Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Where is Danny Federici?

PintofStout's call for a discussion of the soul has resulted in some interesting conversation, both at his site and elsewhere, like here and here. I'm not sure I have much to add, but I've been thinking.

Yesterday I mourned for Danny Federici, the musician, and any death raises the question: Now that his body isn't working anymore, where did "he" go? That is, the energy that inhabited his body, which we can assume was similar to the sentience we experience as we move about in our own bodies.

Having only experienced this plane of existence, as far as we know, most sentient beings seem to occasionally contemplate those two big questions: Where was this consciousness before it inhabited this body, and where will it go when this body is used up? It is hard to believe that this consciousness is simply a miracle of the chemical reactions in the brain of this body and will dissipate forever when the brain stops functioning.

We have devised a number of religions and philosophies to explain the fate of the soul. My faith says we only get one shot at this life, but the bottom line is we don't know how souls and consciousness work beyond this world. Having been born in the closing months of the Korean War, I have always wondered about one of the most vivid dreams I had as a very young child, the earliest dream I can recall — of being shot in the chest in what I vaguely recall as a chaotic situation. A lingering vision of the end of my consciousness' last stop? or simply a vivid dream?

Perhaps the essence of Danny Federici has migrated into a now-microscopic being inside someone's womb; perhaps it's in the next level of existence, heaven if you wish; perhaps the soul expires with the body and it's resting with Danny's body.

These are intriguing thoughts and fun to contemplate, because they involve the most intimate core of our being — but in the end, the answer is unknowable until we get there. I'm not necessarily in a hurry to find out, but as it's something we all must face someday, I'm curious.



Blogger PintofStout said...

Thanks for the thoughts, BW.

Mr. Federici certainly lives on in his music, like you said yesterday.

10:04 AM  

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