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Author Topic: Religion and Afterlife.  (Read 768 times)

Crohm

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Religion and Afterlife.
« on: September 02, 2012, 03:08:22 pm »
Being an avid reader, I found interest in a quote ascribed to Gautama Buddha:

“Gripped by fear men go to sacred mountains, sacred groves, sacred trees and shrines”.

Plato has been said to call philosophy a preparation for death.

In this, it strikes me as a universal principle that religion has an undercurrent, perhaps a large one, of seeking out to something or something that will sate that fear and hesitation about the truth of the certainty of death and in that truth what comes after.

We desire something that will promise us continued existence past life.  In the idea of some I have read where they say "at death we become one with the source of life like a drop in an ocean" if that were so, it would be the end of the drop.  Thus, bringing us back to the notion of failed continued existence.

I will clarify my use of the term 'continued existence'.  We could say that there is an energy about us that survives incarnations, yet we can not say for certain it retains those facets that we know as 'us'.  It is my belief that the large majority of us wish that continued existence, with only a handful ambivalent towards it.

I believe, to reiterate, that life has us with the gun to our head that at some point at an undisclosed time we shall find ourself bereft of life and hurtling towards an uncertain afterlife or just to sit in a concrete sealed coffin to marinate in our own juices (since new laws, at least in the states, do not let us become worm food anymore).

I would love to believe that there was a transparent energy field within me, that with death it is detached and allowed to roam freely where I can continue to experience new adventures and sensations.  That is why it is called faith, because I do not know with certainty.  A deep well of feeling and want for something to be so, does not make it so at the end of the day.

I have refused to be an atheist or an agnostic, despite my rabid thought proceses and relentless logic on these topics.  I refuse the former, because I believe there should be something above us that we must be held accountable and the latter because I do not to be continually drifting or confused.  I prefer a consistent lie to a messy truth.

I have pondered these things for years on my own, but sought to have a brain dump that I might read other's thoughts and beliefs.

To wrap this all back up to a cogent question it would be this:  What do you view as the nature of religion?  A set of principles to be held to in exchange for an afterlife at the hand of a God or Goddess?  sacred twig?  Or other arrangement?

How does your faith, and your own personal opinions if different, handle death and with it, what comes as an effect of the cause of cessation of life?
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SacredRaven

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Re: Religion and Afterlife.
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2012, 03:56:45 pm »
Quote from: Crohm;71991
sit in a concrete sealed coffin to marinate in our own juices (since new laws, at least in the states, do not let us become worm food anymore)


Hi Crohm

Are you serious?? No Dust to Dust any more?? Do they think our bodies will pollute the soil or create new diseases??

Bright Blessings. . . Raven /|\
Nature cannot be tricked or cheated.  She will give up to you the object of your struggles only after you have paid her price. ~ Napoleon Hill
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Crohm

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Re: Religion and Afterlife.
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2012, 04:01:23 pm »
Quote from: SacredRaven;71995
Hi Crohm

Are you serious?? No Dust to Dust any more?? Do they think our bodies will pollute the soil or create new diseases??

Bright Blessings. . . Raven /|\

 
They put the coffin in the ground, then pour cement over it, the rationale was that the gases that escape from the coffin can pollute the water table and seep through to the roots of any grasses growing above it.  

Got to love politically correct and environmentalism weirdness here in the states.
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SacredRaven

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Re: Religion and Afterlife.
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2012, 04:49:47 pm »
Quote from: Crohm;71998
Got to love politically correct and environmentalism weirdness here in the states.


Ok, I see their point. . . :eek:

But i guess Fracking is ok then??? :p
 
God Bless America, he, he

Nice to meet you btw

Bright Blessings. . . /|\
Nature cannot be tricked or cheated.  She will give up to you the object of your struggles only after you have paid her price. ~ Napoleon Hill
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Crohm

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Re: Religion and Afterlife.
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2012, 07:07:00 pm »
Quote from: SacredRaven;72003
Ok, I see their point. . . :eek:

But i guess Fracking is ok then??? :p
 
God Bless America, he, he

Nice to meet you btw

Bright Blessings. . . /|\

 

A late evening to you as well.

I only wish that more were replying.  45 views and not another reply as such.  I shall continue to be patient.. haha.
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Jenett

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Re: Religion and Afterlife.
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2012, 07:23:01 pm »
Quote from: Crohm;71998
They put the coffin in the ground, then pour cement over it, the rationale was that the gases that escape from the coffin can pollute the water table and seep through to the roots of any grasses growing above it.  

Got to love politically correct and environmentalism weirdness here in the states.

 
Depends where you are in the States - there are increasing numbers of places where green burials or cremation are more and more common. (Cremation has some environmental considerations, too, but on the average, I think it's better than cement sealing.)

As to people reading and not replying - that's really common here, because the custom is for people to comment only if they've got something specific to say. Clear questions tend to get more responses, or topics that come around less often, but are still interesting to a wide range of people/paths/etc.

And it's also a holiday weekend in the US and Canada, so people are perhaps more likely to skim quickly, and move past, where on a quieter week when they have more time, they might reply to more things.

(Personally, I've done a round of death and burial option discussions recently enough that - but for the comment I replied to above - I'd probably have gone past and spent my time on other things. Not the topic that's making me go "Ooh, let me talk about that" lots this season.)
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wadjet

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Re: Religion and Afterlife.
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2012, 12:32:34 am »
Quote from: Crohm;71991
I have refused to be an atheist or an agnostic, despite my rabid thought proceses and relentless logic on these topics.  I refuse the former, because I believe there should be something above us that we must be held accountable and the latter because I do not to be continually drifting or confused.  I prefer a consistent lie to a messy truth.

To wrap this all back up to a cogent question it would be this:  What do you view as the nature of religion?  A set of principles to be held to in exchange for an afterlife at the hand of a God or Goddess?  sacred twig?  Or other arrangement?

How does your faith, and your own personal opinions if different, handle death and with it, what comes as an effect of the cause of cessation of life?

 
It's interesting, because many people come to a similar conclusion to the OP - they feel afraid at the thought of nothing, and consciously choose to put hope in what they know might be false because it makes them feel better to believe there is some aspect of continued existence after physical death.

Perhaps because I had a religious family, whatever the reason, I started thinking about the afterlife at a much earlier age than I'm under the impression most people do. So, I've thought about it a lot, and I've considered all of the things in this post.

I have come to the conclusion that I do not give a rat's ass what happens after I die. I have absolutely no fear of death - a little sadness at the though of not having the opportunity to accomplish something that I could have accomplished, maybe, but no fear at all.

 - I find the concept of retribution or reward highly unlikely in terms of how the Universe functions.
 - If the afterlife is anything with such heavy finality as the Christians believe, then I frankly will be happy to side with Lucifer in giving Yahweh the finger for creating such a shitty system.
 - If there is nothing but oblivion after death, then why worry about it, because I'm not going to know when it happens anyway.
 - Most of the other types of possibilities are indifferent to positive: reincarnation, blending back into the whole, etc. Seems pointless to worry.

I base much of my spiritual belief on collected knowledge, and, in a sense, logic. If for thousands of years people of every single background and faith have had experiences with spirits of the dead, that it does seem realistic to assume that at least some of us continue to reside here in some fashion.

But other than that, I find the whole concept of afterlife completely irrelevant to life or how I live it. I don't need an existential reason to be a good person, nor do I need everything to be definitive about the Universe to be happy.

(I am aware this is an uncommon, unpopular point of view. I'm not trying to convince anyone of it.)

I certainly do use aspects of my spirituality to explain the unknown, but as I said in another thread, "supernatural" to me is simply "science we haven't figured out yet". I think religion can also be a useful tool for learning and reminding oneself of how to act in life, but these lessons have mortal consequences, not afterlife ones. Primarily, my work with spirits and spirituality is to maintain a healthy emotional connection to all complex aspects of who I am, as well as to explore practical ways to make my (healthy) desires reality in my life.

Death is a part of life, not the other way around. Religion should be about life, not death.

Naomi J

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Religion and Afterlife.
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2012, 06:51:10 am »
Quote from: wadjet;72058
It's interesting, because many people come to a similar conclusion to the OP - they feel afraid at the thought of nothing, and consciously choose to put hope in what they know might be false because it makes them feel better to believe there is some aspect of continued existence after physical death.

Perhaps because I had a religious family, whatever the reason, I started thinking about the afterlife at a much earlier age than I'm under the impression most people do. So, I've thought about it a lot, and I've considered all of the things in this post.

I have come to the conclusion that I do not give a rat's ass what happens after I die. I have absolutely no fear of death - a little sadness at the though of not having the opportunity to accomplish something that I could have accomplished, maybe, but no fear at all.

 - I find the concept of retribution or reward highly unlikely in terms of how the Universe functions.
 - If the afterlife is anything with such heavy finality as the Christians believe, then I frankly will be happy to side with Lucifer in giving Yahweh the finger for creating such a shitty system.
 - If there is nothing but oblivion after death, then why worry about it, because I'm not going to know when it happens anyway.
 - Most of the other types of possibilities are indifferent to positive: reincarnation, blending back into the whole, etc. Seems pointless to worry.

I base much of my spiritual belief on collected knowledge, and, in a sense, logic. If for thousands of years people of every single background and faith have had experiences with spirits of the dead, that it does seem realistic to assume that at least some of us continue to reside here in some fashion.

But other than that, I find the whole concept of afterlife completely irrelevant to life or how I live it. I don't need an existential reason to be a good person, nor do I need everything to be definitive about the Universe to be happy.

This is pretty much my position too. Without meaning to be offensive, I feel like people who are 'sure' they will be reincarnated or otherwise have a life after death are clinging to a hope that I don't really want anymore. I was an evangelical Christian for years and the fear of hell as a weapon is something I deeply internalised, with the hope of heaven there to keep me cheerful. But more recently (well, for the past few years) I've felt like there might be something, there might not, and I'm much better off living my life to the full and not wasting my time worrying about it. Intellectually, reincarnation makes no sense to me - my feeling is that, if there's anything, it's something akin to a return to the source of life. And I love that idea - that I'm finite but the universe is infinite. Thats much more comforting, for me, than the depressing idea that I might have to come back again, and again, and again to 'learn lessons'. I suppose it's possible, though, and then I'll be surprised (or not, since I imagine I won't remember being the 'me' I am now). If I go to some kind of 'summerland' I really will be surprised, but I can't believe anywhere like that exists outside of myth.
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Yei

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Re: Religion and Afterlife.
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2012, 08:02:27 am »
Quote from: Crohm;71998
They put the coffin in the ground, then pour cement over it, the rationale was that the gases that escape from the coffin can pollute the water table and seep through to the roots of any grasses growing above it.  

Got to love politically correct and environmentalism weirdness here in the states.

 
I just have to say this. What the hell? That is really bizarre.

Anyway, on topic. I'm not sure that your initial statement was correct. Every religion probably has a different take, which will actually be different between different groups within that religion and then different again depending on the social environment of the group.

As for Mesoamericans, Central Mexican people had no fear of death. A lot of Mexican philosophy and poetry is about coming to terms with the ephemeral nature of life. Religiously, even the Afterlife was limited and after four years souls would be re-absorbed by existence, effectively ceasing to exist.

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Re: Religion and Afterlife.
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2012, 08:09:48 am »
Quote from: Crohm;72016
I only wish that more were replying.  45 views and not another reply as such.  I shall continue to be patient.. haha.

First: It's a holiday weekend. Second: Many of those "views" may be from the search engine robots constantly going through this site.
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