Monday, October 09, 2006

Jigging in the afterlife

“The media reports had said the Pope would formally cancel limbo on Friday but a key participant, Italian Archbishop Bruno Forte, said the 30-member commission were still fine-tuning their document.” [Reuters, October 6]
Some of you might be surprised that the Catholic Church has plans to eliminate the fine tradition of limbo after hundreds of happy years claiming babies who die without the benefit of baptism don’t go directly to heaven.

I, however, am shocked by the fact that there is a 30-member commission charged with determining the fate of limbo.

30 guys deciding what happens when we die.

On the afterlife continuum there’s Dead Like a Bug at one end and Heaven in All Its Glory at the other.

Some people believe when you die you’re dead like a bug. Nothing happens, you’re just gone. Phfffft. It’s a rather nihilistic but simple philosophy that I find oddly comforting.

On the other end of the spectrum, folks believe that you go somewhere far more pleasant (or painful I guess) depending on how much good you did during your life.

I’m thinking what happens is actually somewhere in between.
What’s heaven like for you?

Floating on clouds behind pearly gates high above us toiling mortals?

A carefree place where all of your loved ones eventually meet?

Or is it something simpler: A magical land where you never, ever have to wait in line for anything?
I’ve got different versions of heaven. This one is my favorite.

It’s a trail through the woods. You’re walking, it’s a beautiful day. Every once in a while you run into creatures you know. When you want to sit down, there’s a perfect spot to rest. When you’re hungry, there’s good food.


My other version of heaven involves big fluffy throw pillows, cookies, and backrubs.

Oh, and giggling. Lots of uncontrollable giggling.
Speaking of giggling: If there is a God, he’s laughing his ass off right now.

He’s laughing at the hubris of those 30 humans who’ve taken it upon themselves to define the afterlife for the rest of us.

“A commission? Gee wiz. But just 30? Are you sure that’s enough? And are these your best guys? I sure hope so.”
This is neither here nor there, but limbo isn’t actually mentioned anywhere in the Bible.
Also, in my version of heaven there’s lots of dancing.

But not the limbo. Too confusing.

“Do you want to do the limbo?”
“But we’re in heaven.”
“Oops. Right. Sorry. Let’s jig.”
Anybody who says they know exactly what happens when we die is completely full of shit.

Are ya with me on this?

Of course, Catholics must claim to know all about this stuff. It wouldn’t be too comforting for God’s own to come out and say, “Our bad. We really don’t know what happens when you kick after all. Good luck.”

Not good for business. Best to stick with the whole heaven/hell/purgatory/limbo thing.

Keeps people fearful and generous.
Personally, I like not knowing what’s gonna happen. It’s exciting.

I just assume that it will be another great adventure like this life has been.

But with way more backrubs.
I am listening to: The Cure – Just Like Heaven
I am reading: Nothing, sadly
And I am: Here