Molecular Musings

Do you ever think about what comes after? About what’s on the other side of the Veil?

Do we come back as something else? Do we lie underground and await Judgement Day? Or do we simply rot away? Is there a Hell? Or is our ‘life’ simply a prelude to the real deal?

If we pray hard enough, can we really come back in the next life as a movie star, or the president, or perhaps a chihuahua in America?

I don’t know, but what I like to believe in when I find myself so inadvertently thinking about the afterlife is: the Law of Conservation of Energy, that is, that energy is neither created, nor destroyed, simply transformed from one form to another. I like to think that every molecule in my body has been a part of something else, something big, something ordinary–just something; perhaps the first pterodactyl…or a water vapor molecule in a cloud, or even the potential energy of a rock at the top of a hill. I like to think that once i die, I’ll go on to become a part of something else…maybe the first living organism that emerges after our planet collapses due to human destruction, or a dolphin, or a blade of grass. Maybe the energy inside my molecules will one day course through the veins of a firefly or be a part of the metabolic reactions in the epidermal cell of a cat.

I like to think that every breath I take is a result of the joint effort of millions and millions of creatures long dead and forgotten, and that even billions and billions after this form of me has decomposed, I’ll still live on, maybe as a hermit crab.

Of course, all this seems completely mental, but this helps during those dark afternoons where my life seems like a pathetic waste; it helps during those painful, enlightened moments where it hits me that if I were to disappear off the face of the earth this very instant, this world would be none the worst for it; thinking that I’m a part of something bigger makes me feel…significant.


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