• Josiah Rowe

    "The End" revealed that the "flash-sideways" reality was a sort of afterlife for the characters, but it was not heaven as popularly conceived in the West: most notably, although in general things were better in that reality than in their previous lives, they were not perfect. The second reality was a transitional state for the characters, who needed to "let go" before they could move on to yet another state of reality. This seems to echo aspects of Buddhist cosmology, in which a human who has practiced good karma — that is, a person who has followed dharma — may be reborn in a higher plane of existence, but those higher planes are themselves part of the cycle of samsara and therefore prone to suffering. In Buddhism, the only escape from…

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