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Life Beyond Life

Updated on August 20, 2010
Life After Life
Life After Life

Heaven, hell or nothingness! What awaits us when we step into the realm of what happens after death?

What happens after someone dies? This eternal question has often snuck up on us at unexpected times, though we mostly prefer to ignore it. With no clear answer available, many of us turn to the most convincing and appealing options that are offered to us. All the faithful, irrespective of the faith they follow, believe in a heaven or a hell awaiting them after their time on earth is up. Many others prefer to keep their loyalty towards science and facts, believing there to be nothing at all after we die. Apart from this, there is also a significant section of the population that believes in reincarnation, born into another form again.

But before we can get to talking about what happens after death, let’s try to understand death itself. Death in itself is not really an event. It is a process that is initiated when the livings cells within your body, including those making up your organs, die due to external or internal occurrences. A person can either experience a somatic death, wherein they are in a deep state of coma or unconsciousness, from which they cannot be retrieved, or a cellular death, wherein the cells within the body die. But then this is not the most difficult part of death, it is the knowledge, or the lack of it, regarding what happens after a person dies.

Life And Death
Life And Death

According to the Bible, after a person dies, he/she is resurrected and then faces the judgement of God. Depending on how they have spent their lives, God then decides whether to send him or her to heaven or hell. Christianity is a faith with a large following; many people believe that their lives are just a preparation for that final day of judgement. It is easy to see why religion is so popular, considering how it simplifies the question of what happens to us after we die. If you are good, your time after death is even better, but if you do bad things, you will suffer for eternity. Many religions condone this theory, though in slightly different variations. Each requires you to live your life in a certain way, so that your time after death is something you look forward to.

While there is no scientific proof of what happens after death, the idea of annihilation is the most logical conclusion of what happens to a person after death. This assuming that man has no soul, but merely a physical organism made up by tiny cells, which function together to ensure the right parts keep working. This view can be very unsettling for many people, and just like the earlier theory of heaven or hell, this aspect has also not been sufficiently proven.

Life after Death - AMAZING STORY!

Jesus - A Matter of Life and Death
Jesus - A Matter of Life and Death

Moving on to another theory, reincarnation, there have been several cases in history when numerous people have come forward to share their past lives. While most were near-convincing hoaxes, others are still difficult to classify. Even though many mainstream religions such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam do not believe in this theory, several groups within these religions abide by it, as do other religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and even Greek religions such as Druidism. One particularly convincing case is that of James Leininger, a little boy who claimed to have been a Navy pilot in the World War II. As the boy revealed parts of his past life, his stories were corroborated by exhaustive interviews with veterans and other people related to the pilot James claimed to be. This case in particular lends great credibility to the theory of reincarnation, but then the question arises, why is it that some people can recall their past lives and not others. Also, there are many counter explanations that can be set up, which can somewhat explain the causes for people supposedly recalling past lives.

Once again we are faced with inconclusive proof from either options. So what then does truly happen after a person dies? Another theory surrounding this question can be found by dealing with near-death experiences. There are several cases where people, who have been medically declared dead, have come back to life. Many such people have claimed to see a bright light at the end of a supposed tunnel. Many others have also claimed to have seen relatives and other loved ones after they had died, as well as other conventional things such as the pearly gates of heaven and the golden road. Another common variation of the near death experience is a feeling of floating over one’s body, and clearly seeing the proceedings in the room, after death.

Where Do We Go After Death!
Where Do We Go After Death!

A popular case with regard to near death experiences is that of Dan Piper. His book 90 minutes in Heaven, details how after a terrible car crash, in which medics declared he was killed instantly, Piper revived and claimed to have been surrounded by loved ones and a sense of peace. Another famous case is that of George G. Ritchie, who claimed to have travelled through time and space and had ultimately met with the Light of the World. After he revived, Ritchie’s life was greatly altered. There are several other cases which make us think about these claims, some of which are surprisingly similar. For example, in the book At The Hour of Death, a doctor in Boston was called in to revive a patient whose heart had stopped, and after he successfully did so, instead of being grateful to be alive, actually looked angry. His first remark was to claim that he was in such a beautiful place, that the doctor should not have brought him back. But there are also several explanations for these experiences, such as presence of certain chemicals in the body, which induce these hallucinations. It is also believed to be a way for the brain to cope with the approaching fatality.

There are several scholars who have conducted detailed study on this subject. Several books, such as Life after Life, by Dr. Raymond Moody, have been written on what happens to people after they die. Each book has its own theory. If you wish to research further on the subject, some helpful books would be, At The Hour of Death, by Karl Osis and Erlendur Haraldsson, which presents the reports of a research conducted on 50,000 terminally-ill patients, and their moods and experiences right before death, Hello from Heaven, by Bill and Judy Guggenheim, talks about after-death communication and What Happens After Death, by Migene Gonzalez-Wippler, which talks about the journey of the soul after death.

Life Afterlife Part 1 of 9

Life After Death
Life After Death

One of the best ways to ensure that death, no matter when it strikes, is not a tragic experience, is to live your life to the fullest. Live everyday like it is your last, enjoy and seek out new experiences and always be in touch with your loved ones. Creating a memorable life is the perfect way to not fear death, as the feeling of satisfaction will help you tide through that as well. It is only when you have many regrets that life you will be afraid of death. It is never too late to change things, if you feel there are many things you should have done, do them right now, or if you can’t try something close to it, or maybe compensate by trying something else.

The importance of having loved ones, including family and friends, is another way to enrich you life, as well as your death. If you are taking your last breaths surrounded by people who love you and cherish you, more than anything else, you will surely live on in their memories and their lives. So if you have not been visiting your parents lately, take time out and go have dinner with them, if your wife has barely seen you in the last few weeks, surprise her with a day out together. Your kids are your future in the world, so make sure they are not neglected in your pursuit for money, power or fame.

So keep your need to find an answer limited to making the entire process easier, instead of a way to escape what you have right now. Choosing for a better life, instead of a better answer for what happens after death, will only make you happier. After all, whether we know it conclusively or not, what happens after death is a certainty, whatever it may be, and there is not much we can do about it. But deciding how our lives will turn out, is completely in our hands, and we should make the most of it.

Life after life documentary

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