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Afterlife



By: Evan Yang


You were on your way home when you died. It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable. But fatal, nonetheless. It was a painless death. The medics tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered, you were better off dead. Trust me. And that's when you met me.

What happened? Where am I?

“You died,” I said matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.

“There was... there was a truck. And it was skidding.”

“Yes.”

“I... I died?”

“Yes. But don't feel bad about it. Everyone dies.”

You looked around. There was...nothingness.

“Just you and me.”

“What is this place? Is this, the afterlife?”

“More or less.”

“Are you...God?”

“Yes. I'm God.”

You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn't look like God. I just looked like some man, or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe.

“Don't worry," I said. “Your family will be fine. Your kids will remember you as being perfect in every way. They didn't have time to grow contemptuous of you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it's any consolation, she'll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”

“Oh…” you said, feeling a little dejected. “So, what happens now? Do I go to Heaven? Or Hell?”

“Neither. You'll be reincarnated.”

“So the Hindus were right!”

“All religions are right in their own way.”

“So, what's the point then? When I get reborn, I'll just be a blank slate right? So, all my experiences and everything... everything I did in this life...Won't matter...”

“Not so.”

“You have, within you, all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don't remember them right now.”

I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders.

“Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It's like sticking your finger in a glass of water. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you've gained all the experiences it had. If we hung out here for long enough, you'd start remembering everything.”

“How many times have I been reincarnated then?”

“Oh, lots! Lots and lots! And into lots of different lives. This time around, you'll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 A.D.”

“Wait... what?! You're sending me back in time?”

“Well, I guess, technically. Time as you know it only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”

“Where do you come from?”

“I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you'll want to know what it's like there, but honestly, you wouldn't understand.”

"Oh..." you said, a little let down.

“If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”

“Sure, happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespans, you don't even know it's happening.”

“So… what's the point of it all?”

I looked you in the eye.

“The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”

“You mean mankind? You want to us to mature?”

“No, just you.”

“Just me? What about everyone else?”

“There is no one else. In this universe, there's just you and me.”

“But all the people on Earth...”

“All you, but different incarnations of you.”

“I'm every human being who ever lived?”

“I'm Abraham Lincoln?”

“And you're John Wilkes Booth too.”

“I'm Hitler?!” You said appalled.

“And you're the millions he killed.”

“I'm Jesus?!”

“And everyone who followed Him.”

You fell silent.

“Every time you victimized someone, you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you have done, you have done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was or will be experienced by you.”

You thought for a long time.

“Why? Why do all this?”

“Because someday you will become like me. Because that's what you are! You're one of my kind. You're my child!”

“You mean I'm a God!?”

“No, not yet, you're a fetus. You're still growing. Once you've lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”

“Now it's time for you to move on to your next life. Come back later this time, and we’ll chat again”

And I sent you on your way.

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