Detective Investigates the thingy known as Death
"What's going to happen after I die?" I asked the detective.
"Why do you want to know?
"It worries me."
" What happened before you were conceived?
" I don't know."
" Doesn't that worry you?
" Why not? It could have been terrible."
" Maybe, but it's over and I don't remember. It's what will happen
after death that worries me."
"I don't get it," he said looking amused. " You don't worry about it
because it isn't happening now and because you don't remember. Right?"
"Well, what will happen after death is not happening now and you don't
remember it either. So why should it bother you?"
"Are you trying to be cute? I didn't hire you to be cute. I want to
know the truth."
He smiled and rubbed his bald head. "Investigating a future crime is
very difficult, I'm going to need your full cooperation. I don't want to
hide from you that you are the main suspect."
" Me? How could I be a suspect regarding my fate after death?"
" Excuse me, the crime I'm investigating isn't your fate, but your
"Don't be ridiculous! How could my death be imaginary? It's a certainty
I'm going to die."
" Is it really? Are you dying this very instant?"
" Who is the one then who is going to die? Is the baby, the child, the
young man you once were going to die?"
"No, they are gone, but my body is going to die and this was their
"Are you sure of that? Is the size of the body the same?"
Is the shape, and weigh the same?
"Are the atoms the same?"
"No, all atoms in the body are replaced within seven years."
" So neither the form, nor the substance is the same? Correct?"
"My memories are. I'm the memory of my life."
He laughed. "It seems you are becoming less substantial with each
question. "Do you remember every hour of your life?"
"No I don't."
"Do you remember every day, every month of your life?"
"So your memories have been dying all along, have they not?"
"Has this caused you any pain?"
"When a memory vanishes are you aware it's vanishing?"
"Not at all."
" Could you be then your memories and don't feel anything when they
" I don't thing so."
"So neither your form, your substance, your thoughts, feelings,
perceptions, opinions or memories have remained the same throughout your
"My consciousness has."
"Your consciousness of what?"
"Not my consciousness of something. Just pure consciousness."
you ever been conscious without being conscious of something?"
"I don't think so."
"Consciousness is not a permanent state is it? In a deep sleep without
dreams you are not conscious, are you? So if consciousness stops in
deep sleep, is there a reason to think it will persist after death?"
"I don't think so."
" So we haven't found anything permanent to call yourself? Have we? Do
you now who or what you really are?" he asked
"No, I don't."
"Should you worry then about what happens to this elusive stranger
"Suffering worries me."
"Suffering can only occur when we are conscious, and if consciousness
can't survive deep sleep, how could it survive death? So, if suffering
worries you, inquire into how to stop it now. But I doubt that inquiry
will interest you. People never worry about the present. Do they? It's
the idea of the past or the future that causes most mental disquietude."