I cut myself shaving this morning. Okay, why do we say "cut". "Cut" would imply a straight slice into an apple or a piece of chicken - so let me re-phrase: I scraped a relatively large part of the epidermis off of my ankle this morning. This "safety" razor that my husband got me for Christmas is anything but safe - but there's no plastic involved ... unless you count the band aids that get used EACH and EVERY time I shave my legs.
Anyhow, the piece of skin that I scraped off of my ankle was interesting to me. I looked at it and realized that it was, seconds before, a part of "me". And now it no longer was. Now it was just a dead piece of collagen, blood, hair and whatever else makes up skin. It wasn't me. And you can say that about any part of the body. Of course certain parts of the body cannot be removed without death occurring, and I'd like to keep as much of my physical person as I can while I'm alive. But this body is not me. Which leads me to something I ponder about a lot - and write about here occasionally.
For my entire life I've had a hard time with the concept of death - not so much other people's, but my own! It's been a hard thing for me to face. I love my parents and really love the fact that they raised us in a household that was not tied to a church. My parents were agnostic and/or atheist, but they weren't anti-religion. They just didn't take us to church. We were encouraged to explore our own spirituality and I remember going to church with my grandmother as well as other churches with other people. (We were also encouraged to be open-minded about other things like UFOs and Ghosts). They never said we couldn't go to church, and were very open to anything spiritual that we were interested in. But out of that, there was no structure through which to understand death. Someone very close to me told me that when you die, you're "worm food". So that's where I came from. And it made me very scared to ever die.
I believe that my fear of death came from a dichotomy between what I intuitively felt and what I "believed". I felt that I had an undying soul and that I would continue on in some form forever. But I "believed" that once I died I would disappear. It made more "sense" to think that you are born, you die, and you're gone. But it didn't sit right with me.
The truth is ... once you die, you are gone - at least your body is. And it's gone after several years or decades or centuries depending on the soil makeup and moisture content and whether you're buried or cremated. One way or another, in time your physical body will go back to the earth. "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust", etc.
But the soul, I believe, continues on. I'd say infinitely, but I do believe that we can only experience time when we are in the physical plane. There is no time in the spirit plane. Which is impossible for us to understand, but it is something I've come to accept. Without the concept of time, you cannot have the concept of infinity. Therefore, from the human, physical perspective, we exist forever and also in a moment.
Deep enough for a Tuesday evening? I think so.