Anachostic

My tagline, let me show you it.

Tag Archives: afterlife

Upon Death

There’s a lot of people who are a little or maybe more than a little disturbed by my acceptance of death.  It’s just not a fear of mine and I have no issue with its eventuality.  I’m not even going to try and avoid it.

With such a straightforward view of death, it would make sense that I approach it in a straightforward way.  Everyone keeps harping on the point that you have to have a will.  Yes you should have a will if you own any significant possessions, and of course I do have one.  But there’s another document you need and I imagine many people don’t think of this.  It’s the “Upon Death” document.

Quite simply, this document explains what needs to be done after you die.  It’s like a corporate succession plan.  It can be the document that makes your departure much easier to bear for everyone left.  Think about it, aside from the feeling of loss of your company, what’s the biggest worry people are going to have?  They’re going to worry that they don’t know anything about you and don’t know where to begin to fill your shoes.

The Upon Death document needs to clearly spell out a few things to get people up and going.

  • Your mobile phone PIN and all your passwords
  • All your financial accounts/insurance policies
  • Where to find more documentation
  • Non-family members (business clients) that need contacted
  • How to do things that you did exclusively

Passwords

If you’re doing it right and you are using a password manager, this one is easy.  Just give the master password to your password manager file.  Otherwise, you are going to need to list out all the username and passwords for the sites you visit.  At a minimum, you’ll need to provide your email account password so your successor can reset passwords on other accounts and access your email to complete the process.  Also, don’t leave out your phone PIN, if you use one, and your username and password to your computers.

Financials

Again, if you’re doing it right and you use a Personal Finance Manager (PFM) like Quicken or Money, you just direct people to that file.  It should have all your account numbers in it, ideally with contact information also.  Most PFMs don’t have good support for insurance policies, so include any policies in the document.  Don’t forget many banks have a small life insurance policy on their account holders, so check and see who has them and who to contact for them.  Your employer may have a life insurance policy as well.  Help your successor as much as possible here.

Contacts

If you have contacts outside your family, let your successor know what needs done now that you are gone.  Maybe you work for an organization and you have some of their property or equipment.  You need to get that back to them.  Maybe you are a consultant and you may have uncompleted work for them.  You need to get the latest work to them.  If there’s anything some needs to take over, your successor has to pass along that info.  You need to tell them what must be done and how it is to be done.

Training

This one is open-ended.  If there’s stuff you did that no one else knows about or you know some tips or secrets that need passed on, here’s where you do it.  Maybe the A/C unit freezes up and you’re the one that always fixes it.  That needs explained.  Maybe you manage the home network.  A basic overview can be of help here.  Maybe you can give suggestions as to who would be best to handle tasks in your absence.  Maybe one friend is good at mechanical issues and another is good at computers.

Finally, let someone know this document exists.  Keep it with your will.  If you have a safe deposit box, keep it in the envelope with your will.  Banks will let next of kin do a will search on a safe deposit box, where they can take the will out, but can’t get anything else until they can claim ownership of the account.

In summary, this document is filled with the things you would say from the afterlife if you saw your family and loved ones struggling to figure out everything that you did for them when you were there.  Everyone says, “I don’t want to be a burden” when they are living.  Few people think of how to avoid being a burden after they die.

Coming Back

Recently, I’ve had a slight uptick in my interest in reincarnation.  Reincarnation is something I’ve believed in for some time now.  If you’re curious about it, you can read a few books like Many Lives, Many Masters and Elementary Theosophy, or read case studies of verified reincarnates at http://www.iisis.net.

The Internet is making rediscovery of past lives all the easier, and I was wondering if there should be created a website where a person could voluntarily submit their information to be discovered when researching past lives.

Some of the data points that could be recorded would be:

  • Facial photos at different ages
  • Birthmarks or significant scars
  • Phobias
  • Date of birth (and death if submitted by estate executor)
  • Natural talents or skills

I could see that someone could set up their own profile and set a “publish date”, so their personal information wouldn’t be searchable until after an expected death.  It seems like most people reincarnate between 50-100 years after death, so you could set a publish date far into the future.

One of the issues is, what will the website be in 50-100 years?  Will it be around and if so, it will be run on whatever the current technology is for the era.  Fascinating to think of that possibility.

The larger issue is, what would anyone get out of this?  It seems that reincarnates don’t really care about their past lives.  It’s probably a nice curiosity, and may be beneficial in working through irrational fears, but for the most part, your lives are not a continuance of a single life.

I think the broader message that needs to be made is that reincarnation is a real thing.  And by realizing and accepting this, racism, classism, sexism, and hatred should subside.  After all, you have no guarantee of what body you are going to come back into.  What if Nazis knew their next life could be that of a Jew?  What if Boko Haram or any other Islam extremists knew that they could come back on the other side of the fight?

Dream Log

Had a weird dream a few nights ago.  So weird, I had to keep reminding myself about it so I wouldn’t forget it like most dreams.

I was on this trip or tour or excursion with a bunch of people to a massive art project.  It was in a huge, multi-story building and the project was by David Byrne of Talking Heads fame.  The building was probably 12 stories high, but for whatever reason, we were going to start at level 9.  The idea was to work your way down to the bottom while taking in the sights.

The sights, as designed by the artist, were simply rooms presenting a different scene.  These scenes represented the gamut of emotional responses, from boring, to humorous, to shocking, to familiar, and on and on.  Very much something David Byrne would come up with.

The thing about the exhibit is that it was such a massive building, you couldn’t see all the scenes in one visit and that was how it was designed.  You would be on a guided tour and maybe the guide was showing you scenes in a particular order to create the expected emotional responses, not unlike how a song evokes emotions, or in longer form, a concert.  Still, very Byrne-esqe.

One of the ridiculous, obviously-a-dream details is that because there was no defined path through the building and you couldn’t tell your way around from room to room, a path was created with mud that had the consistency of chocolate pudding.  You would just walk through the muddy path, following the guide.

Well, another tourist and I decided that we didn’t want to miss out on any of the rooms in the exhibit, so we were going to break from the pack and see as much as we could.  It was understood that this behavior wasn’t discouraged, so we did it.  After seeing a couple of other rooms, we wondered how we were going to keep track of which rooms we’d seen already.  I had the idea of smearing some of the guide path mud on the door so we could identify which we’d seen already.  It was a good idea and we continued, eventually lagging behind and losing our group.

Now alone, I started to get a little concerned about being in this huge building where the rooms connected without any sense and some looked very similar to others so you couldn’t exactly make your way through it with memory.  Then I noticed that the group’s muddy trail was drying up and disappearing…

As that fear was building in me, I turned to my companion and asked if the desk we were at was the same one we had seen just a little bit ago.  I looked closely at it but couldn’t tell if I had smeared some mud on it or not.  And it this point, I kind of knew we were lost.

I woke up shortly after that.  As I kept reminding myself of some of the details, I started coming up with more things that could have happened, but I think those were probably influenced memories.

If I Only Didn’t Have a Day Job

To go along with all my other damn posts about missing out on inspiration because of life,  I found this in my drafts – a beginning to a short story I wanted to write.  It was going to be about how life is sort of a game played by spirits in the afterlife.  Your spirit controls your body and tries to make it live as long as possible.  Real-life Sims, I guess.  Steve meets one of the “monitors”, who supervise “gameplay”…

“And then the ambulance just rolled away with no lights or anything.  Much different than when the person is still alive, huh?”

Although he tried to make it sound humorous, there was little in his voice that indicated it.  There was only a dull monotone that sounded like the shock hasn’t passed yet.

“But Steve, it really wasn’t your fault.  From what you’ve told me, it isn’t.”

And that part was legally true.  No charges from the police.  No insurance hassles.  The woman had pulled out in front of him and he…

“Yup.  I couldn’t do anything.  Couldn’t do anything but kill her.”  Steve wasn’t making himself feel any better by relating his story.  Wasn’t that what was supposed to happen?  “Get it out” and all?

His sounding board, Paul, had no comforting retort for Steve this time.  He could only sit and silently provide support.  Paul had known Steve for many years.  Although they weren’t what you would call best friends, they would get together often enough to keep a friendship strong.

Paul was exactly what Steve needed right now.  Someone who wasn’t too close that would be shaken by his recent accident and the effect it had on him, but also someone close enough that would actually care about him getting over this.

“It’s shit like this that makes me question everything in life, Paul.  Why her, why now, why not me?  You talk to the religious types and they say ‘God has a plan for everyone.’  And you talk to the non-religious and they say ‘That’s life, dude.’  I have to say, there’s gotta be something in the middle.”

Paul looked down at the mug of coffee in front of him.  “Let him talk it out,” he thought.

“I started reading a lot lately.  Looking for some reasoning.  I came across this thing called Theosophy, which is supposed to explain the whole life and death process, without religiousness.  Or at least that’s what I got out of it.  I read other books about after-death communications.  So I have all these ideas about karma and purposes and reincarnation, but even considering all that, it still doesn’t make any sense as to why.”

Paul looked back up at Steve.  “Why what?”

“Just, why.  Why did it happen.  When you think about ‘God’s plan’ or predestiny or even some weird cosmic theory that someone dies so that someone else can learn a lesson.  There’s the big debate about free will in there, too.  It just seems… random.”

A figure in the booth behind Steve spoke up.  “It’s calculated.”

“Excuse me?”  Steve half turned around, not sure whether to be annoyed at the eavesdropping or intrigued at the stranger’s certainty in his declaration.

“It is calculated, or I should say, pre-calculated.  The outcome isn’t really known, but the scenario is a generated one based on known factors,” the stranger explained in a matter-of-fact way.  “The outcome will change a lot of future events, events that were pre-planned, but get adjusted with current data.”

“Data,” 

YOLO

Just a little behind the times on this one.  I’ve heard a lot of this “YOLO” thing going on, and after some consideration, I’ve chosen to redefine it.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of Theosophy, the main point of it is that, as souls, we are constantly evolving through the process of reincarnation.  With each life, we are put here to learn lessons and pay back Karmic debt built up over previous lives.  As you go through these lives, you build inherent skills, which are displayed as natural talent; wisdom, which is shown as common sense; and other intangible skills like spirituality and tolerance.  “You can’t take it with you” is only for material goods.  Your soul’s qualities persist.

So, accepting the teachings of Theosophy,  you can imagine there have been souls who have been through many different lifetimes.  Some have learned their lessons well and gained all the skill, wisdom, and wholesomeness from each lifetime.  Others haven’t learned and still continue to be cruel, greedy, and intolerant.  The world is full of both types of people, you can’t doubt this.

But the world is also full of many more people.  More people on this Earth than ever before.  More bodies, more souls.  These bodies must be filled with young souls, those who have not had the experience of many lifetimes to learn how to be good.  Many that have to pay back Karmic debt through lack and suffering.  Some that are learning from their current situation, and a lot that are not.  It takes a long time to learn some lessons.

You can see this in the attitude of the younger generations.  You can see it every day in so many people.  It’s a sense of desperation.  Even driving in the city, you can sense the desperation in how people drive.  They must pull out in front of you, because they feel if they don’t, they will never get in.  Never.  That’s how the world is behaving.  Now or never.

These people don’t understand that this life is nothing.  There will be so many more lives to enjoy if you live this life right.  If you don’t, you’ll make up for it next time.  And hopefully, you’ll learn it that time.

So, for all the desperate people and their rally cry: “You Only Live Once!” I respond knowingly, “No, You’ve Only Lived Once.”

Random thoughts

It’s a little late and I’m a little light-headed and headachy from primer fumes in the room getting painted next to mine, so I thought I’d type out a random grab bag of thoughts.

Capital One wants me to go paperless with my statements.  That would work for me since I do everything electronically in Money, but what about the people that would print out their statements each month from the online site?  That doesn’t help anything.  I think Capital One should reduce the paper ads they put in their statements and double-side their statements.  That would cut paper usage more than half right there.

I was thinking one day about a borderline neurosis I had growing up.  Thanks to my short attention span, it never really developed.  I used to anthropomorphize everything.  I used to imagine chairs clamoring to have me sit in them, and the rest would be disappointed.  Some items I owned would be proud that they have served me so well, and others would be sad that I don’t use them enough.  I’m sure some psychologist would say I had some disorder that I couldn’t accept the fact that it’s impossible to please everyone.  Then I would get drugs – that’s a given anymore.

One of the creepiest and most disturbing thoughts that I thought up in my youth and still have to force myself to not think about is:  No one really knows what happens when you die.  What if you are just trapped in your body?  Not so bad for humans – you die, you get put in a box and you rest until you decompose and you disappear.  But what about animals, specifically roadkill?  You get hit with a car and die.  Then someone else runs over you and you feel the impact again.  And again, and again.  Slowly, you start to disintegrate and the pain becomes less with each passing car.  Finally, you are not much more than a spot and you begin to decompose and disappear.  Physiologically, I guess that’s not possible since the nerves couldn’t transmit the sensations to the brain, still it’s a morbid thought.

I’m bugged by Circle K’s new ads with the line, "Gotta buck?  Get a snack."  I don’t have any problem at all with informal speech in ad copy, but if you’re going to do it, it needs to be correct.  "Gotta" is not short for "Have a", it’s short for "Have got to".  Idiots.

My previous complaint about Mercedes radio ads has been continued with a Lincoln ad.  I guess the dealerships are owned by the same person, or the marketing company got both as accounts.  More pompous people talking about how other people think their car (and I guess the owner by extension) is so great.  I really don’t think the customer testimonial idea is so great.  Maybe it is, though, and I’m just not their target market.  Thank god for that.