Life after death: a conversation-starter


Biographer Walter Isaacson describes one of his last interviews with Steve Jobs, cofounder of Apple, Inc.:


"One sunny afternoon, when he wasn't feeling well, Jobs sat in the garden behind his house and reflected on death. He talked about his experiences in India almost four decades earlier, his study of Buddhism, and his views on reincarnation and spiritual transcendence. 'I'm about fifty-fifty on believing in God,' he said. 'For most of my life, I've felt that there must be more to our existence than meets the eye'." "He admitted that, as he faced death, he might be overestimating the odds out of a desire to believe in afterlife. 'I like to think that something survives after you die,' he said. 'It's strange to think that you accumulate all this experience, and maybe a little wisdom, and it just goes away. It's strange to think that you accumulate all this experience, and maybe a little wisdom, and it just goes away. So I really want to believe that something survives, but maybe your consciousness endures'." "He fell silent for a very long time. 'But on the other hand, perhaps it's like an on-off switch,' he said. 'Click! And you're gone.' Then he paused again and smiled slightly. 'Maybe that's why I never liked to put on-off switches on Apple devices'."


Discussion Question: Do you think it strange that the experience, wisdom, personality, glory, and tragedy of a human life should vanish in an instant at death?


Source: Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs, Simon & Schuster, 2011; pp. 570-571.

Picture Credit: Photo by The Joy of Film on Unsplash

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