Once again, Rob found himself musing about the whole Terry Schiavo situation. He's still horrified by the fact that she basically died of dehydration. He gets on these kicks. Rob is nothing if not a survivalist. He wants to be kept on life support, resuscitated til he's pounded into a bloody pulp, made into some sort of cybernetic mutant nightmare... and I don't. Don't resuscitate me, don't put me on life support, don't go to any means, extreme or otherwise, to keep my ass around. I haven't given up on the notion of suicide entirely, but teenaged attempts proved unsuccessful. I survived being hit by a car, I am afraid of shotguns because, even tho I think the photos were faked, I think about the pictures of the kid who tried to blow his head off & the experts blamed it all on Judas Priest... and I must have a really, really high tolerance to most forms of chemically induced death (one can only wonder why...), so I'm stuck here for awhile. Anyway, when I die, cut me up & distribute me to the needy, or if my sedantary lifestyle has ruined me for donations, give me to Bodyworlds, and if I'm too hideous for even Bodyworlds, give me to the Body Farm... but Gods, please, the next time I actually die, let me go.
That said, after arguing about the need for a will to state that he wishes to be kept alive by any means necessary, Rob & I got into a philosophical discussion about the soul. Where, in fact, does it reside? Can exanimate flesh be brought back, soul intact? Are we just a composite of chemical reactions in the brain? Can hard science, electric stimuli, artificial respiration & heartbeat bring back someone once they're dead, and if so, are they still who they were before they died?
I believe that the soul & the flesh are two separate things, bound together for practicality & convenience, kind of like sharks & remora. The shark, efficient biological machine that it is, is the flesh. The remora, small & unobtrusive, maintains the shark & keeps it in good running condition - that's the soul. Rob's views on when life begins involve conception, maybe even something in the sperm & ova... I believe that life begins at the first breath. That's when the average human gets their soul. That's why it's so important that one's life starts out w/a slap on the ass & a scream. You have to suck in a soul. Without that initial breath, the baby dies, no soul enters. And when you die, you breathe your last breath & there goes your soul. Gone to wherever it came from. Returned to sender. Which is where zombies come from, at least, movie-concept zombies. They are the soulless bodies that are just reanimated. You have to work fast if you actually want to bring an individual back to life. There's a limit on how long someone can be dead & be successfully revived - the soul's got things to do, places to go, new people to be. It can't hang around a corpse for days on end, waiting for it to breathe again. The human brain rots remarkably fast - decomposition begins almost immediately. People in long comas who have been autopsied after they finally let go or are taken off the life support show that, even tho their lives were in suspended animation or being artificially induced, the brain had already begun to decompose. I think there's even a slang term for it, something like 'coma soup'. The soul left long ago & only the shell remained. Extreme cold is about the only thing that retards it, gives a person maybe a half hour extra, which is why a person who's died in frigid water can be successfully revived w/little brain damage. So therefore, the brain must be home to the soul - within minutes of the soul vacating the premises, the property value drops.
It's all a little irrelevant, tho, now that I'm thinking about it. Rob can wish for immortality all he wants - maybe by the time it's his time to go, they'll have technology out there that can give a human an endless lifespan. I won't be opting for it and that's enough for me.
I'm just meandering, trying to put some thoughts down on paper. I read 'Susannah's Song' (The Dark Tower Series, book 6) by Stephen King over the past two days, and he had put in a journal at the end. Part of me wonders if it's the real deal (all up to his 'death' from being hit by that van) or if it's all made up. It's probably a compilation of real events & those thrown in to show the coincidences between his life & the lives of his fictional characters. I've always liked the Universe that King created - towns & people cross the pages & covers of their own books & make cameos & guest appearances in others. The world the Tower inhabits is in almost all of his writing, in a way. I've grown up as familiar w/that world as w/this one - I think of fate as 'ka', and can accept the notion that the entire Universe we know hinges on a singing rose in a vacant lot somewhere. Ka is also Egyptian, but I can't remember if the 'ka' was one of the souls, or if it was something akin to destiny. I remember that the 'ba' was the portion of the soul that resembled a bird... but did it fly to the Underworld to be weighed, or did it stay w/the body? (Of course, typing 'ka ba' in the search window gave me references to the Ka'ba at Mecca). (ah, loosely, the ka is the soul tied to the body by mummification, & the ba is free to fly).
I think the shot tech who gave me my allergy injection got me in the muscle. It hurt. A lot. Moreso than any of the others. I've got a lump there. I've got a lump on the other one, too, but that one itches while the one on the right aches. Deep. I yelped, and normally I'm very stoic. Of course, I am also running on approx. 2 hrs. of sleep in the last 36 or so, so I'm a little more sensitive. Burned Nag Champa in here to clear the airwaves. I was listening to Cirque du Soleil's 'Nouvelle Experience' before he left, trying to wind myself down a little so maybe, just maybe, I could go in my room, play my Delta Sleep CD & maybe actually fall asleep. But Rob got me all wound up before he went to work. Bastard.