Where do we go when we die?
Reincarnation : Life After Death Most of the world's population believes we come back here.
Reincarnation isn't just a fringe belief by any stretch of spiritual imagination -- it's easy for the Western World to tag the concept as New Agey and Out There, but the cultural reality is that more people than not truly believe in life after death -- past lives, multiple life-times, reincarnation -- as fundamental truth.
I won't say that I'm exactly dying to find out, but if you happen to beat me there, I'd love to hear all about it. [stage direction: I hold my hand to the side of my head -- devil horns, You Rock, or maybe it's just American Sign Language for I Love You turned on its side -- and I silently mouth the words "Call me"]
Seriously -- Life after Death is not a subject that comes up much in conversation with my spirit guides -- they encourage me to focus on Now -- and right now we all happen to have a much better perspective on life BEFORE death.
Death is most likely as personal and unique and varied an experience as life. Since death lies in either the future or the past -- or both, depending on who you talk to -- the information regarding life after death is not a priority in the context of the journey -- the experience at hand.
Take Me To Another Place If you ask if I believe in Hell, I neither stutter nor blink when I answer No. If I'm going to search for mythical destinations, I'd much rather look for a way to get to:
- Middle Earth
- the Moon
- or Mars
Hell has GUILT-TRIP stamped all over it. The concept of Hell is a total dead-end -- counterproductive, at best -- most likely the original passive-aggressive brainwashing tactic of all the hateful propaganda out there. Guilt trips -- along with the travel agents who are too eager to plan them for others -- are on my Short List of Pet Peeves, and deserve to be willfully ignored.
Hell: let's just NOT Go There -- you know what I'm saying?
Hell on Earth Hell on Earth is another story -- unfortunately resistant to the most well-intentioned denial.
Hell on Earth is a human ghetto -- like all concentration camps.
Focus on living your life in such a way that you have no reason to fear or even consider such horrible, eternal destinations. You're unlikely to end up in the Hell beyond this world without at least checking out the brochure.
And you know how challenging it is to fold a map back up the way it was before you opened it.
Study another atlas.
Cutting-edge gerontologists consider aging and death to be diseases that can be cured. They even propose that the first human beings who will be cured of aging, and so avoid death by natural causes, are already alive today.
If these theories and advancements in medical science pan out, then we really may not Go There at all -- if you don't have to die, Life after Death Hot-Spots lose their advertising budget.
Death is The Ticket to Life In his latest book Life After Death: The Burden of Proof Deepak Chopra discusses this Road-Less-Traveled.
Chopra maps the scenic routes we rush past on our way to Life After Death. The directions include the overlooked landmarks of medical perspective:
- The only cells in the body that don't die are cancer cells;
- cancer is currently the only available biological vacation from death;
- death is the mechanism by which life renews itself.
Fear of Death = Fear of Life We are, ironically, overly-concerned with the question of Life AFTER Death -- at which time, by definition, life is no longer an option available to us.
Whatever is in store for us after death will be okay. Life after Death may not resemble life at all.
Life Before Death We should be asking about Life BEFORE Death.
What about Life NOW? Why would you spend your energy worrying about whether or not you can go on living AFTER you're done with living? This common priority of the living is so spiritually ass-backward it borders on insanity -- we must be crazy to be in a hurry to arrive somewhere that may not exist - or may cease to be relevant once we get there.
We seem to be hell-bent on flight paths that chart courses through the Bermuda Triangle, where our compasses go haywire -- we keep vanishing, beaming up and down, always missing rapture.
We somehow manage to keep tagging, dragging along, and claiming baggage -- how on earth do we STILL end up with so much lost luggage?
Death may end up being that far away attic bedroom you just descended from, but now -- Crud! You groan, turn around, and climb all the way back up the stairs to retrieve... that Thing you forgot to bring down here with you when you came... Wait -- WHAT was it you came back up here for..?
S.A.D.D. In the context of reincarnation, concern with Life after Death is S.A.D.D. -- Spiritual Attention Deficit Disorder -- we are wearing ourselves out making pointless trips back and forth.
There are many uncertainties regarding death -- what we do know for sure about life is that WHILE we're still alive turns out to be the perfect time and place to live.
If you're afraid you won't have enough life -- if you fear the end of this experience -- doesn't it just make sense to stock up on what you can find while you still have access to it -- while you're still HERE?
If believing in Life after Death doesn't serve you as the ultimate passport -- the Get Out of Hell Free card -- then what the hell do you need it for in the first place?
Seek Wisdom -- Practice Love