Is that IT When We Die?
When we die, is that it? Game over?
What waslife all about then, going through all that learning; all that pain, joy, ecstasy, misery that made up our lives?
This is something many of us have pondered. Is this all there is?
We have fulfilled our function on Earth and now we have to go...where?
The Christians among us believe there is another place to go - Heaven if you were good, and Hell if you were bad.
I don't actually know what other religions believe, but I do think all religions were born out of a human fear of death, and what comes after.
Somehow or other, NOTHING seems to be the wrong answer for most.
Nobody wants there to be a nothing, even though a nothing would actually mean eternal peace, free from misery and pain and anything else someone may experience during their last days alive.
I'm sure all of us have had thoughts in this area, wondering what happens to us after we die, and here are my ideas.
Religion and the Human Conscience
I'm not religious, although I was brought up in the Christian faith.
I don't honestly believe there is a God up there in sky, or even that he is an omni-presence all around us.
Neither do I believe there is a Devil, always waiting and tempting us to commit sins.
If we commit sins, it's because we made the conscious decision to do so, some of us more than others.
Having a conscience is part of the human psychological make-up.
It has already been proven that mass murderers lack a conscience. Without a conscience we would all be capable of the most unspeakable crimes, because there are no feelings of regret later.
Equally, we have people with consciences that are incomplete - they only work some of the time. This allows us to do things we would not normally do.
Your conscience may have allowed you to plan and carry through a murder. Later, however, you may feel guilt. That is your conscience working as it should.
The temptation to steal may overcome you, when you find yourself surrounded by the most fabulous jewelry in a shop where you are there, alone, to repair their broken security system.
Temptation, they say, is all around us, and that may well be true.
A working conscience, however, will prevent us from doing things we know to be wrong.
We don't need religion to tell us this. Humans who have discarded their religion are still good people, with consciences. Not all, but most.
If you are reading this and are deeply religious, do not feel offended by my beliefs. They are not a shot at you.
In fact, I admire people who are able to hold their God close to them, and find comfort when times are hard.
This is undeniably one of the big advantages in having a belief.
Everyone needs something to believe in.
Science and energy
I believe in science.
I can believe when a scientist conducts an experiment and is able to prove an answer.
Nothing in science has ever proven the existence of God or angels or any of those things the Holy Bible talks off.
Yet there may well have been a great flood, where water covered most of the 'living' planet after it rained for 40 days and 40 nights.
It is highly doubtful, however, that one man built a boat and put two of each creature in the world aboard, unless he was talking about the half dozendomestic animals he kept, then somehow the story got confused with a dream or something.
Science tells us that energy cannot die.
You have kinetic, potential, thermal, chemical, electrochemical, electromagnetic, electrical energy, and many others including heat, gravitational and light energies.
Potential energy can turn into kinetic energy. Kinetic energy can turn into thermal energy and so on, but it can't die.
Is the human life force not an energy?
Our bodies can die, but our minds, what might be called in religious circles, our souls, our life force? Can they die if they are considered to be an energy?
At the same time, energy cannot be created.
Therefore the energy that went into making up our life force, already existed on Earth in one form or another.
In fact, there is no reason to limit this argument to Earth, let's change that to Universe.
We are bombarded daily by all sorts of energy forces from outer space in the form of electromagnetic waves. That energy changes too, into what?
Some physicists will say that a dead body and brain is like a dud car battery, no sparks of life, and that the human mind is not physical matter, and therefore not energy.
But I believe it is, and that we evolve into something else at the point of death of our human body..
We might become a rock, because a rock sitting atop a mountain contains potential energy. If the wind or rain knocked that rock off its mountain perch, it would then roll down the mountainside due to gravity, during which time it would produce kinetic energy.
Or perhaps all human life forces are a different type of energy altogether?
Perhaps we are indeed reborn as a new baby somewhere else, no-one knows, and no-one has EVER come back to tell us.
So, whether or not we go through another life, change into another form, or just cease to exist anymore and turn to dust like our ashes, is not known.
But you know, none of those possibilities are frightening. Burning in eternal Hell is, which is another good reason for me not to take religious beliefs to heart.
Just live your life the best you can, and not because someone is threatening you with Hellfire if you don't.
People without a conscience wouldn't care either way.
if you are reading this because you or a close family member is dying, and you are wondering whether or not this really is IT, well yes I think it is.
Even if our life force energy changes to something else, it really is game over for us, as we are, but if its any comfort, we live on through our genes.
Who is to say our whole life force energy doesn't split up into sections?
Some of our substance may become a rock that is about to roll down a mountain, while other parts form our (as yet unborn) grand-daughter's nose.
If we are childless, or still a child ourselves, we have brothers or sisters or cousins who we will live on through.
Death comes to us all.
"Yeah though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil."
And rightly so, the most frightening thing about dying is the dying itself, and when that has passed, there is eternal peace.