I’m reading Hilary Mantel’s Beyond Black and her clairvoyant believes that when we die and pass into the spirit world our bodies become what we want…that babies grow into adults, even miscarriages. I tried to hold onto that image but the miscarriages did me in, because, they are not finished forming, might be damaged, etc. To follow the path of spirits hanging around to pat us on the back, bolster our ambitions and memories and ask us to find lost pearl buttons is a rosy road indeed but hardly fits in the real world. (I love the ending of a certain trilogy when the nuns die and discover that there is nothing beyond death)
The whole mantle of death is a wonderful world for the imagination. In my mind, it’s the end of us as that character; memory is wiped and whatever spirit may be there flies off into a new adventure; we cannot return and tell all. I can believe that echoes might linger, flashing images and telepathy at the living. If there is such a thing as reincarnation then the mind is a brand new installation – those challenges of children who remember a past life and present certain proofs would be anomalies where the mind wasn’t wiped.
How many people have said they’d return to leave messages? Apparently, it isn’t easy to do. Why? What stops them? I want to believe that there is a mad adventure waiting for me when I leave this one, and I would choose to go on rather than hang around. If the body dies then the brain is dead and so is its memories – how can they possibly live on? Memories of who we are are stored in the brain; we die, and are nothing. If we do have a spirit/soul then it is a core being and not attached to this structure of life, and is free to escape to wherever.
What if, as Gandalf says, there are white shores?