Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


Where You Go When You Die

Exertec, Napa, California, USA

February 27, 2008



"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." ... George Harrison, Any Road

This essay, Where You Go When You Die, is the companion piece to
  1. Sailing Ship
  2. Not With A Whimper But A Bang
  3. Not Just Passing Through
  4. The Girl Who Became A Tree
  5. Always Here: A He Said She Said
in that order.

It is also the fifith in a group of thirteen reflections of God:


I finally figured out where you go when you die.

In the inquiry "Where do you go when you die?" I notice how easily I settle for an already always concept  when I get down to I don't really know  where I go when I die. Some of those concepts are classics. Some are beautiful. Some are just plain off the wall. Some are inspiring. Some, as we all know, form the foundations of the world's great religions. I'm not discounting any of them. I'm simply looking ... to see if I can get to what's so.

Part of the trouble we have with knowing where we're going (in any sense) is not  knowing where we're coming from.

On a trivial level, that's almost obvious. In today's high tech world where websites like MapQuest give you directions, you first enter where you're coming from. If you don't enter where you're coming from, MapQuest can't tell you where to go.

On a more profound level, when I ask "Where do you go when you die?" it's also prudent to first know where we come from.

"Where do we come from?".

Unlike what's expected on MapQuest, I'm not speaking of the location we started from, and nor am I speaking of the compass direction  we followed to get here. Rather, I'm teasing out where we come  from ie who we really are like a possibility.

I assert we are our conversations.

In an earlier, health conscious time, it was said "You are what you eat.". I've also heard it said in a later, wealth conscious time "You are what you wear.". I would like to propose, instead - for today and for the future - "You are what you "You are what you speak.". We are our conversations. That's how people know us. That's who we are - for ourselves, for people. Not what you look like. Not your body - that's just hamburger. We are our conversations. That's how we know people. That's who people are - for themselves, for us. We are our conversations. That's where we come  from. The people who know your conversations, know you. Indeed, that's a possible definition  of "who knows  you".

Where you go when you die is into the conversations of the people who know you - by that definition. I could also say where you go when you die is into the conversations of the people who love  you. That's nice, but in this context it's not required. It doesn't need the choir of angels and the violins.

It's not significant that where you go when you die is into the conversations of the people who know you. Neither is it meant to be "the truth". Nor is it intended to replace cherished religious and spiritual beliefs. Rather, it's simply a place to stand and look.



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