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Heaven is hot again, and hell is colder than ever
by Brian Bethune on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 8:39am -
The Heaven boom
Death, it seems, is no longer Shakespeare’s undiscovered country, the one “from whose bourn no traveller returns.” Not according to contemporary bestseller lists. Dreams and visions of the afterlife have been constants across human history, and the near-death experiences (now known as NDEs) of those whose lives were saved by medical advances have established, for millions, a credible means by which someone could peek into the next world.
We seem to be moving inexorably from a society where organized religion dominates issues of morality—and mortality—but not to the secular promised land of reason. Rather, we are orienting ourselves to a more personal spirituality, at once vague and autonomous. Ordinary sinners increasingly don’t believe that they deserve judgment, let alone hell. Theists and atheists alike dispute any earthly authority’s right to judge, and both feel NDEs give them reason to hope for something beyond the grave. And many believers confidently expect that God isn’t judgmental either.
Within Roman Catholicism, notes Smith College world religion professor Carol Zaleski, the last three pontiffs, including Pope Francis, have all been supportive of the late Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, who taught that Catholics have a duty to hope and pray for an empty hell, for the salvation of all.
Even those Protestant traditions that have historically been more attuned to the gulf between the elect and the damned have seen vigorous theological debate about the afterlife, and the defence of ideas that effectively weaken the severity of divine wrath.
Conditional immortality, for one, says true eternal life is reserved for the saved; souls in hell will eventually—and, in this context, mercifully—be annihilated.
“Most people are no longer afraid of being seized at an unguarded moment,” judged wanting and ﬂung into the ﬁery pit like Edwards’s congregants were, says Zaleski. “We are now more creatures of anxiety than of guilt.” The anxiety, as well as the interest, is surely tied to the greying of the Western world too, as our thoughts, conscious or not, increasingly turn to what’s next, whether we think that’s oblivion or some kind of afterlife. Baby boomers, by sheer force of numbers, have always driven cultural trends, from the lowering of voting and drinking ages in their youth to the politically untouchable status of retirement benefits today. It’s hardly surprising to see them favour not just the existence but the congenial nature of an afterlife.
The scientific evidence for life after death.
Predating all organized religion, the belief in an afterlife is fundamental to the human experience and dates back at least to the Neanderthals. By the mid-19th century, however, spurred by the progress of science, many people began to question the existence of an afterlife, and the doctrine of materialism--which believes that consciousness is a creation of the brain--began to spread.
Now, using scientific evidence, Chris Carter challenges materialist arguments against consciousness surviving death and shows how near-death experiences (NDEs) may truly provide a glimpse of an awaiting afterlife.
• Explains why near-death experiences (NDEs) offer evidence of an afterlife and discredits the psychological and physiological explanations for them
• Challenges materialist arguments against consciousness surviving death
• Examines ancient and modern accounts of NDEs from around the world, including China, India, and many from tribal societies such as the Native American and the Maori
Using evidence from scientific studies, quantum mechanics, and consciousness research, Carter reveals how consciousness does not depend on the brain and may, in fact, survive the death of our bodies. Examining ancient and modern accounts of NDEs from around the world, including China, India, and tribal societies such as the Native American and the Maori, he explains how NDEs provide evidence of consciousness surviving the death of our bodies. He looks at the many psychological and physiological explanations for NDEs raised by skeptics--such as stress, birth memories, or oxygen starvation--and clearly shows why each of them fails to truly explain the NDE. Exploring the similarities between NDEs and visions experienced during actual death and the intersection of physics and consciousness, Carter uncovers the truth about mind, matter, and life after death.
Even Carl Jung proposed this idea.
I like Jung. He thought outside the box.
Are you willing to spend some time looking into it? This stuff is "mind-blowing"....but after the initial "nuh uh!" reaction wears off - it has LOTS going for it.
Using evidence from scientific studies, quantum mechanics, and consciousness research, Carter reveals how consciousness does not depend on the brain and may, in fact, survive the death of our bodies.
reply to post by wildtimes
Personally I don't believe there is any more after death than there was before birth
the (previously) undiscovered country is a place of unconditional love. Several of the writers pause, sometimes for pages, to stress the adjective as much as the noun. None express the message more clearly than Alexander, who writes that “the only thing that truly matters” was communicated to him in three parts. He boils those down to one word—love—but the key phrase may be the third sentence of his longer version:
You are loved and cherished.
You have nothing to fear.
There is nothing you can do wrong.
That’s fodder for cynics and skeptics, of course.
because the only way to find out absolutely involves a one way trip.
Who can say 100% there is an afterlife?
I don't think anyone can, because the only way to find out absolutely involves a one way trip.