Tags: dreams

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Writer's Block: See you on the other side

If you could find out what happens after you die, would you want to know?

SPOILER ALERT: Nothing happens after you die, except you become worm food. It's irrelevant. What's really important is what you do with your life before that happens.

I have seen no evidence or argument that's pro-afterlife that makes any sense, aside from it being an imaginary idea that people have concocted up because they're too scared of death to face reality. Not only is there no scientific proof of there being an afterlife of any kind, the very idea is ludicrous on its face. It's like a child asking you check for monsters under the bed or in the closet, and then demanding proof that said monsters do not exist, and claiming victory when you can't prove that said monsters do not exist.

Why should there be an afterlife of any kind, good or bad? What purpose would this serve? Do whales, dolphins, apes, elephants, cats and dogs also go to heaven? Why not? What about intelligent invertibrates like octopuses and cuttlefish? What about hell? And if so, is this restricted only to intelligent animals? What about rats and cockroaches? What about bacteria and viruses? Why are they unimportant? Who decides which lifeforms have a soul? What IS a soul? Can it even be defined? Is intelligence or sentient intelligence the defining factor here?

What if you're brain-dead? No brain activity whatsoever, no hope of recovery; but your body is still technically alive and breathing. Where's your soul then? What if you're mentally retarded and have the IQ of a goldfish? What if you're a child? What if you were aborted? Stillborn?

And what would you do in the afterlife? Exactly how would it not be terminally, mind-numbingly boring? What is the afterlife for? What function would it serve? What's the point?

Let's not even get into the whole idea of hell. I find it hilarious that so many people think there's life after death in some form, but reject the idea of hell. At least that's been my experience: "yeah, there must be something after this life, but I don't think hell is real." Well, why not? You believe in heaven, why not hell? You want the good, but not the bad?

What if you're a mass murderer? Is Jeffrey Dahmer chilling out in heaven with all the young boys he raped, tortured, murdered and ate? Technically he should be, because he apparently genuinely repented and accepted Christ as his savior just days before he was shanked in prison. The afterlife must be mighty awkward for him, I imagine.

Not to mention that the only real function of heaven and hell appears to be the carrot and the stick. "Be good and you'll go to heaven, but be bad and you'll burn in hell for eternity." It's like Christmas and Santa Claus making his list and checking it twice. You know, if you're a good little boy or girl you get gifts. Be bad and you get a lump of coal.

Except you grow out of that phase. With religion what you get is people being actively encouraged to ruin their lives because after all, this life is just a blink of an eye in the face of this supposed eternal bliss. God will reward you for all the fun you didn't have by not throwing you into hell.

Makes you wonder why one would WANT to spend eternity with a guy like that. Even my parents would never psychologically manipulate me like that, even if it really was for my own good. So if there was a heaven, would I really WANT to go there? Sounds odd that God would create me in his own image and whatnot, give me free will, and then punish me for using that free will. So it's a choice to follow or reject God, yes, in the same way that a rape victim with a gun to her forehead has a choice to disobey the rapist. Argue all you want whether rape or a bullet to the head (or both) is better, but don't try to tell me that victim is "free to choose."

Anyway, life is precious specifically because it's finite and the only one we have. I don't have a problem with this, because I'd rather live a full but short life than a long but empty, boring one, wouldn't you? The clock is ticking. Do something. Live. You're going to die anyway, what do you have to lose?
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Tour of Nilgiris 2010: India's biggest, baddest, most epic cycling event

ZOMG Actual post?! Cross-posted from my cycling blog, Critical Mass New Delhi:

A rider in TFN '08.

So I signed up for the Tour of Nilgiris, arguably India's biggest cycling event, which takes place once a year in the scenic Nilgiris mountains in South India. This non-competitive cycling tour covers 1,000 kilometers (~600 miles) across three states in ten intense days.

It's basically India's Tour De France. Except non-competitive, so it's not a race so much as cyclists getting together from all over India and more, and feasting on the best that cycling and India's natural beauty have to offer them, for ten incredible, unforgettable days. It's nothing short of legendary among Indian cyclists, and for good reason.

Registrations opened on June 1, and the website was flooded as hundreds of cyclists sent in their applications, hoping to be the lucky 70 riders to be picked. I am among those hopefuls:

Moments after posting that Tweet, the Tour of Nilgiris' official Twitter re-Tweeted it with an encouraging reply:

Which made me squeal in delight like some delirious schoolgirl.

Of course, I won't know if I've been selected for it or not.

Forget that: I don't even know how I'll afford to pay for this. Or the logistics of Indian travel (something I am NOT good at) and transporting my precious Bianchi (which I haven't even bought yet, right now I ride a Trek 3700) down to south India. Going by plane will be hideously expensive because of taking a bicycle along; by train will be hideously dangerous and psychotic regardless of the bicycle.

Even if I get that far, I don't know if I will even be able to pull off this tour. It's over 100 km per day, including uphills and downhills and altitude. This means serious training, which is already a challenge since I work nights. Right now I brag if I pull off 50 km in a week (I only ride on weekends).

But all I know is, I HAVE to do this. I just have to.

Even some of my cycling friends were like, how will you pay for this? Do you really think you'll even get in? Where will the sponsorship come from? And I was like, I don't know. But I don't care, I'm signing up. I'll figure it out somehow.

This is one of those things that you have on a list of things to do before you die, or your life will not be complete. I don't even know why. I can't explain it to myself, let alone to you.

But if you live in India and love cycling, you'd probably understand.
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Actual post type post

At just 49, Bruce Beach was diagnosed with a rare cancer, and in five years, he will probably be dead.

Until he felt its urgency, he never had much time for living. But mortality has given him renewed perspective. In the last two months Bruce has completed a source-to-sea quest down the River Thames in a canoe, and a three-week road trip around Scandinavia and Europe on a vintage motorcycle. He has recently recorded an album with his band, is preparing to play at London's famous 100 Club and, for good measure, has raised money for charity. By his own admission, when he was younger, Bruce was never one for living. "Things just got in the way, like work and bills," he says.

The problem exactly is that it takes a death sentence before most people truly live. I'm hoping I can get all my living done AND work a 9 to 5 and the rest of it AND do it all without getting cancer or AIDS or something to kick my ass and motivate me into living before it's all over.

I'm only 30, but really by most standards and basic math, I'm already close to the halfway point. And it's not like one can go bicycling to Mongolia and climbing mountains when you're 70 or so (I mean I guess you can, but it'll be much harder). The fact is that life is really, really fucking short, especially when you spend a lot of time procrastinating because you assume you have so much time to do it "later on someday." A wise someone said, "live like today is your last day on earth, plan for the future like you'll live to be 100."

This post is directed mostly at myself.
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an actual serious post

  Non-Christians on my flist might not begin to comprehend the following nonsense, just so you know.

I dreamed of Joe Kubert last night / this morning. For those of you that don't know, I went to the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art, the world's only art school specializing in comic book art, where most of the industry's finest have graduated.  I graduated despite it's ridiculous 70% dropout rate (even some of its teachers didn't finish all three years).  The dream was really bizarre and surreal, but then most of my dreams are anyway.  I dreamed of parts of the school itself, and chatting with Joe Kubert (he teaches Third Year). 

I've pretty much stopped drawing altogether.  At this point it is simply too much effort, too forced, and I no longer feel there is anything inside me to get out onto a blank page, not even a doodle.  The more people pressure me to draw something the worse it gets, even though they mean well. 

I miss how good it felt to draw comics.

I've also started to see my decision to pursue art and specifically comic books as a career, as a bit of a mistake.  Granted, this has more to do with the whole self-delusion about God's supposed will for my life, which turned out to be a big load of disappointment-flavored crap.  I guess I've gone past the struggling-with-it phase and now I'm just trying to make peace with this state of affairs. 

God's will was a total lie.  The prophecies spoken about me were also lies.  It has taken me years and years to finally get up the courage to even admit this on my LiveJournal, it's that terrifying to admit.  The whole watching all my friends get married while the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with died in a car accident kinda gave me that last push I needed to realize the truth for what it is, or isn't in this case.

The newer problem I'm dealing with now, is that I realize that my life has no mission or point or purpose in it, no plan of action to follow.  While this is immensely freeing (i.e. no more frantic praying for God's will, terrified I'll get it wrong and screw it all up, which ironically is what I ended up doing anyway), the problem is also that it is now apparent that my life will be mediocre at best.  I'm just gonna end up another statistic, living a boring, uninteresting life, no dreams coming true, no great story to tell when it's all over, no mission to accomplish, not even for myself, let alone for God.

That being said, I'm slowly starting to see that that's not necessarily such a bad thing, though it's not great either.  The thing I can't seem to get around is the thought that I'll have to stand before God when I'm dead, and I already know that no matter what I do with this life, I'll fuck it all up somehow and stand before God ashamed and without an answer to give.  It's like a game I already know is impossible to win.  I'm just hoping that I'll have the balls to deal with that day when it finally arrives, and that if I end up in hell, I'll at least end up in hell as someone honest and not a hypocrite. 

This post may not have made any bloody sense whatsoever.  I think I need Pepsi.