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We Leave It All Behind

Updated on February 5, 2016
Hanavee profile image

Brian Gray obtained his degree in Language from Lee University, and has been a published author and professional writer since 1985.

Nefertiti

Powerful and wealthy, or ordinary and poor, the clock stops for no one.
Powerful and wealthy, or ordinary and poor, the clock stops for no one.

What Lies Beyond This Existence?

Someone once said, “I’ve never seen an armored money truck following a hearse.” That saying goes well with another one that was made when two people were discussing a wealthy businessman who had passed away, and one asked, “How much did he leave?” Came the reply, “He left it all.” Since time began, people have prepared for death in a vast array of manners, and it does not matter what religious beliefs, or lack thereof, they all faced the inevitability of death with one common question—what really awaits? And from that one common question comes a myriad of theories and beliefs. Whether one accepts, by faith, a religious belief, or whether one ties themselves to pure atheism and states that life ends at death, and nothing exists beyond that moment, the actual truth is not changed by either adherence. Examining the burial sites of ancient civilizations and following this examining right up to the present, there are certain commonalities. The deceased had loved ones that had gone on before, and they usually had loved ones who were left behind. The ones who had gone before left some beliefs that were shared with those who were following, and those who were left behind were still somewhat uncertain that what they had been told about death and the hereafter was, indeed, fact. After all, most of what anyone believes about death and the hereafter is based on what we are taught in our societies, in our places of worship, by our loved ones, by what we have read, and finally, by what makes the most sense to us at any given time. Powerfully, what we believe does nothing to change reality, and the reality is this—when we die, and not until that moment, we will finally experience the ultimate truth, the definitive answer of what actually lies beyond this existence.

Mysterious Tibetan Rituals

I have always admired the way Tibetans approach their study of death and the afterlife - without fear.
I have always admired the way Tibetans approach their study of death and the afterlife - without fear.

What Happens When We Die?

Like going over a giant waterfall beyond which we have never been, we can tell each other all the stories we want to as we float down the river of life, stories about the idyll waiting for us beyond that waterfall, but nothing sobers us quicker and makes us ask for greater certainty than the final moment before that great waterfall. Put the question off all you want to, or research it all life long, the answers you accept will mostly be based in faith until that moment of transferring to the “Other Side.” I have written before that there are the Four Questions of Life, those being, “Who am I?” - “Where did I come from? - “Why am I here?” - “Where am I going when I leave here?” I, personally, think that the answer to why we are here will only be answered if there is a life beyond this one, a life wherein we are taught that answer. Studying the world’s religions, one encounters so many teachings as to what goes on in the afterlife. In the Tibetan view of the afterlife, there is the belief that all life is on a wheel of reincarnation, and when a person dies, that person will either return to this plane of existence, or stay in the afterworld and progress upward from there. In their view of the afterlife, one progresses from one incarnation to the next until that soul, or energy, is reunited and merges with God. If a person is not spiritually prepared at death, then rather than staying in the afterlife, that person will be reborn here on Earth, and the wheel of life continues with another reincarnation. Belief in reincarnation dates to the beginning of history, so it is nothing new, and there are many fascinating books on the subject, such as The Case for Reincarnation by Joe Fisher. Belief in reincarnation is even mentioned in the Christian Bible. As an example, in one passage, Mark 8:27-28, Jesus asks His disciples who the people say that He is, and the reply is that the people think that Jesus might be John the Baptist, Elijah or some other major prophet. Now, how can Jesus be any other person than who He is? This passage points to the acceptance of a belief in reincarnation by the people of that time and place. In another passage, John 9:2, the disciples of Jesus ask Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Now, look at the question and read it carefully. What these disciples were repeating was commonly held belief in their time and place, that being, reincarnation, and this question is one based in that belief system, since it details the reincarnation doctrine that we pay in our next life for the uncorrected errors in this one. Thus, their question essentially is asking Jesus, who is paying the “karma debt?” They are asking if this man was born blind because of his sins. What sins? He wasn’t born, then committed some kind of sin, then was struck blind. Keep in mind that this man was born blind. Therefore, in keeping with the teachings of reincarnation, in order to be born blind as a debt to some sin, he would have had to have committed the sins before he was born. Some Christians get upset with me when I say this, because they think such a statement flies in the face of modern Christian teachings of the afterlife, but it does not. What is related in these two passages is simply a matter of historical fact, that being that many people living in the time and place inhabited by Jesus held beliefs based in reincarnation, and the Bible is merely repeating an example of their reactions to life based in their beliefs system at that time. I am not here to argue for or against reincarnation, merely to show that there are many views as to what happens when we leave our physical bodies for the last time. So, what DOES happen when we die?

Tibetan Rituals That Lead To More Questions

More photos from some of the Tibetan sacred rituals I have observed over the years.
More photos from some of the Tibetan sacred rituals I have observed over the years.

Life After Life

If the laws of physics applied, then the one physics law that comes to mind is this: Nothing can be created nor destroyed. Humans do not have the ability to create or destroy anything. Some will say, “Well, if I burn a piece of paper, I have destroyed it.” No, you have merely caused a reaction, and the molecules of the paper are now separated into their molecular components, so that, even though they are now in a changed state, the same amount of atoms that were present in the piece of paper are still in the universe. You have not created nor destroyed anything. You have merely rearranged atoms. Using that same logic, if the laws of physics applied beyond life, then what animates your body is energy, the soul, call it what you will, but that animating “entity” separates from the inanimate “body” at death and goes on to its next place in “existence.” For the basic Christian concept, the body dies, the soul goes to Heaven. Simple. Easy to comprehend. To the Atheist, there is no God, no Heaven, and in most cases, the belief that the identity of the person ceases to exist at death. Simply put, it is completely over, like a flower that grew, bloomed, faded and died, we simply cease to exist, and the vehicle we used in this life, the body, decays and returns to dust. Somewhat fatalistic and finite. Equally easy to comprehend. After all, both beliefs are based in the same thing, faith. For me, and I have written abut this in another of my articles, Does God Exist?, life does not stop at the moment of bodily death. Your physical eyes may close at that moment, but I believe that you will notice absolutely no sensation of time being interrupted. Having been out of my body and into the next realm, even having had interaction with deceased family and friends while there, I am convinced that our existence as “souls” continues uninterrupted. Debate that as you will, but my experience has given me a perspective that is actually not new, since I am not the first person to have an out-of-body experience, and that type of experience has been the source of many writings going back to ancient times. Because there is a vast library of these out-of-body experiences that have been recorded over the centuries, even great discussions, as in the book, Life After Life by Raymond Moody, such metaphysical accounts have been the root of modification of many beliefs systems. Thus, my experience, like so many others who have had the same, has influenced religions down through the ages, and this being mixed in with various religions has produced a colorful tapestry of beliefs regarding the afterlife. Knowing what I personally know, there are still many questions.

Close-Up Of A Ritual Costume

Every inch of this costume tells a story about the Tibetan quest for knowledge about the afterlife.
Every inch of this costume tells a story about the Tibetan quest for knowledge about the afterlife.

What Is In Control?

I reiterate, nothing will cause a person to want to know the “answers” like the wakening cold water splash of impending death. Put it off, exploring the answer, create self-serving theories and mind-salving philosophies, but they will all fail you at the moment when you see Death staring in the window. Then, at that very moment, you may grasp at air, but at that exact moment, your boat in the river of life will have reached the end of the journey, and you will know that it is the end, resigning yourself in whatever emotion best serves you. What is beyond the waterfall now looms, and nothing can be put off any longer. This is where “What-Is-In-Control” shows all of us that we are not “What-Is-In-Control.” This is the moment where all the control we thought we had becomes ironic and laughable. Like the scene in the play Our Town, we may have the opportunity to say good-bye, to glance backward for a moment, but, at the moment of death, we are on a moving sidewalk that does not require our legs to move us forward to our destiny. We are delivered to the destination without so much as lifting a finger. Postponing the study of death and dying does not postpone anything but our facing reality. Studying ancient emperors, we find examples of the court magicians tasked with finding the elixir of life, the pills of immortality, the fountain of youth. The emperors thought themselves to be all-powerful, and certainly their power could demand that death be ruled by the powerful. We find so many cases where the magic formula that was supposed to make the taker of the formula immortal, and, instead, hastened their death. Laughable in this day and age, since we know that there is nothing that can make us live forever. Life longer? Yes. Forever? No. So, turn away, don’t look, refuse to allow the word “death” to be spoken. But, how silly to ignore the clock on the wall of life, when what it should do is be a friendly reminder that we are here for a purpose other than our own personal greed or desire. And, the clock is ticking. Be mindful of it. Our time here is limited. If you need a reminder, take a walk through any cemetery. Beneath those hallowed grounds lie reminders of lives that, just like yours, meant something. They were born, they were nurtured, they grew, they lived, breathed and loved, and when their clock said it was finished, the part that animated those bodies went on to another plane of existence. What then? Only “What-Is-In-Control” knows...but here are some thoughts.

Tibetan Ritual Dances

Notice the theme of death and the lack of fear regarding the subject.
Notice the theme of death and the lack of fear regarding the subject.

Separating The Physical From The Non-Physical

The view of the afterlife has evolved constantly over the centuries. The view that was held by people at the time of Christ was not the same view as was held in the time of Moses. And the Judeo-Christian view most people have today is not at all the same that existed in the time of Christ. Our views and beliefs have changed virtually every generation. Why? For one, we have been exposed to much more science, more medical studies with greater research and more educated minds. These influences have added to the discussion, even though none of this will ever settle the question of the afterlife with a definitive answer that can be accepted as immutable fact. Even in this time in the history of humanity, the answer to that question is still faith-based. However, if there is any credence to my belief that our souls continue to exist, and there is much documentation to suggest that, then the mere fact that they continue on suggests the next thought, and that is, souls are here for a reason, a purpose, and that reason, or purpose, goes with the soul after death. The best analogy I can give is school. We are born, and when we are old enough, we begin an education that is based on levels, or grades. At the end of that education period, we graduate with a degree. Is the “purpose” for the existence of our soul on Earth meant to be an education? If so, what “diploma” do we take with us at the end of it all? Think long on that word “diploma.” It most definitely is NOT money! Remember what I said at the beginning of this, how much did he leave? He left it all. Obviously, we do not take our physical possessions with us. Since we cannot take the physical with us as our “diploma,” what, then, DO we take? We take the non-physical. We take with us... the “non-physical!”

Tibetan Lamas Training In Philosophy Of Life

Here, one of the lamas is posing questions that must be answered with spiritual depth and study.
Here, one of the lamas is posing questions that must be answered with spiritual depth and study.

Journeying On The River Of Life

In my experience on the “other side,” I found that we take with us these non-physical things: emotion, ability for communication, identity and all of our memories. I remember when I was out of my body, and I saw my grandmother, my aunt, and two other friends, all of them deceased, I experienced love for them, joy at seeing them, I communicated with them, and I experienced the memory of who they had been while they existed on Earth. This experience, similarly shared by countless others over the centuries, informs my system of beliefs. Thus, for me, there is no waterfall at the end of this “river of life” that my boat is floating on, but rather, there is a dock where I tie off the boat and step out to a welcoming experience in a better place than exists here. What else does this do for me? It tells me that many who live on Earth will miss their “purpose” for being here, that they will have gotten caught up in their material pursuits, squandering the priceless time on that clock, and will have never taken the time to find out why they were really here in the first place. They will “leave it all” behind when they die, all, that is, except for the non-physical elements of the soul. The soul has an identity created by a “Greater Force,” and that identity has been modified during life so that it takes that complete identity with it at death. This is why souls immediately recognize each other when they arrive on the other side of life. And because they have memory, they remember one another for who they were in the life before death.

Voices From The Other Side

I remember reading a book many years ago titled, Seth Speaks, in which the author claimed to be channeling the spirit of a man who lived at the time of Christ, the spirit being named Seth, and whether one believes the premise of the book, or simply thinks that the author was delusional, one thing I remember from the book’s account was a question posed to Seth and his answer. He said that immediately after death, the soul goes to a place where other souls are waiting to discuss their interactions with that person in the life they just left. As an example, if you had murdered someone, when you died, you went immediately to this “Plane of Reconciliation,” as Seth called it, and you met with the person you had murdered. There, you worked out how to come to some resolution on how you had cut short the destiny of the person you had murdered. Of course, anyone who studies ancient religions will see that this idea, or belief, is not new. In the movie, “My Life,” the main character, played by Michael Keaton, is a man who is dying from cancer, and life has left him extremely bitter. In one scene near the end of the movie, an Asian doctor is talking with him. The doctor obviously believes in reincarnation and tells him, “You must get rid of all this hate and bitterness. All that you are at the very moment you die is the seed for your next life.” Ponderous words. Are our actions actually going to have an impact on our life beyond this one? If you follow the teachings of modern Christianity, you believe that the answer is completely explained in great detail, and that is, your actions here do indeed determine the afterlife situation. Even for those who believe in reincarnation, how you live here on Earth determines a great deal of how you live in the afterlife. And if you are Atheist, then the afterlife may or may not exist, depending on which sect of Atheism you follow. However, even as an Atheist, if all you believe in is the here and now, there is a case to be made for the belief that you will live better in this plane of existence, if you believe that there is a purpose for being here. When you elevate your existence from simply being an evolution of atoms forming into something that is finite and worthless beyond this plane of existence to being something of value in the chain of events that began with the creation of this world, suddenly, your life makes sense. One thing is obvious regardless of your belief system—there have been a lot of humans that have come before you, they all had many of the very same experiences that you are enjoying...and they are all buried. If there is a stone to mark where they are buried, and if there is some bit of memory etched on those burial stones, those stones give silent testimony to life and death, to purpose found, or purpose ignored, to people who knew about the clock on the wall and were accepting, and to people who intentionally disregarded the clock on the wall and tried to fool themselves into believing that it did not matter. I like this analogy. There are two basic types of students—those who get it, study to the best of their ability, and eventually graduate into a useful life filled with making the best of their education; and there are those who thought the entire time they were in school was a waste of their time, dropped out of school and had a struggle all their lives supporting themselves. The former believed in purpose, the latter did not, and the end result becomes obvious at payday.

J.P. Morgan, Wealthiest Man Of His Time

Power And Wealth Cannot Stop The Clock

J. P. Morgan thought that making more money than anyone else in the world, thus becoming the wealthiest person of his time, would gain him the admiration and friends he craved. At his peak, J.P. Morgan paid Carnegie the equivalent of four-hundred billion dollars in cash to own Carnegie’s industry. Who do you know today who could pull off that monetary feat? No one. Still, like any other human being, he faced life as vulnerable as all other mortals, suffering the loss of his first wife just months after they married and being plagued with rhinophyma which disfigured his nose horribly, forcing him to have all of his portraits retouched. His extreme wealth left him with mental conflicts that ruled him his entire life, and when he died, Morgan was reduced to a mental state of near childlike dependence, bitter at the world, and lonely. His all-consuming passion for making more money than anyone else had created an emptiness that could never be filled, fueling, instead, an ever-growing gulf between Morgan and the everyday people he so wanted as friends. At the extreme opposite end of the spectrum, Mother Theresa gave up the wealth of her family, and found everyone was drawn to her. Mother Theresa will be remembered for the good she did for others while she was in this world. J.P. Morgan is only remembered by financiers who want to see if they can surpass him, having themselves caught the same disease. Am I saying that the deaths of kings and emperors are not mourned? No. Destiny is destiny. For whatever reason a person is born to serve in the capacity of a ruler, or to be extremely wealthy, such a destiny goes back to the four questions of life, and some are born to that purpose. But, emperor or pauper, the inescapable destiny of “end” is the same. J.P. Morgan, with all of his immense power and wealth, could not buy a single day more of life. Different times on the clock, but all finish when their relevant clock hands strike midnight. So, does it matter how you live? How you treat others? What you do for others? What you leave behind? I believe it does. Here’s why.

J.P. Morgan's Disfigured Nose

Rinophyma afflicted J.P. Morgan all his life, despite his offer of the equivalent of one million dollars to anyone who could cure him.
Rinophyma afflicted J.P. Morgan all his life, despite his offer of the equivalent of one million dollars to anyone who could cure him.

Wealth Is NOT Evil

Watching the television docu-drama about Bernard Madoff, the famous Wall Street phenomenon who eventually went to prison when his fifty-billion-dollar Ponzi scheme fell apart, I saw the greed for more and more money from those who could never have enough. People invested millions with Madoff, some invested billions, and all of them wanted to make more and more money without really having to do work for their wealth. They wanted to sit back and let Madoff turn their money into more money, and more money, and more money. Millions of dollars was not enough for any of these wealthy investors, and why? What could they not already buy for themselves? How many pairs of pants can one person wear at a time? How many steaks can one person eat at a meal? I am over-simplifying for a reason. What has happened in so many of these lives is that the person involved lost sight of the clock on the wall and felt that they were going to live forever, and that all they had to live for was more and more money. Some will erroneously misquote the Bible and say “money is the root of all evil,” but the Bible does not say that. What it does say is that the “love of money” is the root of all evil. When you love money more than purpose, you are lost.

What Is The Cost Of Happiness?

A writer was traveling through India to visit the Dalai Lama who has His exile government in Dharmsala. Anyone traveling through India is immediately struck by the virtually indescribable poverty of the majority of its citizens. Yet, while looking out the window of his train as they passed through the countryside on their way north, the writer could not help but notice the many poor people who were smiling and even laughing. Puzzled by this seeming contradiction of life, the writer asked the Dalai Lama how this was possible, that people who seemed to have absolutely nothing of material value could find anything to smile or laugh about. The Dalai Lama’s answer was simple, “Their daily needs are met.” My father, who was a preacher, once gave a parable during one of his sermons. He told of a wealthy man who owned some land above a nearby village that was down in a valley. A spring on his land fed the lake that he owned, and the water from that lake spilled over to form a stream that watered the valley below. Everywhere anyone looked, that land was fertile and green. The crops in the valley were abundant and very healthy, and everyone knew that the water was the source of this abundance. One day, the man stood at the top of the hill and looked down into the valley below. He said to himself, “This is water from my spring that brings all this abundance. It is MY water, and since it is so valuable, I should keep it all to myself. Why should they get it for free?” So, he dammed the lake, and the water was reduced to a trickle. Eventually, the crops in the valley failed. Worse yet, the lake became stagnant and polluted, causing the fish to die, and the rot and stench was more than the man could bear. He tore down the dam and released the water to flow again as it had always been before. With time, the crops returned, the abundance returned, and the joy of this land was restored. The moral of the story was obvious about wealth that is shared, but it also brings to mind the benefits to the soul that come from sharing what we have with others, not giving everything away, but sharing the surplus. Milarepa, the great Tibetan mystic once said, “As long as one desire caresses the heart, the soul will return to this plane of existence.”

Bok Tower Gardens

Edward Bok left a virtual Garden of Eden in Lake Wales, Florida.  I often went there to meditate.
Edward Bok left a virtual Garden of Eden in Lake Wales, Florida. I often went there to meditate.

You Leave With An Identity And Memories

In Lake Wales, Florida, there is a virtual Garden of Eden called Bok Tower Gardens. With a beautiful bell tower, reflection pool and bird sanctuary surrounded by lush native plants of Florida, one can bask in the solitude and constant quietness of this meditative garden. The land was donated by Edward W. Bok, editor of the Ladies Home Journal, in 1929, and his tomb is there. On it, there are these words inscribed: “Make the world a bit more beautiful and better place because you have been on it.” Edward Bok came and went. At some point in his life, he saw the clock on the wall, and he thought about his “purpose” for being in this plane of existence. He nurtured his soul by tending to the souls around him. He left here with memories, he left here with an identity...and the material things? He left them all behind.

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    • Hanavee profile image
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      Brian Gray 19 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Abhimanyu gaur,

      Very insightful words. The mysteries of life are many, and even when we think that we know the truth, we have to take so much by faith. It behooves all of us to study the religious faiths of others so that can be exposed to more concepts about the world beyond this one. It is a great discussion that is sorely needed.

      Brian

    • Abhimanyu gaur profile image

      Kshitiz Gaur 19 months ago from India

      Great hub and although I have never had an obe I want to have one. If you have any suggestions then please help me. I would like to point out that the belief of reincarnation was first proposed in the vedas and puranas and Bhagwat geeta and then it was spread. You have done great research and you write really well. One more thing that I would like to point out is that in Hinduism it is believed that the emotions and thoughts that you have at the time of your death decide where you will go. If you are thinking about earth and its inhabitants then you will come back and if you are praying to god then you will go to him.

    • Hanavee profile image
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      Brian Gray 19 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Olow,

      Thank you for reading my article and your kind comments. Yes, we have to be unafraid to seek the truth. There are many who would rather we cower in fear of seeking knowledge about the truth, but we do have a choice, and the truth won't hurt us. Life is short, so we need to awaken to our purpose and our destiny before we leave this plane of existence. The Bible says that the truth will set us free.

      Brian

    • profile image

      Olow 19 months ago

      Hanavee, you have done it again. Naturally, readers will react and engage more in this kind of writing, because it is controversial. This is what we need to discuss because it makes us think of what life is all about. We need to visit beyond what we are taught in churches, synagogues and mosques to try to find what is out there. It is not easy in this current plane of existence, but thanks to people like Hanavee who is not afraid to go where ordinary people are silent due to the fear of the unknown. Hanavee, we need more controversial subjects in order for these people to wake up and do something about the injustices that is becoming rampant in this little planet that we live in.

      Best wishes on your exceptional writing that some people wish you don't write about.

    • Hanavee profile image
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      Brian Gray 19 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Besarien,

      Thank you for reading my latest article, and thank you for those kind wishes. All life is precious, and different cultures approach that respect with different degrees of spirituality, or lack thereof. This life is such a wondrous journey and an adventure of discoveries. God's great school. It is so true that many people fail to open their eyes to see what is Truth, and they fail to explore these available truths, so I am often amazed that so many people are content to just walk on through with their eyes closed. I am studying it all while I am here, because I don't want to miss a thing.

      Best wishes on your writing,

      Brian

    • Besarien profile image

      Besarien 19 months ago

      Hello Hanavee!

      Wonderful hub! My grandmother believed in reincarnation. She figured since there are more people than there were in olden days that animal souls have gotten promoted too early which to her explained some of the people walking around. I have had dogs that would make excellent people so I kind of hope she was right. As for what comes next, I wish you a spicy, silky, and effervescent afterlife that is so much more wondrous than either of us can currently imagine.

    • Hanavee profile image
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      Brian Gray 19 months ago from Pennsylvania

      always exploring,

      I have written about my out-of-body experience and my visit to Heaven in my article titled "Does God Exist?" I wish everyone would have this experience, because it would make the afterlife something to look forward to instead of a subject that is filled with dread and uncertainty. I can assure you that we do "stop breathing," but we never lose consciousness. It is like going through a door into another room, you simply find yourself elsewhere, and I can also tell you this, where I was when I was in Heaven was so wonderful, I did not want to come back here. Read my article "Does God Exist?" I think it will answer some things for you.

      Brian

    • Hanavee profile image
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      Brian Gray 19 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Oztinato,

      It is because we live in an age of even more knowledge, thanks mostly due to the expansion provided by more scientific data, that we can analyze more and compare what we once "believed" with what we now can say we "know." For example, there was a time when some diseases were considered incurable and mysterious "curses," yet today they are understood, diagnosed and cured. That has changed our vocabulary and our beliefs. The same is true of so much of what humans believed thousands of years ago when the books of the Bible were being written. This is why I tell people to apply both guides to their daily lives, what they accept as holy scriptures, and what they know through scientific discovery. Science is NOT bad. Bad science is bad, but pure science is discovering what makes the universe tick, and when we know the truth, such things as the the belief about the sun revolving around the Earth get changed to admit what is reality. I have often said, if your Theology conflicts with God's reality, then you need to revisit your Theology. Some people get defensive when something seems to contradict their religious beliefs. Our religion can be true, it can be false, but Truth is pure, it can stand to be challenged, because only lies will fall when examined. So, if what we believe as religious ideology is indeed Truth, it will stand any examination. Exploring God's universe in search of answers is not against any true religion, because this is why God gave us brains. Studying what happens to us at death and beyond is difficult to study, because many people are afraid of what they will find, afraid it is a threat to their religious beliefs, and that prejudice does stifle a lot of researchers. Dr. Raymond Moody, author of Life After Life, a great medical examination of after death experiences (people who were pronounced clinically dead and came back to life), spoke of the original reluctance of people to speak about their experiences, all because of fear of repercussions from the ultra-religious. So, don't be afraid to explore Truth. Truth is God.

      Brian

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 19 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I read every word and was inspired. I often wonder about life and what happens after we depart this life. I want to believe in reincarnation. I want to believe in heaven. I am spiritual and attend church regularly, but I feel there is much more. Anyone reading this article will surely want to live a good life and share with others. I hope you will write about your out-of-life experience. Thank you.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 19 months ago from Australia

      Hanavee

      it's refreshing discussing these matters. I only mentioned Hawking because even atheists can see the universe is free for us. Science also has math proof there are infinite universes and infinite dimensions of every possible kind. It's certainly no stretch of the imagination to see how easily the idea of other dimensions fits the ancient spiritual theories.

      We are lucky to have direct experience of spiritual realms. In my case I find it very comforting to recall these events with faith and gratitude. It reminds me of how when the going got tough in the New Testament and Jesus was being tortured everyone forgot all about the miracles they witnessed (for a time). I need to treasure and recall the wonderful miracles I have seen instead of shelving them.

    • Hanavee profile image
      Author

      Brian Gray 19 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Oztinato,

      Thank you for reading my latest article. The book, The Case For Reincarnation, by Joe Fisher, was a fascinating read, because it presented academic and clinical evidence for the belief in reincarnation. As I stated, my article is not an argument for or against reincarnation. I mention it merely as an example of the myriad of thoughts that exist as to what happens at the moment of death. However, even though I am a Christian, I am not close-minded, and I discuss metaphysical concepts with many people of many different religious and non-religious persuasions. There are some who think, such as Stephen Hawking, that we simply cease to exist. He is free to think that, but if you read my article titled, Does God Exist?, you will find that I totally disagree with Mr. Hawking, especially since I have been to the "Other Side." Regardless of what one believes, at the moment of death, the answer will be complete, though for some, that comes a bit too late to make this current existence more purposeful.

      Thanks for reading and commenting,

      Brian

    • Hanavee profile image
      Author

      Brian Gray 19 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Damian,

      Thanks for reading my latest article. As a Christian, I find that many of my fellow adherents are afraid to discuss the subject, yet they fail to realize that the early Christians debated this very subject openly and often, all in an effort to answer the questions of the afterlife and settle on some form of universal beliefs system. But, one size does not fit all, and many differing views have evolved over the centuries. Christians today would be shocked at what their forefathers believed, and the forefathers would be shocked at what today's Christians believe. I think the healthy thing for people to do is talk about life, death and the world beyond this plane of existence, and they should not let their religious beliefs get in the way of studying all opinions. The truth is out there, and it may not be what we currently think or even believe. One thing is for certain, as I pointed out in my article, we will all know for certain right after we breathe our last breath. It would just be nice to know beforehand.

      Brian

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      Oztinato 19 months ago from Australia

      Good comprehensive hub about a complex subject.

      Reincarnation in all it's forms be it heaven, rebirth, super consciousness or other variations is implied in all beliefs.

      Krishna stated that just one atom of His being supports the entire universe. I often find myself marvelling at Hindu philosophy which states that the universe is quite large enough to accommodate every religions ideas : that what each religions members believe will be true for them for a time until reincarnated.

      The universe already provides everything automatically (Stephen Hawking calls it "the free lunch ") with infinite complexity so it shouldn't be surprising that after life experience exists.

      Practical experience while still living of NDEs, extraordinary dreams, ESP, meditation etc validate religious beliefs regarding an afterlife.

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      Damian 19 months ago

      This was a very interesting article for me. I'm getting close to age 70 and, most of the time, we talk about death and what heaven might be like. Regarding reincarnation, Terrell believes that we were warriors somewhere in time and this is our second time in life. We do think alike and have some of the same mannerisms. In any event, I enjoyed the article. Thank you for sharing.