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Is that IT When We Die?

Updated on December 4, 2012

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.

Energy changes.

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.


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    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from UK

      Ah yes, energy equals the mass (weight) of an object x the speed of light. Not a sum I have ever bothered to work out lol.

      I don't suppose it matters much what we think happens to us after death; it's not as if anyone has ever come back to tell us.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      6 years ago from Long Island, NY

      I'm also not religious but I am spiritual in the sense that I'm willing to accept the unknown. Like you, I am a scientific person and I also agree that energy does not die. It simply can be changed to matter. And matter can be changed to energy. Einstein's equation 'E=MC squared' defines this.

      So I agree with you that when we die our energy can continue in some other form. For us, as individuals, it may be over -- but our genes carry on the energy. I like your way of explaining that. I found it unique and very meaningful.

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from UK

      I like the Hindu belief! That sounds quite reasonable as you then have a transference of the energy that makes up a life-force. Thanks for sharing that :)

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 

      6 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      Thought provoking and insightful hub, We Hindu believe that the soul gets transferred to new born human or animal, but there is a definite life after death. voted up.

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from UK

      I used to read a lot of stuff like that when I was in my 20s and 30s, so yes it is fascinating, and I did read reports about young children having 'previous lives'. Scientists cannot yet explain that away. I think half the trouble is that they know we only use 10% of our brain capacity, so what happens with the other 90%? Is it holding 'memories' of previous lives? Why have we suppressed those memories? I have seen people under hypnosis taking on new personas, new accents, and always from a time before the present. Confucius said that life is like the wrong side of a tapestry, with threads going all over the place and nothing making sense, but turn it over and there is a beautiful picture with everything neatly in place. It would be nice to think life really is like that. It gives us purpose if nothing else, and is also extremely comforting in times of grief.

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 

      6 years ago from New Jersey

      Hi Izzy,

      As the years and my metaphysical studies go on, I've really begun to believe in reincarnation. I had to smile when I read this hub because the way you expressed your view is so much like my husband does. He's a believer in science, and says that energy cannot be created or destroyed. Our bodies are only shells, so where does that energy go when we pass on? I think we really are on a journey, to learn and make mistakes. Somewhere along the way the physical and spiritual got separated, and we are working our way back to perfection. Everyone gets there. It explains why bad things happen to good people, or why babies are born with birth defects. Supposedly we "plan" for the lessons we need with the help of guardians in between lifetimes. A lot of Metaphysical fiction is coming out now, and like science fiction, fact has to catch up. Many young childen, before age 7, recall living in other places with other parents. When they are taken to the city and parents, it's found the parents lost a child, years before. If you check out Metaphysical fiction on Goodreads, you'll find a lot of good stuff on the topic

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from UK

      Thanks :) This is a very unusual hub for me to write. I usually shy away from philosophical topics and stick to facts. I find it hard to go back and reply to comments too, as it is not something I spend a lot of time thinking about. I guess I did when I was younger, but as we age, it's best not thought about at all!

    • paradigmsearch profile image


      6 years ago from US

      A very sensible article. One thing is for sure... Sooner or later, the day comes when each of us find out the answer... Until then, introspection and philosophical thoughts are a good thing. :-) Tweeted and FB'd it.

    • SkySlave profile image

      Skyler DeCristoforo 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Perhaps when we die our soul floats around until it finds a newborn to inhabit. That would make ghosts the souls that haven't found the right body to inhabit yet. This concept reminds me of a hermit crab changing its shell.

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from UK

      Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, yes we do go back into the Earth's life cycle, but what happens to our conscious minds? Do they float free, or die with us? If everyone who has ever existed on Earth have their spirits all around us, the air must be pretty concentrated with ghosts right now! Or perhaps they re-cycle and are used over and over again in new-borns. Maybe some things are better not thought about much, as there is no answer, really.

    • SkySlave profile image

      Skyler DeCristoforo 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I think about this topic all of the time and still im not sure what to believe for sure. Im not the most religious person but i do believe things happen for a reason even if we don't understand the reason at the time. I think that when we die our bodies become part of the earth, fertilizing it making it more possible for plats to grow strongly. The animals eat the plants and other animals eat these animals and so on. I think even if we dont have an afterlife or a heaven to go to when we die i believe we all help the world continue after were gone.

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from UK

      Thanks for all your comments. What happens to our mental beings after death is something that could be discussed forever, without resolve.

    • profile image

      Matthew Kirk 

      6 years ago

      I think we attach to much meaning to our own little tiny lives. We are nothing to the universe, no more than grains of sand that erode to nothing.

      Physically we will all end up as part of stars which is where we came from and eventually we may even be part of organic life or matter again in a place far far away in a long long time...

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      It's ironic that many people, no matter what their particular beliefs, are troubled by the belief that there could be NOTHING after we all inevitably die.

      If death is simply the cessation of consciousness, then there is no "me" or "you" to live on and worry about not existing. It would be beyond absurd to make such a ridiculous assertion. How did you feel in the year 200 AD? You felt nothing, and that would be what happens once we lose consciousness for the last time.

      All the evidence points to nothingness. However, people who have died can't come back and tell us about it, so we'll all have to wait and eventually, the question will be answered. If death is nothing, then it's not something to fear, unless it's extremely painful. If there is an afterlife, it is dubious AT BEST that, we as human beings, know everything about what the experience will be like.

      Great hub.

    • jirel profile image


      6 years ago from Philippines

      This is a very meaningful hub.Thanks for sharing with us.

    • CR Rookwood profile image

      Pamela Hutson 

      6 years ago from Moonlight Maine

      Thoughtful essay, thank you for having the courage to share it! I am guessing you probably speak for lots of people. Myself, I figure everybody is born and everybody dies. Beyond that, we don't know too much, but I tend to think we do go on, not because science says so or doesn't or religion says so or doesn't, but just because, like some of the other commenters, I've had so many freaky experiences I'd rather believe in an afterlife than believe I'm totally delusional. lol! Voted up. :)

    • Lisa HW profile image

      Lisa HW 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      I just kind of go with my preference to think it's lights-out after this. :) I'm fine with that. I do my best here, love and am loved, try to add something to the world and never (if I can help it) take anything away from it I try to put my meaning into my life (not look for meaning from somewhere else). I make it a point not to waste my mind-time here thinking about what I can't know, which, to me, means I don't waste a second of my thinking time.

      If there's something after this, great (maybe). I'll be surprised and think, "Wow. I was wrong all those years." I assume if it's a Heaven/Hell thing I'll end up in Heaven (but based on how it can appear God, or whoever/whatever, does some things; I'm not so sure).

      I'm pretty sure I generally brought a lot of happiness to my parents; and I'm really sure that the kind of happiness my own children bring to me makes a simple, one-way, trip through Earth more than worthwhile and far more than I ever would have imagined.

      I prefer to live to be over a hundred, but if lights out comes before then that's fine too. For as good and meaingful as my life is, it's not like it's a big picnic. I just see lights-out as sleeping but not dreaming. That's fine. I don't mind being a "nothing", but I do think a form of "spirit" lives on in our work, the things we create and build, and even things like an old number plate found in a grandma's attic among her stuff. A lot of things I do (including write about some pretty mundane stuff) is also (not solely) for the purpose of sharing some of life today with the grandchildren and great-grandchildren I'll most likely eventually have. (Actually, I even think that if there is a God He'd probably want us spending our energies and hearts on the things here on Earth and in this brief (and so often beautiful) life. I do think that "for everything there is a season", and I think the season while I'm here shouldn't be squandered thinking about stuff that may or may exist beyond. :/ )

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      Hi, I tend to believe the way you do, I really am not sure. I think religion was made up as you said to either calm people before death, or maybe even to allow people to live together without violence. I always follow science to see what it is they have discovered, but was blown away by the film Down the Rabbit Hole/What the Bleep, which talks about atoms being able to respond to prayers or words. its fascinating to watch. Saying that I have had some really strange paranormal things happen in my life, but precognition etc is something that happens in the Universe while we are still here. Afterwards? I have no idea, but I would like to believe, really interesting hub Izzy, thanks, and voted up and shared, nell

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from UK

      Thanks Sandy, I've decided to stop thinking about it again lol. Death comes too soon for all of us, but come it does whether we like it or not.

    • Sandy Frost profile image

      Sandy Frost 

      6 years ago from India

      This hub provokes thoughts by quenching the riddle of "life after life" phenomenon as well as this also reminds us how much power and attorney we are proud of and we show it throughout our life but one day, we give up before the power and attorney of someone else, an unknown and eternal entity.

      Nicely explained hub, thanks for sharing. Voted up.

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from UK

      I admire your Faith, Peg. I think it must be a great thing to have, a comforting thing too that will sustain you through times of hardship or great sadness. This is one thing I really like about religion; the ability to trust in a greater being and take both joy and comfort from that.

      I just don't have it, can't see it and can't feel it, and that is my loss!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      When we reach a certain age we begin to ponder our mortality and question the religious values that were taught to us as children. You've raised philosophical questions that each of us wonder about at one time or another. If we didn't question our beliefs then I would question whether we are just brain washed.

      In matters of faith, there is no hardcore proof, that's why it is known as faith. I DO believe in a Supreme Being who is omnipotent and omnipresent because I talk to Him everyday and daily He gives me every thing I could possibly need. I have experienced miracles in my life and in the lives of others, impossible things happening that saved lives and kept me from danger.

      When I look at a beautiful sunset or a newborn baby's tiny perfect face I see the handiwork of our Creator, whatever shape and form He or She decides to take, whether it is energy, spirit or body, it doesn't matter to me. I can't imagine the universe and all that beauty just created itself in all its wonder and mystery.

      Sort of like that song that went: I swear there ain't no Heaven but I'll pray that there's no Hell.

      I hope one day you will find the answer. I think we all will.

      Kind regards,


    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from UK

      LOL, I think a few of us would quite like to come back as a cat! Such a simple life :)

    • Kiwi Max profile image

      Max Zvyagintsev 

      6 years ago from New Zealand

      a very broad and grey topic to write about Izzy, but I like how you approached it.

      I tend to think we'll be reborn into something else when we die and the cycle just keeps repeating.

      I'd really love to be a cat in my next life. (What? No, the picture of puss in boots had nothing to do with it...really)

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from UK

      Ahh, the religious forums are best avoided IMO! That story about Gordon Smith is priceless, thanks for sharing :)

    • CMHypno profile image


      6 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      It was on the forums a couple of years ago Izzy, ironically I think that it was in the religious forum where most of the truly un-Christian people lurk. I'm looking forward to delving into the New Scientist God issue as I think that quantum physics is opening up whole new universes for us. I remember watching a documentary featuring Gordon Smith, one of the UK's best mediums, who works with the Edinburgh University Parapsychology Dept in their research. One of the observers turned to Gordon Smith and said something like 'I don't think that you can really talk to dead people, I think you are just reading people's minds'. Gordon Smith just replied 'and you can do that?''

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from UK

      I am shocked to hear that anyone attacked you, CM! I've known mediums in my time and have nothing but respect for them. I also think it is hugely comforting for the bereaved when they visit a medium or a spiritualist and are fortunate enough to receive a message from the other side. Whether I believe in it or not is not the point, the fact is that they do and derive comfort from it. And that is truly helping people. I suppose religion is similar. Some people find comfort in God, but it'll never work for me. I find churches to be cold and scary and they remind me of funerals. Maybe I have attended too many in my life. I would be interested in hearing what the God issue of new Scientist says about the whole afterlife question.

    • CMHypno profile image


      6 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      From my experience as a medium the people in the world of spirit have left their worldly conditions and illnesses behind and are back to their whole selves. I've never come across any evidence of a 'heaven or hell' scenario, but there is always so much more to experience, learn and know. The belief in an after life has been prevalent in all human cultures, so if it is a delusion then it is a pretty persistent one. I have just picked up the God Issue of the New Scientist, so I am looking forward to an interesting read and some good insights there. I can relate to what you are saying about being a private person, before when I have mentioned being a medium on HP, I have been called a moron, uneducated and other choice epithets. But these are just my beliefs and how I live my life, and I fully respect the rights of others to hold whatever beliefs they choose also. Insults usually reveal more about the person doing the insulting than the person being attacked lol!

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from UK

      Thanks fennelseed, I don't usually write articles as deep as this one, because I am basically a private person who doesn't share deep thoughts. It's like opening up and giving too much of myself away. I think that as we grow older, thoughts of death suddenly take on more meaning. My whole life I have believed, without actually thinking about it, that in the afterlife I would meet up with loved ones gone before. But then you get to thinking, how would I know them? My brother died when I was 17 and he was 18. My other brother died when he was 48 (but was only 19 when my other brother died), so all this meeting up together takes a whole new thought process, because they surely can't be the same age as they were when they died.

      I, too, have had comforting dreams, but do they come from the other side, or within myself?

      If there really is nothing on the other side, then it does us no harm to dream that there is. Equally, we are guaranteed eternal peace.

      I think to those of us who have lost someone, the belief that 'we will meet again' is really important, and who is to say it doesn't happen, in some form or another?

      My parents are now elderly and dying. Do I see them on the other side as the shells of the people they are now, or the wholesome people they were? They have suffered tremendously in this life. They deserve eternal peace in the next.

    • Fennelseed profile image

      Annie Fenn 

      6 years ago from Australia

      Hi Izzy,

      Your mind on this issue sounds a lot like mine. I do not follow a prescribed religion however after losing someone very close to me I have developed a strong personal belief in the eternal life of the human spirit. While this initially evolved as a result of not wanting to believe this that there is nothing left for this person, who I love dearly, my beliefs have strengthen through some personal experiences since. I have had convincing messages from this person through my dreams. This connection provides me with a huge amount of comfort and peace. This is very personal to me, but I do believe there will be a reunion when I pass over.

      I believe in both science and the existence of another form of being that is different to the physical form that we know, and I relate to your exploration of the soul being an energy field. There are thousands of documented stories of near death experiences and a reported separation of mind and body.

      I am not sure that I can lock into the Heaven and Hell theory however, and wonder whether once a soul is separated from its earth body, its conscience becomes a greater force and that "Hell" is more a state of dealing with the consequences of one actions while on the earth plane .

      Your article is very well written and rich with thought provoking questions and information. I will definitely be back to read this again and in the meantime I am voting this up and SHARING.

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from UK

      LOL, I just LOVE your comment. I too, believe we are an energy that changes into something else, and science has never been able to explain mediums, or who exactly they are contacting. Fascinating stuff! It does make you think, though.

    • CMHypno profile image


      6 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Life after death - the question that challenges us all? But I don't think that you have to be religious to believe in an after life, or even in god as such. I believe that we are energy and when our physical body dies that energy just moves into a different form of existence. When you think about it, it is two completely different world views as a person who thinks that this life is it, all they are going to get, is likely to make different choices to someone who believes that they are an eternal spiritual being. Not necessarily better or worse choices, just different. Besides which I work as a medium, and if there is no existence after physical death, then I have spent a lot of time talking to myself lol!


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