posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 07:24 PM
Since I personally know of no case of an individual who has actually died and returned from a state of death to talk about it, I am forced to rely on
what I do know about death based on observation in order to be able to sensibly post here.
It is clear to me that the idea of either living forever or living after the death of the physical body is a primal concept that seems to have always
been there, inside every person, throughout recorded history and all over the world.
I am not speaking here about any belief in life after death, but rather the very concept of it, that 'thing' inside ourselves that even permits us
the luxery of entertaining thoughts about life after death should we decide to do so.
We can decide to think about life after death even if we don't know anything about it, and we record these ideas of ours in literature, art,
tradition, and so on.
Religion only plays a small part here: religion is really just a set of ideas about life here and life after death that we express using ritual of
The best that religion can do to answer the question of life after death is bounce a ball off a philosophic wall and right back to us.
Philosophy is not much better. It, like religion, is basically just a set of
ideas which finds expression in the inner mind rather than outward reality.
Can science provide an answer? No, because it too relies upon establishing a set of ideas obtained through careful and methodical outward observation
of a phenomenon. The scientist seeks to authenticate those ideas through a set of rules. If those rules can then be applied in the real world to
recreate the observed phenomenon, then we have some science concerning it and therefore knowledge regarding it.
No religion, no philosophy, no science has ever been able to show what life after death is, yet the very concept of it persists.
It is not possible using knowledge to come to any conclusions regarding life after death. In other words, the brain, which contains the mind, and is
the only organ in the body capable of consciously processing knowledge, is not equipped to address the issue other than to simply conceive of it and
afterwards entertain homespun stories it creates using its own resources and experience.
Why then do we still have that life after death thing inside of us? The answer to me at least is clear: there is no knowledge concerning life after
death, merely awareness of life after death, which the mind then files away under 'concept' for future reference and that is the end of that!
It is against that backdrop of awareness that we struggle for meaning. Our conscience tells us there IS life after death! Our mind only tells us there
is a CONCEPT of life after death.
In conclusion, there are three things operating here of which I have only mentioned two:
Belief is what I use in place of, or instead of, mind. It doesn't need knowledge, it works simply on faith alone, the will to believe! But I like it
because it sidesteps the stumbling block that mind creates, namely that by using the mind, one can never attain knowledge of life after death because
there isn't any such knowledge; I also like it because it cuts to the chase, to the core of conscience and begins to place there something that no
amount of knowledge could ever do...confirmation of the concept!
When I, as a Christian, try to convey what I have come to believe about life after death for the Christian through the pathways of knowledge, I am
bound to fail before I even begin because there is no knowledge about life after death of a Christian. There is, too be sure knowledge about what has
been observed of Christians and their works during life, but that is not the same thing.
In fact if I were to base my faith in Christianity on knowledge alone, I too would side with the atheist. Knowledge of Christianity, especially in
today's world of multiple religious systems, weird cults, church hypocracy, religious fanaticism and religio-political agendas, is not very
Based on knowledge, no one would ever want to be a Christian.
Based on belief, however, I have desired to be and am a Christian.
How I came to believe this is by taking to heart what a man was alleged to have said some 2000 years ago, applying it to my life, and determining the
validity of it. I liked the story. It appealed to me. I guess you could say I used science, but it wasn't based upon knowledge, simply an agreement
with myself to try what that man said! To believe what that man said! It worked for me. It continues to work for me. It provides the solution to the
problem of a conscience awareness of life after death, a solution which the mind can never apprehend.