Afterlife as an Afterthought?

What would happen to this little guy's body if you buried it in a matchbox?

What would happen to this little guy's body if you buried it in a matchbox?

You know how, if you ask somebody if they believe in Heaven or an afterlife, they usually say they don’t know? They just don’t know. They haven’t figured it out yet, or haven’t decided yet …  or just don’t believe in anything. This always astounds me because I’ve always been just the opposite.

From a very early age I was always curious about what I know now would have been classified as “spiritual matters.” As well as all things mysterious and metaphysical. So I explored, and I delved, and I experimented, and I studied. And, besides my religious upbringing and Bible study, and later on a consideration of other religions, most of all I relied on my own internal Geiger counter to sort out what was right and true for me and what was not.

My God has always been mine alone and not one that fits well into any formula or format I’ve found thus far. So I NEVER argue about religion with anyone. Because I figure their set of spiritual beliefs is as unique to them as mine is to me. (Not that most of them would agree, but whatever . . .)

BUT, all of that came later.

The earliest experiment I can remember concerned the afterlife. I was about 4 or 5 and in a huge quandary about what happens to us after we die. My goldfish did, and I just knew in my heart his little spirit couldn’t possibly stop there. But my only frame of reference was his small golden body, so I figured if I could find out what happened to it, then I would have an answer to the big picture.

Luckily I found a small empty matchbox, the kind that the inside slides out of, that was the perfect size and would make an ideal coffin for a tiny goldfish. I placed him in it very carefully and then buried him out behind the shed in our back yard.

My plan was to dig up the matchbox each day, slide out his little cardboard bed, and view the body, thus tracking its progress through the hereafter. And dig him up each day I did. Before long he looked not unlike the goldfish in this picture.

One day I dutifully dug down, as usual, to unearth the small sarcophagus, and . . . lo’ and behold . . . when I slid out the inner casing, my goldfish’s body had disappeared entirely!!! This was all the proof I needed that my little friend had ascended into Goldfish Heaven, and I imagine that was the beginning of my belief in an afterlife.

Probably, at some point, I let too many days go by between disinterments. And probably the little guy’s body had decomposed to the point that ants finished off the rest of him during that interlude. But I didn’t know any of that at the time. His disappearance was definitely a miracle in my eyes and confirmed my suspicion that we do indeed go to a higher place after we leave our physical bodies.

I never told anyone what I was doing or what had happened to my goldfish. I didn’t think anyone would believe me and, even as a small child, figured they would think I was nuts.

But this was my first step toward the beyond. It left a big impression and surely primed me for the rest of my spiritual journey. It’s been a fun and fascinating one!

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Doubt Book said,

    Hi buddy, your blog’ s design is simple and clean and i like it. Your blog posts are superb. Please keep them coming. Greets!!!

  2. 2

    I’ m currently blogging for a (poor) living for someone else… but I like it. You’ ve inspired me to keep doing it, and look to doing it for myself soon


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