[The visitor speaks.] "I came to tell you that in the next life
you won't return to Earth."
Of course, Agnes knew in advance what the visitor would say
to them, and she is hardly surprised. But Paul is amazed.
He looks at the visitor, looks at Agnes, and she has no choice but
to say, "And Paul?"
[The Visitor speaks]"I only want to ask you one question:
do you want to stay together in your next life, or never meet again?"
Agnes knew the question was coming. That was the reason she
wanted to be alone with the visitor. She knew that in Paul's
presence she would be incapable of saying "I no longer
want to be with him." She could not say it in front of him
nor he in front of her, even though it is probable that he too
would prefer to try living the next life differently, without
Agnes gathers all her inner strength and answers in a firm voice:
"We prefer never to meet again."
These words are like the click of a door shutting on the illusion
Milan Kundera, Immortality
So the situation is like this: if you had a choice concerning who you would meet and know in the afterlife or next life, people who are in your life presently, who would you choose and who would you prefer not meeting again? I don't really expect outward responses to this question, because sometimes the people who you would prefer not knowing in the next life would be people dear to you right now.
I become sad when I think about that question as it refers to me. I think about some of you, my readers, who would prefer not knowing me in the next life, not because you hate me or dislike me, but because you would prefer not having me in your life again. It's a little depressing of a thought, but I couldn't help but to reflect upon this question once I read the passage in Immortality. It troubled and moved me. Just to think some of us would choose parents and lovers and siblings and soulmates. And if you know this answer now, does it make your relationship with these people less significant or more meaningless?
I don't mean to bring you down, my friends. I was reflecting upon it myself, and am completely afraid to travel this road of thought alone.