“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will”Chuck Palahniuk
Hello, I know that this is not the happiest topic you can talk about, but you must have thought about it at least once in your life. Death is our fate. We are all going to leave this world one day. However, there are plenty of theories about the afterlife. Each religion has its own version about it and we’re gonna have a look at them in this article. When it comes to death, only two things can happen. You will either rest eternally or you will continue living in a different world. These are the only possible outcomes of death. Let’s have a look at the most popular scenarios about the afterlife.
Heaven and hell
According to Zoroastrians, Christians and Muslims, when a person dies, his/her soul goes to a supernatural place. There are two supernatural worlds where souls reside, once they exit their bodies. I’m talking of course about heaven and hell. According to this concept, the final destination of your soul depends on the way you lived your life. Righteous people go to heaven, while amoral people go to hell. This is how it works. A deceased person will remain in one of those ethereal worlds eternally, next to God or Devil. To my great surprise, the people that founded the concepts of paradise and hell were the Zoroastrians. They were the first ones that talked about these “realms”. I found out about this, when I was doing some research about this post. Jews, Christians and Muslims had adopted the concepts of heaven and hell, from the Persian religion.
Fun fact: According to Zoroastrians, when someone dies he/she is led by an angel to the Chinawad or Chinavat Bridge, where his deeds are reviewed. If this person was good then he will be allowed to enter heaven. If not, he will be cast to the “World of punishment” as they call it
Fun fact 2: Jews do not believe in Heaven and hell! They believe that once a person dies, he goes to some sort of abyss, where he/she rests there for eternity. This abyss is called “Sheol“. For more info, look here https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/heaven-and-hell-in-jewish-tradition/
According to various religions that support this view, we only live once. Then our soul departs to its final destination, to stay there for eternity. This means that whoever dies, never returns back. Which means that the dead people cannot tell us what they saw in the ”other side” (According to the religions that support this belief that is). In other words, no alive person has ever witnessed heaven and hell, which makes it highly doubtful that these places actually exist. Of course, you are still free to believe in these things, I’m just pointing out that their existence has no basis at all . This was just one theory about the afterlife. There are more and we will have a look at them right now.
NOTE: Christians claim that in Second Advent, Jesus Christ will return once again and all dead people will be resurrected and live among us. This was mentioned in many Christian texts such as the Gospels and the apocalypse (I’m not very good in religious matters, If I have written something that is not true, please correct me)
Some religions believe in reincarnation. This belief suggests that, once you die, you return to this world, as a human or as another life form (Animal, insect etc.). The most famous religion that holds this belief is Hinduism. Hinduists believe that we live many lives in this world. They believe that life,death and rebirth is a process that repeats itself, over and over (This is the so called Samsara ). Also, there’s a fundamental concept in this religion called Karma. Whoever does good deeds, will have good karma and whoever does bad deeds will have bad karma. If your karma is good, you will be rewarded in the next life, by becoming a superior life form. If not, you are punished by becoming an inferior being. This is what the Hinduists believe on this matter.
This view is actually very simple. It suggests that when you die, this is it. Death is the end of all life and you rest for good, once you “leave” this world. It’s usually atheists and agnostics the ones that support this view. According to this theory, you feel nothing and you experience nothing, once you depart from this “realm” which isn’t that bad actually. For many people, it can be redeeming to find peace in the afterlife.
These were some of the most widespread ideas about death. There are also other theories on this matter, but I have only examined the most famous ones. If you have your own view about death, you can write it in the comments below. Now, I want to ask you something. Do you remember something before your birth? Do you have any memories at all, before this moment? Well, I guess you don’t. Nobody really does. There’s just blackness before our birth. The same thing could be happening after death you know. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case. And at the very end, why would God or Devil even care if you were righteous or not? Don’t they have any other matters to attend to?
When it comes to the afterlife, I pretty much believe that we will rest for good, once our souls depart from this world. I do have some arguments to support my view, but I can’t be 100% sure on this. I do believe though, that this is the dominant scenario about death. I rule out the possibility of heaven and hell, but I leave an open window for Reincarnation. These were my thoughts on the afterlife. What do you guys think? Do you believe any of the dominant theories about death? Or you support a different view on this matter? Tell me in the comments what you think.
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