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Do you believe in life after death?

By January 9, 2009 - 10:27pm
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The aging process, a terminal illness, the loss of a love one, suffering around the world, wars, etc. are among some of the things that shake our comfort zone and force us to question our own mortality. What are your thoughts about life after death? Do you believe this life is just temporary and that we are preparing for a better one?

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Diane P, I think I am along your believe path. It has crossed my mind many times the feeling that each human life is a cell-like organism and we are part of this ONE big universe. Like our Anon posting, there are many recounts of near-death experiences that open up so many possibilities of life beyond a physical existence. Otherwise, if this was all there is, why bother being good, doing good, caring for others, etc. Our moral compass is derived from a higher level of being, a divine authority that has allowed us to exercise "free-will" in a material existence, but will it have consequences later on as we transition to the next level of creative evolution...

January 12, 2009 - 11:28pm

I believe that we are all part of a whole, and that we can't begin to understand the whole. I believe that yes, our spirit lives on, and that there is a universal force that embodies all of us, that unites us in some way we may never figure out while we're in this life. And that we have a reason to be here.

I think of it almost like cells in our bodies. A cell in the bone of our wrist doesn't know what a cell in our heart is doing, but the two are still united, and there is a force bigger than either of those individual cells that creates the unifying system they both belong to. I almost see humans as individual cells in the unifying body of the universe. We are connected, even if we do not know how. We are part of something bigger, even if we are infinitesimal one by one.

The concepts -- the labels -- that we have created for such things as soul, heaven, hell -- who knows if we have it all correct? We are imperfect, and the words, the emotions, the perceptions that we have about our souls have been affected by thousands of years of human interpretation. But I do think that there's more than this.

January 12, 2009 - 10:12am
EmpowHER Guest

It sounds like physics is beginning to explain our existence....but so let's assume that once the physical body dies, where does all that energy go? Is there a place in heaven or somewhere else in the Universe for the energy I AM to go to? Or do I become one with the creating intelligence? I have a friend who had a near-death experience and based on his medical record, he was "gone" for 70 minutes. When he came back, he did not know he was death for that long of a time. Later on he told me about the things he saw and experienced. He saw his own body laying on a surgical table while doctors were saying things about him. He heard a nurse say: "Sorry doctor, he is a goner"....he also saw a man place the sheet over his face while watching all of this, he is being pulled away from his body by this almost magnetic force that brings him into a tunnel-like area where white light is so blinding that he closes his eyes, at least he thinks so. He looks down (he feels the motion of looking down) and his physical body is no longer visible but he senses it is there....he is in such an awe during this time that he no longer cares, but he is pure conscience, his mind is active to the point of rational thought, so he says:"I think I have died"....this magnetic force keeps pulling him away from his world and he sees a sillouette of bright white light that tells asks him:"Ron, why are you here?" He replies:" I have no clue"..."Where am I?" The voice says to him: "It is no time for you to know. Go back and finsh what you started" ...the next thing he is in scrutiating pain back on that table.

Later on the doctors told him his heart stopped while having the angioplasty and unusually he did not do well during the procedure and after being "gone" for almost an hour, the nurse heard him cough and realized his vitals were back up.

Amazing as his story is, he went back to the project he had hesitated to start for so long. I know he is telling what he believes to be true, but was he really death? Did his energy body go somewhere? Where? What is this place? Who was that voice then?

January 11, 2009 - 9:02pm
EmpowHER Guest

I do not subscribe to any religion, but I have done enough reading in this subject and I will share the reasons why a soul cannot be destroyed by any means, therefore it goes on living after life.

The first argument is quite simple. It's a traditional Scholastic argument for an immortal soul, taken from the presence of two operations which are not operations of the body. Basically, the body does not do these things, so there must be something else, what we would call a 'soul' creating these operations:

1. Abstract thinking, as distinct from external sensing and internal imagining; and

2. deliberate, rational willing, as distinct from instinctive desiring.

Human thought is not limited to sense images like pyramids; it can understand abstract universal principles like triangles. And my choices are not limited to my body's desires and instincts. I think, I feel, therefore I am.

Still another power of the soul which indicates that it is not a part or function of the physical body and therefore not subject to its laws and its mortality is the power to objectify its body. For example, I can know a stone only because I am more than a stone. I can remember my past. (My present is alive; my past is dead and my future is created in my head through thought.) I can know and love my body only because I am more than my body. As the projecting machine must be more than the images projected, the knower must be more than the objects known. Therefore I am more than my body. I am a soul!

Another quite simple piece of evidence for the presence of an immaterial reality, or soul, in us which is not subject to the laws of matter and its death, is the daily experience of real magic: the power of mind over matter. Put it this way, every time I deliberately move my arm, I do magic. However, if there were no mind and will commanding the arm, only muscles; if there were muscles and a nervous system and even a brain but no conscious mind commanding them; then the arm could not rise unless it were lighter than air. When the body dies, its arms no longer move; the body reverts to obedience to merely material laws, like a sword dropped by a swordsman. Our body is the sword, our soul the swordsman.

Still another argument from the nature of soul is that it does not have quantifiable, countable parts as matter does. You can cut a body in half but not a soul; you can't have half a soul. It is not extended in space. You don't cut an inch off your soul when you get a haircut. Yes this can be used as evidence as to why we do not have a soul, but on the contrary. Since a soul has no parts, it cannot be decomposed as a body can. Whatever is composed of parts can be decomposed: a molecule into atoms, a cell into molecules, an organ into cells, a body into organs, a person into body and soul. But soul is not composed, therefore not decomposable. It could die only by being annihilated as a whole. But this would be contrary to a basic law of the universe: that nothing simply and absolutely vanishes, just as nothing simply pops into existence with no cause. But if the soul dies neither in parts nor as a whole by annihilation, then it does not die. What is the smallest part of an atom when you split it? No longer matter, so what is it? Upon dying matter dies. When matter dies, atoms transform into photons (= energy), where does all the aggregated energy of your trillions of atoms go then if energy never dies? Phew.

January 10, 2009 - 3:02pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am not sure what I believe in. I think mainly questioning our mortality is a question of beliefs. What religion you are, plays a large role in life after death. For others, science would suggest that after death, we are soil.

How wonderful the thought that we will all reunite at the pearly gates and live happily ever after with all our loved ones. I am not certain that is the case but the thought is precious. Our beloved pets, family members, and lost loves.

In my mind, there is nothing after we have gone to our final resting place. We are here and then we are gone. So in my mind, we have to make the best of what we have now and the people we have in our lives.

January 10, 2009 - 2:40pm
HERWriter Guide

Good points to ponder, Virginia!

I do not believe in life after death. I also don't believe in former (past) lives, future lives, reincarnation or anything like that.

Ironically, this goes against my religious faith that talks about salvation and life after death but I prefer to follow the teachings of the founder of my church and kind of mumble my way through all those prayers and words about life after death! I just don't believe there is anything after this world - I think we get one shot at it and then we're ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

I also surprisingly fine with the fact that I believe there is nothing after this life. It is what it is. In fact, it makes me more determined to live this life to the fullest because I believe this is the only chance we have! I also believe in doing the right thing on earth - because it's the right thing to do. Not because there is some kind of prize afterwards, or reward by getting past those 'pearly gates'.

I know most people believe in some kind of afterlife. All religions do. I understand why. I think it's a nice feeling, really, to believe that there is more after death. It makes death easier to believe that death is merely an intermission and there is Part 2 afterwards! And people are right to believe in an afterlife, or a kind of heaven, if that's what they believe.

It can be a hard pill to swallow for some, by thinking that this is it. One life, no dress rehearsal, and no second act. But somehow I'm fine with it. Also, my bonus: I may not believe in heaven, but I also don't believe in hell!

By the way, I believe our spirit lives on, on earth. And obviously my DNA will live on in the form of my kids.

January 10, 2009 - 6:38am
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