Home » Nonfiction » William R. Schweis » The Afterlife & the Movie Casablanca and Other Speculations

December 13 , 2009

The Afterlife & the Movie Casablanca and Other Speculations


If we take our thoughts and memories into the afterlife and find it filled with promised bliss, What do we do with our impatience? Even if we do find long-gone loved ones and old friends waiting with warm greetings, How much reminiscing can one do? One way or another God is going to have to explain His indiscretions or His indecision. I feel quite strongly that we are entitled to an explanation! Unless we enter the afterlife with a slate that’s been wiped clean. But if that’s the case, how will we know happiness or bliss or anything else for that matter and how are we supposed to make an accounting? I mean judgment seems to be a big part of this afterlife business! Unless, of course, reincarnation is true! Maybe we all come back as a new person or an animal or something. The worse you were in life, the lower form of life you return as. At least until you redeem yourself! But how does an animal or an insect redeem itself? This is getting us nowhere, because I really don’t care whether or not an insect can redeem itself or even if it’s possible for humans! I understand the social context of the concept, but as for God, I’m amenable to a variety of philosophical intrusions. I’m like Louis in the movie Casablanca when he tells Major Strasser, “Personally I’ll take whatever comes! Currently the prevailing winds are from Vichy!” Some may consider him opportunistic or at least unprincipled. But he did redeem himself at the end of the film by throwing the bottle of Vichy water into the waste can and going with Rick to join a Free-French garrison. His redemption had a lot to do with the fact that he was on our side. The right side! But then, everybody thinks they’re on the right side! If Major Strasser had managed to kill Rick, would Louis claim he was trying to stop Rick from helping Ilsa and Victor Laszlo to escape? It would have been magnificently pragmatic. But we (the audience) would have booed and hissed at his cowardly behavior! After all, there is such a thing as right and wrong, isn’t there?
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