Instead of answering the full 25-item questionnaire posted by Dominique Cimafranca on his blog, I think I'll explore one or two questions in depth.
24. What do you want God to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?
Questions of God and afterlife aside, what I would _really_ like to hear is "Go back! There's still so much work to do."
I grew up thinking rest in heaven was the reward for a life well lived: eternal communion with God, angels, saints, and other souls.
But I don't want to rest. I want to be here, helping other people. Wikipedia's entry on the Buddhist bodhisattva has a very beautiful thought:
"If I know how to swim, and even one other being cannot, then it is right to remain behind in this world to assist them until they know how to save themselves from drowning."
Perhaps saints can intercede, but it seems awfully difficult to become one, and their influence seems rather indirect. As imperfect as I am, I can still do something to make this world better.
So if we really don't just blink out at the moment of our passing - and I'm fine with that idea, too - I'd like to be reincarnate, please. Whether it's going to be like Groundhog Day, just trying to get _one_ life right, or whether I wake up some other time (and maybe even some other species!), it'll be fine. I want to be here, helping.
Even if there is no afterlife, I remain comforted by the idea that somewhere down the line will be someone like me. Is that not then a form of immortality?
Random Japanese sentence:
Ã£Â€ÂŒÃ£ÂÂ“Ã£ÂÂ®Ã£ÂÂÃ£ÂÂ“Ã£ÂÂ¯Ã£Â€ÂÃ£Â‚Â„Ã£ÂÂ£Ã£ÂÂ±Ã£Â‚ÂŠÃ£ÂÂ¨Ã£ÂÂ¦Ã£Â‚Â‚Ã£ÂÂÃ£Â‚ÂŒÃ£ÂÂ„Ã£ÂÂ§Ã£ÂÂ™Ã£Â‚ÂˆÃ¯Â¼ÂÃ£Â€ÂÃ£ÂÂ¨Ã£Â€ÂÃ£ÂÂ¨Ã£ÂÂ¦Ã£Â‚Â‚Ã¥Â¹Â´Ã¥ÂÂ–Ã£ÂÂ£Ã£ÂÂŸÃ£Â€ÂÃ£ÂÂŠÃ£ÂÂ°Ã£ÂÂ‚Ã£ÂÂ•Ã£Â‚Â“Ã£ÂÂŒÃ¨Â¨Â€Ã£ÂÂ„Ã£ÂÂ¾Ã£ÂÂ—Ã£ÂÂŸÃ£Â€Â‚ "And it is indeed a very pretty cat!" said the very old woman.