Love & Prayer

Life After Death

Life After Death

The Afterlife also referred to as life after death is the belief that a person’s soul or spirit continues after death of the physical body. Some people believe that after they die they continue their existence in a spiritual realm while others believe they are reborn and begin the life cycle over again but they would have no memories of what they have done on previous lives. It is also believed that after death God determines where the dead go based on their actions during their life. 

Is the after life just a myth or does our spirit or soul continue their existence? What happens to consciousness after the physical death of a living organism?

Today’s media, peer pressure and social influences may affect what we believe. Often times for people that only know what their religion says about the afterlife may find other people with different beliefs ridiculous or even amusing.

So, what really happens after we die? There are different opinions and beliefs among theologists and scientists; let’s explore the topic in both fields.

Scientific Theories

Over the years, science has proposed a number of different theories about what happens when someone dies. Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist has been studying the brain scans of religious people. He believes that the “tunnel” or the “light” people see during a near-death experience can be explained. Here is what he says: 

“As your eyesight fades, you lose the peripheral areas first, that’s why you’d have a tunnel sensation. If you see a bright light, that could be the central part of the visual system shutting down last.”

These visual hallucinations, out of the body experiences can be reproduced with a dose of Ketamine which is a horse tranquilizer that is used by a lot of recreational users. So, if our conscious experience depends solely on the brain then when the brain is gone, the mind is gone however, some scientists believe that near-death experiences or visions demonstrate that consciousness exists even after “normal” brain function stops.

Religious Beliefs

Buddhists don’t believe in the existence of souls they believe in reincarnation, in other words rebirth after death. Many religions have a similar idea of where they believe someone goes after they die. For Buddhists the state between death and rebirth is a suffering experience and the goal is to try to avoid the rebirth cycle and reach Nirvana. Nirvana is a state of transcendence in which there is no suffering, a state of perfect peace.

Jewish beliefs on the afterlife vary, some texts identify the afterlife with a world where people go after they die called Sheol. Some are more focused on their life on earth, some do believe there is reincarnation while others believe in a heaven-like paradise.

Hindus do not believe in heaven or hell, they believe in reincarnation. They believe that when someone dies they are born into a different body, much like Buddhism however the body will be determined by how they lived their previous life. They believe that you can not only be reincarnated as a human but also animals or insects and even plants.

For Christians the beliefs are different depending on which denomination they are part of though most believe in the resurrection of Jesus and the afterlife. Christians believe that the choices you make on earth determine where you go, whether that would be Heaven or Hell. Heaven is believed to be a place where there is no pain or suffering, a place of eternal peace and full of love. People who do not believe in Jesus crucifixion, death and resurrection end up in a burning lake as an eternal punishment. On the actual day, a trumpet will sound, and we will all rise from our graves to be judged by God and those who are righteous will go to Heaven. The how or when our resurrection happens is in God’s hands.

Although many of us have our opinions based on our religious beliefs or personal near-death experiences whether they are by meditation or health issues, I don’t think anyone alive knows for sure if there is life after death.

Stay Inspired.
Stay Connected.

Sign up for Heartfelt Harmonies our free Weekly newsletter.