If we want to stay alive, we need to eat and drink. If we stop, we will soon die. We will die even if we
don’t stop, but not so soon. The body dies but does what’s inside the body (let me call that “the soul”)
die too? Does it stop being or does it continue to exist somewhere else? There is no proof of that; and
probably there can’t be. For if it continues to exist somewhere else it is no longer part of this world and
can no longer be perceived by the means of this world.
I had a daughter who died when she was ten months old. My mother died when she was 59 and my
father ‒ when he was 79. People die at different ages, having lived different lives, being themselves
different. But they all start and end their lives in the same way and no one can change that. We would
change it if we could. I, for example, would like to change the way women give birth to their children
and make it painless. I would also like to make all the bad things like illness, violence, exploitation,
disaster, etc. disappear.
I can’t change those, but there is something I can change: my own reaction to what happens to me; the
way I perceive things and what I do as a result of this perception. And this, done day after day, adds up
to what constitutes my life making it what it is and me what I am.
My body, though, can’t do that: it can’t change anything it does. If it changes it, it becomes ill or dies.
Hence, there is a very basic difference between the body and the soul: the body has no choice but to
function the way it is made to function, whereas the soul can choose what to do and how to do it. I can
choose whether to work or not and how much and intensively to do that. The one who chooses not to
work can also choose the way how to do that, i.e. he may live like a beggar or like a thief. This is in case
we both have equal opportunities for work. If we don’t, then other people’s wrong choices have caused
the emergence of the problem with unemployment. Because if there is so much work around that needs
to be done and the banks are full of money that can be used to pay for it, I see no other reason why this
should not happen.
If the body and the soul are so basically different in life, why shouldn’t they be so in death as well?