Honestly, I think a lot about life and death and living and dying, love and purpose and meaning, especially after I have seen a sappy movie like The Age of Adeline. It scares me, you know. We could call it “the great unknown”, but that’s only a euphemism. I’m terrified of having an unfulfilled life.
What is the answer to the question “Does the Consciousness continue after we die?” I don’t know.
What is the answer to the question “How can we live a fulfilled life?” I don’t know that, either, but I think that has a lot to do with material and ethical and spiritual values and how we treat others. For me, I am finding the answers in Judaism and Hassidic thought.
This talk of G-d, the Divine Spark, The Tree of Life, Kabbalah is all metaphor. For what, I don’t know. I don’t have such eyes or a mind. But I do know that within Halakha there lies an ethical code of behavior and self improvement which is helping me, which I need.
I don’t know what lies beyond, but I know that I exist, and the universe, and other people. It is Descartes’ “I think therefor I am”.
Consciousness=Doubt=Existence. I don’t know what consciousness is. I don’t know what that existence entails, and, I suppose, that is where G-d comes in.
Kabbalah, which is mystical commentary which rises out of Torah, covers these questions. The Zohar is incredibly dense and seemingly nonsensical sometimes, but it approaches these questions of what is beyond and how to apply meaning to the universe. It says “Woe to the man who takes things literally, at surface value, and cannot grasp metaphor.” Perception and thought and existence are made up of metaphor. We understand the world through metaphorical structures built up in our brains to sort out our perceptions. And all our perceptions are are electronic signals inside our brains. And we can’t even know if that or anything outside that is real.
All we can know is “We think” and we believe the things we perceive and think about to be real. So we have created an imperfect universe inside our heads. And we see around us a bunch of imperfect creations and perceptions all around us in the form of other people. And somewhere, I believe, there has to be a Perfect Perception that holds all of us within Itself.