Occasionally I Contemplate Murder. Book by Stefan Stenudd.

Occasionally I Contemplate Murder 5

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S ome people die, and really live to tell about it. Do they have wonderful tales!

Now and then, people die for a while, but are brought back by medical effort or something else. Generally, they just wake up from a big black nothing, and that's it.

But a few do, during that period of non-being, have vivid experiences, which seem to be similar in every case.

They pass out, but somehow they're not unconscious. Instead, their minds set out on a marvelous voyage.

Brought out of their body, they watch it for a time and feel very estranged. Then they enter a long tunnel of light, travelling through it at an incomprehensible speed. At the end of this tunnel, they are approached by someone. A loving, splendorous being.

Well, a kind of Jesus.

This kind of Jesus speaks gently to them, not exactly by words, and helps them review their whole lives. From start to finish, in every little detail. Nothing is omitted.

It must be an overwhelming experience, possible only in a state of non-being.

Myself, I feel that I would surely explode from such a rerun. I cannot withstand the force of my memories in any quantity.

All the time of life lived, sometimes joyous, sometimes not, luring behind me. It's simply too much.

Beautiful, yes, but too much.

Well, sometimes in their past, those momentary guests in death's domain behaved somewhat improperly. Reviewing such incidents, they're embarrassed before the kind of Jesus.

He is, though, of a very understanding and forgiving nature.

It seems the only punishment they get for their evil — or mostly just stupid — deeds, is that moment of embarrassment. To view their so-called sin, together with such a witness, and to feel shame.

Yet, I'm convinced it's a punishment severe enough to make the most cynical of sinners, the most horrible of perverted psychopaths, bow his head and repent.

Think of it!

Many of my memories are so unpleasant to me and my conscience, I dare not face them even in the discretion of my own mind's solitude.

To have them shared, as clearly as were they relived, with a wondrous being of light and love, in that very domain which is the border between life and something else — that must surely be a purgatory as hot as any fire.

One needs to be forgiven.

I wonder, which one of my sins will then cause me the most embarrassment?

I don't see that I've committed a plenitude of evil deeds. However, even if my actions have not been overly savage — might they have been as sinful in intent, as any beastly brutality?

I guess that I will feel the most guilty about those deeds, where I was the least unaware.

Calculation is the most compromising — to plan and execute a deed, fully wishing for the consequences of it. In cold blood, we call it.

Blood should not be cold.

One incident immediately comes to my mind. Although not nearly the most deplorable thing I've done, nor very uncommon, the memory of it harasses me.

This is it:

When I was about twelve years of age, me and a friend, we put my cat in a canvas bag, hooked the bag to a coat hanger, and started throwing tennis balls at it.

The cat was, of course, fighting to get out, but not for long.

Soon enough, the cat fell still inside the bag, while the balls were hitting at it. I think we threw them as hard as we were able to.

A strange intermezzo.

I'm sure the cat wondered what it was all about. Us boys did, too. But oh, such lust was involved in throwing those balls!

What stopped us, I think, was not really our conscience, but embarrassment from the great pleasure it induced in us. Pleasure of any size tends to intimidate us human beings.

Also, the cat was very smart to lie still. We began worrying that we had seriously wounded it.

When finally we let the cat out of the bag, it was quite unharmed — at least physically. The canvas of the bag was so thick, it must have offered the cat a good enough protection, I keep telling myself.

While we were still throwing the balls, I noticed that my friend was glaring at me.

I must confess that I threw them with much more enthusiasm than did he. Partly, but only partly, because the cat belonged — if such a word can at all be used about a cat, or about any living thing — to my family.

Well, my friend glared pensively, puzzled to find such a compulsion in me.

His eyes, so clear and penetrating, I still remember vividly. He was my witness, at the time.

Although not exactly a kind of Jesus, his presence made my deed much more embarrassing to me — at the time of it, and ever since.

Still, I'm convinced that the kind of Jesus will find much more tender spots in my conscience. I would too, of course, if I made an honest attempt.

I do not.


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Occasionally I Contemplate Murder. Book by Stefan Stenudd.

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Occasionally I Contemplate Murder
by 2006, 2011,2015
Paperback, 124 pages
Arriba Publ.
ISBN: 978-1-5142-2337-6

The same book in Swedish

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I'm a Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, an historian of ideas and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.