So, What's Real?
In the summer of 2014, a cohort and I attended a meet-up of Cincinnati's chapter of The Death Cafe where once again, I discovered just how difficult it is to find common ground on the subject of afterlife, even within a group of people who have gathered with the sole intent of finding some level of common ground on the subject of afterlife. Even within a group that numbers less than the fingers you've brought to the table, and only three of them men.
It was held in a cemetery; naturally, I suppose. More accurately, the office building of Arlington Memorial Gardens, in a very nice function room; complete with cookies, bottled water and round cafeteria-style tables with chairs. The moderators were pleasant and the agenda was fairly straightforward: "What is Death, and how did you come to the conclusion of death that you've come to?". As the meeting structure insisted, my cohort and I were separated, and installed within groups that were populated by others who'd also been separated from those they'd arrived with. There'd be no Greek Choruses allowed here tonight.
Having the view of death and afterlife that I have, it wasn't long before my own little group caught the attention of one of the mods, to the degree that he dropped into an open seat and took me on directly. Apparently, my own eclectic blend of atheism and philosophical embrace of the eternal nature of the human mind triggered something visceral within him. Apparently enough to force him off his own stated requirement that no one's view be challenged, regardless of how outrageous it might be.
"So, you're sure that there's an objective reality?"
I decided that this was the least controversial aspect of my own views on life and death, so I stood firm.
"Yes," I said, "at the substructure, there is a commonality that establishes an objective real and unites all that exists within that real."
"Well, I don't agree. I don't believe in an objective reality," he grinned.