“Is there life after death?”
“What happens to the soul when someone dies?”
“Is there proof of life after death?”
In life, you may have heard of the above questions being thrown or asked around, or perhaps you may have wondered about the afterlife at some point of living in the world, especially when you do participate in Cheng Beng festival or pray to your ancestors.
And most of the time, there are mixed reactions from people: those who are more pious or religious to their faiths will say yes, the afterlife is real; those who are atheists or more science-minded will strongly reject the idea and demand proof of afterlife existence before their eyes; and then you have the third group of people who aren’t sure yet don’t really care nor want to think much about it and only want to enjoy life as it is.
In this article, we will discuss the thoughts surrounding this life after death debate, and go through the different life after death views.
- What Is Life After Death?
- Understanding Life After Death Beliefs And Current Observations Of The Society
- What Life After Death Is Like? Life After Death Explained
- What It Means If There Is No Life After Death
- Life After Death Conclusion
What Is Life After Death?
First off, let’s define the term, “life after death”. While some people may consider turning over a new leaf to become a person as their new life after “death” of their old, terrible character, or talk about the life of a person’s family and loved ones after death (like the popular show, Life After Death tv series), generally life after death refers to the afterlife, in which the soul still has an existence in another world after the passing of life on earth. This also means, as people pass away from earth, they may be born in other world.
Before we proceed to understand more about life after death, we must first understand this statement: There is always a beginning going towards an end in everything we do. So does life on this earth – where there is birth, there is death. Birth is the beginning, after which we progress with living as a young child, an adolescent, then an adult, before signing off our time on earth through death.
Understanding Life After Death Beliefs And Current Observations Of The Society
In the eyes of many in today’s society, the afterlife remains an unresolved debate due to no obvious physical proof that can be seen by the naked eyes. However, the journey of life after death is beyond the comprehension of an ordinary man on the street. We should never assume that there is no life beyond death and that upon our demise from this world, we would simply vanish into thin air.
We should never make any guess nor merely believe in ourselves that since the beginning of time, no one has truly touched on the journey of life after death simply because many could not even know the purpose and our original cause of existence on this earth. If we do not believe in the true cause of our existence, then equally we will also ignore our journey into life after death.
Without knowing where we are heading, we will have no idea where we would want to go in the first place. This is the same situation of anyone who does not believe in life after death and upon his departure from this world would also be lost in direction and stranded mid-journey.
The same applies to those who do not believe in studies or informal education at home will end up being indisciplined, misbehaved, having crude behavior, or uncivilized in the eyes of educated people. We cannot simply believe in what we think is good when our judgment is poor and we are not gaining enough exposure and experience to form a good assessment of the correct criteria. In the case of the afterlife, we cannot simply say there is no life after death when we do not have adequate knowledge or ability to see what lies beyond death.
Similarly, when we are only mediocre and do not undergo special training in cultivation or spiritual training, then we will never be able to receive special knowledge on life after death and the journey of death. It is an undeniable fact that nowadays many people are scrambling towards wealth and power or position thus negating our true values of life, and our virtuous actions of compassion, loving-kindness, caring for the needy, and having a magnanimous heart are completely obliterated from the scene.
It is a sad observation that we are too engrossed in all the materialistic gadgets that we have lost sight of our original path towards higher attainment and liberation from the world of Samsara. Everyone is simply too busy accumulating properties, wealth and power that no one is interested to know the outcome of life after death.
What Life After Death Is Like? Life After Death Explained
Some people may wonder, If there is life after death, then what life after death is like? How does the afterlife system work?
Let us dwell into spiritual knowledge that there are three spheres of existence where above our Earth sphere is the Heavenly realms while the sphere beneath our earth is the Hade world that is sometimes crudely called Hell. In fact, the denotation of Hell is somewhat oversimplified and illogical unless one has truly visited this Hade world.
When one begins to understand that there are three worlds of existence in this universe, we will then have a better grasp of what transpires when one is leaving this world.
There is a universal law that states whoever strives hard, live in accordance with the natural way of living, and practice virtues, then one is gifted with amazing merits which warrants one to descend higher up into the heavenly pure land realms.
For those who merely think life is self-generating and they are free to do anything on this earth without believing that one earns merits through own righteous effort and energy, chances are, they will pass on into the Hade world especially when they don’t do enough charity nor practice enough moral virtues during life on Earth. There is always a reward system on this Earth to ensure all humans strive hard and diligently to end all our bad karmic effects so we can set for liberation into higher realms of existence.
Earth As A Training Ground
Earth is actually a training school. Those who do not subscribe to the idea of self-reliance, self-discipline, self-perseverance, self values, and self endurance will deteriorate into the Hade world existence.
Hence, many carefree, naive people and those indifferent in attitude will naturally fall into the Hade world in their afterlife to undergo their retraining so that they can redeem themselves from their selfish and lackadaisical character into one of good discipline, well trained and achieved good mental advancement of purifying their mind to accrue virtues.
Once they have successfully refined their character, only then will they be reabsorbed back into the human world and resume their journey from where they have failed and reconnect their lives into more of a humane way of living by learning to live with nature and divine beliefs. This is often wrongly perceived as reincarnation, but that will be a topic for discussion some other time.
What It Means If There Is No Life After Death
If one truly commits to the idea of “there’s no life after death” and “all our departure the soul will vanish into thin air”, then how does one equates the respect of All Souls’ Day and Ching Ming festival, or even praying and giving respect to departed ancestors and relatives during the pre-Chinese New Year day? All these practices signify that there are souls existing in this world, hence there are invisible beings existing in this world, which represents the life after death existence.
All five religions of mankind have strong convictions on this matter regarding souls and all of them also relate to humans departed from this earth. We must acknowledge that every human coming into this world possesses two types of body: one is our physical body, while the other is our soul enclaved inside our physical body that is invisible to our naked eye. Whenever we fall asleep and drift into a dream, our soul actually travels around except everything is distorted due to our untrained mind simply grabbing every scene that comes our way.
If there is no soul, then it is pointless to have a body that has no intrinsic values and does not meet our spiritual evolvement at all. The ironical situation is that, whoever believes in soul’s existence will try hard to live in accordance with the natural way and end up with no soul because one would then practice hard to cease having the existence of soul. When there is no soul existence, this means that there is no more life after death. On the other hand, people who strongly insist that there is no life after death will certainly depart from this earth with a soul, visible only to those who have cultivated enough spiritually to witness their soul existences.
The Trap Of Not Believing In The Afterlife Existence
A huge portion of those that depart into the afterlife with a soul are Atheists and free thinkers, whom are deviated with their personal belief that they can do everything at free will with the freedom to act on anything they want, like or wish. They are extremely likely to not obey any natural law and order, which in turn becomes a vicious trap for many free thinkers and atheists as they tend to succumb to the curiosity of learning cult and sect beliefs as well as dark spells and evil charms.
These are all the steps leading to nowhere and thus stranded as souls on this earth. If these stranded souls are lucky enough, then they may chance upon good compassionate divine beings descending upon this earth to help guide them back to the Hade world to continue their retraining session to redeem their shortcomings on this earth.
However, many are not so lucky and that is where life after death begins on this earth with all the woes unshared and unheard. Our Heavenly realms of saints, Bodhisattvas and Buddhas are realms of rewarding good merits and virtuous actions of mankind whereas the Earth is a training school to teach and train us to do good, focus on purifying our mind, heart and body, with great emphasis on reducing human’s sufferings and hardships. Anyone who has failed to uplift one’s moral values and virtuous actions will be degraded into the Hade world.
Living in the Hade world will then make everyone realize that whatever wrongdoings we have done will need to be rectified with realization and repentance with sincerity for years before finally redeeming all the sinful actions with good merits. The Hade world acts as a retention class for any human failure on earth pertaining to lack of moral values and virtuous deeds. Thus, there is life after death with either our humans going up to be reborn as celestial beings or rebirth into the hade world existence.
Life After Death Conclusion
Believing in life after death should not be difficult to accept because our existence of life after death comes from our strong five senses’ desires. If our five senses’ desires are forever strong and actively generate the bad vibrations of Greed, Hatred and Ignorance, then we are actually crystallizing our souls into more permanent existence on this earth.
Most of the time while living on this earth, we create our own attachment through our strong usage of our five senses desires which in turn, emanate our existence of souls on this earth. Our soul is present because of the heavy radiation of our five senses’ desires. These five senses are related to sight, taste, hearing, smell, and feel. Hence, when we cease our attachments to all these five sensual desires, we eradicate our soul existence, and only then, there will be no more life after death.
It is this soul that creates our journey into the next world. Without a soul, there will be no more journey into our next life after death, for we have finally extinct the attachments of sight, taste, hearing, smell and affection. By gradually merging our five senses into one with the constant practice of simplicity, moderation and humility, we exist merely without attachments and thus, no more lifeline to connect us to another life after death.