I've been thinking lately about immortality. No...I know that's not going to happen to me. Rather I was thinking about the promise of immortality, and how some of my friends believe without a shadow of a doubt that they will live forever in heaven once they die. If you stop to think about it, immortality sounds good at first...but forever is a very long time. I would be truly afraid that within a week or so, I would get bored. I have that trouble now, but I have lots of different and diverse interests that make life worth living. But what about afterward? I thought of what an imaginary conversation between the Almighty and myself would be like. Maybe something like this.
Me: "Uh...excuse me...pardon me...could you help me for a second?"
God: "Sure...what can I do for you?"
Me: "Well...I'm a bit confused at the moment. I remember going to sleep last night, and the next
thing I know, I'm wandering around here. I don't know where I am?
God: "Hmmmm....isn't it obvious? You're dead. This is heaven."
Me: "Uh...maybe I shouldn't say this, now that I'm here and all...but...I didn't believe in you. So
why am I here and not...well, you know.
God: Yes, yes...I know. Well it seems that my temperament has been exaggerated slightly. You
lived a good life, you helped other people, that's enough. Those guys down there got it all wrong.
Me: "Well, that's good news for me I guess. But...what now?"
God: "What do you mean, what now?"
Me: "You know, what now? What comes next?"
God: "Why, nothing...eternal life up here with me."
Me: "So...what do you do to keep from getting bored?"
God: "Getting bored? Why I never get bored. You live here with me and the rest of these folks
(nods in that direction) forever and ever. No hunger, no pain, no troubles."
Me: "Uh...OK. At least do you have something to read?"
God: "There's no reading material up here. You don't need it."
Me: "But how can I learn anything new?"
God: "There's no need to learn anything new. I will provide."
Me: "Well what about drinking? There must be some outstanding beer up here?"
God: "Sorry, there's no need for drinking up here. It's not necessary."
Me: "Ok...no reading, no learning, no drinking. Uh...what about women? You know...s-e-x?
God: "This may come as a shock, but you don't have any "private parts" in your new heavenly
Me: "So...this is it? Just hanging around up here like this forever? Nothing to do for entertainment?"
God: "Well of course. What else do you need?"
Me: "I'm beginning to think I ended up in the wrong place!"
God: "Funny, that's what Einstein and Sagan said."
Me: "Einstein and Sagan!!!???? They're here?"
God: "Well, not anymore. They asked to be sent...'down there'. They said the boredom up here
was the worst punishment they could ever imagine."
Me: "Uh....what time is the next flight out of here?"
God: "Good grief...not another one!"
Well obviously, the point is that without the opportunity to continue to learn and to grow intellectually, there really is no difference between heaven and hell. Oblivion has to be a better choice. After all, we were all there once anyway. What's so frightening about returning "from whence we came?"