TrekAcademy


Lesson 108: From life to death to
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 1/20 ('Heart of Glory')

[Scene]

When a Klingon warrior dies, other Klingons gather around the dying Klingon and perform the Klingon death ritual where all the Klingons present scream out a gut wrenching roar simultaneously.

This is the Klingon way of warning the Dead that a Klingon warrior is about to enter their realm.

After death, the Klingons treat the remaining body as just an empty shell, devoid of the spirit and to be disposed of in any convenient manner available.

[Lesson]

In many long established cultures, death is seen as just a transition from our current state of life to another state, one, which we are yet unable to comprehend from this side.

The transition from our current living state into the next state is believed to involve only the human spirit or soul or life energy, and never the physical body.

While the truth of the matter may never be known until we each face our own time of 'transition', we can conjecture, however, that if life does in fact conform to the physical laws of nature, then certain empirical laws of physics must also hold true for life.

In particular, the laws of the conservation of energy in an isolated or closed system, where energy is never created nor destroyed but only transformed from one state into another and remaining constant or conserved over time, perhaps may also be applied to the instance of our life energy.

The relationship between matter and energy shows us vividly how ice can be heated into water, then boiled into vapor, then cooled back down to water, and frozen back to ice, in a never ending cycle.

This shows us that energy, matter and information within our universe is never really lost, just transformed, while still retaining all of its elementary pieces.

It is not too difficult to extrapolate these laws to also include life energy.

Consider the transition of a caterpillar into a butterfly. Here we see two distinctly different states of physical life. The key questions to address here are the before and after states. Before the transition, does the caterpillar know that it will become a butterfly, and after the transformation, does the butterfly remember it was once a caterpillar?

We can bring the question of transition closer to home by asking ourselves if we remember what it was like to be living in a totally liquid environment before we were delivered into this world, and if, at that time, we were aware of the air breathing life which was awaiting us.

Through observation of others and via documented birthing videos of ourselves, we have physical, validated proof that we undergo a cataclysmic event in the transition of our life energy in the process known as birth.

If the start of current state of our life (i.e. air breathing) was the result of a transition from a prior state of life (i.e. liquid breathing), then could the end of our current state of life be nothing more than just another transition?

Where we came from and where we go to are two questions that no human can really answer.

Manifestos and doctrines of many religions have the luxury of easily providing answers to these questions without submitting any conclusive evidence as support, because they rely on belief as the only required answer.

It may very well be that one of the boundary conditions of life is to never allow the secrets of post-death state to be revealed to us in this life.

It would be a real waste if this life were to be a one shot deal, which ends in oblivion of nothingness and non-existence with absolutely no continuation following death.

Fortunately, to paraphrase John Burroughs ('Accepting the universe', 1920), the universe hates waste.

Back to lessons in Mankind


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