My thoughts on this Erev Yom Kippur

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Is my name not already written in the book of life by the mere fact that I am alive? I was born into life, wasn’t I? Or is what I understand as life simply some other in-between state of being? One that is not quite alive yet not really dead. Which makes me question then what is death? Is death an end, or yet another state of becoming. Becoming what? Perhaps more alive? A state where life is beginning and simultaneously ending as it was where it began in the womb. Did it begin there?

The womb, that place of physical confinement and of transformation. A place I do not remember at all. Yet, it is how I got here. How every creature gets here. We all start our journey in a world that is much different than the one we are now experiencing. For me just to reach that womb there was a huge battle and I was the only survivor! All of the other members of my regiment did not make it. They perished. I’m sorry for them. I hope they forgive me just like I hope that anyone that I have hurt intentionally or unintentionally, anyone who has felt slighted by their interactions with me, can forgive me.

The truth of the matter is that struggle is an integral part of the process of becoming alive. Some magnetic force pulled and pushed me into life. Primal urges in my father’s groin ejaculated me into my mother’s womb, that later expelled me into a new world where I am now experiencing this thing called life. From the moment I became aware that I was alive, I encountered the concept of death. A dark menacing horrible creature that is always lying somewhere just under the surface of life gnawing at me and reminding me of my mortality.

Death is a shadow that accompanies us through life you see and we are always being threatened by this concept of death. This fear-monger thing that no one understands. The only thing known about it is that it ends everything in this world. I can’t help but wonder if that isn’t what already happened in the womb. Didn’t that world end, yet not really, things didn’t really end there, they were just getting started somewhere else. That world ended but I wound up in this world with the rest of you. We are all experiencing this thing called life here in this world. As we also all experienced the end of that world in our mother’s wombs and wound up here in this world. Together, here we are having some kind of mass joint experience called life. So, is death just birth pangs into another world? I wonder.

Didn’t all ancient writings and holy Scriptures say that we will be awakening into another world? Or, is this just a collective hope that we all hold because we don’t want this to be the end? Is there yet another existence awaiting us? I hope so. Not because being alive here in this reality isn’t enough. Because it continues to be a spectacular experience. Really! It is more about what is the point if it all ends here? What was the point of the struggle to get here? What is the benefit if whatever knowledge is gained does not translate into anything and it ends here? It is baffling to think this thing called life that yearns so passionately after itself reaches a point where it just stops and ends. Leading to nothing else. No further transformation. All change and replication just stopped. The metaphors seem to imply that at this juncture some sort of finished product is reached and is evaluated. If deemed worthy it then lives forever. I wonder where? Where is forever exactly? For the rejected the ride then ends. I don’t want to hold that concept in my mind. Physicist say that energy is never destroyed it just transforms.  So how can something composed of energy be written out of the book of life? How can it “end”? I don’t get this whole book of life thing. I think I’m alive but according to the book of life concept, I am only temporarily alive. And unless my name gets written in the book of life and sealed in it, I perish like the rest of my regiment at the beginning of this journey trying to reach the golden egg.

So I am thinking that life is just some weird incubation process. I guess if I had a memory from my time in the womb, I would’ve probably been totally freaked out when all of a sudden my world was disrupted and I was forcefully expelled out of the womb, that had been my home the only world I’d known or could remember knowing, and had the crap beat out of me in the process. Including having my oxygen supply cut off and my food supply shut down. I was crushed and totally freaked out when I arrived bloody and screaming into this world. Graciously I lost that memory! I think, or maybe it’s the underlying reason for some of my bizarre psychology. Oh, don’t even judge me you have your own head noise to deal with. Let’s just be honest here because this is the day of atonement. Which is all about purging, cleansing and forgiving. That’s what this is all about, cleansing the body, cleansing the mind, cleansing the spirit, cleansing the fear! Just cleaning it all out of you. Sacred texts say you can achieve this by fasting and praying. I think that prayer is a way of processing all the noise in your head so I think talking to yourself, or writing things out qualifies as prayer. Getting it all out is a rather cathartic experience. You feel better like after a good ugly cry.

I still don’t understand why my name didn’t get written into the metaphorical book of life at let’s say conception? Wasn’t that the beginning of my being “alive” story? Wasn’t I alive when I was that fragile embryonic life form still evolving into itself? What was I before I arrived in that womb?

And what story then does this book of life contain? If my name is added to a list of other names, then am I merely a character playing a role in someone’s story? Who is the author? Who assigned the roles to the characters in the book? Did the characters have a choice in the matter? Were they free to change their role or to opt in or out? This is where I am supposed to insert the concept of God because I no longer have a way to compute an answer, so I create a metaphor to explain the complexities of being alive to myself. A metaphor that will be a sort of self-soothing or coping mechanism.

I can also just believe in magic, wish on dandelions, or write it out. If indeed I do have a choice to opt in or out of this thing called life, then I opt in! I choose to live fully to the best of my ability and to carry on trusting the process. Ahhh, I am glad to get this all out of my head, and I will not even bring up the hard problem of consciousness!

May your cleansing be peaceful and healing and may your metamorphosis continue!

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