Does Life Continue after we die?
One of the countless prevalent abstruseness that this world has, is the understanding of life after death. Is there such thing as life after death? Does our soul depart the human flesh after it dies and goes to a place like heaven or hell? Do humans reincarnate after death? These are just a few of the common questions that we encounter if we talk about life and death.
Major religions in the world have believed in life after death while other religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism accept the fact that life is being recycled depending on what you have done in your lifetime - this belief is called reincarnation. In this belief, the cycle will end if you have reached the state of nirvana -a profound peace that is acquired with liberation.
In reality, no one really knows what happened to us after we die since nobody has come back from the dead to tell us the tales on what had happened after a person dies. I guess it will be safe to say that the lone truth that we all know is that with death all are equal - we are all going to die and will end up 6 feet under the earth.
All living things have an ending, no matter what status you are in your life, what you are or what you have done in this world, still does not exempt you from a certain death. All things have an ending as what they have said.
The existence of life after death is a universal question and it has baffled humans since time immemorial. Throughout time, different people have excogitated about it and come up with their own interpretation of this matter on life after death. The Chinese for example believe that when they die, the afterlife is the same as living here on earth. They accompanied their dead ones with some earthly belongings and at some point if the dead is of higher status it is assumed that the servants would sacrifice their lives and be buried alongside with their master to serve them in the afterlife.
Some African tribes believe in life after death and some see the forest as the refuge for many of the spirits of the dead. They believe that the evil spirits like the soul of the sorcerers, witch and the soul with a grudge will continue to roam the world and haunt the living, while those good ones will accompany their respective family.
There are many concepts about life after death but none have provided sufficient evidence to claim that it is the universal truth of the afterlife. Here are some views that I have researched about the what will happen to us when we die.
Science is an explanation of God’s Creation, this I have heard from one of my grade school teachers. Can science really prove it? What does science stand on life after death?
Near death experiences are probably the closest thing that can be compared to a status of a dead person since no one can interview a dead person literally. People undergoing NDE(near death experience) experience death for a brief period of time and comes back to life. Most of these people share the same experiences like OBE (out of the body experience) and passing through a tunnel and talking to their love ones. There are over 8 million reported cases in the United States with respect to near death experiences and millions more around the Globe.
On a researched done in California by a local organization that deals with lucid dreaming, states that heavenly visions are a product of a human mind rather than that of supernatural phenomena. With four groups composed of 10-20 volunteers, the experiment goes on with conditioning the mind of the volunteers to dream about floating out of their body and passing through a tunnel. The result is that 18 of them have claimed that they have out of the body experience. They have even experienced meeting their departed love ones. Scientist believes that NDE’s are created by some of the Chemicals in the brain which reacts to certain events but even this studies shows not enough facts as shown in the statement of
Dr. Fenwick, a neuropsychiatrist about the state of our brain experiencing NDE (Near Death Experience)
"The brain isn't functioning. It's not there. It's destroyed. It's abnormal. But, yet, it can produce these very clear experiences ... an unconscious state is when the brain ceases to function. For example, if you faint, you fall to the floor, you don't know what's happening and the brain isn't working. The memory systems are particularly sensitive to unconsciousness. So, you won't remember anything. But, yet, after one of these experiences [an NDE], you come out with clear, lucid memories ... This is a real puzzle for science. I have not yet seen any good scientific explanation which can explain that fact."
Science may have everything base on logical and rational reasons but amidst all its massive evidence there is still gray spot that needs explaining.
Do You Believe in Life After Death?
Unlike the other major monotheist religion such as Christianity and Islam which is very clear on what happens after death or in the afterlife, Jewish teachings rarely focused on life after death. There is not much information on what happens in the afterlife regarding the teachings in Judaism. What is important to them is to do good things for God and to his fellowmen while you are alive. Afterlife is vague when it comes to these beliefs.
All Christians believe in life after death but only a little difference on their teachings. Catholics believe that the soul of the dead goes somewhere else, that there is a place for them until the judgment day arrives while other Christian denominations believe that there is no place like purgatory rather it just stay dead until the judgment day arrive
Eternal life as what most Christians refer to life after death is a gift from God and not all can achieve eternal life unless he believes in the Son, Jesus Christ. All believers believe of a judgment day, a day wherein the living and the dead will be judged. The Only difference between life after death from Catholics and other Christian denominations is the existence of purgatory.
The teaching in Islam requires them to believe in life after death. It is one of the required fundamentals to believe in it for their faith to be complete. Rejecting these beliefs means a total reject of the other fundamentals of their faith. The concept of life after death is just the same with Christian teachings of the end of times “Judgment Day”. Everyone will be judged by the Creator like in a trial.
Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism:
I have grouped this three into one due to the fact that their teachings are merely similar to each other. The difference between these religions with respect to other religions in this world is that life is a cycle. There is no God involve in the process rather it involves actions or what you have done during your lifetime. If while you are still alive you dwell on earthly things then you will be reincarnated based on that behavior. If in case, you live a spiritual life then you will be reincarnated on a higher stature than that of the previous mentioned. The cycle ends until you reach nirvana or liberation.
6 Feet Under The Ground
Life after death can be answered through your faith. What matters most is that no matter what you believe in, remember that we are liable in everything that we do. Whatever beliefs we are holding right now on the matter of life after death will return its effect in the future.
Science may have proven some of the life’s mysteries but still there are a lot of holes to fill in and more research to erased skeptical questions. Religions may have all the answers to life after death but like science, they still propose debatable facts that only a strong faith can understand.
Believe whatever you believe in, it does not matter as long as you are willing to stand by it. It is the only thing that you can bring with you six feet under the ground.