Different cultures the world over have diverse beliefs, about what happens after someone dies. I don’t believe in all those cultures’ beliefs, but I unquestionably do believe in an afterlife.
What happens when we die is an issue the entire human species undeniably ponders about repeatedly.
The most outstanding beliefs are those of a “heaven” (for all people that believe in God, as best as I can tell) and “reincarnation”.
In my interest of clarity I want to state that I personally believe that when you die, you go to “heaven,” but it is not correct to describe heaven as “up there” as scientists who have explored space with modern science have found there stars and other planets in our solar system instead of a heaven.
Ok, or maybe they haven’t gone that far after all but I like to think of heaven as an equivalent universe that exists in the same space as ours, but it lies on a different dimension, in each person’s life.
A number of questions about heaven inevitably come up. Questions like, whether we have to go with our clothes, whether our friends will follow us to heaven?
If so, shall we be in position to ask for a transfer to another part of heaven if I owe any of my friend’s money?
Shall we be required to attend religious services regularly like it is now? How about the food and drinks, this raises a question of whether we shall have to pay for them, if so, will we have to work?
Or does heaven operate on a socialist policy where the government caters for the needs of the people? Perhaps you have the answers, if so, please let me know.
Now I don’t see myself talking about heaven and hell, a topic more than half of the world’s population knows about, and possibly any one from a fairly religious society.
One particular belief that interests me is reincarnation which is considered as the return of a soul to live another life in a new body. How interesting!
If reincarnation is real I would have loved to come back as a bird. Wouldn’t that be amazing? I’m not thrilled with the prospect of eating worms or insects, but apart from that it would be incredible.
I simply flap my wings and go wherever I please, and when it comes to crossing borders, no one frowns at me as they demand to see my passport and ask if I am carrying any illegal stuff , how long I plan to stay etc . I just go and enjoy myself.
However like I said, I believe in heaven and hell after we die but I can’t get over the feeling that I would be much happier if I believed in reincarnation. I don’t. Maybe I will in my next life, but I don’t in this one.
What I find so comforting about the theory of reincarnation is that it is, in effect, a second, third, fourth, fifth, etc, chance at life.
The way I imagine it is, as you reach your midlife crisis and go beyond, you begin to despair over the fact that you haven’t accomplished nearly as much in this life as you had hoped you would, but then you cheer up when you remember that it really doesn’t matter in the least because, even if you do totally make a mess of this life, you can always try to get it right in the next one, and if not in the next life then in the one after that.
One thing that concerns me about reincarnation is that I can’t help thinking that the suicide rate in societies that believe in reincarnation must be a lot higher than in other cultures.
I don’t have any statistics to confirm or refute that, but it seems logical to me. If you believe that you have only one life to live then you might have a few worries about prematurely ending your only shot at happiness.
On the other hand, if you believe in reincarnation and you totally screw something up in your life, why wouldn’t you just say, “I don’t think I’ll wait another few decades. I’m going to click my restart button now. See you in the next life.”
Then again, I know absolutely nothing about reincarnation beliefs. Maybe killing yourself generates bad luck in that reincarnation belief, with the result being that you come back as an insect and the first person you set your eyes on is the fumigator on your first day of your new life.
I don’t know if any faith preaches that, but if I invented a religion that included reincarnation in its belief system I’d definitely put the “fumigator and insect” parable into the sacred texts.
Otherwise, in order to start their next lives as soon as possible, people would kill themselves the instant anything goes wrong, which would have serious negative repercussions consequently decreasing the amount of donations my temple gets from its followers, or should I say my followers.
As an aside, I know what you’re thinking. “He’s not going to heaven; he’s fantasizing about reincarnation.”
Well, I’m no saint, but I try to be a good person – I regularly give a coin or two to street kids, I usually remember to say please and thank you when appropriate and I don’t kick dogs or children.
I don’t believe in reincarnation, but I do believe that if I’m wrong fantasizing about it then He’ll be forgiving and generous enough to take my basic goodness into account, ignore my fantasies and let me into heaven