Friday, June 29, 2012


I am sitting with Zenita and she says, where do we go when we die?
And I say, we don't go anywhere, we just die, this is all there is.
What about my soul? she says.
You don't have a soul, I say.

You only have this one life. You have to try to make the best of it because it is all we have. Some people think you have another life waiting for you, but you don't. You get this. You have to try to be happy and enjoy it as best you can.
I am happy, she says.
Good, I say, all you have to do is enjoy your life and work hard at school, because that will help you build a good life.
I will, she says.

And I am thinking, sometimes I wish I had more to offer, but I've never lied to them and I am not planning on starting.

Because the world is only cruel if you do not know how beautiful it is.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I am thinking, sometimes I wish I had more to offer, but I've never lied to them and I am not planning on starting.

How can you offer anything more priceless than the truth?

This was beautiful.

June 29, 2012 at 5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if you are wrong?

July 3, 2012 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

Am I wrong?

July 3, 2012 at 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You seem very certain that you're not. It amazes me that you can be so sure about something that you don't actually know. I understand fully that you can say "this is what I truly believe", but surely to say that it is definitely so is also not being honest?!

July 4, 2012 at 2:38 AM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

Without getting all philosophical on you, how do we "know" anything?

Your description of god is inconsistent both with itself and with reality, so I can disregard the hypothesis.

As for there being any god, there's no evidence, so I consider it on the likelihood. The same for souls. Apply Occam's razor and both vanish.

I will tell my children your story if they're curious. If they want to believe it, that's up to them.

July 4, 2012 at 8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like she did ask!?

July 4, 2012 at 4:37 PM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

Not really.

July 4, 2012 at 5:01 PM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

I mean, I can understand that you'd feel that there was an opportunity for a teaching moment on your story, but of course it doesn't strike me that way because I'm not actually looking for those opportunities.

You also don't have a monopoly on the soul, so my child's asking about it doesn't necessarily lead to my telling her your story on that. I could equally well discuss with her what the ancient Greeks thought or what Buddhists think. From my POV, these are all just stories. I don't wish by saying that to diminish your personal belief in your story; I just don't think it's any more valid than any other, and much less valid than descriptions of the world that stick to, you know, the world.

July 4, 2012 at 5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr Zen said...

Am I wrong?
I ho;d the same beliefs on this as you, but I was never happy about putting my beliefs on to my daughter in the way you have done. when asked I explained my feelings on the issues and told her that not all thought the same as me, so that she knew there were other opinions and she could decide for herself. Also death is a frightening concept for some children, fear of the dark nothingness, sleep and not waking up. I think you have to be a little gentler when explaining death and the nothingness that follows to children.

July 6, 2012 at 8:24 AM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

Don't fret, Gunt. I'm a good liberal bleeding heart too. I've told her others believe differently and she can decide for herself. It's not like she isn't exposed to other views: most of her classmates are Christians, the school is in an area famous for its evangelical inhabitants. But I broadly disagree with you about what you should or shouldn't tell them. I am not going to confuse my children by obfuscating, talking about "heaven" or any of the nonsense my parents tried to pass off on me that they didn't believe in.

July 6, 2012 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

I told mine I didn't believe, but others did, and they could make up their own minds. I even sent them to religious school to give God a fighting chance. He lost.

July 6, 2012 at 12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With an attitude like yours, being blunt and direct with your children about such things as death, which can traumatise children you run the risk of your children being as fucked up as you. You will no doubt claim to be totally innocent if this occurs and simply blame their mother.

July 6, 2012 at 9:25 PM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

You have literally no idea what does or doesn't affect a child or its makeup, how their person is formed or anything about how blunt or direct or anything else I am with my kids, but what I tell you, which is precious little, so I will give your words the consideration they deserve.

July 6, 2012 at 9:32 PM  

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