Up & Coming Weekly

July 18, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 6 of 24

6 UCW JULY 19 - 25, 2023 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM PITT DICKEY, Columnist. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomingweek- ly.com. 910-484-6200. Did you ever wonder what happens once you cross the Great Divide? Fortunately, you are about to find out without first breaking on through to the Other Side. As another fine leisure service of this col- umn, we have invited Mr. Natural to explain this mystery in only 850 words. Mr. Natural is a world famous philosopher invented by Robert Crumb. Mr. Natural knows even more than Carnac the Magnificent who used to appear on Johnny Carson several decades ago. is is no small feat, as Carnac knew the answers before the question was even asked. For those of us in the fourth quarter of life, the issue of what's next looms up like an ice berg on a frosty April night in front of the Titanic. You can hope for double overtime, but eventually the refs will blow the whistle and the clock stops. Now what? Mr. Natural was watching a zombie movie on Netflix recently which brought up the question of death. He explained: "As a practical matter, do you know what happens the day after you die?" Drum roll, please. e answer is everything happens. People go to lunch, pay bills, watch ads on teevee. Flights leave Atlanta. Squirrels chase birds off bird feed- ers. Weeds grow. Politicians tell lies. If you are lucky, you get a funeral where people say or think nice things about you for about an hour. en life goes on without you as if you had never been there. Once your estate has gone through pro- bate, your stuff has been distributed to your heirs and the various government agencies who collect a piece of the pie, that's it. Typically, the only real personal items of the dead person left after a couple of years are their wallets. Emptied of cash, your wallet remains with expired credit cards, an old driver's license, perhaps a social security card, library card, and a couple of coupons for stores that went out of business years ago. Seems kind of bleak doesn't it? However, humanity has come up with various religious theories to make the prospect of your post-death situation more palatable. Let's take a look at some of the oldest theories. You can choose which one you like best. Any discrepancy in the following summaries and the actual beliefs of the religions are purely my fault in misunderstanding what Mr. Natural told me. e ancient Egyptians believed their spirit would get by with a little help from their friends in the After Life. Small funeral statues called Shabtis were buried with guest of hon- or. Magically, the Shabtis would come to life in the After Life. e Shabtis would work the plot of land assigned to the dead Egyptian in the Underworld. is allowed the dead rich Egyptians to kick back and relax while some- one else had to do the work. Pretty sweet deal if you were a wealthy dead guy. Ancient Zoroastrians figured that the bury- ing the bodies of the dead was a sacrilege because the four elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water should not be contaminated by the bodies of the dead. e deceased was put into the Tower of Silence to be left in the sun where his earthly remains would be eaten by birds. Four days after death, the soul would go to the Bridge of the Requiter where it would be determined if the deceased's good deeds in life outweighed his bad deeds. Good souls went to heaven and bad souls went to Hell. Ultimately, there was a chance for the bad guys to get out of Hell when the Wise Lord would finally beat the Demon Lord freeing everyone from Hell. Hope springs eternal. Ancient Babylonians did not hold out much hope for the dead. ey believed once you were dead that was pretty much it. You stayed dead. eir best hope was for a long life, old age and descendants who would live long after you were gone. King Nebuchadnezzar is quoted saying: "Make my years to endure like the bricks of Ibarra, prolong them into eternity." It is unclear if the bricks of Ibarra are still around. It is certain Nebuchadnezzar has checked out. Buddhists believe that what goes around comes around. Like John Lennon once sang, "In- stant Karma gonna get you." After you die, your spirit is transferred into one of six levels; three are fortunate and three are unfortunate. If you have been bad, you might come back as a giant bug like Gregor in Kafka's "e Metamorphosis." If your Karma is good, you might be reincarnated as a an angel. If your Karma reaches the highest level of Nirvana, the cycle of reincarnation stops; otherwise you keep going through reincarna- tions. Back in the 60s there was a bumper sticker that said "Your Karma ran over my dogma." No one knew what that meant. So there you have it. If you are not Christian, Muslim or Jewish, you could choose one of these theories if it helps you get through the night. Unfortunately, there is no NFL two minute warn- ing in life about when the game is going to end. Govern yourself accordingly. Mysteries of life revealed: What happens after death by PITT DICKEY OPINION Read on to find our how Mr. Natural explains what comes after your time is up. But don't expect a two-minute warning before Game Over is called. (Hand-drawn illustration by Pitt Dickey) make your Radio sound funny. Mornings 6am to 10am on WFAY. Bud & Broadway

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