The Third Greatest Mystery of All Time – Is There Life After Death?

No one or at least hardly anyone wants to die.  Suicides included, no one really wants to die earlier than they expect to.  We don’t choose death, we chose life.  We want immortality.  We want to live forever and ever.  Ideally, we would like to live forever in a young, healthy and happy state, surrounded by our friends and loved ones.  Let all our enemies perish and if there is a hell, let them go there, while we go to heaven.

“Surely God would not have created such a being as man, with an ability to grasp the infinite, to exist only for a day! No, no, man was made for immortality.” — Abraham Lincoln

lifeafterdeath.headThe question that we all ask at some point in our lives is: “What’s next?”  After this life, is there another life?  Some like Houdini said he would come back if he could.  There is no reported evidence that he managed to succeed.  Thus, even the great Houdini himself could not manage the feat!  Two years ago, I attended a séance in Kentucky.  There were about 20 of us at this séance and two young girls were the intermediaries or mediums.  We were at the old Wickland mansion in Bardstown Kentucky where a young slave woman had once lived along with three former Kentucky governors.  Somehow, these two young local women had found a “channel” to this former slave and were able to converse with her.  We were all there with the expectation that the “channel” could be opened and we could somehow share in this supernatural experience.

This blog is best read while listening to Jonas Frisk sing Wings of Eternity (click on link)

Lights flickered, candles glowed, one of the young girls (they were twins) seemed to go into a trance.  Pretty soon, her interlocutor (an older woman who communicated with the young girls when they were communicating with the former slave) told us that Sally (I am using fictitious names here) was now in touch with Anna the former slave woman.  Sally appeared to be talking to Anna.  Our interlocutor asked if we had any questions that we wanted to ask Anna.  Several people volunteered questions and Sally gave replies that Anna told her in response to the questions.  The séance went on for about an hour with each person taking turns to ask questions and communicate with the dead.  After Anna went back to wherever dead souls go, we all adjourned to the upstairs dining room for coffee and snacks.

“If you were to destroy the belief in immortality in mankind, not only love but every living force on which the continuation of all life in the world depended, would dry up at once.” — Fyodor Dostoevsky

I would guess about half of the attendees felt they had communicated with the dead while half of us thought it was mostly entertainment and acting.  Perhaps the life-after-deathsisters really believed that they were talking to the dead, but believing and reality are two different things.  I saw no evidence of any dead person talking or of any real communication with the hereafter.  Thus, the question “is there life after death.”  The evidence all suggests no. No life. No immortality. No heaven. No hell. No coming back. No eternity no ever after.

“I sent my Soul through the Invisible,
Some letter of that After-life to spell:
And by and by my Soul return’d to me,
And answer’d: ‘I Myself am Heav’n and Hell”
― Omar Khayyam

But what if we have the wrong conception of life after death?  What if we think that life after death is going to be some continuation of life as we have conceived it on earth.  Whether we return sentience or we morph into frogs or some other species, we are all basing our ideas of the hereafter on concepts we are familiar with.  We are thinking about “life after death” as strictly a continuation of life on earth.  Some of us think we will be sitting at the right hand of God and listening to his or her speeches on ethics.  Some of us think we will be playing around with 20 vestal virgins.  Some us think, Jesus Christ will be walking around and talking about faith, hope and charity with us.  Some of us think, we will be reunited with our loved ones. (If this latter case is true, I feel sorry for Mickey Rooney who had 8 wives).  Some us think we will born again as a prince or frog depending on the life we lived on earth.  Each of these conceptions is a continuation of our ideas of life as we know it now.  But what if there is another type of sentience?

life after death 1We all know that as humans we can only hear and see a small spectrum of the sound and light frequencies.  There are frequencies both above and below our normal hearing ranges.  What if the same was true of our thought ranges?  What if there were ranges of thought well above what we can think and perhaps well below?  Ideas and concepts that are hidden to us because they are out of our ability range.  We cannot fathom what it would mean to think differently because we think as rational human beings.

“I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But as much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking.” ― Carl Sagan

What if there was some other type of thought besides rational thought?  Let me give an example of what this might mean.  Let us go back to Houdini and his inability to communicate after death.  Houdini dies with the desire to commune back to earth if possible.  However, upon death, his thought patterns become vastly different from anything we can conceive of.  Houdini’s life force lives on but his rational thought has been replaced by something else.  Houdini’s new thought processes see no value or reason or desire to communicate with human beings.  We cannot conceive of thought patterns like this because they are beyond our range of understanding.

“There is no such thing as magic, supernatural, miracle; only something that’s still beyond logic of the observer.” — Toba Beta

If such thought patterns can exist, perhaps sentience after the death of our mortal lives on earth can go on.  However, it will not be anything that we long for or 1251950806_Life-after-deathdream of today.  We will not become angels or born again as frogs or toads.  If life after death does exist, it must be something totally alien and foreign to any conception that we have of it now.  Present conceptions of heaven and hell notwithstanding, I believe that  life will go on and must go on, but any continuation of life in terms of immortality and eternity seems well beyond either our desires or ability to understand.   I love the idea that I will meet up with Socrates and Plato and Aristotle and be able to discuss philosophy and ethics with them.  However, I cannot put much faith in such a possibility.  Desires of humans often seem to trump logic.  We all want immortality, but it is either reserved for the gods or life as we cannot begin to comprehend it.

“Oh how wrong we were to think immortality meant never dying” — ― Gerard Way

Time for Questions:

Do you believe in life after death? What kind of life do you think exists after death? How did you arrive at this perspective?  What if someone convinced you that there was no life after death? How would this change your life? Why?

Life is just beginning.

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jeanine
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 15:13:14

    I do believe in life after death. At the risk of sounding absurd or totally insane, I had been visited by someone who had passed away, and who I loved very much when I was a 7 yr. old child. I was praying that I would see her one more time, and that she appeared before me.one morning as I was putting on my shoes. I was not sleeping, I was fully awake, and since that time I have always believed that there is life after death. I also trust that my own mother tried to get in touch with me two weeks after she died. I will never forget that phone call in the middle of the night. I was having a dream that my mother was telling me to place this phone call for her as she was having trouble getting through. At the exact time, the phone started ringing. It was 1am. No, she was not on the phone, only static. I guess this place I choose to call heaven has extremely bad reception. Maybe if I had not had these experiences I would be thinking differently. On second thought, I believe in the risen Christ. There were many people who attested to seeing Christ in the days following His crucifixion and watched HIm ascend into heaven. As far as someone convincing me that there is no life after death, to that I say impossible. I am usually open to other opinions on most subjects, but on this particular one, you would have a better chance convincing me that there is a tooth fairy and Santa lives in the North Pole, than changing my thoughts on life after death.

    Reply

  2. Hannah
    Sep 14, 2014 @ 21:30:10

    I second what Jeanine said, I truly believe in life after death. I look around at the people around me, and I think of my own personality and I know that you and I are too unique to just live and die! It goes along with that quote near the top by Abraham Lincoln. “Surely God would not have created such a being as man, with an ability to grasp the infinite, to exist only for a day! No, no, man was made for immortality.”

    Reply

  3. Jude
    Sep 18, 2014 @ 22:02:39

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  4. j9t
    Jan 16, 2015 @ 21:37:34

    I find the Lincoln quote a bit… flimsy, but I like it. There’s no doubt on my mind [1].

    [1] http://meiert.com/en/blog/20141231/the-one-assumption/

    Reply

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