A brief, beautiful interrogation of life, death, and consciousness by BJ Miller for the NY Times.
Is consciousness broader than life and death? Is consciousness a portion of life? Or life, even death, a portion of consciousness? When does life become death? Is it an instant? A transition? Do they coexist? When does the enduring assemblage of quanta that coalesce at conception—to later fully dissipate—become and cease to be human, the person we are, the ones we've known? And after we are materially no longer animated, what of the memories and stories that persist, spread, grow, and fall away as they move through those assemblages of quanta that remain?
It seems 2020's COVID and friends are bringing death, connection, and meaning, out of the shadows of thought for many. The questions remain grand and consequential well before answering them enters anything so distant the human experience as the divine (pantheist notions precluded). This short piece keeps it local [to Earth] and thoughtfully examines the topic with just enough sentimentality to feel very human without ascending into the clouds. Consider adding it to your reading queue as you and I contemplate the end(s), the beginning(s), and my favorite apocalypse so far (perhaps yours too).
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