the most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die.
he is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people
to cry at his funeral. all moments,
past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist.
the Tralfamadorians can look at all
the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of
the rocky mountains, for instance. they
can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look
at any moment that interests them. it is
just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows
another one, like beads on a string, and
that once a moment is gone it is gone forever.
when a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the
dead person is in a bad condition in that
particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. now, when i myself
hear that somebody is dead, i simply shrug and say what the
Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which
is “so it goes.”