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Your paradise, my paradise, who cares?

Reader comment on item: Arguing over "Can Islam Be Reformed?"
in response to reader comment: God help

Submitted by Alain Jean-Mairet (Switzerland), Nov 16, 2013 at 00:16

The things is, Guardian, I do not believe (in the afterlife for example), but I don't think that this here is a paradise neither. I think that Nature is a bitch, and that life is hard. But I kind of like it, most of the time. That makes me sometime strive to some little bit of paradise, but just among other things, as an aside, an accessory. A bit of salt.

When I was a child, I remember being appalled at the boring Christian vision of paradise that was described at school and in some books. Later I was even more sickened by the Muslim version of it. I just didn't like paradise, I guess. And hell neither, of course. I just liked being alive.

And when I thought of some kind of paradise, or afterlife, I imagined some superlative life. A super conscience, capable of living several lives in the same time, in different places and portions of times, enjoying the multiple discoveries, the meetings, and the shear greatness, like the movements of galaxies aligned with those of living beings like we are.

Or maybe it would be all lives, all at once. Or life itself. A conscience so big and bright that just being would be doing, throughout life and death, distance and time. And then think for a second of what love would be between two such consciences. What would be the fruits of this?

Now that would be worth spending some sort of eternity with it. And maybe it would have been worth trying to get there, as religious people try to get their paradise. Well it would have been foolish. But who knows, step by step, generation after generation… Maybe, this is my "paradise", as you have yours.

Anyway. Today, I don't think of paradise anymore. I'm grounded. But I know, I feel like I always knew, that your paradise, all paradises, are mostly just a foolish way to escape life. And it doesn't work.


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