Page 1 of 1

Forty tales from the afterlives

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:25 pm
by dermot
I found this book, 'Sum' by David has forty tales from the afterlives... i thought it would be interesting to post a few of the tales and get some response here on DS.


In the afterlife you relieve all your experiences, but this time with the events reshuffled into a new order: all the moments that share a quality are grouped together.
You spend two months driving the street in front of your house, seven months having sex. You sleep for thrity years without opening your eyes. For five months straight you flip through magazines whilst sitting on the toilet.
You take all your pain at once, all twenty seven intense hours of it. Bones break, cars crash, skin is cut, babies are born. Once you make it through, its agony-free for the rest of your afterlife.
But that doesn't mean its always pleasant. You spend six days clipping your nails. Fifteen months looking for lost items. Eighteen months waiting in line. Two years of boredom: staring out a bus window, sitting in an airport terminal. One year reading books. Your eyes hurt, and you itch, because you cant take a shower until its your time to take your marathon two-hundred day shower. Two weeks wondering what happens when you die. One minute realising your body is falling. Seventy - seven hours of confusion. One hour realising you've forgotten someones name. Three weeks realising you are wrong. Two days lying. Six weeks waiting for a green light. Seven hours vomiting. Fourteen minutes experiencing pure joy. Three months doing laundry. Fifteen hours writing your signature. Two days tying shoelaces. Sixty - seven days of heartbreak. Five weeks driving lost. Three days calculating restaurant tips. Fifty - one days deciding what to wear. Nine days pretending you know what is being talked about. Two weeks counting money. Eighteen days staring into the refrigerator. Thirty - four days longing. Six months watching commercials. Four weeks sitting in thought, wondering if there is something better you could be doing with your time. Three years swallowing food. Five days working buttons and zippers. Four minutes wondering what your life would be like if you reshuffled the order of events.
In this part of the afterlife, you imaging something analogous to your Earthly life, and the thought is blissful: a life where episodes are split into tiny swallowable pieces, where moments do not endure, where one experiences the joy of jumping from one event to the next like a child hopping from spot to spot on the burning sand.

the end

Or is it the beginning of a new awareness of what time/ life is all really about?


Re: Forty tales from the afterlives

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:39 pm
by mirjana
Good idea Dermot!
It is very interesting perspective for this life. Aside of the gratitude for having this life as it is that actually this little story awakes, it is interesting how other activities are categorized by time. As shorter a period as intense the moment. Does it mean that this minute of realizing that the body is falling is so intense that it doesn't need longer to be traced eternally in the memory?

Re: Forty tales from the afterlives

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:45 pm
by dermot
Im not sure Mirjana, the body falling was an interesting one to me also....

When i read this story for the first time last night i felt that so much time is taken by things that dont matter....and that we devote so little time to awareness of what does matter.

Its interesting to consider where our attention goes and how we allow it to be taken ....

Re: Forty tales from the afterlives

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:29 pm
by mirjana
So much true. And when put in such a perspective, we can become much more aware of that what kind of responsibility we do have for our lives, to make something of it or to transform it into u huge waste of time and energy.
Some people would say that we all, each one of us come for the certain reason. OK, but even then, can you imagine so much time in the toilette by reading magazines. And there are people who transformed that time into learning one language. Approach and choice can really make wonders, or the opposite.
I have always thought that the most precious time spent is that we spent with people leaving touches of our soul in their memories.

Re: Forty tales from the afterlives

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:01 pm
by dermot

When you think you've died, you haven't actually died. Death is a two stage process, and where you wake up after your last breath is somthing of a Purgatory: you dont feel dead, you dont look dead, and in fact you are not dead. Yet.
Perhaps you thought the afterlife would be something like a soft white light, or a glistening ocean, or floating in music. But the afterlife more closely resembles the feeling of standing up too quickly: for a confused moment, you forget who you are, where you are, all the personal details of your life. And it only gets stranger from here.
First, everything becomes dark in a blindingly bright way, and you feel a smooth stripping away of your inhibitions and a washing away of your power to do anything about it. You start to lose your ego, which is intricately related to the spiriting away of your pride. And then you lose your self-reverential memories.
You're losing you, but you dont seem to care.
Theres only a little bit of you remaining now, the core of you: naked consciousness, bare as a baby.
To understand the meaning of this afterlife, you must rememeber that everyone is multifaceted. And since you always lived inside your own head, you were much better at seeing the truth about others than you were about yourself. So you navigated your life with the help of others who held up mirrors for you. People praised your good qualities , and critized your bad habits, and these perspectives -often surprising to you- helped you to guide your life. So poorly did you know yourself that you were always surprised at how you looked in photographs or how you sounded on voice-mail.
In this way, much of your existence took place in the eyes. ears, and fingertips of others. And now that you have left the Earth, you are stored in scattered heads around the globe.
Here in this Purgatory, all the people with whom you've ever come into contact with are gathered. The scattered bits of you are collected, pooled, and unified. The mirrors are held up in front of you. Without the benefits of filtration, you see yourself clearly for the first time. And this is what finally kills you.

Forty tales from the afterlives

David Eagleman

Re: Forty tales from the afterlives

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:26 am
by Sabina
[quote="dermot"]....The mirrors are held up in front of you. Without the benefits of filtration, you see yourself clearly for the first time. And this is what finally kills you.

Does this feel true to you?
If yes, then why? Why do you think that seeing oneself clearly would or could or might result in death?

Re: Forty tales from the afterlives

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:33 pm
by dermot
Hi Sabina, i guess if you read it as literal then it does not seem to be accurate. I liked the ending, but maybe the moment of 'seeing' yourself through others happens continually throughout life, maybe a part of us that needs to 'die' gets the chance to do so as we witness ourselves in a 'mirror'?

It could be an ego death?