Facing Mortality…The afterlife what’s There?

Many people are faced with the possibility of facing their own mortality, but what if it was you? How would you handle that? Or helping a loved one or friend when they have to face theirs? In this crazy world today every religion, society and culture deals with death and the afterlife differently, but what does one believe when there are so many theories that surround this subject.  How do you overcome the emotions of facing your own death and the fears that follow that question. A lot of us go through life without a care of the things we have done, people we hurt etc. When that times comes or you get the news that stops your life in it’s very tracks do you question of all the things you have done in your life and the good you try to do as we grow wiser and older will they help me in the afterlife?  I myself have ponder many of these questions, and listened to people tell tales of their near death experiences and what happened when they died and were revived. I just wonder what did those people see, feel, and what happens when it’s “our time” and there is no reviving us and we pass on.   Throughout time theories and ideologies have changed as has our view on this subject less Macomb and more curiosity because how can we say who is right and who is wrong?

Looking into history and culture the view of death was not feared, but a celebration of a life well lived, and one worthy of the afterlife rewards depending on your theology. Let’s start with the Egyptians there after life and death was centered on rituals and the living partook in those rituals to ensure the dead went to the afterlife prepared and ready.  Egyptians had 3 ideologies belief in an underworld, eternal life, and rebirth of the soul, well that is not a bad way to look at things but times were very simple then and very primitive compared to now. The Underworld,” only one entrance that could be reached by travelling through the tomb of the deceased. The initial image a soul would be presented with upon entering this realm was a corridor lined with an array of fascinating statues, including a variation of the famous hawk-headed god, Horus. It must also be noted that the path taken to the underworld may have varied between kings and common people. After entry, spirits were presented to another prominent god, Osiris. Osiris would determine the virtue of the deceased’s soul and grant those deemed deserving a peaceful afterlife. The Egyptian concept of ‘eternal life’ was often seen as being reborn indefinitely. Therefore, the souls who had lived their life elegantly and were guided to Osiris to be born again. In order to achieve the ideal afterlife, many practices must be performed during one’s life. This may have included acting justly and following the beliefs of Egyptian creed. Additionally, the Egyptians stressed the rituals completed after an individual’s life has ended. In other words, it was the responsibility of the living to carry out the final traditions required so the dead could promptly meet their final fate. Ultimately, maintaining high religious morals by both the living and the dead, as well as complying to a variety of traditions guaranteed the deceased a smoother transition into the underworld.”  It took cooperation from living and the dead to make sure there loved one got the afterlife they deserved, but for the deceased to have lived justly as to religious practices then.  The Egyptians also used texts on the tombs, sarcophagus, and pyramids depending on your social status. We all have seen the movies The Mummy and yes there is a Book of The Dead, Books of the Netherworld, and Books of the Sky, but what could we learn from them tons actually.  The Book of the Dead, “was an extensive collection of spells that included material from both the Pyramid Texts and the Coffin Texts. In the New Kingdom period, papyrus was normally what the Book of the Dead was recorded on. However, it could also be found on the tomb walls, coffins and the wrappings of mummies. Like the Coffin Texts, the spells illustrated within the Book of the Dead were used by everyone. These spells offered advice, protection and knowledge to the dead as they journeyed through the netherworld.” Books of the Netherworld, “contained multiple texts that provided the deceased with a description of the underworld and served as a guide to help the dead during their final journey. Since the deceased were often seen replicating the rebirth cycle of Ra as they travelled through the afterlife, these texts primarily focused on the second half of the sun god’s journey, which took him through the underworld at night. The earlier Books of the Netherworld, which include the Amduat and the Book of Gates, divided their narratives into twelve parts, symbolizing the twelve hours the sun god spent in the underworld. Later books such as the Book of Caverns and the Book of the Earth used a more sectionalized approach when presenting their narratives. All of these books also contained complex illustrations of the netherworld, which could often be seen etched into coffins and the walls of burial tombs.” Then the Books of the Sky, “consisted of three afterlife texts titled, the Book of Nut, the Book of Day and the Book of Night. Carved into the ceiling of tombs these texts emphasized the role the goddess Nut played in the Egyptian Afterlife. “Who are we to say their beliefs were wrong or misunderstood? I know that it is very intriguing and makes me wonder if that is the case then let’s skip to the introduction of Christianity and The Bible most everyone is familiar with it, and it is practice by millions all over the world.  This says it best though, “Some belief systems, such as those in the Abrahamic tradition, hold that the dead go to a specific plane of existence after death, as determined by God, or other divine judgment, based on their actions or beliefs during life. In contrast, in systems of reincarnation, such as those in the Indian religions, the nature of the continued existence is determined directly by the actions of the individual in the ended life, rather than through the decision of a different being.”  Christianity also believes that you will be judged by the divine or “God” and depending on how you lived your life you wither go to heaven or hell, but I believe there is more to it because some religions believe in reincarnation are they wrong? I believe that there is more to the afterlife and that the fear of the unknown is what gets to us and how we lived our life, but makes us question our life choices. I like to see what other religions believes happens in the afterlife so let’s look at say Buddhism, “maintain that rebirth takes place without an unchanging self or soul passing from one form to another. The type of rebirth will be conditioned by the moral tone of the person’s actions (kamma or karma). For example, if a person has committed harmful actions of body, speech and mind based on greed, hatred and delusion, rebirth in a lower realm, i.e. an animal, a hungry ghost or a hell realm, is to be expected. On the other hand, where a person has performed skillful actions based on generosity, loving-kindness (metta), compassion and wisdom, rebirth in a happy realm, i.e. human or one of the many heavenly realms, can be expected. n Tibetan Buddhism the Tibetan Book of the Dead explains the intermediate state of humans between death and reincarnation. The deceased will find the bright light of wisdom, which shows a straightforward path to move upward and leave the cycle of reincarnation. There are various reasons why the deceased do not follow that light. Some had no briefing about the intermediate state in the former life. Others only used to follow their basic instincts like animals. And some have fear, which results from foul deeds in the former life or from insistent haughtiness. In the intermediate state the awareness is very flexible, so it is important to be virtuous, adopt a positive attitude, and avoid negative ideas. Ideas which are rising from sub consciousness can cause extreme tempers and cowing visions. In this situation they have to understand, that these manifestations are just reflections of the inner thoughts. No one can really hurt them, because they have no more material body. The deceased get help from different Buddhas who show them the path to the bright light. The ones who do not follow the path after all will get hints for a better reincarnation. They have to release the things and beings on which or whom they still hang from the life before. It is recommended to choose a family where the parents trust in the Dharma and to reincarnate with the will to care for the welfare of all beings.” So here we see the belief of rebirth from one form to another the body as a whole is just a physical means to the soul or consciousness, and depending on the branch of Buddhism it varies slightly. So I don’t know about anyone else but this ideology could easily be one to believe that living on and gaining experiences in different lifetimes stays with you.

We have spirits that wonder the earth that have resulted in the way they died right….by all definition a spirit is, “the nonphysical part of a person which is the seat of emotions and character; the soul. And those qualities regarded as forming the definitive or typical elements in the character of a person, nation, or group or in the thought and attitudes of a particular period.” So what about those souls there are good and bad just like there is good and evil in this world, but why are they like that? There are two types malevolent spirit which is, “usually the spirit or soul of an evil person who wanted to harm a person that is weak or wants revenge on the living.  Usually they attach themselves to a child, elderly, and the sick and injured because they are easy to manipulate.  They will also scare and harm other people that are part of their victim’s life. However, not all Malevolent Spirits were once human. There is at least one that was summoned into our world through an Ouija Board. And another that was trapped inside a dybbuk box.” And then you just have ones who do thing because there lost or confused and died but haven’t realized it yet. Different cultures have different takes on this ideology for example, “Roman Catholic

  • When someone dies, their spirit goes to heaven, hell or purgatory.
  • Ghosts are not spirits of the dead but malevolent spirits or demons.
  • Attempt to contact spirits is strictly forbidden.

Jehovah’s Witnesses

  • When someone dies, their spirit is powerless and is unable to interact with the living world.
  • Demons or unclean spirits deceive humans by posing as spirits of the dead to keep believers from worshiping Jehovah.
  • Attempt to contact spirits is strictly forbidden.

Judaism

  • When a person dies, their spirit is divided into three aspects. One goes to heaven shortly after death, one wanders around the physical plane seeking the body it came from and will eventually fade away and another remains by the buried body forever.
  • A dybbuk is a ghost of a deceased person who will possess another human for malevolent purposes.
  • An ibbur is a ghost of a deceased person who will “impregnate” itself in a human for benevolent purposes. They can be thought of as a spiritual guide or guardian angel. When the person no longer needs them, the spirit will leave on its own accord.

Buddhism

  • Both Tibetan Buddhists and Indian Buddhists believe in ghosts.
  • Ghosts occupy a distinct, overlapping world.
  • A person can be reincarnated as a ghost meant to work out bad karma. These are often called hungry ghosts, described as having bloated bellies and tiny mouths with which they cannot feed their overwhelming hunger.
  • A person can also be reincarnated as a ghost called a devas who will live a comfortable life.

Hinduism

  • Many Hindus believe in ghosts.
  • Ghosts are often associated with people who had unnatural deaths, like a murder or an accident, and those dead people were not given proper Hindu death rituals like Shraadha or Tarpan.
  • These ghosts cannot possess people and can become officially dead by having their death rituals performed.”

For Wicca, Witchcraft, pagan and the occult our beliefs that spirits are every from ones who have passed on to elemental spirits of earth, water, air and fire. We believe in communing with them but safely as with all things protecting yourself is key. A good example of this is,” Whether you realize it or not, there are many different kinds of ghostly beings and guides, and they hover around us all the time. Some come to guide, others have specific messages to impart, others are here to heal or teach and others want to protect.”  Protection by, “When working with spirit energy, on occasion you will feel an energy that does not make you feel good, and possibly causes some stress or tension around you. If this happens to you, ask the spirit in a very firm voice, to leave and tell it to never return. When dealing in the metaphysical world not all spirits are benign entities and some of them are dark and exude a powerful energy, this particular type of energy is not difficult to detect. If you feel something like I have described when you are working, imagine a brilliant white light encircling you and acting as a barrier to deflect any negative energy directed towards you. Nothing can physically hurt you, but these energies can make you feel uncomfortable and you don’t want them polluting the energies of your sacred space. Always work from love and let your thoughts and action be positive and benign.”

 

So whether you have faced your immortality by an out of body experience or have had your own run in with spirits just remember to approach it from love and not fear granted we all have a fear of the unknown and what we cannot see. Always use your second chances wisely as you won’t get a third.

reference material:

https://www.google.com/search?q=book+of+the+dead+definition&rlz=1C1CHBD_enUS841US841&oq=book+of+the+dead&aqs=chrome.5.69i57j0l5.6140j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

https://www.hjnews.com/allaccess/what-religions-believe-about-ghosts/article_850d08a4-4320-11e3-b610-001a4bcf887a.html

https://www.hjnews.com/allaccess/what-religions-believe-about-ghosts/article_850d08a4-4320-11e3-b610-001a4bcf887a.html

Ghost & Spirits

leave comment or send us your experiences because that is how we all learn.

2 thoughts on “Facing Mortality…The afterlife what’s There?

  1. Very interesting. There are new books I’d like to read now. Thank you. I own “The Tibetan Book Of The Dead”, but have not read it. It’s currently loaned to another.

    Like

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