Shorts

An Exercise in Imagination

Imagine it for just a moment. Hell. Imagine it exists. Imagine it as the most puritan Calvinistic sinners-in-the-hands-of-an-angry-God hellfire and brimstone. No matter what you believe. If you’re Christian, sorry, bad news, the Muslims had it right. If you subscribe to any other religious affiliation, eternity turned out to be the scorned opposite of what you were banking on.

So there you are. In Hell. Suffering. The manner makes no difference. Details are not important. Imagine a lake of fire if that’s what comes easily to your corn-fed Western soul. All you know is torment and the details of any life you had lived are quickly lost in the everlasting punishment you now endure.

Then, something happens. Imagine it all ending. Imagine you find yourself sitting in front of a glowing screen, once again inside of a body, incarnate. You look down at your fingers. Imagine you can appreciate the minute bodily processes responsible for rotating your hand in front of your face. Imagine you can respect the complexity of your optical organs as they communicate the image to the proper neural pathways in your brain. Imagine then your hand feeling your eyes upon it. Imagine your own perception of yourself.

Imagine then the absence of pain. There is no torment. There is no visceral suffering. There is only the calm rhythm of your lungs as they supply oxygen to your blood so it can course through that fist-sized turbine in your chest as it pumps life through every capillary down to your toes.

Instead of blind suffering, you are at peace. Sitting. Comfortably. Lazily. Imagine being thrust back into this world of nature and balance. Even then, you are not forced to examine it from a distance. You are right there inside of it. Imagine this body of yours is completely capable of interacting with this environment and performing the will of your soul via these organs and tissues and electrical charges. Imagine then, that you are not bound by the oppression of any outside forces. Imagine you are sitting in this fictional chair before this fictional computer monitor with this fictional gift.

Imagine what you would do with that life. Imagine the ins and outs of your breathing not as some egg timer, ticking down the hours until it is over. Imagine this atmosphere as it is drawn in through your nose and expands your chest. Let it not go unnoticed. Imagine your life is in progress. The time isn’t ticking down toward nothingness, toward death and that zero hour where we all find out if these ideas we treasure of divinity and deity and dogma are truly heaven-sent or merely bullshit. Imagine your time is ticking up.

Imagine this heart of yours is keeping you in the game.

Imagine every breath shoved back out into the air is yours.

Imagine it drifting back into creation with your name on it.

Imagine this moment as something precious.

No one can take it from you unless you surrender it.

Killing time is murder.

Imagine you could choose.

Imagine you could choose anything for yourself.

Imagine that.