Go Ask VALIS, Pt 5: Two Brief Anecdotes About Life After Death

Do I believe in “life” after death? Do I believe in a “soul?”

I think the preceding concepts—life after death, souls—are too simplistic. I think the human mind—which is a type of biological instrument designed to “handle” the ineffable—can’t fully process the reality of these situations. It would give us a stomach-ache.

But I do believe “consciousness” does seem to drift on past physical death. This would include a number of scenarios & situations.

In the weeks after my father’s untimely death at 42, I was continually “visited” by him in my dreams. It is at this point I will say that I’m open to the interpretation that this was just my own psyche trying to come to terms with his passing.

So I continually dreamt that my father, confused, didn’t realize he was deceased, and thus kept asking me about it. “Where am I, what is going on? I’m lost.” And in the dream I kept explaining to him: “Dad, you’re dead.”

Sometimes he was driving in a car, lost. “Where am I, Val?” “You’re dead, Dad.”

I think eventually I finally managed to explain to my dream-dad that he had left the mortal coil weeks ago. And then those dreams stopped.

A decade later, I was still living in that apartment, on my own. The African-American neighbor family down the hall, by the elevator, had a small boy about 3-4 years old. One day I passed them on the way to the elevator. The little boy started to get agitated. He pointed & shouted at me:

“You’re my daughter! This is my daughter!”

As his parents pulled him away back into their apartment, the child kept shouting, “that’s my daughter!!!!!”

***

In some ways, I was closer to a gentleman I was not officially related to—one of my mom’s later partners, Joe. Technically, it could be said that he was *sort of* like a stepdad. But by that point, I was a grown-ass person.

Eventually, Joe dies of cancer. And I am DEVASTATED. I was devastated when I first found out Joe had cancer, and his death hit me really hard.

A few months after after Joe’s death, I dream of running into him. He’s as chill as fuck—just like he always was. Like, Bob Newhart-level chill. Unlike my dream-dad, Joe seemed very sure of himself & where he was.

Joe explained to me in the dream:

“I’m dead, I’m a spirit…but I’m still here. I’m just at a different frequency. It’s like tuning into a radio program; I’m at a different location on the dial.”

I asked Joe if he was OK, how did he feel…and he said he felt fine. Everything was fine. He still felt like himself. Everything was chill.

***

Now, why did my dad & Joe seemingly (and I’m open to other interpretations regarding the entire thing) have two different experiences regarding recent deceasement?

Well, they had very different personalities. In addition, my father’s death, via a heart-attack on the job, was extremely sudden and unexpected. On the other hand, Joe received his terminal cancer diagnosis almost a full year before he passed.

***

So do I believe in “life after death?”

Do I believe in reincarnation?

What do I believe the “purpose” of life is?

Well, we’re not going to get through that in a single blog post.

I will offer this, however…

I think in all these things, there is a very potent element of subjectivity.

This is not to equate “subjectivity” with “not real.”

But the subjective element is very important.

We are co-architects of the entire thing.