posted on April 29, 2008 at 9:22 pm

“only time separates us from the grave”
i wrote that back in 1981
sitting in a cafe in anglesea victoria
my whole life stretching out ahead of me
now today i’ve moved up closer
closer to my turn
the great mystery indeed
houdini promised his wife he would come back to her
show her a secret sign
he never did though
or what?
did houdini realise once he was on the otherside
that it is as pointless to make contact
as it is for a university student to visit his old high school
or is it simply that
there is nothing out there
that death is a cessation
the end of everything
not even blackness
like before we are born
its like non existence
its not so bad
i was blissfully unaware all through the witchtrials n WW1
the bubonic plague?
the eruption of vesuvius?
the destruction of the alexandrian library?
i wasnt there
and its nice to suddenly pop up in 1954
all the hard works been done
hey folks it was civilization
all the nasty contagious diseases gone
all the big wars done for a while at least
sk turns up
hangs around for a while
i cant remember anyone explaining death to me
it was just there like winter and tooth decay
if i’d had past lives
i couldnt remember them
but that means almost nothing:
last night as i lay abed dreaming
i couldnt remember my “real” life at all
this one ive led nearly 54 years
and one little dream blotted it out
one little dream concealed my life from my mind
the dream told me i was doing this n that
i couldnt remember steve kilbey
the dream fed me my reality and i swallowed it whole
until i awoke
now the dream is almost concealed from me
in a few hours it will be nothing
never to be recalled again
imagine then the long sleep of death
its power to hide your memories
energy that is you
the essential “i”
i am i am i am
the spirit energy that cannot be burned or crushed or extinguished
in the bhagavad gita (the blessed lords song)
arjuna cannot fight in a war that must be fought
he breaks down and admits to krishna his friend
that he has no stomach for this fight
loathe to kill warriors on the other side who are from his own clan
krishna admonishes his friend and disciple
never was there a time all these kings and soldiers did not exist
never will there be a time when they cease to exist…
he tells arjuna the soul cannot perish
that it merely takes on new clothes and another face
this is what the hindus and also the buddhists believe
it is at the core of their faiths
this tiny chunk of spirit
broken off from the main spirit
(of course i’m talking in broad laymans terms here)
sits in the pineal gland …the third eye…the seat of the soul
interfacing with the body and mind
directing them as a driver directs a car
playing out another part in a huge cosmic play
of course after accepting that
the hindus and the buddhists split
the hindus say the soul becomes refined
eventually ready to go back to god
a personalised god
a huge formless god
planets of dakinis at your bidding
as a mote of light in gods glorious effulgence
the buddha says
the soul should be extinguished
free from desires causing us to reincarnate
in this vale of tears behind a veil of tears
buddha saw reincarnation as a bus to jump off of
he wanted to break the wheel of eternal return
then the soul could enter nirvana
a permanent cessation
an extinguishment
not being and not not being
isnt it funny
that as a “western christian-like” creature
i fear the void of nothingness like nothing else
yet as a would-be buddhist
i revere this nothingness as a great peaceful sea
a sea i will slip into like a drop slipping into the silver sea
regarding my lives on earth as a tortuous ordeal
i will aspire to this non-being with all my being…
death researchers report tunnels and the whitelight
christ-esque figures greet near dead travellers
husbands n wives n fathers n mothers waiting for them too
feeling of bliss and peace
scientists gleefully dismiss these experiences
as the hallucinations of a dying brain
(all that dmt from the pineal)
heart attack survivors report in minute detail
scenes as they hover over their lifeless bodies
while ambulance men frantically try to revive
some report a choice (should i stay or should i go)
i saw a show on an old man who died in hospital
yeah his quack said
this dude was deader than a doornail for a while
the old guy says
he was released of pain
of restriction
of worry
he rushed down the astral path
the white light blazing ahead
he meets this lovely lovely cosmic geezer
it could have been jesus or someone like him…
this geezer says
go back old timer
go back for a little while longer
no says old bloke
i like this much better out here
go back old codger says jesus
i promised your wife she could have a little more time
you did? says the old guy
its up to you says jesus
the old guy reluctantly lets himself be revived
back to the pain
back to the hospital
he tells the story to his loving wife
thats right she says
i did do a deal with the man
he said i could have you for just another year
and they both were happy

i guess you could conclude a few things here
1 the old guy was hallucinating
2 the old guy was an actor in a tv hoax in attempt to garner ratings
3 the old guy was telling the truth as he saw it
after all that
i reach no conclusions
i believe in an afterlife
i believe in reincarnation
i sometimes doubt it all too
sometimes im just not believing anything
otherdays i believe everything im told it really such a bitch?
as bad as life?
what the hell is going on?
wouldnt you like to know?

44 Responses to “big question”

  1. avatar
    craig1.618 | 29 April 2008 at 11:03 pm #

    I tell ya…..i’d swear i’ve had some of those experiences

    like some kind of fog in my collective memory

    vague memories of being in the womb

    and dying…….hovering over my body and such

    kind of unsettling when i think about it

  2. avatar
    eek | 29 April 2008 at 11:05 pm #

    what the hell is going on?

    I have no clue! 🙂

    wouldnt you like to know?

    I don’t think so. I don’t think I’d be any happier or better off knowing than not knowing. I like a little mystery in life. 😉

    And knowing would probably just give me a massive headache anyway.

  3. avatar
    calling down baal and zeus | 29 April 2008 at 11:16 pm #

    we wear others like skin
    sometimes uncomfortable
    times unbearable
    some divine

  4. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 30 April 2008 at 12:52 am #

    Sk’s has to put a best of The Time Being compilation together. Today’s entree would merit inclusion. When this blog has its A-Game it’s as good as his music. I have learned alot about Hinduism and Buddhism from SK. If humanity embraced ahisma-it would engender a much better existence for all beings.

  5. avatar
    princey | 30 April 2008 at 12:58 am #

    “ it really a bitch?”
    I thought the saying was “Life’s a bitch, then you die”.
    But in the time being, let’s try and enjoy the precious time we have left, Time Being!
    Love forever and ever,

  6. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 30 April 2008 at 1:03 am #

    I meant Ahimsa (nonviolence to all life forms because all life is sacred). Gandhi embraced it and to a lesser extent the Dalai Lama does. The Jains are the most ardent adherents. Good for them. Yes India! No China !

  7. avatar
    veleska1970 | 30 April 2008 at 1:06 am #

    recent events on my own life have forced me to ponder these very same questions. and tough ones they are. i mean, you spend your entire life living~~experiencing all the complexities of it, what with its joys and sorrows and everything in between, only to end up pushing daisies sooner or later.

    keeping that in mind, sometimes it seems like a waste of time, this life.

    i believe in reincarnation too, but then i have to wonder why we keep going around this merry-go-round?

    “wouldnt you like to know?”
    yeah, i would. hell yeah.

    lotza love……

  8. avatar
    nickfiction | 30 April 2008 at 1:12 am #

    heavy stuff last few days, Steve, but captivating for sure . The last 2 really got me to think. Sorry to hear of your friend….. sometimes I think this whole thing is just a test maybe for something we move onto. But then I don’t subscribe to worshipping idols…but maybe there is something , just maybe…

  9. avatar
    Richard | 30 April 2008 at 1:31 am #

    We’ve got to let go of ‘before’ and ‘after’.

    There is only, ever, now.

    It doesn’t recede into ‘then’.

    The moment that I started typing this comment isn’t ‘gone’ forever – it’s there forever.

    We obsess about the fact that life seems to begin and end and to go in one direction, but maybe that’s just because we have come to place so much faith in logic.

    Logic seems to me to be a useful, but essentially human (and therefore flawed) way of explaing things. Where it always struggles is with infinity. What’s so wrong with infinity? Why can’t the universe go on forever. Why can’t it have been around forever. Makes more sense to me than the big bang theory.

    I’m 42 years old. That’s a human, logical, measure of how long I’ve been alive. And it gives me some vague measure of how much longer I’m likely to be alive.

    But I have no sense whatsoever of how ‘long’ my life has been. As far as I’m concerned I’ve always been here. I’m sure that had I thought about it when I was seven years old I’d have felt the same way (I was a smart kid!).

    I really believe that ‘eternal life’ is what everyone already has. Between birth (or maybe conception) and death we have a set, but also infinite, period to make the most of it. If we accept that, and stick to the golden rule (each more easily said than done) then we should do okay.

  10. avatar
    barry | 30 April 2008 at 2:02 am #

    I have just read yesterday’s blog and I’ve just realised that I knew Matty from a place he worked at in Kogarah in the late 80’s. He was such a lovely friendly bloke and it makes me very sad to hear he’s gone…I used to run into him occasionally around gigs and he was always seemed so happy and content. I remember he was credited as “Matty the human foot switch” on a Bhagavad Guitars ep.

  11. avatar
    ...being here, doing this... | 30 April 2008 at 2:45 am #

    dying to little things
    every day
    gives a feeling for the

    pangs of death and birth

    the passing of the old
    makes way for the new

    depending on the parts of you
    you choose to nourish
    and the parts
    you let die

    what remains

    will be either





  12. avatar
    captain mission | 30 April 2008 at 3:29 am #

    anamnesis – remembering what the soul already knows.

  13. avatar
    the dean | 30 April 2008 at 3:49 am #

    Make the most of life while you got one.
    Live, Love, everyday, every night.

  14. avatar
    Sharka | 30 April 2008 at 5:21 am #

    I think the answers are out there… Plenty of people have visited the other side and come back, and also there are some fascinating books by mediums. I think we are here to evolve and to move on to other experiential realms, each one larger to cater for our expanded awareness. Or perhaps it is just variety we seek, to fill in the gaps in our knowing.

  15. avatar
    CAPTAIN BEYOND | 30 April 2008 at 5:39 am #

    nice blog today esskay…

  16. avatar
    Allen | 30 April 2008 at 5:50 am #

    I rarely get the chance to read the blog much anymore, as I am too busy chasing the almighty American dollar every waking moment.

    Why do I bust my ass everyday, hording money for a retirement that may never even come ? Am I doing it for the future of my wife and kids ? Or, is it personal satisfaction that I really need ?

    I suddenly feel confused.

    Powerful words the last few days Steve. I am sorry about your loss.

  17. avatar
    Lebrinho | 30 April 2008 at 6:15 am #

    What happens to a computer when you pull the power plug ?

    Death can be seen as a 100% nirvana. Pure non-existence. No ghosts or souls here. An incomprehensible non-being.

    What is your first memory ? Do you remember things before that ? You were dead, non-existant before your birth. We just go back to this state.

    The Marx brothers, in all seriousness, promised each other to take contact after any one of them died. Groucho said he never heard a blip from his brothers after their deaths.

    I believe near death experiences are just brain perception software tilting. The tibetan buddhists might agree to this.
    Who’s there to meet us ? A big plus goes to the anonymous who once wrote: “Isis, Osiris.. Doofus ?” ; )

    Jesus says: “Cheer up, ya ol’ bugger! C’mon, give us a grin”.

  18. avatar
    it's snowing in my heart | 30 April 2008 at 6:23 am #

    i am clueless too steve. i would absolutely like to know what is going on with these lives of ours. it would maybe offer some sort of peace of mind while i sit and watch my little son play (or maybe not?). i relate to every single word you wrote and i’m also very sad to hear about your friend matt.

    sending you and your family love from texas,


  19. avatar
    12str | 30 April 2008 at 7:25 am #

    do we really want to know about the great mystery called afterlife?Are we supposed to have that knowledge? can we really handle it?What if it were scientificly established that nothing happens after life as we know it… Would we loose control? What would happen to poetry,art and philosophy? What would humanity be without hope for a better world.Imagine the rage of all the millions of people living in misery when they realize that there is no divine masterplan, that nothing good comes to those who wait. Who is God? Where is God? Is there any God? Are we God?

  20. avatar
    12str | 30 April 2008 at 7:30 am #

    by the way…
    i´m very proud to announce that on the 7th of june MWP will be playing at Restaurang Trädgår´n in Gothenburg Sweden.Tickets will be released next week..
    all the best

  21. avatar
    cloudburst.adrift | 30 April 2008 at 7:44 am #

    I’m really sorry to hear about your friend, and Linda your mum, and I can only offer something that made me feel slightly better when my favourite family member died in 2006…

    “Death is nothing at all.
    I have only slipped away into the next room.
    Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
    Call me by my old familiar name.
    Speak to me in the easy way which you always used.
    Laugh as we always laughed at the
    little jokes we enjoyed together
    Play, smile, think of me, pray for me,
    Let my name be the household word that it always was.
    Let it be spoken without effort.
    Life means all that is ever meant.
    It is the same as it ever was;
    There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
    Why should I be out of your mind because I am out of your sight?
    I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
    somewhere very near, just around the corner…
    All is well. Nothing is past, nothing is lost.
    One brief moment and all will be as it was before
    only better, infinitely happier and forever.
    We will all be one together.”

    Carmelite Monastery
    Tallow, Waterford

    jane xxx

  22. avatar
    golden thorn in my paw | 30 April 2008 at 9:07 am #

    Thought provoking stuff as always Mr. Kilbey. My views don’t entirely disagree entirely with Richard’s. The moment now is all we have. This is usually just a theoretical understanding but occasionally I think that I am able to reside in it for real. As a creative person, you, I�m sure understand this. Their are times when it sounds to me like you are just being, the intellect is not fussing over anything, creativity is just happening. As far as the great beyond I don’t know, I’m guessing Christ, it’s what I grew up with. But, I must say the teachings of the Buddha helped me to become a better Christian, if you know what I mean. Christianity puts the cart before the horse a lot “you know should really be like this”. The teachings of the budhha have given me a bit of a road map of how to become a better person. To me the whole point about the dharma is not to worship Buddha. It’s about the tools of the teachings, Buddha saying: check it out have a look, see if these things work for you. May we be happy, may we be well may we be free from suffering.

  23. avatar
    mahatma kane jeeves | 30 April 2008 at 9:36 am #

    whatever the truth, we’re all going to find out one day. wondering about the unknowable is interesting but kinda a waste of time in my humble opinion. thats not meant to offend anyone – i just think that no matter how much thought (faith?) people put into it, they won’t really know any better than me until the big moment arrives.

    i prefer to operate under some not-even-half-thought-through, vague, changeable and half-arsed spiritual guidelines that i guess revolve around the idea of karma. i am hoping that if i am a kind and pleasant boy while here, if there is something else then i will be in with a chance.

  24. avatar
    Lebrinho | 30 April 2008 at 9:40 am #

    A delightful phrase. “The teachings of Buddha helped me to become a better Christian”. This should be heard more often, and why not vice versa.

    Was Jesus somehow faulty if seen as a muslim or a boddhisattva? Then why bother bicker about the “color of one’s shirt”..?

    12str and all northerners, merry Valborg. You went through the winter gloom up here..

  25. avatar
    verdelay | 30 April 2008 at 10:02 am #

    Nope. No idea.

    Fill my head with potions and tinctures and I’ll give you a thousand different ideas dressed as truth. It’s sometimes nice to think you know something.

    When a man or woman leaves this place, their qualities are released back for us to take on. They are not required anywhere else, you see. When a diamond geezer dies, the ground is scattered with diamonds. You can pick one up if you like. Take it home. Swallow it up and let it become part of you.

    I tell you, this much I know to be true.

  26. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 30 April 2008 at 11:38 am #

    i guess our lack of knowledge or actual understanding of what happens after we die means that we definitely have to seize the moment just in case there’s nothing other than a big void…it’s just a bloody shame that so much of our life can be taken up with things that in the big scheme of things are rather inconsequential…do the things and be with the people that really matter to you…
    love always…

  27. avatar
    tim | 30 April 2008 at 11:53 am #

    my four year old daughter is learning about death for the first time asking questions like: does everybody get old and die? Yes, yes they do dear. She asks repeatedly and always replys with “well I’M NOT going to get old and die”…

    from the mouths of babe’s…

    thanks for the blog today and for everyone else who enjoyed it don’t forget to use the paypal button and donate your buck a week (a small price to ask) to keep the time being going for the time being.


  28. avatar
    linjo | 30 April 2008 at 12:39 pm #

    I was terribly saddened to hear that your young friend had suffered for so long Steve, particularly knowing that he was obviously still lucid towards the end. I wish nature would hasten death in these circumstances. The mental anguish must be harder to deal with than the physical pain. Seems pointless to me that life is lenghthened by a plethora of drugs when there is zero quality. Different I suppose if the patient requests it. My mum was like that, freaked out if she couldnt find any of her pills, even when it got to the when she couldnt walk. She never seem to accept that death was coming and held on as long as she could. It was a bit funny that even ten days ago she had a whinge to me that dad was giving her too many eggs and that she was worried about her cholesterol level. Poor old ma, she loved life so much. I found comfort tonight reading your writings, as there are those like mum who hope to see their loved ones again. Me, I dont give a shit whether there is life after death. My thoughts are to do the best I can while here and then leave a space for one who may do even better for the earth. Thanks to you and all who posted such kind thoughts, I really appreciated them. Watched a great movie last night about Che Guevera, motorcycle diaries (i always a bit behind the times). Linda x

  29. avatar
    Jen Jewel Brown | 30 April 2008 at 12:59 pm #

    Sorry to hear of the sad death of Matt. Rotten to lose the good so young. John, Steve, and families, my condolences. He was lucky to be so loved …

  30. avatar
    Jen Jewel Brown | 30 April 2008 at 1:05 pm #

    Also to you too Linjo, about your Mum … Sad times.

  31. avatar
    Melby Symon | 30 April 2008 at 1:11 pm #

    People say there is nothing after death…how could there be…why should there be…

    I know that before I was born…before I existed…I knew nothing of the world that awaited me…I was oblivious to the future.

    As tiny insignifcant humans, we think that we have it all sussed out with our logic and experiences and scientifc theories. Well let me say…I reckon we humans couldn’t possible comprehend what lies ahead after death.

    Just like before our conception, we were blind to our future lives…so it is that we are undoubtedly blind to what lies ahead after death.

    We think that our science and religions and war and urbanisation and inventions make us sooooo very smart and all knowing, but these things do not qualify us to make such a sweeping statement that there is nothing after death.

  32. avatar
    J | 30 April 2008 at 1:44 pm #

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  33. avatar
    J | 30 April 2008 at 1:45 pm #

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  34. avatar
    J | 30 April 2008 at 2:03 pm #

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  35. avatar
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  36. avatar
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  37. avatar
    Ross B | 30 April 2008 at 2:47 pm #

    It’s been said too that reincarnation is not fundamentally the truth given that “I” always “am” and therefore “i” never reincarnates because it is eternally “I”, and “am” (!!)

    I suppose all we can do is go for the ride, both in this lifetime and then from the moment the soul is separated from the body.

    Kind regards all & Good night zzzr

  38. avatar
    Cee | 30 April 2008 at 3:30 pm #

    Maybe Houdini DID come back and visit his wife and she just wasn’t telling.

    I think I’d keep it quiet.

    I do believe in an afterlife, it’s been proven to me without a doubt… and that’s all I have to say about that.

    I’m heading out to Belize, be back in a week or so.


  39. avatar
    davem | 30 April 2008 at 5:35 pm #

    I can cope with the other side as long as there’s plenty of chrunch there.

  40. avatar
    12str | 30 April 2008 at 7:04 pm #

    grasp this!!
    dave guilmore the second solo in ” comfortably numb” !! wow maan!!
    Waterboys…. “This is the sea” the 12str!!
    SK “wolfe” the 12 str….
    springsteen….”born in the usa” alone with a 12str….(italian
    goooood music!!


  41. avatar
    12str | 30 April 2008 at 7:13 pm #

    roger hodgson(supertramp)
    “even in the quietest moments”
    “sister moonshine”
    Nostalgia weekend here in Gbg….
    A Beer,A joint,A golden moment in time….

  42. avatar
    John | 30 April 2008 at 9:08 pm #

    This is an odd blog to read while listening to “Shake Your Hips.”

    John Garratt

  43. avatar
    heather | 1 May 2008 at 10:17 am #

    I’m with 12str these days……a tad miffed (censored for joycie) at the cruelty of loss


    ps; can’t you delete that humbugger junk mail?

  44. avatar
    lily was here | 1 May 2008 at 1:41 pm #

    There’s nothing like the great unknown to give us food for thought and something to theorise about. I just hope when i get there they dont put me on hold! Press 1 to pay your membership Press 2 to hear Option 1 again and Press 3 if you dont understand Option 1 & 2 and wish to speak to a person.. oh damn, back to earth again.
    Sometimes it’d be nice to go back to childhood when the only big question was “whats for tea mum?”


    ps thinking of those here who have recently suffered loss (SK & family, Linjo and my friend JJ)

    Keep warm in Melbourne Matt D! Chin up.

    pss people are starving in the world – let us grow more food.

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