Conscious Life After Death
Is There Life After Death?
"That one lives on in a spiritual dimension after one's body dies."
This is an important belief for some individuals. The teachings of some religions base their whole message on this assumption. It's the premise for sin, forgiveness, good, bad, the very existence of God. Heaven and Hell have no meaning without the presumption of life after death.
Some would argue that only by having a belief in Life After Death can one aspire to lead a good life and avoid committing a crime. Also, that the fear which comes from the idea of hell and punishment is what holds one "on course," to lead a good and worthy life.
Whether the above is true or not has been described as 50:50 odds.
I don't accept those odds of 50:50
I am 100% certain that after the death of mine, and your bodies, when there is no brain to function, no circulatory system, there will be none of the individual consciousness remaining. The lump of meat will break down into the elements and molecules, to be taken up again, sooner or later, by other life forms.
If there is a metaphysical element, an energy, a spirit, whatever you wish to call it, then it will not be anything pertaining to this life, "me."
The analogy is of a wave on the surface of the water. The wave manifests, then declines. The water of the wave joins the ocean. A NEW wave arises, possibly containing water from the previous wave, but not necessarily so. It's a new entity. The old wave existed momentarily then vanished for ever. Finished. Complete. Likewise with anything which gave life to my body and brain. The same thing happened to that person spoken of, called Jesus. His body dissipated in the same way. Like that of the ant; the horse; the bacterium; the oak tree. The physical body exists for a short time, then vanishes, forever. Unique. Never to be repeated in exactly the same form.
So -- no 50:50 for me. And with this realisation, out goes any "God," or "Jesus," or any imagined "life after death." It continues in the bacteria, insects, worms, etc., yes. But not "of this which is Me, right now."
What do I base this understanding on?
When I have had to undergo a surgical operation, and I have been given an anesthetic, I have never known the moment when I lost consciousness. Oblivion just happened, instantaneously. There was no warning, no feeling of "going under." For the duration of the operation I was totally unaware of anything. Yet, I DID NOT KNOW I WAS UNCONSCIOUS.
I would never have known I had been unconscious if that state had been continuous, without end. The only way I know I had been unconscious was the fact that I woke up and, deduced from the clock on the wall, and the people around me, that I had been unconscious for a certain length of time.
What did it feel like when I was unconscious? Nothing! No Thing!. No consciousness. No sense of sight, or hearing, or smelling, or tasting, or touching. Yet I cannot imagine being unconscious.
Death will be exactly the same. I become No Thing for ever more. Eternity. Infinitely, meaning unmeasurable.
How does this play out in my life?
Well, it means I need to concentrate on this Here and Now. Stop wasting time with the religion and arguing unfathomable questions. Give my all to those around me, and the opportunities presented every moment. At least this is the intention, the goal. Being so lazy sometimes, I will have to work hard at it!
What Are Our Options?
Personal choice is, of course, paramount. No one of us has all the answers or all of the knowledge with which to make final, conclusive decisions about life, now or in the Here After.
Personal history, background, cultural attitudes, discomforts and agonies being experienced, threats to life and lifestyle, etc....all these can make a difference to what each of us individually believes.
Good will, humility, Love in the true meaning of the word will carry us through the disagreements and allow us to be supportive of our neighbour. The genes within our cells mean that we are truly brothers and sisters, there is no such thing as "race," and it's cultural variations which define us more than anything else.
There really is more than enough room on this planet for all of us to live side by side.
© 2012 Alan
More by this Author
Small scale domestic treatment of grey water, keeping it simple, using nature as a teacher and resource. On-going experiment, basic science but without collegial input so far.
Local biological materials for filtration of grey water
A small-scale biological method of treating grey water, using a symbiotic mixture of Azolla filiculoides, Wollfia borealis, Lemna minor and Spirogyra.