After I die

12.51, Sunday 22 Apr 2012

This is a bit morbid I suppose but I’ve been thinking about what I’d like done with me after I die (which won’t be for a good long time, touch wood).

When I imagine the brain, I think that “me” is its structure, and its electrical and chemical signalling. “Me” is also my brain as embodied in my meat, and I can imagine the structure and the dynamics of that too. My structure - of my body and my brain - changes continuously, as I grow and change, and as I learn and have experiences.

When I imagine the dead me, I imagine a body with a brain which is thinking really, really slowly. As my body and my brain decompose, these are simply changes in the structure – so decomposition would feel like learning and developing, in some sort of way. And as adjacent neurons break down and affect one-another, or as a worm burrows its way through my dead brain, maybe these would feel like occasional thoughts.

And so, during this time, the pattern which is my consciousness becomes absorbed into the pattern which is the world, and mingles with structures already there, new connections are made and others broken, just as thinking already is, and the changing me-pattern I experience as slow thoughts and slow developments of the self, and I become part of a wide, slow, thinking earth.

That’s option one, to be buried and to decompose gently.

Option two:

I would like to be cremated, my ashes made into bread, and the bread shared out and eaten by all my friends. I think that would be wonderful.