for Coco

So I will try and gather my thoughts from what I was speaking about the other day. It won’t be easy because it is rare that I can see this particular concept as clearly as I did on that day. In death we stop existing. Our bodies fail then stop functioning and everything that we experience as ourselves ends. There is no Rosie to experience herself and she literally exists in memory or eventually in material remains of a variety of sorts. However what I was suggesting is that there is a misrecognition by us of who we are. The complex mental processes and physical and emotional jolts which go to make up “Tim” are completely dependent upon the existence of other people to whom “Tim” relates and upon what we perceive as a long history of humanity and earlier than that purer perhaps animality. There is a way in which we only exist as social creatures and what we perceive as ourselves, “Tim”, belongs as much to everybody else as it does to us. We also therefore are equally part of everybody else. I do not intend this as a spiritual understanding but a material one. We misrecognise our particular perspective on (excretion of!) the totality of human existence as being us having an individual life separate from other lives. Whilst Dwaine’s body may have stopped and he is certainly not there in a personal fashion to express anything about this fact, it remains quite evident to you and to others that life and the experience of existence, of consciousness, of self awareness, continues. We live under the assumption that once we are removed from the equation, once our bodies cease to work, that for other people consciousness will continue. There is a sense in which everything only exists in the moment. We are encouraged by some forms of thought to “live in the moment” as if there were something of direct value in direct experience of the moment. When we are in love, when we experience grief we live in the moment and time can expand exponentially. In this moment consciousness is always present and the removal of any individual, of any “Tim” does not impact upon this. So I understand that whilst sadness will prevail upon death that in a very real sense consciousness itself of which we as individuals are nothing other than its crystallisation, its expression, continues. The misidentification of the individual with their experience of consciousness rather than with consciousness itself as something which is shared by all is at the root of this. It does not mean that there is no point in experiencing grief or love as they are both part of life and consciousness is nothing other than bits of life bumping into each other and avoiding each other. So as this is a short note I believe that we misidentify ourselves as individuals.

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