Thoughts on the “Undiscovered Country”
The body’s decomposition is an evident truth, accepted by scientists and theologians alike, “dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” But if man is not merely composed of a physical body, but also a soul, then what is the fate of this spiritual essence after death? Some of humanity’ greatest thinkers have pondered over this question, and formed remarkably diverse answers. Religious zealotry, atheism, and utter indifference are just a few responses.
As science advances and sheds light on previously mysterious natural phenomena, religion plays a diminishing role in our search for answers about the universe and our relation to it. Nevertheless, I believe that we will never reach a definitive conclusion about the soul and its fate after death. Humanity will likely be struggling with this question for thousands of years to come, and the most plausible answer will still be the one given by Socrates 2400 years ago, “The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our ways — I to die and you to live. Which is the better, only God knows.”
What do you believe? Do you agree with Hamlet? “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Or does Macbeth accurately describe the human condition? “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”