I've been thinking a bit more about death, and about its possible meanings (or outcomes, I suppose). I want to thank Tyrel in advance for having patience with me. He allowed me to speak without forethought, and I talked myself in circles while I tried to grasp my mind around this concept. I think I can now discuss and explain it in orderly detail. Heh.
I think that the anxiety most people have over leaving this world must be similar to the anxieties of an infant who is about to leave the womb. What is life in the womb? Surely it must be existence on a lower plane, but it must be an existence. As the woman is the womb of the child, so, too, is the earth the womb of man (the earth, or atmosphere, or whatever you want to call this bubble of oxygen in which we exist). Or perhaps the body itself is the womb. When we die, when our spirit or soul or consciousness is forced out of the womb, perhaps we enter an entirely different and higher level of existence, a level of existence we can perceive as well as the infant can perceive existence outside of the womb.
I then began to throw myself into a different sort of anxiety. I began to think that perhaps the earth was not the womb at all, that perhaps the earth is a developing fetus. If that is the case, perhaps man functions only on the level of an organ. If that is so, then the hope for an afterlife, for any type of existence outside of his function as an organ which allows for the further development of the earth, is null and void. But then, as if in the form of divine reassurance, I happened to catch a conversation on the television I was using as background noise. I'm not sure what the show was about, but it caught my attention when one of the characters started espousing beliefs similar in nature to those of Tyrel. This character said that the spirit lives in every part of your body, and if you should lose a part of your body, such as a limb or an organ, you are losing a part of your soul. The Mohicans believed that the only way to regain this lost aspect of soul was to bury the body part. This idea placated my fears, and somehow made me feel much better.