I'm still working on how Haruki Murakami went forward in time to steal my theory about life after death, and include it in his book Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. I will find out, Haruki, and then I'm coming for you! Beware. Or, you know, just do a risk assessment.
Page 285 in the Vintage edition:
"Your body dies, your consciousness passes away, but your thought is caught in the one tautological point an instant before, subdividing for an eternity.
"[...] expanding human time doesn't make you immortal; it's subdividing time that does the trick."
I remember trying to explain this thing in some philosophy class to the lecturer a long time ago. I was thinking like this: we can only be aware of being aware, right? We can, therefore, not be aware of the moment at which we stop being aware, right? So when we die, we will be endlessly aware of the last moment of which we can be aware, eternally. It's so bloody simple it hurts.
The lecturer wanted me thrown out. Less for saying anything heretical, and more for not making any kind of sense whatsoever. So, ever-since I've nurtured this theory of mine, keeping it safe and secret against the slings and arrows of outrageous misunderstanding. I.e. I haven't bothered making it any more coherent. I was figuring, in the end everyone will see I'm right. I will be famous, but very privately in a little world inhabited by every person all on her own, for all eternity.
Great. Well, if you read the book, you'll know the "End of the World" is in fact just such a state of being: the eternal subdivision of time in the moment before awareness and consciousness cease. Cool. And Haruki Murakami invented it completely independently! And he put it in words that makes sense. Here they are:
"... thought goes on subdividing that time for ever and ever. The paradox becomes real. The arrow never hits."
It's like that old thing about always halving your next step, ending up never reaching the other side. So, when you die, time for the living observers goes on the same as before: your body crumples up and turn very dead. But for you, time becomes a little subdividing paradox and you never in fact reach the other side.
Just hope you die in a nice way, then. We'll see, won't we. (And that is, in fact, my theory.)
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