Discuss your opinion on whether or not there is an "Afterlife" The more diverse populations I get in my classrooms the more I have encountered a myriad of opinions and views on whether there is a place to which we go after we die.  I have heard everything from Reincarnation within a higher order, to an entrance into a new dimension, and even the roaming around until "The Second Coming of Jesus" happens. Ultimately, I reckon it is up to each of us to come to terms with "an ending". However, losing one of my best friends to a 5 year battle with brain cancer just disheveled every well-groomed belief that I was ever taught to believe in regarding "a heaven" or anything else. All I know is that the disease not only took my friend but deflated an entire family from their core. So, what is your opinion of an "Afterlife"? IS there one? Where would it be? What is your say?

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This is a terrible situation, and we all at one time or another find ourselves in it or watching it. I know the only comfort my maternal grandmother and my mother had in their losses were their deeply embedded beliefs in a Christian afterlife--although I never knew them to rationalize present suffering in terms of afterlife bliss. I know when I was a small girl, the only hope I had was an unconscious "knowledge" that I'd see my Grandma again (I say "unconscious" because our church services were all in German and if they talked about this, I wouldn't have known it ... besides, I was too busy mimicking the pastor's gracefully sweeping black silk embellished gestures to have noticed). Today, I do believe in an after-experience but don't define it in traditional Christian terms (which I think are metaphors for what was not known for a long stretch of human history) and certainly not in Christian fundamentalist terms (which is a historically new take on Christianity). As to "where" the afterlife might be, the answer to that begins with the understanding of a finite space and time.

Science has measured the shape of the universe (it is more flat than convex or concave); found the dominate sound of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), which is the key of B (or is it B flat?); mapped out the clusters of dark matter; discovered that matter is moving apart but doing so in a distinguishable path moving toward one spot at one edge of the universe. This all supports the finding of a finite space-time continuum; and neutrinos are suspected of moving faster than the speed of light (!). Therefore the "location" of an after life must of necessity be beyond space and time as all that is within space-time is defined as finite and is dominated by baryronic matter (thanks either to the Higgs boson or possibly to those peculiar little oscillating neutrinos). As to the nature of the afterlife: it will be analogous to present life: likes will group with likes (despite overzealous Western misappropriation and misapplication of Yin/Yang opposite attractions). In other words, those with destructive, chaotic engeric dominance will group together as they do in life and those with up-building, nourishing energic dominance will group together as in life. May there be anything further in this description? Yes, there may be.

If the definition of "God" or the "Universal Consciousness" or the "Supreme Power" or "the heart-shaped vacuum" etc is accurately understood as being a personality that embraces/embodies goodness, peace, love, mercy, gentleness, kindness, longsuffering, righteousness, justice, sacrificiality, joyousness, lovingkindness, etc, then THAT energic dominance will group with or more accurately, perhaps, attract to itself the energic group that tends toward these qualities. Therefore, according to this description, it is possible to say that the energic dominance of "God" will attract to itself the similar energic group while the opposing energic group will be separated by virtue of its own oppositional energic dominance from the presence of the "God" energic dominance and the entrained energic group defined above as up-building and nourishing.

A couple of good books to read in this situation of loss and heartbreak and confusion are The Living Universe by Schwartz and Russek and The Reconnection by Eric Pearl [CAVEAT: The opening of Pearl's Part I biography strikes most people as vain and arrogant and "over the top": SKIP it. Start at Chapter 4 ... or even at Part II. Honest. I jest not. If you like Part II, you can work back through Part I ... starting at Chapter 4 ...!]

http://www.amazon.com/Living-Energy-Universe-Fundamental-Transforms/dp/157174455X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326217680&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Reconnection-Eric-Pearl/dp/1401902103

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Thanks for a thought-provoking post.  Mainly I just wanted to express sympathy for the people above who have recently lost friends.

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I do believe there is some kind of afterlife. As a Catholic, I grew up learning about the existence of heaven and hell. As I have gotten older, I have started to question those things; however, every part of me still believes that there is something. I don't believe the human mind can/should be capable of understanding certain things. I think that when we die, something will happen to us that we cannot even fathom now. Also, I do not believe that any one religion is right and one is wrong. In some ways and to a certain extent, we all believe in the same things, we just have different ways of explaining it.

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I, too, was brought up as a Christian. While I have veered from being a practicing Christian, I have not lost my own personal faith. I think that, while nothing has been proven, sometimes it is comforting to believe in something like the afterlife.

There are many times that I find myself "speaking" with my grandfather (who passed away in 2003), so I guess that speaking to him alone would prove in my own belief in the afterlife.

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I was brought up as a Christian, and the faith of an afterlife is an important part of my religion. My faith is tested often: I have just returned from the funeral of a close friend, one for whom I prayed regularly to beat the cancer that wracked her body. Her death seems to have left my prayers unanswered, but a deeper faith hopes that the afterlife will leave her free from pain and at peace.

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I think we all go through periods of questioning and reexamining the basis of beliefs that have been "on the back burner" during times when we haven't suffered the type of loss you describe. I know I'm there after my father's passing last summer.

However, I don't have to be able to explain it to have absolute faith that there is an afterlife. I believe that my parents are reunited there and that I will be reunited with them at some time in the future. Where it will happen, how I will recognize them, what form our heavenly bodies will take - I don't know. Fortunately, I don't need to understand - all God asks is that I confess my belief and live in the light of that faith, which I try to do every day with God's help.

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We have no evidence, really, for or against the existence of an afterlife, so it is purely a matter of faith, and of course, the idea appeals to some inherent sense of fairness, that if we are good, there will be a reward, and if we are bad, there will be a punishment.  So often, in life, it seems to us that good people are not always rewarded and bad people are not always punished. Since our ideas of rewards differ dramatically from one person to the next, each of us is going to have a different picture of what a good afterlife could be, and of course, our religious and cultural heritages have a great deal of influence on that picture, too.  Personally, I am agnostic on this, and I don't mind waiting to find out.

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My religion teaches that there is an afterlife and I have faith in my religious teachings and beliefs, therefore I believe in a heaven and a hell. As a Catholic, I also believe in purgatory as a place where a sinner can go to repent for their non-mortal sins and eventually earn a place in heaven. I believe that there is a higher purpose to this life; and I want to be reunited with those I have lost from this life.

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Since no one has returned after death and told us what exactly happens, we all must base our beliefs upon faith--or science.  There are, of course, the testimonies of people who have died on operating tables and been brought back; these experiences tell of the light, the passage of a long "tunnel" or hallway where friends/family wait for them. But, what happens after this "passage"?

 

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Questions don't come much bigger than this, do they?

I personally don't have complete faith that there is an afterlife.  When I try to reason about it, I can't.  It makes no sense to me that there would be one, but then again, it makes no sense that there isn't.  So I'm agnostic and I have hope, but not faith.

As for what it would be like, I think that it should be a case where our afterlife consists of us (at least initially) being treated in the way that we treated others.  In other words, we should get what we deserve.  I would hope that, over time, we could improve as we come to truly understand the iimpacts of our actions on others.

But who knows...

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