In Which Neil Gaiman Reminds Me How Nice it is To Not Fear Posthumous Judgment
Merely a quick thought here. I was reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane, in which, toward the end, Neil Gaiman pens the line “You don’t pass or fail at being a person, dear.” It’s a beautiful line, particularly in standing as it does against popular religions that feature afterlives. Whether one buys into the one shot deal at passing life or suffering everlasting torment that most Christians are into or goes with the rather less monstrous reincarnation hypothesis, the point of many religions is still that life is just a preparation for judgment. I oppose this, of course, not just on the basis of my many childhood nightmares about Christian judgment, and failing thereat, but because ideologically it is just as reductionist and ultimately counterproductive to live as preparation for a judgment as it is to be educated in preparation for a standardized test. It is unfortunate for all of us that there are people who passionately believe in the necessity of both.
Featured image from the Book of the Dead, by way of Wikimedia commons.