|It can happen to you, it can happen to me, |
just as it happened to T-Rex and all its progeny
It's no wonder once humans acquired a deeper sense of our individual mortality that we imagined an afterlife, at the very least, as a vision of hope that we might continue on and have an opportunity to reunite with those we love. It also would give us a second chance to live better in a heavenly realm, particularly if we royally screwed up in the real world.
For me this contemplation of such total loss permits me to face the shadow of non-existence in the eye and then ratchet up my participation in the world. It should be cathartic, rather than numbing, to realize this life is the only chance I get to make a difference, to experience the amazingness of human life and to build a bit of heaven on Earth for myself, my species, and the entire world.
Might we as a species take this one step further. Humanity might take a day annually to imagine its own ultimate extinction, whether it be by the Sun's expansion into a red giant in another five billion years, by a random gamma ray burst from a distant supernova (an event that could happen at any moment without warning), or by the all more likely by an environmental collapse event that we self impose, such as runaway climate change or total nuclear war.
Envision however, if humanity can join together to acknowledge with great reverence the mortality our species shares with all our cousin species, those both anciently extinct and currently extant alongside us. Perhaps, just perhaps, we as a world society can then focus on a long term management plan that listens to nature as best that science can, and listens to our dreams as our hearts and minds best can. Many challenges confront us along the way, the greatest of which just might be uniting as an empathic species to face the challenges that can enhance balance in the world as a whole.
With darkness our eventual inheritance, let us build a life now as full of light for all as best we can.