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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 111 - 5/21/2003
So, You’re Dead. Now What?
What happens to our souls/spirits after we die? Is there an everlasting haven to which we retire? Are we reprocessed and reincarnated? Do we – as dearly departed spirits/souls -- have any say in the matter?
How have you coped with the loss of a loved one? Do you feel that this person/animal is still keeping an eye on you from beyond? Do you think that some of your present animal friends are really some of your old animal friends recycled? Would that work for humans as well?
Are you troubled over the thought that one day you will die? Why or why not?
| Reponses: There are 59 responses posted to this question.
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| Always In Motion... ||May 22nd. at 8:20:43 pm EDT|
|lyric (Virginia) ||Age: 49 - Email |
I have a difficult time imagining an afterthislife existence of complete rest. We are dynamic beings, growing, learning, experiencing using all of our senses. I cannot believe that all of this would just stop. I hope that an existence after physical death would vary from this life in the way that painting in oils differs from sketching with charcoal, a different medium perhaps but with the ability to create still active.
| Death/Afterlife/Reincarnate ||May 22nd. at 9:40:46 pm EDT|
|Kenn (Sin City) ||Age: 39 - Email |
I believe death is as you believe it to be , as you have been taught it by the verious religious belief systems.When it happens , it will be like going home to those who have gone ahead of you.You will look through your last life here on earth and learn from the actions that you took while you were here and see if you have done what was needed to be done
to balance them with other actions from other lifes.You will then plan your next life to accomplish other things that need to be balanced from all other lifes including your ancestors lifes and plan your next incarnation w/parents and siblings that you have lived w/before and have issues to balance or learn from. You will forget all of this when you are born into this consciousness we call life on earth.If you are an evolved Soul , you will remember past lifes the more you meditate and spend time in the quiet place and commune w/ Highter Spirit .And realize that you are only dreaming a dream , in a dream of multiple worlds and dimmentions .You are living many lifes in many worlds at the same time .Once you see this you will see through different eyes like never before.You are constantly thinking yourself to be where ever you choose in every moment in all worlds.
| No Title ||May 22nd. at 11:59:27 pm EDT|
|Etain (Ohio) ||Age: 31 - Email |
I am always one to be skeptical of things I can't touch, see, hear etc. I have no proof of any of this but this is what I think about death and dying. Stay with me here because this is going to sound way out there......
Energy never dies. It may convert into something else, but it never dies. So yes I believe in reincarnation. I don't think there is a time limit on reincarnation. You are reborn when you're ready, if you're ready. For some it's right away and for some maybe never. Some Buddhists believe you have to be reincarnated over and over until you've learned your lessons. I'm not so sure about that. I think WE choose our lessons. When we are formless in the other world/dimension...heaven, valhalla, whatever you may call it.... we choose what we will do in our next life. It's kind of like college...we sign up for classes and all of these classes earn a "degree" in life, so to speak.
Sometimes our energy/soul signs up for too much. This might explain tragic events that happen to us. We think "why me"... why did I have a horrible childhood, marriage, life, etc. Some of us might even feel we don't have direction in our life and don't know where our lives are heading. This leads to a direct resposiblity of one's own life. We're in control of our lives and always have been. We may pick and choose our life lessons with the condition that we don't remember. Why? If you knew the plot to a great book would you read it all the way through? Probably not. Laziness is human nature... so why would we? Simply stated, if we knew the ending to our life and everything in between we wouldn't care about working towards anything, it's going to happen anyway.
To find the answers to our life we just have to look a little deeper at the messages being given to us (on a daily basis) and not get caught up in the "earthly" aspect of being "grounded" in our bodies. A lesson in detachment usually helps. I guess it would also be easier if people in general didn't think of deity/higher power as outside of themselves. A deity that is in control of one's life and has "a plan." But I guess that's a whole different topic to contend with.
Sometimes I would like to think my deceased loved ones are watching over me. But I don't know. If I hear a song or see a picture I remember them and their love and that gets me through. I would like to think their souls have better things to do than watch over me.
I am not troubled about dying. I don't think of it as the end. I think it's just part of the cycle. The thing I do worry about is the people I would leave behind and the loss & grief they would feel. Because in the end we're only human. We cling to each other and the bonds that we have with one another... whether it be love, hate or indifference. What else do we have?
| Open Your Eyes ||May 23rd. at 3:44:56 am EDT|
|Drew (Jersey City, NJ) ||Age: 31 - Email - Web|
What do I think happens once you pass?
Hmmm, This is a question I figured out for myself a long time ago. I believe that a persons spirit is too strong to just fade away because they've passed, to stay away from all that they loved and cared for.
I believe that after death the spirit leaves the body and becomes very confused and scared.
Usually left in a day dreaming kind of state until they remember bits and pieces.
And then they try to recollect everything they have lost.
Trying to speak with those who they love so much.
Most of the time being frustrated because they can't.
Why do I believe this to be so?
Because for as long as I can remember, maybe around four years old. I've gotten a lot of visits from many spirits.
Well, that's what I think they are.
Through the years I have watch them watch me.
They'll sit, stand and sometimes even whisper my name.
I've learned to smile and laugh with them.
As a child, My very religious mother constantly told me to ignore them. That evil was simply trying to get me.
I felt very frightened, confused, and yeah I thought I was crazy. But since trying to block them out didn't work I just kept them to myself. Trying very hard not to acknowledge them when my family was around. Now that I'm in my thirties I've learned to trust them. When they show up it's usually because they're trying to share something with me.
I can feel them trying to move near me or sometimes they'll
cross my sight very quickly.
I always look forward to speaking with them through my witch board and hope that when I pass they'll be someone there to acknowledge me.
Well, this is what I believe, and how I've come to understand it.
I know I'm not alone.
| The Great Beyond ||May 23rd. at 4:12:18 am EDT|
|Anise (Vancouver) ||Age: 20 - Email |
My theory is something of a cross between the theory of the astral planes and the view of death presented in "What Dreams May Come". I believe that after we die we decide where we go and what we do, whether that means going to find our loved ones, creating our own private universe out of all that other energy out there, or deciding to be reincarnated on Earth. If someone ends up in a kind of hell, then he/she has put him/herself there by treating others with cruelty and hatred in life; however, I believe that even the most evil people have the capacity to change, so hopefully this hell would only be temporary, lasting until the person realized the error of his/her ways.
I have lost several loved ones over the years, and while I still occasionally grieve over each, I rejoice in my belief that their spirits live on. I don't know if they look in on me. I just hope they are enjoying eternity in their separate ways.
I do not fear death. Two years ago a doctor told me he was almost sure I had cancer. Three days later he told me I didn't. But in those three days as I waited for the biopsy results, contemplating that death might be closer than I had previously anticipated, I never once felt fear. It wasn't shock. I've known shock before. Shock is a state of feeling nothing. Instead, this experience was like feeling everything in the world at once, as though all the energy surrounding me was invading my very soul, and everything became twice as beautiful and left no room for fear.
Death is only terrifying if you believe you have nowhere to go but six feet under.
| Just Toss My Body In The Woods ||May 23rd. at 6:07:23 am EDT|
|Tarbh Nathroch (Eastern Mass) ||Age: 31 - Email |
Wow, The big question. What fun it’s been reading all the beliefs. Even while growing up Roman Catholic I never bought into the heaven / hell after life. The Idea of a God so terribly spiteful as to put you in eternal torture just never made sense to me. The pass / fail entrance into heaven didn’t sit either. The way I see it you draw positive or negative energy to you based on how you live. At the time of death those with a positive charge will have an easy time of it, while those charged negatively will suffer. I’m talking about the soul’s transition here only, not the bodies death. As we all know good people can die in pain while bad people can pass quietly in sleep. Now when it comes to judgment I’ve always been comfortable with the Egyptian way of thinking. Your heart is weighed against the feather of Ma’at. For those of you not familiar with the concept of ma’at, ma’at is order, truth, the way things should be. If your heart is to heavy or too light, as in to much guilt or a lack of caring you are destroyed. This is better than eternal damnation. There is an up side though. Since energy can not be destroyed your life force and spiritual energies are recycled in to a new person. A sort of reincarnation if you will. So even though all that you were is completely gone your energies get another chance. Now if your heart balances you pass into the after life. What that is though, I’m not exactly sure. I guess I’ll find out if I get this life right. The only thing that bothers me about death is the treatment my body will get. The way I see it, the earth nourishes my body in life, my body should nourish the earth in death. The thought of having my body put in a wooden box and sealed in a concrete vault never to touch the earth again terrifies me. I would like to have my body thrown into the woods to let nature have at it.
| Death Is But A Second Beginning ||May 23rd. at 8:30:28 am EDT|
|Lord Archaeus Samhain (Rochester, New York) ||Age: 41 - Email - Web|
Of crying in the night over souls now gone in flight
Who have forever more left behind this mortal coil
Where we the ones left standing upon this earth
In suits of flesh long owned and aged since birth
Do ponder long this simple meaning of passing
So now another vacancy holds so much sorrow
To finally realized that all time lived is borrowed
Until again within the Summerland's we meet
To consider the meaning of death is one of our species greatest questions.
In wondering if there is life after death, has proven in being one of the greatest boons to many religions where the continuance of eternal bliss or suffering has drawn the masses through the years in seeking comfort from those of clergy, mediums and spiritualists, who have also been sought for more meaning.
Death is not the end but is in fact the beginning of yet another knowing both strange and vast beyond measure and present meaning, for once we have passed through the thresh hold from this earthly plain do we then find a whole new reality.
We often will retain those of our most strongest emotions that had either proven a blessing or curse when still in living form, which may then be interpreted as either protective or demonic when expressed in spirit form.
But rest assured that much of your memories concerning your present life will then become your all knowing universe when dead, which will from time to time interspersed with occasional moments of interaction with the living.
The world of the dead is not made of random occurrences or chance encounters where spirit may only rise upon a moment at only measured times of the year, but are in fact of constant motion of movement where evidence of their activity can be detected during any time of the day, month and year.
For it is true that energy never truly dies but instead is only transformed to yet another evolution of knowing and purpose, where ours is seemingly random in its selection.
You may not see nor even presently sense them, but all around you at this moment are vast multitudes of souls, both those now deceased from many species of life, and of those whose only reality have been of spirit, as well as those created through our projections of thought and prayers, for in the reality of spirit, do they also make up the many who roam about its existence and many lands.
The death of a loved one is the loss of their presence and significance in our lives.
But in death you may be assured, that if a loving bond had been forged in life, will the attraction even in death remain.
Link to More info related to this post -- HERE
| My Thoughts...... ||May 23rd. at 10:20:53 am EDT|
|Thorin the Skald (SW Michigan) ||Age: 35 - Email |
As a Skald, or keeper of stories, I hold to the belief that there is another "Realm" that we will pass over to when we die. For each of us it may be a slightly different place. The Christians see it as Heaven/Hell, the Native Ameircans call it "the Happy Hunting Grounds", some pagans call it "Summerland", and those of us that follow the Norse Way call it Asgard...well, part of it is anyway!! LOL What I am trying to say, is that I feel there is another place where your spirit/soul goes when we die. My sister died when I was 16...she was 12. She was thrown from her horse and landed upon a rock pile, and her head was cracked open like a melon. Sorry I seem insenstive here folks, but this is what happened. My mother found her 2 hours later. I will never forget that day for the rest of my life. Nor will I forget the dream/vision I had of her within the week after her death. She came and sat on the edge of my bed during the night, and we talked of many things. What those are, I cannot recall. I do remember her saying that she was all right, and that gave me comfort. My parents also had a similar dream/vision happen to them around the same time. Since then I have felt her spirit with me at certain times in my life. I have also always had the feeling of being "watched over" when I was growing up in my parents house. Now, as a divorsed man who was forced to move back in with his folks, I see this feeling as more that what I realized it to be when I was younger. It is the pressence of all the people who lived in that house that are related to me. They are there....or at least a part of them is....and it is comforting to me to get to experiance them. Last Midsummer, I also felt & heard the pressence and voices of the 2 elderly brothers my ancestors bought the property from back in the early 1900's....and I think they got it from the Native Ameiricans....from what happened last year. If any of you would like to hear more, feel free to email me. It is a good tale. Let's just say some friends and I had our own little "Midsummer Night's Dream"!!! LOL Having become a Pagan, I feel that I am more in touch with the Spirit Realm, and I am seriously considering becoming a legal Clergy in my path. I hope this finds all of you in good health and good spirits. Take care, and Bright Blessings.
| I Have Been Dead ||May 23rd. at 6:22:05 pm EDT|
|Moonlite Dust (Texas) ||Age: 13 - Email |
I dont think u people understand that i have been dead for a long time. Well my body is still physically here but my soul is gone. So when my body finally loses all feeling, just throw me in the lake ok. cuzz i dont care
| Death Is.... ||May 23rd. at 8:47:59 pm EDT|
Temporary! We, along with all other organic matter, are recycled over and over again. I believe our spirit goes to a "neutral zone" (a/k/a the Summerlands) , where it rests until it's time to return. As far as whether or not we have a choice when & where to return, I'm highly skeptical, as I know I would've chosen much better lifetimes for myself than the ones I've had! I believe Karma does the choosing.
My familiar - and soul mate - a bunny rabbit - has connected with me TWICE in the past 10 years; after 2 years of separation, he came back, the same breed of rabbit, same markings, same personality, and - most importantly, in the same manner! He was a stray who miraculously found me again. (There are NO coincidences in the Universe!) If anyone is interested in reading his story, I've provided a link to his website.
My Dad - with whom I was very close - crossed over 3 years ago, and for the next 6 months, his spirit visited my apt every day. We would hold conversations (telepathically - I never saw him or heard him speak out loud) . He told me that he would return within 2 years; my response was, "Dad, you've lived a good life of 81 years; don't you want to rest? You deserve it!" As he'd been very active for a senior citizen, he replied, "Are you kidding - I'd get bored!" Exactly 18 months later, a boy child was born - the great grandson of my Dad's brother & sister inlaw! Though I never got to meet the child, I immediately knew who he was.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
| Dissipation. Decomposition. Dancing. ||May 24th. at 11:50:46 am EDT|
|Updog (Richmond, VA) ||Age: 26 - Email |
I've never been a fan of "one-to-one" reincarnation. Y'know, the idea that the soul is a discrete unit, the spiritual atom. Personally, like the image of the fallen log. In the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, huge trees fall and become the staging grounds for a new generation. When the young trees mature, their roots still hold the shape of the tree on which they grew. The log has long since rotted away, so what you get is the shape of the old tree renedered in negative space by those that succeed it.
It seems to me, that in death, as in life, we are "simply" regions in the ebb and flow of energy and matter. Our patterns ripple out from us and death is no barrier to this... If anything it is an acceleration of this process.
All is impermanent. All is without self.
On with the dance.
| Energy ||May 24th. at 2:36:58 pm EDT|
|Mica (FL) ||Age: 33 - Email |
An interesting range of ideas and beliefs here. This is just my two cents, here, so please bear with me. To me, death is a point of transformation, like conception and birth are. But no matter how much I'd like to believe in the classical ideas of an afterlife or reincarnation (the soul as a discreet, basic unit that is incarnated into one body after another, perhaps with a break in between) , I find them hard to digest.
Basically, I believe in reincarnation, but in a different way. To me, the soul, like the body, is a manifestation of energy - a non-physical projection of the energy produced by the body and brain. However, if energy cannot be created nor destroyed, only transformed, then the soul does not just disappear into nothingness at death, either. Energy can be many different things: light, sound, or a physical object like a tree or a brick - or a soul and its body. All life and all things are manifestations of the great pool of energy of which the universe is only a part. The idea is hard to describe. It's like an ebb and flow to me. Perhaps this analogy is better: Sparks of fire that light up and then go out, combining transforming energy from one set of forms (oxygen and carbon in the form of paper, wood, or another object) to another set of forms (light, heat, and CO2) . If this rationale is true, as we observe in the every day process of energy transforming itself in our bodies when we digest food, in heat and light and fire, then the soul cannot be destroyed - nor does it go on to exist as a soul after death. I believe that it is transformed into another form or manifestation of energy, just as our bodies are transformed into food for worms and microbes and plants, and on and on.
Perhaps this great pool of energy is intelligent enough to consciously and purposely manifest itself into all of these different forms - to experience its existence in a myriad of different forms and aspects. After all, we are intelligent manifestations of it, so in this sense, we are like the mind of this energy. But even if this energy is really intelligent and purposeful, I still find it difficult to believe that the soul is a discreet unit of energy that can exist intact without the body. No form of energy can exist intact forever without transformation into something else.
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