Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Life After Death...


"I have no idea what's awaiting me, or what happens when this all ends" ~ Albert Camus

Life after death - something I've always been fascinated by and have always loved talking to people about. I'm going to be very honest in this blog post, and I realize in advance that I may offend some people, though that is certainly not my intention.

During the course of my life my views on life after death have evolved in several ways. By that I mean, it has been very fluid for me. It's almost like my views on the topic exist on a continuum, if that makes sense.

When I was a little boy, I believed very strongly in a heaven and a hell because that is what I was taught. Then, in late adolescence, I began to question that belief. It was a situation where my scientific mind and my non-scientific mind were in conflict with one another.

Eventually, for a few years, the scientific part of my mind won out. I would have fairly described myself as an atheist.

Then, after taking a couple of philosophy courses in college, I began to open up my mind to the possibility of life after death again. Even though I believed in evolution and in science, I began to think that the concept of a higher power and evolution were not mutually exclusive, which they normally are considered to be.

Here is the question that kept going around in my head: assuming that the Big Bang theory is how the universe started, and I fully believe that it is, then what started the Big Bang? There had to be a beginning to everything, right? Can the existence of time really be infinite? That violates all scientific principle. One of the basic tenants of science is that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Therefore the Big Bang had to be created by something...there had to be a beginning to everything. Right?

These are the questions that I always spent so much time pondering in my head regarding the issue of a higher power or life after death.

I still grapple with these questions today; there has been no resolution in my mind. There may never be. The interesting thing about life after death is that it’s a question none of us will know the answer to until after we die. I think that's what makes it so fascinatingly mysterious to us; nobody knows what lies on the other side of death.

I would love to write a blog post from from the other side someday :-) letting everyone know that I finally know the answer. But I suppose there’s some things that we're not supposed to know the answer to.

I am friends with believers and nonbelievers alike. I respect every single person's opinion regardless of what they believe. Who am I to tell anyone what they should or should not believe? I think that's what starts so many arguments regarding issues like these.

So, dare I ask the question? What are your thoughts on life after death?

141 comments:

  1. Wow Keith heavy question so early in the morning I having just recently lost my brother and losing my Dad not so very long ago have to believe there is life after death that is the only thing that gets me through some days. Honest answer and the best I can give you at this time. I would also love to blog from the other side:) Hug B

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  2. That's a good point about the Big Bang Theory - something had to exist to cause it.
    I do believe in Heaven and hell and life after death, which to me is where we will really begin to live.

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  3. I always think about life after death..sometimes I get really scared because I don't want to go hell.. At times being atheist makes me brave somehow.. But deep down there I still believe there's something powerful and superior than all of us.. I just hope it's kind to all of us..

    Take care Keith

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  4. I was raised by bible-thumpers -- so enuf said ;) Even with my beliefs I was raised with -- I often think.. really???? With as much as we know is out there, God ONLY created US here on Earth???? That's the one that really bugs the heck out of me .... lol :) However, I just recently read "Heaven is Real" -- it's about a little boy that was brain dead and went to Heaven and CAME BACK -- and his 4 year old take on it all -- pretty astounding stuff -- anyhoo -- I am awaiting the movie of it now :)

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  5. Oh my.....life after death. I've been back and forth on this one myself. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

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  6. Keith can your questions get any deeper? These days I'm of practical thought...that life is a circle, we are replaced by younger generations, that is the continuum...can't see beyond that.

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  7. ha. you open up a can of worms with this one...i am a believer...i was a pastor for several years...i do believe in heaven, in life after...i have at times had a hard time rectifying hell...my beliefs have evolved over time as well...i think there is more than enough to worry about here..people to touch that i dont let it be a stumbling block...

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  8. I was raised an atheist and have gone through so many changes but, at this point, I'm more inclined to fall into the not believing in life after death. However, knowing matter never dies, I know that on a cellular level that which is the self physically will go on after my death. Some of the meditation practice I have done has reinforced the awareness that the part of myself that I consider "Me" is as impermanent as anything else. I do not expect anything after this life so I want to make it as full and rich as I can while I can.

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  9. If you write a blog from the other side, there will be no further questions, Keith.

    My belief is fairly simple. I believe in life after death. I believe in treating people the way Jesus did - love all and give everyone a chance. They are worth it just as much as you.

    Elsie
    AJ's wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge
    co-host IWSG

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  10. Good questions! I wish I would know an answer. I do hope that there is a life after death because this can't be everything. Haha. But yeah, I don't believe in heaven and hell or in the God the church teaches you about but I do think it is possible that there is a higher power, something we night not know about. I really hope so because it would be really boring otherwise. :)

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  11. This is the way Iwish to enter our real home taking a photo as I get hit my a car catch a photo of heaven and let it drop down back to earth...so everybody knows it's true. there is no God per se God is Love after a good 20 years research I've realize that highly evolved being like Jesus Buddha, you name it all got together to create one huge heaven that is called LOVE and in that place there are several level depending on your conscious, I have had my near death experience I have seen heaven the beauty of it the FULL IMPACT of LOVE....may not enjoy dying, but once I'm done I'm jumping into love no question this here is not LIfe not our true Life it's an imitation a school for us to learn the way to true LOVE. Hell is simply a lower form of level that you find yourself in according to your soul and what you've done in life and your thoughts and its impacts you see it all and you learn in Love...I could go on but I have to go out lol

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  12. I am 100% certain in my Christian faith. My husband is an American-Indian and does not share the faith I have. It makes for some very interesting moments, some I'd have never once thought of many years ago.

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  13. It's simple. If you're good, you go to heaven.
    If you're bad, you go to hell.
    But, aside from all that simplicity, that scare that I learned at vacation bible school, I think to play it safe, we are here to be the best we can be and to love one another. That way we can go with a feeling of peace, at whatever awaits us. :)

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  14. Wow, you don't mess around, do you? I have pondered that very same question, but not about the Big Bang Theory. It is as simple as a flower or a fruit - where did the first seed come from? Something had to create the first thing - whatever that thing is. As far as life after death, I believe the people who have died and come back. Even scientists have experienced this. And for me, it explains when I have powerful dejavu experiences.

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  15. Well, heaven and hell, must be like living in a jam jar, all together. I DON'T WANT IT, haa haa.

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  16. I do believe that "When you come to the edge of all that you know, you must believe one of two things; there will be earth upon which to stand or you will be given wings to fly." And so I believe in life after death.
    Good question Keith!

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  17. Well, these are definitely some questions that bring forth some great thought. Life after death? I suppose that is not nearly as important to me as the way I live my life here and now, on this earth. Do I exemplify the life of Christ, in whom I believe and trust as the Son of God? That is always my goal as I work through each day. Interesting thoughts on this Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, the season of preparation for the Passion of Christ.

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  18. I really think that when we die it will be just like before we were born.
    We came from star dust and will return. A Single Entity. Waiting.

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    Replies
    1. That's beautiful. I pick this one!

      ;-)

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  19. I have the fullest of confidence of where I will be after this life ends. I am interested to read all the replies here~

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  20. I believe there are higher beings and there is life after death, heaven and hell though, hmmm not really. Possible, but I doubt it. Places we can go like them, likely. And yeah something had to create the big bang, but then something had to create that something and then something had to create the something that created the something, etc. If you keep going like that it never ends, which is kinda ridiculous as nothing is infinite, people may think so, but its not technically. You could write 1,0000.... on every thing possible on the earth but you'd still run out of room. Things are only as infinite as we are able to make them.

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  21. I believe in life after death. I've always believed.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  22. Hi Keith - we definitely live in a life continuum of some description and there are souls out there ... we are in the same time zone, yet living at different parts of it ... I believe there is life after death ... my mother went down 'the tunnel' but decided she didn't want to die then ... and so came back: she said there was a very bright light ... this is a common viewing ..

    But there's something there .. and like you I'd like to see how everything fits together ... writing a blog post about it - might be a trifle challenging - to make it so us lot this side could understand ... where you were coming from let alone anything else!

    Cheers Hilary

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  23. something I ponder all too often, and then I stop myself because it's so uncertain and frightening! I try to keep my mind on life now in the present :)

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  24. I am not sure, like you I am in conflict but then start to question things. I believe that mans vanity makes him believe there is something as he can't bear to see an end. But then we are all energy and energy has to go somewhere.. Who knows but I can guarantee you one thing... we're all gonna find out !

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  25. Nothing happens
    I am afraid to say
    Food for the worms

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    1. It's not so bad if you like worms.

      ;-)

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  26. i don't believe in heaven and hell so much as i tend to think our souls keep getting 'recycled' until we learn the lessons we're supposed to - and then, maybe, we just meld back into that higher being we're all a part of. because thinking this one life is it makes no sense to me whatsoever.

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  27. I'll be patiently waiting for your blog post from the other side! ... only then can I decide on my opinion of the question! ...btw your logic is worth pondering over!

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  28. As I am a psychic medium, my beliefs about life after death are a foregone conclusion! *smiles*
    I have absolutely no doubt at all about the validity of my communicators.
    If you would be interested to read one of my communications word-for-word, then please do feel free to check out one of my early posts, entitled "Suicide?"
    I would love to hear your take on it. :)

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  29. You come up with some deep questions. I see the world becoming what I've read in Revelations. I believe in prayer, I believe in God, but find it hard to believe God would permit a place as bad as hell.

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  30. i believe that i am an eternal being. That my "me-ness" existed before i was given my body and that it will exist after my body has passed away.

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  31. I believe. I also believe there are things humans simply don't have the capacity grok with the limits of our minds. I am of the Christian persuasion with a great love of Buddist teachings as well. I have been a Jesus follower since a tiny child. No, my parents were not church people. Dad was a former altar boy who became a non-believing scientist and Mom, was an independent believer in God. I have struggled all my life with my faith just as I've struggled with what it means to evolve into a better person in this life, I think that's just the kind of mind and background I have, to question and examine. I've always believed in God, but not so much in organized religion. I believe when we return to the higher consciousness and all will be clear but I wonder if it will be so beyond our imagination we won't care about what we thought it was in this life. In my doubtful moments I think if we keep on living according to Jesus' teachings its all to the good. Great question Keith.

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  32. Thank you for asking the question along with the thoughtful description of your the evolution of your views in such a respectful way.
    My views have also evolved and I like your continuum model. I also used to be an atheist. I definitely do not know what happens but I FEEL our energy goes on. I feel we are the greatest imaginable presence of love and light expressing as ourselves having a human experience. What if "Evolution was initiated from the future rather than the past," as Richard Gordon posits in his book The New Human? It blows my mind. I believe we are evolving from Homo Sapien to Homo Luminous as a species.
    Thanks for keeping your blog thought provoking. Have a wonderful day also and Namaste.

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  33. My dad, the atheist, badgers me about this subject all the time. Oh, the fights that ensue simply because he will not respect my beliefs on God, yet I have not tried to change his view, though I've attempted to explain why I believe what I believe. The remarkable world we live in and the design of each living thing points to a Creator. I don't have to have all the answers today. :)

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  34. I grew up in a very conservative, religious small Southern town. It was enough to turn anyone off. I was taught that there was a heaven and a hell but I don't believe one second of that. I am a HUGE believer in reincarnation. Because I believe strongly in souls.....and they don't die when we do. Don't you meet people and you feel that they have a really old soul....or even a really young one? I don't know where this came from....and I honestly don't really know any people who share my belief. Although it's not something I go around preaching. It's very personal and private (which begs the question why I'm typing these words)! But it's a fascinating subject and I admire you for putting it all out there in your post. We'll all find out one day and I'm totally prepared to be wrong. :-)

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  35. I consider myself a Christian agnostic or an agnostic theist - I believe in the idea of a God and Jesus, but not the traditional conservative Christian versions of Them. I do believe there is life after death because I believe the soul has to go somewhere...but I don't think everything in the Bible is automatically God's true opinion. In my opinion, we don't have the authority to claim that we are speaking for God or Jesus.

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  36. To me it all boils down to where did the first molecule come from?

    I always say an atheist will never tell me "I told you so."

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  37. as a christian i believe in a heaven and life after death---i believe it on faith in what Jesus Christ taught---i know that there has to be a better place than this--and although i believe there is a hell---i also believe God can do anything and change his mind--so i am hoping at the end--all will be allowed in heaven and not sent to hell---i would ask God to change his mind just like i would ask him to change his mind if one of my children's lives were at stake--

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  38. I'm right there with you, still grappling with these questions. But boy it hurts my brain to think about the Big Bang theory and the concept of "nothing." I generally avoid it. ;)

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  39. Hope there is a heaven as sometimes my days down here on little earth are purgatory, but suspect it may not be the heaven we think it is

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  40. let's be honest; I don't know. But, tell you what, if I ever get bored enough to die, I'll let you know what's going on the flipside.

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  41. My heaven would be walking in a beautiful forest with wildflowers.
    My hell would be sitting in a hot room doing math problems with someone smoking a cigar, and then, I would have to housework!
    I know this isn't really answering your question but this is what came to mind!

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  42. Hey Keith! You have asked a question I have thought about all of my life. And I don't know the answer. Part of me strongly believes in reincarnation ~ I've had some strange experiences. I do think I'm "Christian" only because I grew up where and when I did. I don't think most Christians would claim me as a Christian, more of a heretic. I've never been able to say I was an atheist. I had a very powerful out of body experience when I was being held at gunpoint, and I really think I have a soul and was not experiencing a brain delusion. I guess I'm an agnostic. When you read about astrophysics, it's not hard to think there is something more. Our universe is so incredibly balanced to produce sentient life. I've been spending a lot of time delving into the Hyperion Cantos because it really digs into this question. Whatever happens after I die, nothing can change the fact that I lived, I was, I got to BE. And I got to be with Terry. I am so blessed! Love is what it really is all about. Fascinating blog topic! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  43. I'm a Christian, and I believe in life after death. For me, there is no question. :)

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  44. There is life after death. Period. I believe our spirits are encapsulated in a body for the duration of this life, then release to a realm that occupies the same space, but where those in the flesh can't view those who've moved on. Those who do experience the "ghost" phenomenon. I also believe in a resurrection that will take place in the distant future, when both body and spirit will be reunited in a perfect and glorious being. Those are my solid beliefs. What evidence do I have to back these up? I've felt those who've passed to the other side, loved ones--their support in traumatic moments, their presence when I needed encouragement, their whispers in phrases only they would have thought up. I've lost a father, brother, and several close grandparents, but they aren't gone to me. I believe our loved ones surround us and support us up in this life, and that when we pass on, they are there to receive us. Call me crazy if you want, but it's more of a knowledge for me, less of a belief.

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  45. When I consider the 5 characteristics of biological life --cellular mechanics, absorption/use of energy, reproduction, irritability, adaptation-- I have to concede the universe itself is alive. I'm part of that, but would still consider my own death a great inconvenience.

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  46. Je suis assez attiré par la philosophie de la métempsychose.
    Amicalement.

    Roger

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  47. I have always believed in Heaven! I just feel deep down in my soul that there is something after this life. I like to think all my relatives (and animals) that have gone on before me are looking down on me in Heaven.

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  48. I would describe myself as agnostic. I grew up in the whole church world, but as I got older, like you, started questioning my beliefs. I want to believe that there is life after death, but right now, I just don't feel there is. That opinion may change again some day though. My beliefs are ever changing as I am.

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  49. Your last three paragraphs fairly well sum it up for me Keith, but I find an individual answer to your last question very difficult. I'm not sure where my belief system sits, but I was married to a remarkable man for 20 years and as I sat by his bed as he died, and taking into account the last coherent words he ever spoke to me, there is for many people, without doubt something beyond death just not in the form of anything we could possibly imagine. What I myself am now sure of, is that there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of.

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  50. I have always felt that we were spirits having a human experience - and that we are eternal beings, who have chosen to come here to learn many lessons we could not learn anywhere else, to further the development of our souls. It is the perfect place to learn compassion, mercy, patience, forgiveness, courage, fortitude - the list goes on. I strongly believe there is much more to us than skin and bones. That goes for all of life on this planet and the planet itself. We are intelligent design and co-creators. xo Karen

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  51. An interesting blog post and I loved reading all the comments too. My thoughts on the 'big bang theory' are not so much 'how?' but 'why?'

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  52. Love this post. I believe in reincarnation, but I also believe we hang around on the other side and keep an eye on our loved ones for a time before we reincarnate. I feel that waiting to greet loved ones before incarnating again is the norm.
    The main thing I am very conflicted with is whether or not hell exists. Imagining a fiery pit where no one can escape is pretty mystifying, but where do all the truly bad people go? I feel that when we die, our energy attracts us like a magnet to the massive expanse of energy that makes up the other side. But what if our energy is just so negative we don't follow that process? I can't help but think there's an alternative place, a universal "safety net" for the worst of the worst.
    Tiffany @ writingitinblue.blogspot.com

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  53. I totally believe in life after. 2 things come to mind. Cameron's uncle died in August a few years ago. My dad died a few months later. I felt the presence of Tom in the room as my dad died. A breeze went out the window. Got back to my parents house, on the coffee table was a chicken key ring. Tom raised chickens. A friend on my sister in law was dying of cancer. We went to visit him, and I kept seeing this lady standing behind his chair smiling. I asked her about this lady, described her. It was his first wife! I had never met her or even seen a picture of her. So, yea, I believe.
    As for evolution or the Big Bang. I don't know. I tend to lean toward the Big Bang.
    This is a great post. I love debating my son on topics like this. :)

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  54. I do tend to fluctuate and like you, age has a large bearing on my beliefs. Sometimes I am certain in my faith, others quite skeptical.
    My father, who was a brilliant man, was a lifelong atheist who had a life changing near death experience. He said it totally took any fears of death from him. He hand wrote 4 legal pages about the experience but would not show anyone. He said we are not supposed to know. No one has ever found his writings. All he would tell us is that he saw his father and his brother who died as an infant but was in the form of a grown man that he recognized on sight.They told him he did not have to come but if he wanted he could. Dad said told them he had things to do. Dad spent his last years with a Bible beside his chair.

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  55. Have you read Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander. It's about his journey to the after life. It's a great read. Check it out. Cortne

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  56. I don't really bother too much about what happens after death.

    I mean, what can I do with that line of thinking? It won't go anywhere productive or useful and I have a life to live. What will be, will be. Of course I strongly suspect that physical death is death. But then I believe that we are all connected and therefore, there can be no individual death, because we are all part of the same whole.

    But really, I'm more concerned with life. It makes me think of the line from Shawshank Redemption:

    "You either get busy living, or you get busy dying."

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  57. Much like you, my thoughts and beliefs have varied through the many different phases of my life. I used to have very strong opinions concerning the subject. Lately, however, it seems that the older I get the more confused I become. I certainly don't believe in hell - - we're in hell here on earth. Hopefully there will be something more rewarding after our earthly existence.

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  58. I was raised in a Christian home, and in the same way...believing in heaven and hell after death, and no grey areas in between. And like you, when I got older I began to question just about everything I was taught. Over a period of many years and a lot of reading and research, I developed my own ideas of life, death, and a possible afterlife. We are energy, and I do believe that we don't really 'die'. That energy continues. I am a firm believer of reincarnation, and the continuation and evolution of the soul. How it works? I can't be entirely sure. I can't remember...hahaha... But this works for me, and I'm quite comfortable with my self-defined philosophy. I respect everyone's beliefs, and I expect the same in return. I think that if something works for you, that is the right perspective. Just don't hurt anyone else because of it, or be tyrannical or self-righteous if someone doesn't agree with you.

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  59. This is very hard for me to answer. I spent a year awaiting a new liver, or knowing I would die. It was like being on a roller coater, plus knowing someone else had to die in order for me to live. The worst part of the whole thing was not knowing what would happen after I died. I grew up Baptist in the South and believe in God, but was still skeptical.
    Right before surgery, I had a peace come over me that I have never felt before or since. I think God was with me. I wasn't scared anymore. I knew it would all be ok. So I do believe there is something after death. I have to, because the thought of there bring nothing afterwards is something I can't bare to think about.

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  60. Such a deep question... These are my beliefs..... I do believe that there is life after death. The more I meditate on the harmony of this amazing creation, the cycles, the science and laws of nature, the beauty and the immense forces of nature, the elements and the endless diversity of people, plants, animals, birds, fish , insects, reptiles, , planets and stars, etc, etc...the uniqueness of each one... the more I believe. Just knowing how the mind works and the ability of memorizing, recognizing and expressing our feelings, the senses and the endless mind blowing beauty. And all this is only temporary. But life after death is for eternity.

    Why would Jesus try to save our soul by dying on a cross and suffered such a cruel treatment in the hand of cruel men. Why would he come back to glorious life if there was nothing after death.

    I do believe there is life after death because God loves and values us more than anything because we are created in God's image. God is never forceful but always available if we wish to find Him we will find Him.

    Jesus preach forgiveness and mercy and he died for that cause. His words are the truth. He preach resurrection of the body. He brought back Lazarus to life when he was on his mission. Jesus did what was right and not what the man made laws dictated at the time.

    Jesus said, in my father's house, there are many rooms and I'm going to prepare a place for you. I'm not expecting a mansion with doors but a realm of peace, love, joy and harmony.

    JB

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  61. Despite years of trying to make sense of it all - I have not found an answer to the unanswerable – yet find it fascinating.

    I tend to go with the Big Bang theory – wonder if you have read this http://news.ucsc.edu/2011/11/pristine-gas.html - I too wonder where the gasses came from that created the big bang…

    True everything has a beginning but from where…

    If we are to believe that God made the world – who made God? If God just ‘existed’ – why not the gasses…

    Brought up in a religious household, oddly enough the big doubts set in after seeing the film ‘The Bible’ (how obvious the flaws in all I was taught) and I had had little doubts prior to this…

    So I believe life on earth is all we have – why we have life - I don’t know…

    Anna :o]

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    1. Thanks for the link to the article. It was fascinating! As are all the comments in this discussion.

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  62. Hi Keith....deep question today. I do believe in life after death 100%. I have believed throughout my life. That is not to say I have never questioned. I think there are some things we will never know....but I DO strongly BELIEVE!

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  63. I do believe in life after death and for the same reason you state... what was before the Big Bang Theory? Time is infinite.. and your are completely right, no one will really know until they pass on... Always thought provoking Keith, I am of the same mind as you, I respect that other people have their own beliefs and would never want to push mine on to others :)

    Thank you for your really kind comment on my blog.. I like this about blogging... reading about other peoples journeys, many are quite inspiring :)

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  64. I think we continue, in a different stage of life with a different set of challenges. I also believe in reincarnation.

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  65. I echo Mary's comment, Keith.

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  66. I can only say I know nothing. I have faith in a life after because that's what I want. I'm not afraid of dying, just the pain it takes to get to the other side..

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  67. I know in my heart for certain that I am going to heaven. I believe the Bible and it says in John 3:13 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
    We just have to accept the free Gift of Salvation that Jesus offers to us. Once you do that you are filled with a peace.

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  68. Oh boy...so my mom is a Lutheran, my dad believes in something, but he has his own religion. He actually wrote his own book on his beliefs. He watches all kinds of History Channel shows on religion. His dad (my grandpa) was a Christian Scientist. They don't believe in going to doctors. Many call that religion a cult. My dad's mom (my grandma) died when my dad was a few years old. She may not of died if she was properly taken care of medically. Therefore, her whole family hated my grandpa. My mom is a nurse, so that didn't set well with my grandpa. My grandpa got remarried, and she died when my parents got married. He got remarried a third time via mail order bride from the Philippines. She was a strong Catholic, and they each did their own thing with religion.

    My husband's family is Southern Baptist. They were party hippies, that turned to religion. My husband now can't stand religion at all. He's the type of guy where he thinks seeing is believing. They try to convert him sometimes. I just shake my head at their whole family. I'm pretty sure his family thinks my dad turned my husband's thoughts. Hello...if you drink and smoke pot in front of your kids they are bound to be messed up a little.

    Since I was raised Lutheran, but had a dad that was a seeker/doubter I have a pretty open mind to anything. I think there's a higher power. I also notice that all things tend to go in a circle. When one dies, another is born, when it's daylight one place it's night another, seasons go in a circle. Therefore I kind of wonder if we do come back in a different form. In the Lutheran religion that is so wrong to think that way! There is no such thing as reincarnation. I think there is room for reincarnation within the standard Christian religion. God can put a fresh breath into each one of us, and put us back on earth. Why not? I also believe in evolution, but not as strong as my husband does. Some of us have wisdom teeth. Why? Maybe we needed them at one point in time. We've slowly evolved where we don't need them any longer. We used to be more hunters, and gathers. I think the Bible is teaching stories, not all factual.

    Our kids went to a Christian preschool. My husband had trouble with that. I didn't think it was a big deal. But I remember when the teacher said, "Mica won't pray." They thought it was bad. My husband was like, "So what." Isaak's cried about death. It worries him. My husband has a different approach in talking to him about it than I would. He tells him, "No one knows what happens when one dies." True...but a kid that's scared doesn't want to hear that. That's really the only disagreement we have with our kids.

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  69. While I don't believe in the afterlife, if you disappear for a long time, I will assume you are dead, but I will also keep your blog feed going, just in case.

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  70. Keith,

    I do believe that there is some form of afterlife, for at least the soul. I sense a caring guidance from the spirits of those who have gone before me, and who truly cared for me while alive. Perhaps a hint of reincarnation influences my thoughts as well...I would hate to think it all ends, without any goodness to pass on to others!!!
    A very deep thinking topic, which I welcomed Keith...
    Eileen:)

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  71. I believe in life after death at this point

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  72. I have followed a similar path as you have regarding life after death. I also strongly believe people should have beliefs. I just don't want them foisting something on to me. We'll discuss things but don't try to convert me.

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  73. I'd like to point out that the big bang is not the start of the universe, just the earliest known point we can trace back to. Knowing how the big bang started and what was before it would land you a Nobel prize with ease.

    I was raised in a rather lazy Christian household, but eventually went to a Methodist church. Methodists aren't too conservative in religion so I never really clashed with the views in the church. But these evangelicals and baptists are another story. Seems more people that grow up in a conservative sect of Christianity that become non-religious becomes atheists while those of more liberal views slowly drift away and become agnostics.

    Is there a god, gods, or some divine force? Perhaps, but I can't believe the Christian/Jewish/Islamic God to be real. Science has debunked a lot stuff in the Old Testament, and historically it seems that Abrahamic religions have borrowed from other religions most of which are extinct.

    We are the imperfect branch of many in the evolution of life, we are not descended from a dirt man and his rib-wife. Original sin is a fable, salvation is just a ploy to convert people. The possibility of a dark underworld if you don't believe is quite the motivation factor in human psychology.

    We also must look at the universe. We are not the center of the solar system, We live on one of the smallest planets, with a star (Sun) that is dwarfed by many others, in a galaxy that has many equals, and in a universe that is nearly limitless. And yet God sent his only son (though don't get me started on the holy trinity stuff) to our little blue marble in space? Not only hard to believe, but very far-fetched.

    Though like many I do hope there is some kind of after-life.

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  74. Keith,
    There is life after death.

    There is God..........and He loves you.

    ~Sheri

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  75. Wonderful post, and good question.

    I've just been sitting here, thinking about what I should say.

    As a Christian, my faith has assured me there is life after death and that I have a place in heaven.

    As someone who's recently lost someone, I dearly hope there is life after death and I can be with my family again.

    As a philosopher, I can see the great design of the Universe, from the Big Bang that started it all, to the tiny mitochondria keeping my body alive at this very moment. After death, my body returns to the universe...my soul lives on in the people I've touched, my daughter, my nieces and nephew, my friends...

    And as someone who's still recovering from a major depressive event, I don't see living after death. I don't even see living past tomorrow.

    The first answer is the best answer, I think.

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  76. After living soon to be 71 years ~ searching and wondering and wandering and pondering and meeting others with different viewpoints and their interpretation of how and why and what and where it all came about …. I have found the answer~

    I know nothing and neither does anyone else. Sure thought someone would have come back after all these years and tell us … certainly some claim they have … I say, okay.

    I believe in energy and maybe we all become a part of the universe … some of us are planets or debris or comets or whatever … a tree. That's what I'd like to come back as … a tree. deep in the forest. I'd protect the earth against floods and give off oxygen and be a home for some little critters and birds…

    Energy can not be created nor destroyed but it can change forms, right? It's all very interesting and will be pondered until the end of the end. I'm not a religious person ~ man made religions, to me, are silly and dangerous. They control by fear and promote sheepleism. yes, that's a word.

    As I get closer to the end … all I want is to wake up dead. whatever happens after that. I don't really care. I'm not afraid of death. But I do get a bit apprehensive about the way I die. I care more about that than an afterlife.

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  77. I really think like Red and Adam. I do also believe there's some kind of life after death. My aunt and grandmother swear they have seen spirits of people who have died. Still... I don't know. I hope you will send us messages in our blogs if you predecease us. Like Carolyn, I worry about how the end comes even more.

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  78. "Unless you become as little children......."

    There's a reason Jesus admonished us to be like little children, my friend. Adults are way too analytical & have lost that child-like faith & trust that what they are taught is true.

    I am a Catholic. I went through a period of "analysis" also... but I guess I'm old enough now to realize the senselessness of all that. I now trust & believe in what I was taught as a little girl.

    Our reason for being? To know, love & serve God in this life.... so that we can be with Him in the next.

    That's my goal... and my Bible & catechism show me how to accomplish it. :-)

    God bless you on your journey of faith~ Andrea

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  79. I am so happy to see everyone's thoughts on this subject in a peaceful, respectful, non-argumentative way. So often that just doesn't happen and that's why I don't post my feelings and opinions on this subject very often.

    I grew up Mormon and was told I had to go to church whether I wanted to or not. When I got to be a teenager I stopped going and turned to Wicca and was Wiccan for more than 20 years.

    A few years ago I started questioning everything. Nothing made sense to me and I lost all belief in everything. No amount of reading and researching was making things any clearer for me and as for the people who say, "Have faith" I don't.

    I was driving myself nuts trying to figure out what might come after death..is there a heaven, are we born again, can we come back as anything, are there ghosts among us...ect.

    So I did the only thing that made sense to me. I stopped thinking about it because we are never really going to know for sure until we die. So I consider myself to be Agnostic now. I don't know what's coming after death but I'm leaving the possibility open for anything and if there's nothing that's ok too.

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  80. Growing up Catholic I know what I was taught and what I would like to believe is really true. But, I have become a person who has to see something to believe it so I will have to wait till I die to decide.

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  81. You and I have talked about this topic quite a few times. Recently, I too have been "soul searching" and trying to open my mind to all kinds of possibilities. Like you, I believe there has to be something (or someone) bigger than us. I doubt I will ever be done learning more about myself and questioning the life and what is beyond it, but I have decided a couple of things. Regardless of religion or beliefs, it's important to try your hardest to be the best person you can be and help others in the process. Meet as many people as I can and welcome opinions of others because everyone has their own story and lessons learned. Most of all, live to make myself happy. I'm not sure what comes after this, but I do know that I want to make this life the most interesting, fun, love - filled, spontaneous, educational, and amazing life that I possibly can. I know we both love quotes, so here's a new, short, favorite of mine, "Life is too short to wait." :)

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  82. Whenever I think of time and space and how there is no end, my mind goes into a spin.

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  83. Afterlife? You betcha! All my loved ones, including my animals, are waiting for me there.

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  84. I believe that we are spiritual beings living in a human body (right now) and so I believe in only the death of the human body we inhabit at any one time. I believe that we, as with all spiritual beings, are immortal,(energy cannot be created nor destroyed) but that we do not always choose the human life. Yes, I believe it is a choice. ( When considering this I think about astronauts, and how they sign up for a mission.) I believe our earth incarnation is very colored by our life experiences, but our spiritual selves remain unchanged, and some of us can tap into that part more than others, as evidenced by the great spiritual leaders. Anyway, that is my belief, and I also believe we should remember this every day that we walk this earth, and act accordingly.

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  85. I struggled for many years after growing up christian, then despising the self righteous right. So I fell away and questioned. Eventually, I really didn't believe.

    Then, weeks after my mom passed, I had a "dream" which wasn't a dream at all but a visit from her. I was totally aware that my mom was dead and the energy around us was almost overwhelming. She communicated with me without moving her mouth. She was in her early 40s and, I noticed, she had a baby's skin. For someone who never remembers her dreams, nor do they ever have meaning or logic, this was NOT a dream.

    The only way I could sum up the message was pure love. And that was it. Afterward, I could not question the fact that there is an afterlife, a spirit "God" who loves us. It's as simple as that. All of the other questions and rules just fell away. Now, nothing is as important as love.

    That's my .02 and I'm sticking to it. :)

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  86. My thoughts on all that:
    I believe in a life after death. Not the heaven, halos, angels version, but a life. To me, it makes no sense that the essence of what I am can only exist for a microscopic period of time only to just disappear forever. It's not logical. How I think it goes is that I will carry on probably not like in this world, but in another form, another dimension of SOMEthing.
    or
    I will just enter oblivion. In that case, it doesn't matter, because I won't know.
    or
    Heaven exists just like the nuns told me it did. In that case, I gotta lot of explaining to do.
    But, it's a journey we'll make and we'll all find out the answer.

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  87. I don't believe in life after death, no idea why.
    To believe is more tranquil, because nobody wants to end his life very soon.

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  88. I'm with you - I don't really know where I stand. I hope to become part of the fabric of the universe when I die.

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  89. "I still grapple with these questions today; there has been no resolution in my mind. There may never be. The interesting thing about life after death is that it’s a question none of us will know the answer to until after we die."

    I love these words. I'd love to believe that there is a life after this one, especially since my father just passed away a little over 2 months ago. Thoughts of him being peaceful and resurrected bring me comfort. It's odd how it wasn't something I highly considered to be true until something comes along and forces you to decide what to believe about it. I've met so many people with so many different opinions on the topic, and at the end of the day, I do believe that there is some greater Power that has the ultimate control of our destiny.
    At times I am jealous of my dad because he knows the answer of where we go when we pass. Thoughts of this do not make me afraid of death; rather, they make me excited for that day to come. Until then, I guess I will live with an indecisive mind, which I am oddly content with,

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  90. I believe in life after death. I thought about that a lot yesterday - Ash Wednesday.

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  91. My grandson is searching just as you and at the same age....very similar thoughts. I told him.....he thinks to hard...it is all about simple faith and a relationship with God that you build upon. I believe the word of God that tells us ...absent from the body, present with the Lord. I also believe Him when he wrote in scripture that no eye has seen or ear has heard what heaven is like.....but it is there. That is what I believe :)

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  92. As so many have already said; this is an interesting question, Keith.
    I do believe in Heaven and have always done so. For me Heaven is as our Catholic Priest taught us.
    I don't believe in Hell as a place of fire and brimstone but rather a place for those who have deliberately cut themselves of from God by not following the 'golden rule'. I don't think that entry into Heaven is dependent on whether one is a believer or otherwise.
    I guess this is a fairly black and white view.
    Bye for now,
    Kirk

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  93. I have often thought about these things, as you have. My conclusion is that I don't understand the universe, but I believe that something has orchestrated the order of how things unfold. I call that, "God." I believe there is some kind of awareness after our body stops working. It makes sense that the energy of the "soul" cannot be destroyed. Perhaps other dimensions are involved. You really can go crazy trying to figure it all out!

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  94. There may be a God (though I doubt it) and indeed there may be an afterlife (though I doubt that as well). I can't be 100% that this is it, though for me I think that I will stop existing at my death is the most likely answer to the question.

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  95. Your thoughts and questions are so profound, Keith, that I admittedly am scared to go there. Most Jews like me believe in no afterlife. I don't believe in heaven or hell. I do believe our souls and spirits live on. How can they not? Down those lines, my goal is to live forever in a happy way - a way that brings meaning to the world. That's what we all want, I suppose. Thank you for initiating this discourse.

    xoRobyn

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  96. Keith, I have had the same thoughts many times. What started the Big Bang? Where did that very first drop of energy come from?

    I was born and raised Roman Catholic so a lot of the 'taught' ideas are still within me although they seem to counter many of my own thoughts on the topic. Catholics don't believe in reincarnation but I do. I don't believe in a Christian God but rather, a Higher Being as in a pure, non-judgemental, loving, spiritual power. Life after death is the ultimate enigma. Something none of us will ever really know until we pass that great divide ourselves. Personally, I believe that our spirits live on but, in what setting or form, I have no idea. I also believe that spirits pass into the earthly plane from time to time.

    That said, I accept that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs.

    Great topic!

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  97. we enter a parallel universe when we die. Heaven and hell may be even parallel universes to ours.

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  98. There was "something" at the beginning: air, oxygen, invisible energy, atoms, molecules, things that the human eye (not in existence yet) could not have seen. There was "something" but that something evolved from something else which had already evolved from something else. Why are planets round? Why do some planets have satellites? These are questions that science keeps trying to answer and the beauty of it is that... they might not answer them. But the process whereby they try to find a response to these questions is the real beauty in the history of the world.

    Your questions are valid. I have got one for you: ask someone to describe something for you. What shapes will they use? Square, rectangular, oblong, triangular, round. How about asking a two-year-old who has not been to school yet and doesn't know anything about maths? Ask her or him to describe something for you.

    I am an atheist but I do believe that there is something after life. Energy perhaps.

    Cracking post.

    Greetings from London.

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  99. There is no life after death. If it makes ‘you’ happy to believe there is, feel free. It’s a good crutch. But be a decent person now and not because you are afraid of what happens when you’re dead.

    I’d love to believe in something, so I’ve arranged for myself an idea of becoming one with ‘cosmos’ or whatever else you might call it. Some kind of spirit awareness outside any real awareness.

    The one thing I cannot stomach is when somebody tells me they ‘know’.

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  100. I'm kinda on the fence with this one but wholly agree that others' choices in Gods or deities should be respected. Music is my religion, however. It's helped me through all sorts of life crisis's.

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  101. Oh, it exists. And I can't wait to join the party. When it's my time ;-)

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  102. I love your open honesty here. It's so refreshing! I find the truly unknown about life after death to be so interesting, mysterious and sightly maddening all at once. I'm a theist so I do believe in life after death. I could talk on and on about how I came to this conclusion but let's just keep it short for now and say that in a mixture of searching and experience, a theistic worldview still makes the most logical sense to me.

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  103. I do believe that there is life after our death here on earth. I believe our spirits existed before this earthly existence, and that we continue to live after this life. I do believe we are rewarded in a sense for how well we've lived here - but I actually believe (other than for truly evil, malevolent beings) any "hell" will be of our own making - regrets and wishing we had done better. I believe we will end up surrounded by people like ourselves, where we will be comfortable. Some will be on a higher spiritual plane than others, just like they are now. But I believe in a loving Heavenly Father who wants us all to be happy, just as any good parent would. It just makes sense to me. Of course, this is a simplified version of my beliefs, but you get the idea. The Big Bang Theory is too random to me. I believe it was all deliberately and carefully created. I don't place too much faith in science - there are too many things we don't know to be able to say much for a certainty. Gaining knowledge and building on that knowledge is always important. But having faith and gaining spiritual knowledge is just as important, and it keeps us balanced. Having faith in the knowledge of where I came from, where I'm going, and my purpose here on earth is what gets me through the difficult trials in life.

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  104. I strongly believe there is no life after death...we just get this one. I like to be proven wrong but that is what I believe for now.

    I mean the universe will end one day, either it will get too cold with all the stars going out or it will heat up because it starts shrinking...all will end...excuse me I need chocolate.

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  105. Well, this is THE question! I no longer believe in heaven or hell. My friend Bea tells me that the only way people live on after death is in the memory of people who cared about them. Sadly, I tend to believe her.

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  106. I think that all good people (who have not hurt any one in any manner what so ever ) will go to heaven regardless of what name they give their creator. People who did bad things will suffer for some time and eventually they too will go to Heaven.

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  107. My take on the Big Bang Theory: first there was nothing, then it exploded. Simple :-)

    As for life after death, I'm open to anything. I've heard convincing ghost stories, I'm not adverse to the idea of reincarnation, I've read about angels. It's all possible, and perhaps we're too unformed to understand it, until it happens to us?

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  108. Always I think about that Keith. Interesting. I think a lot of things. I dont know if we will find a Heaven. Through always think heaven is a lovely space that you are quiet and happy:) but I believe in God really I believe and I love God so alwsys think when I will die He will be there waiting for me and of course I hope He forgive me all my fails.For this I think the most importat of this life is to love.
    Ah we can talk about this a lot I know.
    Thanjs again for a wonderful topic Keith.xx

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  109. I think about this too from time to time-and really never sure what I believe as my views do change a bit as I get older. Now I just hope that the lives I touch will matter somehow in the end-and that someone will remember me-that would be life after death for me

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  110. Great post, Keith. My comment just dissapeared...drats. Have you seen the movie What Dreams May Come with Robbin Williams? What a beautiful deption of life after death. I loved the book too.

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  111. There are so many questions we do turn over in our minds throughout our lives...yours here are indeed some of the "biggest" ones. I wasn't raised in church but came to faith in Jesus Christ (and with that my belief regarding the afterlife) at 15 years old. And since then my faith, and what I understand to be true, has matured. I don't think science and faith need be diametrically opposed; they can actually confirm each other. Thanks for asking us this question Keith! I always enjoy your thought-provoking posts.

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  112. I've experienced near-death experiences, and feel assured that there IS something more after we leave this mortal coil. I, however, am in no particular hurry to get a definitive answer.

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  113. Having experienced what I call a near-life experience when I nearly died in hospital, I do believe that there has to be more than just this reality, this dimension. After all, do only have the emotion of love in this dimension....

    Enjoy your weekend, Keith.

    Gary

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  114. How did I not read this post until now? I've been thinking on this a lot lately. Actually, I always think about it. ;o)

    And about there being a beginning to everything --- one guess for me about that is perhaps there doesn't have to be a beginning at all... that is, there would be no beginning if 1). there really is no time (and what we see as time is really misunderstood and according to our own rules so that we can understand it in some context).......... 2). perhaps all times are happening all the time (I strongly believe this is true)......... or 3). perhaps the Big Bang itself is the Universe itself. (I read this someplace and it really stuck with me).

    And if there is life after death, I suspect that even then we won't have all the answers. Mysteries do have their allure I guess.

    Kristin

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  115. I am a believer in life after death ~ There is an architect to this universe, to this wonderful life ~ Whether we believe in Him or not, there is no denying that Someone's hand is at work even before we were born ~ Happy Friday ~

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  116. We are bound by the same conditions as all other living things - if there is a life after death for us, then there is life after death for all other living things. Or, more likely, there is not.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  117. I like to think that we join a great unconscious force where we are aware of love but are not individual persons. All are one.

    I don't think we always need to be scientific. Can you prove scientifically the existence of love? Does it not exist?

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  118. Okay, Keith, here's what I think. I think this incarnation is one way of existing. It's temporal, transitory and ephemeral. What happens after we lose this particular manifestation of identity, we slip back into the Wholeness that we all comprise but we don't lose ourselves.

    That's me trying really hard to use words to capture something way bigger than them!

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  119. I absolutely believe in life after death!

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  120. I absolutely believe in life after death!

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  121. I believe in life after death, we are just travelers on this earth the other is the eternal life.

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  122. This is a deep question. :) I'm a Christian, so I believe that there is life after death.

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  123. Yes Keith, I believe all life energy continues even after the body dies.

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  124. I would love to believe that there is life after death - it would be wonderful to meet up with my parents and grandparents again - but sadly I don't think it is likely or possible.

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  125. OMG we are in sick. I am reading "Proof of Heaven" and just finished "Many Life, Many Masters" My mom is a very spiritual person who believes beyond the shadow of a doubt in life after death...

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    1. I loved that book and enjoyed the sequels, too.

      http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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  126. Your statement about energy is your answer to the eternal question. Yes, energy can never be destroyed but rather it changes form. Scientifically, your mind is made up of energy, so a part of you can never die. Thus, yes, this is scientific proof of life after death.

    As for heaven and hell, I've seen both right here on earth.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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  127. It's highly possible that since we are all creative beings, we create our own scenarios of life after death. So perhaps a more apt question may be- How do you want your life after death to be?!
    I think that's infinitely more exciting and rewarding though I must tell you that I've had my fair share of doubts and confusions in this regard and in the end it all boils down to this: It may be anything; but we cannot deny that we do have the power to transform every moment we have NOW, into anything we wish! ;-)

    Also, I wonder if you have seen this movie- What Dreams May Come. It's a great attempt at answering this particular question!

    AND I must say that your posts are surely getting exciting by the day! Looking forward to more such thought-provoking instances!
    Salute! And sail on merrily!!!

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  128. Keith,

    First, I wanted to tell you that your blog title is remarkable as a dreamer I can totally relate to this and I will never apologize for my dreams. Dreams hold so much symbolism in our journey on earth.. I think you know this as well as you are a deep thinker.

    That is a thought provoking question but, one I feel confident in answering with a big YES..there is something on the other side waiting..I have no doubts what so ever.

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  129. I believe that we come back after we die - we live a new life in a new body. I also believe that energy never disappears so our soul is what remains alive. It gains experience and learns and grows. What I'm not sure about is if there's an ending to it when the soul learned everything it needed to.
    But maybe our soul's energy is simply released into the Universe :) So many possibilities!

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  130. Keith,
    There is no such thing as Heaven or Hell, a place that we as humans are supposedly relegated to after the death of our bodies, which are really the temples of our soul...our soul of existence. The truth is, Heaven can be found right here on Earth. And when you seek to find the true meaning of this life, and you are fortunate enough to attain a higher consciousness that dispels the traditional beliefs of Heaven and Hell, you will be free. And what's that they say, "The Truth Shall Set You Free". I have written a little bit about this here...
    Let It Be
    I have no doubt that your message from the other side will be heard by myself, as well as many others who have come into the realm of an awakened soul. The soul lives on...we are one in the Universe. Aloha

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  131. Wow, everything you said is exactly the motions I go through. I too, wonder about this all the time, looking at it from scientific and spiritual aspects. I do believe in God, i just don't have any idea what it all means and I'm ok with that.

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  132. Very well said. I'm not religious, used to be, but started leaning towards science. Yet, I feel no one "really" knows. It's good to be open-minded to everything and anything being possible I think. Heaven or Hell, no way in my opinion. Especially Hell. I just think it's good to treat everyone the way you want to be treated. Practice compassion, understanding, and love for all no matter what their beliefs. If more people did that, we could all live a much more peaceful life while on this beautiful planet we all share. :)

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  133. I for one believe in life after death. I recently read a great book... "Held By The Hand Of God: Why Am I Alive" by Joe Laws http://heldbythehandofgod.com/. I was amazed to read about the injuries he sustained in his accident and that he lived to tell about it, there were medical reports to back up his story. I have no doubt that there is a life after death.

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    1. Absolutely, Ashley. There is so much proof out there - I am with you. Thanks for your recommendation! I will check that one out.

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    2. You're welcome Laura! I hope you enjoy the book!

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  134. I hope there is something after death, otherwise it does not look good! I do want to believe that we are not going to disappear but transform into something else. I do too look for answers.

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  135. I have struggled with this question, as well. For a while in my teen years I was an existentialist. Then, in college Siddartha opened my eyes. I think that energy is continuous. After it leaves this physical form it needs to go somewhere, why not another physical form? Does energy hold some sort of memory of where its been, who knows. What is truth, is that our physical bodies return to the earth and dissipate into minerals and nutrients when which we came. I also like the idea of the multiverse, could there be another me out there in another dimension? As for the big theory, yes it happened, but again I believe its continuous, expanding and contracting with ease and grace. Wonderful, thought-provoking question Keith!

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