Do you believe that life does end, or may end, at death?
Human nature instinctively fights against any suggestion that absolutely nothing may be in our future.
I believe that the assumption by those who do not believe in a non‐physical life after death that physical life has existential meaning may itself be an irrational myth, and that belief in the possibility that there is a non‐physical life after death is the logical, rational, hope for humankind.
Perhaps there is existential meaning in a purely physical life, yet the unquestioned acceptance of this possibility by rational thinkers is no more supported by scientific analysis than the possibility of a non‐physical existence.
If there is anything in life we can count on occurring without fail, it is physical death.
While over the ages men and women have sought to perpetuate themselves through their children, their place in history, their role in society, and through intricate philosophical webs of existentialism on physical man’s importance, the fact of physical death remains.
If in fact you do exercise meaningful freedom of choice, what good is it to be a unique human being if at your death you cease to exist?
Humanist philosophers seem to accept that human consciousness is purely physical in nature, and acknowledge the end of consciousness at physical death.
Various Religious Perspectives of the Afterlife
Christian beliefs about the afterlife vary between denominations and individual Christians, but vast majority of Christians believe in some kind of heaven, in which believers enjoy the presence of God and other believers and freedom from suffering and sin. Most of the Christians follow the idea that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of humanity, so that we could achieve salvation. There are references of heaven and hell in the Bible. It is clearly stated that those who do not follow and believe in Jesus will ultimately end up in hell, while those who do will achieve salvation and end up in heaven. In the Bible it is explained that there is a time to be born, and a time to die.
Initially, most Christian favored burial of the dead body but today both cremation and burial are practiced by Christians.
Buddha asserted that what keeps us bound to the death/rebirth process is desire, desire in the sense of wanting or craving anything in the world.
Buddhism Buddha accepted the basic Hindu doctrines of reincarnation and karma, as well as the notion that the ultimate goal of the religious life is to escape the cycle of death and rebirth.
Nirvana literally means extinction, and it refers to the extinction of all craving, an extinction that allows one to become liberated.
Only the most evolved individuals can skip the bardo experience altogether and transit directly into a paradise realm.
Stage three (called the “Sidpa” Bardo), the bardo of rebirth, is the process of reincarnation.
Despite its transitory nature, this false self hangs together as a unit, and even reincarnates in body after body.
Where Buddha departed most radically from Hinduism was in his doctrine of “anatta”, the notion that individuals do not possess eternal souls.
Instead of eternal souls, individuals consist of a “bundle” of habits, memories, sensations, desires, and so forth, which together delude one into thinking that he or she consists of a stable, lasting self.
The departed then encounters various apparitions, the “peaceful” and “wrathful” deities, that are actually personifications of human feelings and that, to successfully achieve nirvana, the deceased must encounter unflinchingly.
The average person, however, drops into the lesser state of the secondary “clear light.”
Traditional Judaism firmly believes that death is not the end of human existence.
However, because Judaism is primarily focused on life here and now rather than on the afterlife, Judaism does not have much dogma about the afterlife, and leaves a great deal of room for personal opinion.
It is possible for an Orthodox Jew to believe that the souls of the righteous dead go to a place similar to the Christian heaven, or that they are reincarnated through many lifetimes, or that they simply wait until the coming of the messiah, when they will be resurrected.
Likewise, Orthodox Jews can believe that the souls of the wicked are tormented by demons of their own creation, or that wicked souls are simply destroyed at death, ceasing to exist.
According to the tenets of the Muslim faith, death is the complete end of physical life and the beginning of a period of rest until the day of resurrection when Allah judges the living and the dead.
As the Sufi saying states, “Know yourself, know your Lord.”
Except for these possible visions of heaven or hell, Muslims believe the soul remains in a kind of “soul sleep” until Judgment Day.
Many Muslims believe that the righteous are able to see visions of God after death and that the wicked see visions of hell.
Many Muslims believe that non-Muslims can attain heaven only after a period of purification in the fires of purgatory.
According to Sufi tradition, there are many ways to ascend, but the essence of the path to God is to find yourself.
The Sufi masters teach that, after death, a person judges himself thereby bringing about their own heaven or hell.
Sufism is known as “the Way of the Heart” and the “Way of the Pure.”
When the Day of Judgment arrives, everyone is judged according to their deeds in life.
In the eighth century, a mystical sect of Islam began which merged the mystical traditions of the Greeks, Buddhists and Hindus with traditional Islamic faith.
Unlike Western hells, however, Hindu hell worlds are not final dwelling places.
Hinduism The Upanishads, the ancient set of Hindu religious texts, postulated an eternal, changeless core of the self called as the “Atman.”
What keeps us trapped in the samsaric cycle is the law of karma.
This soul or “deep self” was viewed as being identical with the unchanging godhead, referred to as Brahma (the unitary ground of being that transcends particular gods and goddesses).
In the southern Asian religious tradition, it represents the supreme goal of human strivings.
In Upanishadic Hinduism, the individual Atman is believed to merge into the cosmic Brahma.
Many of the torments of Hindu hell worlds, such as being tortured by demons, resemble the torments of more familiar Western hells.
Unlike Western treatments of reincarnation, which tend to make the idea of coming back into body after body seem exotic, desirable, and even romantic, Hinduism, Buddhism, and other southern Asian religions portray the samsaric process as unhappy.
Life in this world means suffering.
It is the necessity of “reaping one’s karma” that compels human beings to take rebirth (to reincarnate) in successive lifetimes.
On crossing over we take three things with us: our etheric or spirit body (a duplicate of our physical body) all memories and our character.
Spiritualism/ Spiritism says that all people and animals that have been loved (had their vibrations raised) such as pets, continue to live after physical death.
The murdered former resident of the house informed the Fox sisters who actually murdered him and the police caught the murderer.
Modern spiritualist movement began in 1848 in Hydesville, New York with the Fox sisters who demonstrated that spirits communicated with them by rapping on tables.
The finding of the skeleton confirmed the rappings directed at the two Fox sisters.
Highly credible world famous scientists – see chapter 2 using their scientific skills regularly confirm this communication.
Those who have been willfully cruel and consistenetly selfish go to the darker, very unpleasant Astral regions because their level of vibrations would be much lower than the vibrations of the Third Realm.
The historical record is that finding of a skeleton in the basement where the Fox sisters used to live – as the spirit of a man who was murdered there had directed the Fox sisters to search by digging in the basement.
Spiritualists accept the Law of Progress- that those who are in the lower realms will one day slowly go upwardly towards the Realms of the Light even if it takes eons of time.
source: Picture:Harvard neurosurgeon confirms the existence of an Afterlife.accessed onhttp://www.thelifeisamazing.com/harvard-neurosurgeon-confirms-the-existence-of-an-afterlife/Picture:http://occhristianmag.com/2016/04/the-question-of-the-afterlife/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritism http://studentorgs.utexas.edu/kardec/ http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/Spiritsm.html http://anomalyinfo.com/articles/ga00005.shtml http://www.allan-kardec.info/ Kevin Williams http://www.near-death.com/hindu.html. Hinduism Today - Death & Dying Laura Strong's Mythic Arts offers this article on Buddhist views of an afterlife and death. Buddhism Today - Rebirth Learn about the cycle of death and rebirth in Buddhist tradition in this article from Buddhism Today. Buddhism Today - Buddhist Afterlife. Another great article from Buddhism Today teaches about the afterlife in Buddhism. The afterlife usually pertains to the intermediate phase between rebirths.Disclaimer: The above religious perspectives and are merely a generalisation.