Thursday, May 24, 2012

what happens after death ?

Ever thought about this? Crosses my mind every once in awhile. And I sit there and think about it until I just about shit my pants. Fear of the unknown is in my belief one of the biggest and most common fears out there. Only in this case, there is seriously no way to find out EVER. Do we believe those who have had "near death" experiences? Many accounts share similarities of seeing a bright light -- though I'm pretty sure that have been studies that say that your brain neurologically makes you think you see this. What happens to those who have no religion to believe in, whether by their own choice or not? If we all believe in one god, is Allah, God, Jesus, Yahweh, all the same entity?

I often tend to imagine "life" after death to sort of being in a dream. To be in a place where you are only semi aware of your surrounds; your vision is cloudy and no matter what you do you feel like you're moving through molasses. I don't really know if that's how it will be. As a Catholic (the larger group being a Christian in general) we believe in eternal life after death. Eternal. That's sort of scary. And will you ever get the chance to come back into the physical world? More importantly, would you ever want to? If all promises are fulfilled, wouldn't the spiritual eternal life be so amazing that we would never ever want to go anywhere else?

If you've ever seen Defending Your Life it gives an interesting depiction of what the afterlife, and in a way, purgatory might be (more on purgatory in a bit). It talks about how you need to reevaluate everything that happened in your life and that you literally need to have attained a certain wisdom in order to move onto the next stage of life.

I like the idea of reincarnation. I know it is not supposed to be a part of Catholicism, but I think it's awesome. My grandmother has even talked of memories of colonial times, vividly clear, and she has no idea where they came from. Though I suppose that would suck if in your next life you were a plant... (phew, comic relief.)

More scary thoughts: Our lives can end at any point, for no reason. Freak medical accident, car/plane crash, drowning, house on fire, bullet, etc. No wonder there are some people that don't venture outside. But if you don't, you miss out on a seriously important thing: living.

Still more scary thoughts: Do you believe in purgatory? Think about all the things you've regretted, all the things you've done morally, ethically wrong. Think about all the people you've crossed, accidentally, willingly, and especially knowingly. All of the hurt that you've spread and all of the suffering you've caused other people. I think it's a lot more than we think about. The slightest thing can ruin a person's day. All those kids you made fun of in grade school whether it was to their face or behind their back. The people you judged because of the way they looked, talked, acted, the things they liked, who they went out with. Why are we such a miserable hateful race?

Purgatory means reliving all of these things at once and paying your due. Living through what you put others through over the course of a lifetime. Can it really get much darker than that? How can anyone even expect to survive through something like that? If that's not motivation to try to live a healthy, loving and fulfilling life, I don't know what is.

And then there is final judgement. Will you spend eternity in the most amazing, warm, loving and spiritual place ever, or the darkest, most lonely empty place ever. Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum. I just don't even know. I don't know how we can discuss it, write about it, fathom it, expect anything -- no one knows, right? No one knows what will happen. In the next, eternal life. Eternal. I just can't get over that.

What do you think? What do you believe? What happens after death; how do you imagine it to be? Maybe just spilling out ideas will ease the anxiety.


  1. Of all the things to philosophize about, this topic is my favorite. It's shrouded in mystert because none of us know what happens after's the one thing that nobody can speak to from experience, for obvious reasons! I have no earthly idea what the answer is...and that is rather scary. I would certainly hope that there is life after death. Only time will tell eh?

  2. This is BIG topic indeed, I love the idea of reincarnation, which gives me hope... The scariest thought: after our physical body dies, we just evaporate into nothing...

    I once had a dream in which I died. In most dreams you wake up just before you're about to die, not this one...I was on the plane and we crushed - and there was the powerful feeling, the knowledge 'this is it'... Then bang and I died. And there was nothing after. Absolute nothing. It's hard to explain, but it's the biggest, blackest dot you ever get to end the sentence. I didn't wake up ... Until much later. Trully freaked me out!

    So, live every day as if it's your last. : )

    1. Wow, crazy dream! Definitely a good idea to make the most of what we've got now.


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