Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Deadness Of Death, The Ghosts Of Life, And The Return Of Tuti...

Every now and then I get a thump on the side of the head and am reminded of my now dead dog Tuti. Usually, I am driving around my neighborhood and a dog that looks almost like her will turn and stare at me as I drive by.

And the way that they look at me… it is almost as if Tuti were speaking through them, telling me that she is in a better place, and that she is watching over me by becoming reincarnated and moving into my neighborhood as a dog.

Yeah, well, OK not really. Tuti was a runaway puppy or an abandoned puppy that I found just down the road from here. The logical explanation is-- of course there are many white dogs about, as there once was a white Akita owned by a local bum who lived in a trailer in a small forest not too far from here. This bum had this big, beautiful, white Akita named “Jack” that was evidently very suave and deboner with the bitches…

Therefore, lots of white puppies are running around.

Being a white dog with some stark and beautiful features makes the sighting of other white dogs very “spiritual” in feel.

Tuti-dogs walk like ghosts across the landscape…

And of course they turn and look at me because Wenzel is sticking her goofy head out the window of the truck and making faces at them. No mystery there.

But it makes me think about death and how we ritualize the whole affair and how we grant nonsensical explanations to things in order to make us-- as “not-quite-ready-for-rationality” evolutionary mammals-- feel better.

There is some sort of “ceiling cat” looking down on us all the time. This ceiling cat knows everything about us because it “watches us” (and we sometimes have string hanging off of our clothes!). This ceiling cat cares about us as individuals and is there to give judgment on our behavior later on. Ceiling cat makes us all feel better about living, so we let him live in the attic. This is all true, btw, because it is in a book.

Well, OK not really. But when you look at any and all “spiritual” explanations for after we die they all make no more sense than ceiling cat.

I have never been a religious person and have never believed in ghosts or supernatural things. This is because I am an Aquarius and that makes me more rational than most.

Truthfully, there are portions of the brain that are known to produce “spiritual” or supernatural thoughts. There are also portions of the brain that allow one to make rational, well reasoned thoughts. I suppose I could make the arrogant claim that my frontal lobe is a wee bit on the big side and my temporal lobes need help. This would explain my reluctance to believe anything that is not demonstrably true.

Even as I contemplate the death of a well loved dog, I cannot bring myself to grant any other life to her than the physical one she lived for six and a half years here on planet earth. It would be nice if it were true that dogs went to doggy heaven (a place filled with white, slow rabbits and lots of trees and fire hydrants for the boys). But a dogs “personality” is tied directly to its brain. It too, has a frontal lobe and temporal lobes, but they are even smaller than George Bush’s. When the brain dies, Tuti stops being altogether. That is a cruel and decisive natural act that is demonstrably true and cruelly final.

Wanting it to be different is a human act of wishful thinking. Since we can imagine things and contemplate the future of things, we combine the two to appease our limbic system within the brain where we register emotions.

The miracle is that Tuti was ever born at all.

As it is for all of life.


Cheesy said...

Such wonderful pics of the sweetheart... Was that her all fluffy in the last one??

I have thoughts about where souls go...but no answers~ after losing my husband I was getting gas at a little local gas station and this purdy lilttle gray siameese cat came up to me and purred and rubbed on my legs. I looked into its eyes as I cooed to him and they were the same water blue color as hubby's. It was a chilling moment and I still think about it to this day. Hugs kiddo.. missing our puppies from the past is bittersweet.

Scott from Oregon said...

Cheesy-- The last three photos are neighborhood dogs. Just a few of the many dogs around here prolly related to Tuti via Jack, the suave and deboner Akita.

Jeannie said...

You may be right Scott - that there is nothing there but BUT why do we have that area in our temporal lobes if there is nothing for them to so irrational about? So I will listen to my non-reasoning temporal lobes as well as to my very logical frontal lobe. Because I'm a Gemini and prone to being schizo. (I think it's hilarious that you put that astrology bit in there)

I miss Tuti too but if I am right, I will get to meet her when I go to heaven.

travistee said...

She was such a lovely dog, Scott. You've had more than your share of dog-loss recently.

Shirley said...

I tend to agree but I really would love to believe in all that mystery and magic. What really atretches my mind is watching Criss Angel, the MindFreak. Some of what he does defies explanation, unless he is actually reading minds. What's your take on it?

Scott from Oregon said...

Shirley-- Consider this dialogue.

"I am writing a book on magic."
"You mean REAL magic?"
"If by real, you mean real magic, no. Conjurer's tricks. I am writing a book on conjurer's tricks."
"So you are not writing a book on magic, then?"
"Well, yes. I am."
"Real magic?"
"Yes. Real magic."

Shrinky said...

Ceiling cat, brilliant. Yeah, I sadly must agree with you. If believing in an afterlife offers comfort I'd say "where's the harm?", but if those seeking comfort can only achieve it by going to war with others who don't believe in the same version of their own ceiling cat.. well, that's where I start to have a problem with it..

And I think the picture you have of ceiling cat is priceless!

Scott from Oregon said...

yes shrinky, the world needs more ceiling cats!