stage like a rock star. Sexual desires and exploits can be fulfilled, as well as acting out behaviors that repressive societies have deemed as taboo.
The human race would have an accessible psychological outlet for many of our suppressed emotions, providing a much needed release for our mental well-being. The therapeutic moments spent in the dream world, would have the effect of shifting the way we perceive our lives in the awakened world, hopefully improving our interactions with our family, friends, and coworkers.
Perhaps of more significance, would be an understanding that the consciousness is chained to the body, by the power of the ego. The exploration of opening our minds in the dream world, would break this bond, allowing us to seek higher callings, rather than grasping for ways of reducing stubborn belly fat.
If indeed, it was proven that our consciousness was immortal, could this knowledge blossom into mankind’s next evolutionary step? But we should beware and consider, like the unforeseen destructive nature of social media, there may be consequences yet to contemplate. After all, everything in life has a balance.
In the meantime, the best we can do is ponder the idea that the consciousness is on a continuous journey, moving from body to body, and from place to place, either within a single dimension, or as some illustrious authors, and scientists have theorized, among multiple dimensions.
It is certainly stimulating trying to put into words the esoteric qualities of such a metaphysical question, and I welcome your comments, and thoughts.