To Infinity And Beyond
Michael Nesmith, the tall one of the Monkees group and heir to the Liquid Paper fortune, had this to say about the passing of Davy Jones…
“I am of the mind that it is a transition and I carry with me a certainty of the continuity of existence. While I don’t exactly know what happens in these times, there is an ongoing sense of life that reaches in my mind out far beyond the near horizons of mortality and into the reaches of infinity.
“That David has stepped beyond my view causes me the sadness that it does many of you,” he continued, “I will miss him, but I won’t abandon him to mortality. I will think of him as existing within the animating life that insures existence. I will think of him and his family with that gentle regard in spite of all the contrary appearances on the mortal plane. David’s spirit and soul live well in my heart, among all the lovely people, who remember with me the good times, and the healing times, that were created for so many, including us. I have fond memories. I wish him safe travels.
Safe travels, indeed. These wishes from someone who doesn’t “exactly know what happens in these times” all sound quite gentle and caring, but to me much of what he states is just amorphous muddle. The yearnings and even pleadings of someone attempting to transcend death with words, feebly trying to understand something of an existence beyond. None of us sees beyond the veil separating physical life and death. Some of us, through no provocation of our own, remarkably manage to capture a wisp of that nature of the immortal from beyond the grave. (More on that in another post.)
I can agree with two things he said, though. Death is a transition. Some may consider the transition drastic, the change extreme. One moment living in the “animating life”, as Nesmith puts it. The next, motionless, lifeless. I rather believe that the transition can be one as swift and subtle as pressing a button on a television remote. Many of us hardly think about the reality of death in a way that doesn’t draw us toward seriously pondering that which is beyond. Transition it is. Into what is the money question. Secondly, he mentions the “certainty of the continuity of existence”. I understand that as his way of expressing immortality, and I believe he’s right, we all carry something of eternity within us. There are those who believe there is nothing, no existence, beyond death. I’m no philosopher or great thinker, but if that were the case I’d have no reason not to involve myself in all sorts of hedonism. Perhaps one concept that restrains even the most heinous of criminals is the idea of an after-life and consequently a judgment. I could explain eternity from within from a biblical perspective using Ecclesiastes 3:11, but personally I think anyone, from Christian to Atheist, knows something intimately about eternity, immortality or the continuity or persistence of existence, even if they don’t care to admit it.
Immortality doesn’t give us many hints as to its nature. But I’d suggest there are some.