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Behind the Fiction, Past
A Fiction Column

Guest Columnist: Michael G'Francisco

Do people fear that living is a monotonous dream filled with boredom, routineness, emptiness, and loneliness? Is real life just a dream in which we awaken being flesh starving dead creatures?

It seems that the fascination of people today with the “Walking Dead”,“Vampires” and “Zombies” movies and television programs are beginning to replace the unthinkable.

The frontal lobe of the human brain is involved with what scientist call, executive functioning. This function enables humans to think carefully and solve problems in an abstract way. So, why are people, as of late, gorging themselves on afterlife beings chasing living beings to eat their flesh? What pleasure is found in bloody scenes of dead creatures gnawing on human flesh? Is there really a virus (possible from outer space) that can transform a person into a dead fleshing eating zombie?

Or, is it the possibility that peoples are so stressed with everyday life that they are beginning to believe that becoming a gorgy lifeless creature will relieve us of thoughts, money problems, sex, and other worldly problems?

Let’s explore some of the theories behind this worldwide craze.

Human beings have been fascinated by death for many centuries. The noun fascination goes hand-in-hand with two other nouns, fiction and fear. These nouns cause intrigue in the human mind. Intrigue creates the thought of there might be something else, possible an afterlife.

All religions put forth the idea of an eternal life. What is not understandable, is why an unproven life seem more important than a real living life? Could it be because humans are naturally afraid of dying (death)? Many are obsessed with the desire to prolong their existence. Of course, the exception is those who commit suicide, which is fortunately at a low percentage of the world’s population.

The truth of the matter is we, as a whole, do not believe that the Walking dead exist. But, still the thought of them existing is undoubtedly fun, and rather a bit macabre. But, to speculate how a virus can transform dead people into gangrenous flesh eating gorgers is, well, also a bit weird.

The Zombie Apocalypse is fiction created by brilliant writers to tantalize our imaginations. It can become quite satisfying (or wishful) to think of being a creature without thought, worry of money problems, sex, and any other earthly ties to humanity.

Several books have been written on the subject of the Zombie Phenomenon. One is Timothy Verstynen and Bradley Voytek’s book, Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep? They discuss at full length the discipline of neuroscience or more simply put; how does a Zombie’s brain work?

Of course, the book shouldn’t be taken seriously! But hey, if it tickles people’s fun bone about this global zombie apocalypse craze, what harm can it cause being trendy?

The fear of death can cloud our reasoning and logic processes. The ultimate fear of life ending tends to make us believe in almost anything that will cease the end of life or death.

In ancient times, people formed cults to create a belief in an afterlife. Even today in Mexico they believe in a mythical being called: La Santa Muerte (The Saint of Death). A celebration each year is held every November 2nd.

The Egyptians had Osiris (The King of Death), the Greeks had Thanatos (The God of Death), and the Vikings had Vahalla (The Hall of the Slain)

But by far the Egyptians were the most obsessed with life after death. The archaeological finds through- out previous times attest that kings and pharaohs strongly believed in the afterlife. They were mummified and buried with many treasures and personal belongs to guide them into and sustain them in the afterlife.
But, it can be said that today’s modern Egyptian obsession with death and the afterlife has diminished. Their belief in living a full life has become quite passionate. Still, they do not believe in cremation—for in doing so, it would destroy any chance of an afterlife (if there is one) of the deceased.

Now, let’s delve into America’s culture on the afterlife.

Thousands of people have proclaimed to have had paranormal experiences, but until recently these experiences have been on the hush-hush. The organization NDERF (Near Death Experience Research Foundation) has come up with some interesting facts.

Many people are surfing on a surging wave of a growing fascination about what happens after a person takes their last breath. Even today’s baby boomers are grappling with their own mortality. There seems to be a debate and possibly a doubt, in the reliability of our five (5) senses (taste, smell, vision, hearing and touch) to hypothesize and eventually define a truth.

The NDERF’s theories on why it has been kept low key are based on the declining membership in religious denominations and the preaching’s of many religious organizations about an idyllic paradise or eternal damnation. Hundreds of books have been written by quantum and theoretical physicists, and near death experiencers attempting to solve this issue.

Let’s explore the six (6) theories of an Afterlife:

  1. Materialism---Nothing survives. Death ends life. This belief is akin to Atheism (The lack of belief in gods).
  2. Paganism---What survives after death is a vague, ghostly spirit, which goes to a dark Underworld.
  3. Reincarnation---The soul survives and is reincarnated into another body, which is enlightened into a divine status.
  4. Pantheism---Death changes nothing. It is only an illusion. Therefore, in this view, the very question of what happens after death is mistaken. The question is not solved but dissolved.
  5. Immortality---The soul survives death, but not the body. The soul reaches a place of eternal happiness or enters into eternal damnation.
  6. Resurrection---At death, the soul and body separate with the soul awaiting for the end of the world to reunite into a new, immortal resurrected body by a divine miracle as prophesied in the Holy Scriptures.

Is there sufficient proof for immortality and the existence of an afterlife? No!

Still, being an open-minded skeptic is ok. But then again, maybe it’s the closed minded skeptic that is holding humanity at a standstill. That’s a bit of rubbish to chew on. Isn’t it?


Now, go softly into the night. mgf

Comments always welcome


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