Following Keanu Reeves’ profound afterlife take, we delve into the archives to find out what other Dazed names think happens after death
Research has previously proven that the human brain is conscious after death, but we may never really know what happens after we die. Is there an afterlife, like Björk believes? Should we be afraid like Tommy Cash or fearless like Marina Abramović?
Matrix film star Keanu Reeves recently gave his profound take on the afterlife while on Stephen Colber’s US talk show. In response to the existential crisis-inducing question “what happens when we die?”, Reeves sighed and said, “I know that the ones who love us will miss us” – what a heart-warming way to talk about the end of a human existence.
So what does happen when we die? Is there an afterlife, or do you really only live once? We delve into the archives to find out what other creative stars have to say on the matter.
“Yes (I believe in an afterlife) and I will cook there” – Björk
When the Icelandic singer and songwriter took to Reddit to let her fans ask her anything, she probably wasn’t expecting to be asked, “do you believe in an afterlife?” followed randomly by, “also, can you cook?” Rather comically, Björk responded to say “yes and I will cook there”.
Nothing the iconic musician says seems to shock her fans though, as someone responded, “please let my mom have a plate of food when you open up your kitchen in the cosmos”, and another wondered “what kind of afterlife ingredients” there are. We don’t know about you, but we’d defo eat Björk’s food in the afterlife.
“You Only Live Once? That’s great. I have no faith in an afterlife and you never know when it’s gonna end” – Jeff Goldblum
Jeff Goldblum is enjoying his newfound fame as a ‘fashion daddy’ – and he should, considering he believes that we only live one life. In an interview with The Guardian, the actor claimed that he had never heard of the phrase ‘YOLO’ before, but thinks it’s great, as you never really know when life is going to end.
Goldblum goes on to say: “there’s so much that’s delicious, precious, magnificent, mysterious, and infinitely enjoyable that it would be foolish not to make every day an adventure.” He may not have faith in an afterlife, but at least he is making the most of his life as an internet star.
“You are you, and you just keep being you” – David Lynch
In a 2008 interview on life and consciousness after death, the avant-garde director claimed that “you are you, and you just keep being you”. If David Lynch being himself is playing a storytelling wolf in Flying Lotus’s new video, then we expect to see him starring as furry creatures well into the afterlife.
Lynch explains his idea of the afterlife through a metaphor of a guy driving a very old car down to a junkyard, where he gets out of the car and walks away. He claimed, “the car is the body, but you just keep going.” Believing that the body is special, he claims that “you need to do your expending of consciousness while you got a body.” Through meditation and experiencing the spiritual field, Lynch believes that you can reach towards enlightenment and infiniate consciousness.
“Being dead is, like, the best promotion, but that’s what I’m afraid of” – Tommy Cash
At only 27-years-old, it seems like Estonian rapper and recent art curator Tommy Cash is having a quarter-life crisis. In a recent Highsnobiety interview, he laid his fears about turning 27 out on the table: “I try to keep it safe, but it’s hard because this club is dope, or that club is dope, but I have to keep on doing dope shit. Being dead is, like, the best promotion, but that’s what I’m afraid of.”
Aiming to take a backseat from the crazy party lifestyle as he nears the next decade of his life, Cash stated: “27 is weird.” Considering he hasn’t even turned 30 yet, the rapper needn’t be afraid about death just yet – we hope.
“Life is a dream, and death is waking up” – Marina Abramović
Imagine musician and actor Jared Leto in conversation with performance artist Marina Abramović, when the Blade Runner 2049 star asks: “what is death?” Referencing a mantra from the mystical Islamic belief of Sufism, she responds to say: “life is a dream, and death is waking up.”
Abramović’s work is intertwined with death and spirituality, with right-wing Catholic protesters recently claiming that her retrospective exhibition in Poland was affiliated with Satanic practice. Although not claiming to be a devil worshiper, she said: “I am very busy with the dead, I think about death every single day.” The provocative artist then went on to criticise American culture and beliefs in immortality.
Considering she puts her life on the line for art – recently announcing that she will electricity herself with one million volts for a new project – Abramović is unsurprisingly nonchalant about the idea of dying.
“Everybody thinks they know everything, and death is the one thing that we really, really don’t know” – Donald Glover
Donald Glover AKA Childish Gambino AKA the creator of the phenomenal video for “This is America” knows nothing about death. When the multi-talented creative was questioned about the afterlife in an 2015 interview, he couldn’t come up with much more than “I don’t know. I really don’t know.”
Glover later referenced Tupac – who said death is like a good sleep – and he added: “I feel like it’s probably going to be like before I was born. Like peaceful.” Trying not to be too dark, Glover claimed that “everybody says they know (what happens when we die), but no one really knows”. I guess we will just never know!
“We look at death from a selfish side” – Tupac
In the year prior to his own death in ‘96, the legendary rapper Tupac shared his wise words on life after death. He boldly stated that “we look at death from a selfish side” and always think of it as something sad. However, Tupac rather morbidly claimed that this is not sad because “(the dead are) away from all this bad stuff that’s here on Earth”.
Continuing to talk about the dead, he said: “at the worst he’s just somewhere quiet, no nothing. At best he’s an angel, or at the next existence, or he’s a spirit somewhere.” Let’s all hope Tupac is living out his best version of the afterlife.