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My Hypothetical Observation of Life After Death

Updated on May 31, 2017
Glenn Stok profile image

In his articles, Glenn Stok shares a unique perspective based on his studies of theoretical and critical philosophy.

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to suggest a theoretical consideration of what the afterlife might be like, based on my unique perspective. I leave you with an interesting alternative view that I haven’t found anyone else considering.

Source

Introduction

I like to ponder questions with an open mind and envision things that we can’t see.

I have two thoughts on this particular subject:

  1. For the sake of sanity, I would like to think that we do continue in some way after death.
  2. From a scientific position, however, I tend to think there is nothing left when our brain stops functioning. Once that happens, all our knowledge and all our memory would cease to exist.

Those who believe in the afterlife have a clear explanation. "Our soul is what continues in the hereafter. It’s not our body."

Which is right?

Beliefs and Values

Some people prefer to have their own beliefs. I understand that I have limited knowledge of things that have no proof in our present life. The proof comes later, when it’s too late to share it with you.

I'm not a religious man, but I value the notion that there could be a hereafter. I don’t necessarily believe in life after death, but that doesn't stop me from thinking about it and wondering if it exists or what it might be like.

Existence After Death

We often think of the continuation after one dies as "Life After Death." I prefer to think of it as "Existence After Death."

If it does exist, life after death may not be what we imagine. We think of it in the same way as the life we presently experience.

In order to consider life after death, we need to think outside the box. For that reason I’d like to avoid the term “life after death.”

If we do continue with some form of existence, it may be completely different than we can ever imagine, so wouldn’t you agree that “existence after death” is a better term?

Source

How Old Is Everyone in Heaven?

If there is indeed a hereafter, I don’t think we would be there in our present form with the body we have in our present life. If that were so, it brings up another question: How old will everyone be in heaven?

Will we be at the same age as that when we died?

Does that mean that if one were old and crippled then that will be how they continue to be in Heaven?

I sure hope not! That would not be Heaven. Would it?

If there were a hereafter, then we would no doubt exist in some other form. We don't take our body with us when we die.

Is Everyone in Heaven the Same Age?

When we go to Heaven and we meet all those people we knew in life, how old are they?

Do we meet everyone at the age we last saw him or her alive, or are they at some earlier age of their physical life?

What if they died after us? When we finally run into them in Heaven will they be older than we ever knew them to be in our physical life? Will we recognize them?

What if everyone is starting over in Heaven is an infant. What if that is everyone’s age in Heaven? Then, of course, we would be infants too. Who would be taking care of us?

Do you see my point? I'm having a problem figuring out a meaningful age everyone would be when they arrive in Heaven.

I realize the problem is that here in our present life we function under the constraints of time. That creates the confusion about everyone's age in Heaven. Once again, we need to think outside the box. We need to stop considering "time" as an entity.

An Infant Angel
An Infant Angel | Source

Does Time Exist in Heaven?

The sequence of time throughout our lifetime helps us keep track of past experiences and plan for future events.

We usually have some sort of feeling associated with our memories. Some are fond recollections, and some are not so great.

The concept of time is something we can't comprehend being without. However, if we consider eliminating time from the equation, then we can resolve the question about how old everyone is in Heaven.

For that matter, I can’t imagine any reason why time is necessary in the hereafter. The entire attitude of managing one’s time, needing to be somewhere and not be late, synchronizing events, rushing to finish tasks, concern about productivity, and so on – well, that just doesn’t sound like Heaven.

If we accept that time is nonexistent in Heaven, then the concept of age is irrelevant. Therefore the question about everyone’s age is solved.

The answer is simple. We meet everyone in Heaven at the peak of their existence. Isn’t that a neat way to think of it?

Everyone in Heaven will forever be at the peak of their existence!

— Now that's a thought you can take with you.

© 2017 Glenn Stok

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    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 8 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

      That's a good point, Peggy – Our body is a physical essence that ages with time. Our soul can perhaps live on to eternity.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      I truly believe in another life past this one. Our body is mortal but our soul is not. I have written an article regarding why I believe the way I do here on HubPages. In addition to the many books I have read on the subject I have had some personal experiences with family members which lead me to believe the way I do. That is not even taking religion into the equation. Most religions would have people believing that life does continue in an eternal realm. It gives me comfort to think that I will see my loved ones again when I shed this mortal body of mine.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 8 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

      Well that's another hypothetical addition to this article's viewpoint. Thanks for the addition.

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 8 weeks ago from New Jersey

      Yes, Glenn. They come back when they are ready to return. Many people have had traumatic lives and need time to heal and figure out what went wrong.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 8 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

      No problem Jean. But based on your last comment, are you saying people might have free will to return from heaven to try again?

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 8 weeks ago from New Jersey

      Apologies. I thought it related. Feel free to delete.

      One point to correct though, the person who never listened is not FORCED to return to Earth unable to speak. They have other scenarios, and choose themselves. The person could simply be a better listener, or an ear doctor. It's not about punishing anyone for their prior life. There is always free will.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 8 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

      Thanks, Jean, for that interesting hypothesis. The concept is somewhat similar to the Eternal Recurrence of the Universe that I wrote about in another article.

      Of course, you gave an example where someone who doesn’t listen will be reborn without speech so they are forced to listen. In my scenario I discussed another notion where everything repeats in an infinite number of ways.

      Nevertheless, this does not relate to this article, were I propose the idea of just one life and one after life.

      There are so many other things that can repeat in alternate ways. For example, if life repeats, it might not be a carbon-based life as we have now. And who knows what other changes occur with evolution.

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 8 weeks ago from New Jersey

      Hi Glenn,

      I have to weigh in on how I have learned about existences after death are discussed in metaphysical circles. We all live many lives, in an attempt to become perfect, as we were supposedly made.

      Each time our bodies die, the info is stored in the soul, and we end up in a sort of "Heaven" that's similar to a library. Or the Book of Life in the Bible. We review our former life, and can feel how it affected all those we interacted with and loved. Of course, we will have made mistakes. That means there are new lessons we need to learn.

      We go over this with entities (angels, if you want) who are more spiritual than we were in the prior life. We are shown alternate scenarios we can return to Earth in, so we can learn the lessons we failed to learn. As you suspect, we aren't any particular age, or may be at the best part of the prior life, and the ones you knew well in that life will be in the best way you recall them.

      Let's say you talked, but never listened. You may come back unable to speak. So you learn to listen. This goes on for many, many lifetimes, and we travel in soul groups, so we are coming back to life with all those we knew, correcting times we made mistakes with them.

      It continues on until there's nothing left to learn, or you continue on to help others in between incarnations.

      Just some thoughts, have fun!

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 2 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Haider - That's why I call it a Hypothetical Observation in the title of this article.

    • Haider Mama profile image

      Haider 2 months ago from Melbourne

      It's a very very difficult subject or topic. There are lots of reasons and logic regarding this topic. I just want to say there is life after death. We cannot fool ourselves that we were born from nowhere and we have no destiny.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      For those who want to investigate this hypothesis further, I recommend Kathleen Cochran’s mystery novel that is based on a similar idea with an experience in heaven. Her book, ”Lord, Lord" is on Amazon.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      FlourishAnyway - That's an interesting additional consideration Shelly. It deserves some attention and thought. I'll have to see if I can figure out a pleasing solution to that dilemma.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 months ago from USA

      I'm not sure about the heaven part but I do see your point regarding time. We also don't consider when contemplating the hereafter that there are some people we just don't like or get along with. Will we have to put up with them and vice versa forever? I prefer to think about it as returning to All, not a place but a state. I enjoyed your reflections.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      MsDora, Thank you for the confirmation. Isn't that what it's all about?

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 months ago from The Caribbean

      For sure, your conclusion lends to the description of heaven as a state of perfect bliss!

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Sally - We all have experiences like that. I know I have. Most people dismiss it as a coincidence. Others, like you and I, like to think it means something more — from a spiritual side.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      David - That makes a lot of sense and your comments add a very important part of the puzzle to this discussion. Without a memory, we know nothing of our past or anything about our existence. It's like having amnesia.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 3 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      You have my sympathies. We're in that club now that nobody wants to be in.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 months ago from Norfolk

      Talking of dreams! On two occasions I have had dreams which I can only say were not of this place. In one I clearly saw my father, long deceased walking two St Bernard dogs but the scenery was nothing like I have seen before or since. As far as I know he had never owned any St Bernards and or even walked a dog. In an odd sort of way, I am comforted by this. In the second dream, I was sent a message to say that my own death was imminent. In fact, I misread the message, for what actually happened was that minutes after I woke we received a phone call to say that someone very close to my family had died. I guess I definitely believe in some kind of afterlife and find it comforting to think that life just not end:)

    • UnnamedHarald profile image

      David Hunt 3 months ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      I have similar questions which you raise (especially "how old are we"), Glen and have never heard anyone else raise these issues. The other thing I would add is, that, in order to "exist" in an afterlife, our memories must be retained. Otherwise, for example, if I die and resurrect in an "afterlife" with no knowledge of who I was, then I'm not "me" and so what's the point. Very thoughtful and thought-provoking article.

      Oh, and while I'm at it, who wants to live in a city where the buildings are made of gold and milk and honey run in the gutters. Gives me the creeps.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      I didn't mention the details, but our experiences are more related than you can imagine. I also saw him over an hour later, same as you with your Mom. My mother called to tell me he died. By the time I got there, the medics who tried to revive him already had left. I had time to sit with him and "talk" to him before the coroner came with a body bag. The entire experience was a calling, for sure.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 3 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Yours sounds not that different from mine. I was just struck by how different it was from TV and the movies. There is no way they can recreate a dead person. A dead body is definitely an "Elvis has left the building" moment. But I wasn't with Mom when she passed. It was over an hour later. They'd told us to go home and get some rest. We'd see her in the morning. Yeah. Not so much.

      But I'll never forget those professionals and how they treated Mom and us. That is a calling.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Kathleen, I also saw my dad when he died. I had time to look at him and contemplate the lifeless condition of his body. I didn't think of him as dead, though. Somehow I felt that his consciousness was still there, inside somewhere, as if he was just in a coma. I guess we each have a different way of handling grief.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 3 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      We meet everyone in Heaven at the peak of their existence. - I hope so. No one can tell you that you're wrong because your observation is as accurate as anybody else's.

      Surely someone is going to quote from the Bible: To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. That's about the extent of what it says on the subject from my layperson's experience. And I think we're safe in assuming the text is referring to believers. Where others are present when they are absent from the body - I can't say. They aren't with the Lord.

      When my mother died, I looked at her body and was overwhelmed by the sense that she was gone. Not that her life was over, but that she was certainly not in her body anymore. I am too aware of her presence to think she has ceased to exist.

      I know. Grief is not objective. The Bible also says: We don't grieve like those who have no hope. I don't want to be objective. I would rather hope.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Thanks Sally. I often imagine some kind of progression too. Maybe we will never know when we die. We will just continue functioning as in a dream state. When you are dreaming, do you know you're in a dream? I believe the common answer is that we only know it after we wake up. So death might be a continuous dream from that point on.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 months ago from Norfolk

      Life after death is a fascinating subject. Like you I would like to believe that there is something after death, perhaps a progression of some sort otherwise what use is all this knowledge that we have gained on this side. I do know people that attend spiritualist churches and I even admit to having been myself a few times. They clearly believe in an afterlife and gain a great deal of comfort from it.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Hey Rand, why do you keep asking the same question that has nothing to do with this hypothetical observation. Why do you think I said I will remember life after death? I never said that, and it has nothing to do with this subject.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 3 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Definition of what, Glen? Life? Death? Religion? Or simply mere speculation. Do you remember death before life? If not, what makes you think you will remember death after life?

      Not trying to be a smartass, just curious as to your opinion on the subject.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Well Rand, I would agree with you, expect that I try to keep an open mind about something beyond our knowledge or beliefs. It's all a matter of definition.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 3 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Well Glen, I don't remember death being unpleasant before I was born. So yes, isn't death a lack of life no matter the stage or time? A conundrum, no doubt.

    • simplehappylife profile image

      sannwi 3 months ago

      Amen to that :)

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      SA - Interesting questions. That could be expanded into an entire article on the subject. In short, I might say that if we had a chance to do it all again, we'd find other ways to mess up anyway. That's actually the beauty of life – everything is always a learning process. The purpose is to keep us occupied by trying over and over again. Never give up.

      Thomas Edison failed at making the light bulb almost 1000 times before he found a way that worked. It boils down to one thing – the ability to not fear failure. Those who are afraid of failure will avoid attempting new ventures and they end up never enjoying the complete fruits of life.

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Paula - You brought up additional points that I had not thought of, and your creativity adds value to the subject. If all we have are "souls" then speech is not necessary. Interesting. Maybe telepathy is not necessary either. Maybe we are all linked together in some way. As I said near the start of my article, "it may be completely different than we can ever imagine."

      I'm sorry to hear that your thoughts along these lines caused you depression and anxiety. I once had a teacher in college tell me not to think about the things I think about because it will drive me insane. Now, many decades later, I think I'm still okay. LOL.

      Your last paragraph has a very enlightening meaning in it that we all should take to heart. Thanks for your comment.

    • simplehappylife profile image

      sannwi 3 months ago

      I totally agree, Glenn :)

      But, if we did everything "right", would we still be who we are today (assuming we like who we are right now), and would we still have the same opportunities to learn, grow, and gain wisdom if we hadn't made mistakes?

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      Paula 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Since the majority of those who believe in life (or existence) after death, agree that the body disintegrates and only our soul transitions to where it "we, as a spiritual being" will continue, age and appearance would be a non-issue. If we recognize one another, it would have to be our essence that is familiar~~correct? Even communication would be silent and transmit via telepathy.....there's oh so much more to consider when we think about this subject.

      At one time, I put a lot of thought into this, even doing some research on various studies. Then I realized that it seemed to cause me depression and anxiety. I have to admit this in itself tells me what I think at my deepest level.

      It can be beneficial for some to delve deeply into this mystery or simply embrace sheer faith. For me, I've chosen to take the simple, more realistic/common sense route. One way or another, if it's eternal nothingness or an existence of eternal bliss, we do not know, we cannot return with a message....so, enjoy this life and the rest .....who knows?

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      SA - I think I remember that movie from a long time ago. It had a unique concept too. It would be great if we could redo our lives over, especially after learning from all our mistakes from the first time around. Imagine if we could remember the lessons and do it right the next time. It seems we only have once chance to get it right, which is why we should make every day count.

    • simplehappylife profile image

      sannwi 3 months ago

      Sometimes I wonder if it's a bit like the movie "Defending Your Life" with Al Brooks and Meryl Streep (one of my favorite movies). I'm not so sure about the whole "defending your life" bit, where you have to go back and re-do or you get to go on to the next place. But I do love the concept, it certainly is a process most of us could easily adjust to, right after experiencing "death". If you haven't seen it, you should :) It's funny, and interesting :)

      Nice contemplation Glenn, I enjoyed it :)

    • Glenn Stok profile image
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      Glenn Stok 3 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Randy Godwin - Your question seems to imply that existence before life is a state of death. Is that what you're saying?

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 3 months ago from Southern Georgia

      I assume life after death will be the same as death before life. Do you remember what death was like before your life began, Glen? One shouldn't fear death as everyone does it.