I am far from confident that I'll have any success in explaining what I currently believe, so I'll start by saying that so far in this thread the
people who have come closest to expressing what I hope to express have been BlackOps, seagrass, and ImAMarty.
To begin with though, I'm going to agree with SchroDog that "is there life after death?" is not really the most productive way to ask the
I strongly believe that the personality does not continue after death, nor does consciousness in the way we know it. I think "life" can only exist
in the unification of "being" and "body" – once the body is done, life is done.
Energy continues to exist at least in the mechanistic sense that the motion and interaction of particles or waves that comprise our body are not lost
to the universe.
But consciousness is an emergent property of the unity of body and being. I'm not sure if being is just another way of saying energy, or another form
of energy perhaps, nor do I think it's within my ability to fully understand it because I am also my body
I think it is part of the experience of being human to be curious about and to experiment with how body+energy-->me but I think we sometimes get too
fascinated by the separation aspect of it and don't spend enough time learning about the embodiment part of it.
Since I don't believe that consciousness continues after death, clearly I don't believe in reincarnation in the sense of one soul passing through
serial bodies. I don't believe in the concept of one soul, really, because that feels too circumscribed to me.
It's a terrible analogy, but maybe it'll help get what I feel across: think of a lighbulb. Lightbulb+electricity-->light. It's not that the
electricity is the light, because it requires the lightbulb to realize itself. And the lightbulb requires the electricity to realize itself
the light can be thought of as the emergent property, but it is not spatially limited to the light bulb – it spreads infinitely in all directions,
albeit at a constantly decreasing amplitude/density.
In the same way, body+being/spirit-->me (soul/mind)
That's what I'm playing with right now, anyway.