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The last thing I heard her say was “Pensez à quelque chose d’agréable” (“Think of something pleasant”).  Then she slipped me the Mickey Finn.  Out like a light.  Next thing I know is that I’m looking at the ceiling in the appropriately named Reanimation Ward.

It could’ve been different.  I could be in the morgue or my grave – or, preferably, in a box waiting for my cremation.  But I woke up, without a clue as to what they did with that mini-blowtorch in my gut.  No pain, no dreams, no NDE, just a temporary period of unconsciousness.  The only difference between this and dying is that you don’t wake up.  You just go on forever in the non-consciousness of non-existence.

Hamlet, to whom we owe the modified quotation in the title, was terrified of having dreams after his contemplated suicide :  “For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come, when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause.”  Pause ?  For Heaven’s sake, why ?  Dead means dead, zonked, K.O.  No heart beat, no brain waves, no dreams.  Zilch, nada, nothing !

We go through the same routine every morning  :  “Wake up, rise and shine !”  One day I won’t, and I won’t have a clue I didn’t.

Why do so many people insist that when they die they continue to exist in an afterlife ?  Not the slightest proof has ever been produced that when you’re brain-dead you are not 100% dead.  That “soul” they told you you have, never existed, and so is highly unlikely to have left your body to allow you to join your loved ones Up There.

Politicians tell people what they want to hear : taxes will be lowered, security, pensions and health benefits will be increased, and full employment will be restored.  We vote for them anyway.  Religions promise us an afterlife. Only the credulous – who want to believe it – believe it.

RIDENDA    RELIGIO

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