Some friends I enjoy know they are eternal spirits floating through an infinite universe and choosing to temporarily inhabit the body with which they are presently talking to me. That gives them feelings of the grandeur of their current experiencing of life, and a knowledge that their present temporary body is expendable, and when it dies they will then be free to choose another one. They know they will move to a higher plane, with finer vibrations, and an even more exquisite experience.
Other friends believe they are a consciousness residing within a flesh and blood body that may, or may not, have another existence, but even if they will have one they don’t have any control over where or when that will be. Therefore, they believe they must do the best they can to use as well as possible the body they presently inhabit, as there won’t be another chance with this one. They revere their own flesh and consciousness and that of other living beings they encounter, especially human beings. They revere all living things as being a part of the greater consciousness that is life, and they respect the physical universe as being the source material for this whole process, and the stuff that may become part of this unifying life force at some later time.
Other friends say that we are all illusions, that physical reality is only a projection of their personal mind, and that what I think of as me is only a projection of their mind. They are even doubtful that they exist, and consider it a real likelihood that they are nothing more than the thoughts of some super-being. They seem to be reasonably happy and fully functioning even though they consider life to be absolutely without any ultimate meaning or purpose.
Some of my friends proclaim that physical reality exists, and that they are a sub-component of that reality that has gone through billions of years of evolutionary processes that have resulted in our present environment and them. These people like to offer physical demonstrations of what they consider to be true, which is validated by these demonstrations simply because repeated situation-controlled-experiments keep coming up with the same results. This materialist relationship to life typically gives them a good living, and generally a comfortable life. But they believe their personal reality is based on understandable processes of physical reality, and when they die their awareness of reality is gone forever.
Samumpsickle, my garden gnome guru, resides 283.8 meters, at 13.6 degrees, from where I presently sit. We have brief facial expression conversations a few times per week. He is a good friend because he mirrors back to me my unconscious thoughts with his enigmatic smile to my questions, and thus I am able to understand my inner understanding about those ideas better.
All of these companions of my life tell me what I should be doing, and I do what works for me.