Monday, September 07, 2009

Afterlife Research

I have innovative views concerning the Afterlife.
It is a goal of my lifetime to systematically outline my beliefs about what is most likely to happen to us after we die.
I want to write a book about it. My ideas seem original and relevant enough [to me] to warrant a readership.

My thoughts on this topic have changed over the years, and there is still quite a lot of morphing going on.
Let's face it, no one, myself included, will ever really know the Answer.
But it really helps [I think] to at least narrow the hallway of speculation down a bit by way of elimination. By this, I mean that part of my own process has been to one-by-one discard certain ideas that just do not seem tenable.
In lieu of specific conclusions further understanding often comes by way of knowing what one does NOT believe.
At one time in my life I was fully committed to what I might call an evangelical and even doctrinally fundamentalist Christian idea of the hereafter. I studied the Bible in college from the perspective of a preconceived faith-acceptance [which I now believe taints what I might call true "study"] and I received a degree in Theology at the end of four years. Since then, my ideas have expanded, and I've embraced many facets of the topic that would seem heretical to my previous Christian understanding.

Spirituality and religion are ideas that most people keep close to the vest.
So, I totally understand if readers of Bookpuddle are not interested in answering the question I now pose.
But if you are willing, I would very much value your input and opinion regarding a matter I am currently investigating.

In your current understanding of the Afterlife, [of what is most likely to happen after your own physical death], which of these scenarios most clearly represents your belief?

A) There is absolutely no consciousness / awareness / existence, after physical death. I cease to exist in any real or even unreal sense.

B) Upon my death, the non-physical aspect of my person [soul / spirit] enters a realm of awareness, and in this realm I am aware of my previous earthly existence. In other words, I retain my distinct personality in the sense that I can recollect and recall aspects of my earthly existence as an individual human being. I can remember where I worked, who I was married to, loved, hated, etc.

C) Upon my death, the non-physical aspect of my person [soul / spirit] enters a realm of awareness, and in this realm I am not aware of my previous earthly existence. Nor do I retain the uniqueness of my previous personality. In other words, in whatever sense an awareness continues, it does so with no recollection of my previous earthly existence. I do NOT in any way remember where I worked, who I was married to, loved, hated, etc.

Thank you.
If you believe in some fourth option, a letter (D)... let me know.
All respondents shall be duly cited in the dedication page of my upcoming bestseller.



Beth said...

And that awareness includes acknowledging and understanding everything you ever did during your earthly existence – the good and the bad. (That’s my vision of hell.)

Anonymous said...

I have to go with B simply because of my father's death. I like to think that he knows me. I like to think he knows my children and that he watches over them. When something good happens I like to think he had a hand in it and did it out of love. He always provided for us and took care of us all that I can't find it in me to let that go.
I suppose this is more "hope" than "belief" though.

Anonymous said...

I have to go with A. I'd like to believe that there is more, but in reality I think once you die that's it.

Cipriano said...

Thank you for your responses.
At work today it occurred to me that if I am asking others to respond with their answers, perhaps I should have begun by offering my own.
The option that most closely matches my own current belief on this topic is the third one, C.

Cold Molasses said...

C for me...although I'd like a few more options Cip. Maybe godpuddle should do a special blog series on this know, like a 5 part series outlining your thoughts.

By the way, Spong's new book on the afterlife is now out...I had a copy in my hot little hands last week...didn't buy it as the in-store price was so high compared to the online price (that, and I concluded I didn't have time to read it right now).

Cipriano said...

Hey Cold Mol:
Thank you for your input.
Thing is [I'm being serious here] I do not see any place for a fourth option.
Not in the limited terms I have outlined here. Like, I am not talking about elaboration.... there is plenty of room for that, yes. For instance, I could write [well...] a BOOK [the proverbial and elusive BOOK] about what I mean by suggesting that the "C" option is the most logically sound one, but really, from a bare-bones perspective, there really IS no fourth option.
Is there?

Either there is utterly nothing [no continued existence] after death, or there is existence of a sort with recollection...... or, there is existence of a sort without recollection.

I was not kidding when I suggested that if anyone can come up with a valid fourth option, I would like to hear of it.
You are 100% right my friend.... MUCH cheaper online!

Rebecca H. said...

I'm going to go with A.I suppose I can't really discount the existence of ghosts or spirits of people who have died, but my best guess is that we all just disappear.

Stefanie said...

I have to say A. But I also believe that while "I" will no longer exist, the way matter and energy decomposes and is taken up into other things, I think the atoms of what were me will be incorporated into other existences. And while "I" will no longer exist, the I that is currently alive finds comfort in thinking that I could one day be part of a tree or a bird or a big fat worm digging through the dirt.

Cold Molasses said...

Cip - at the highest level, I guess you are right...but I guess what I was thinking was an exploration of each of those options (well I guess options B and C anyway). As in, what forms could the afterlife take in options B and C...everything from the fundamentalist Christian view of "heaven/hell" to reincarnation to other options such as being one with the Divine, etc. I think this would be an interesting discourse.