Don’t we often wonder where people go after death? Do they enter into another life or do they come back into this world as a new born baby? Where exactly do they go after death? While some believe it’s impossible to know whether there is life after death, belief in immortality is timeless. People of all times and places in history have believed that the human soul survives death. If there is no consciousness beyond the grave, then life has fooled almost everyone from the Pharaohs of Egypt to Jesus of Nazareth. But what happens after death is a question that has puzzled everyone, right from great scholars to the common man.
It seems like more and more people are asking the same question that Job asked nearly 4,000 years ago in the Bible: “If a man dies, will he live again?” What could be a more fundamental question of life (and death)? Reincarnation theories are popular in Eastern religions as well as the many New Age variants. It seems people are comfortable with the idea of another chance to return to earth and figure things out or make things right. Some nihilist thinkers believe that death is the absolute end; but contrary to what many might think, most people believe that death is not the end. In some shape or form we go on.
There is also a belief that if the deceased person has some unfinished business or has left something undone, then the soul lingers on earth till the task is fulfilled. Pretty scary right! Just thinking about it gives me the creeps!
Christians believe that when Jesus was talking with Martha about the death of Lazarus, her brother, He declared “I am the Resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” Right here, Jesus started presenting the astonishing claim that there is life after death. Jesus then went the next step and brought Lazarus back to life after four days in a tomb. At that point, Jesus put everyone on notice that He would later overcome the grave Himself!
For those of us who want there to be an afterlife, we should take strong comfort in the fact that there actually is such strong and varied evidence for it. Although not one of the types of evidence by itself would constitute absolute proof, the sum total of all the evidence is so much.
Buddha said, “…There is rebirth of character, but no transmigration of a self. Thy thought-forms reappear, but there is no ego-entity transferred. The stanza uttered by a teacher is reborn in the scholar who repeats the words.
Only through ignorance and delusion do men indulge in the dream that their souls are separate and self-existent entities. Thy heart, O Brahman, is cleaving still to self; thou art anxious about heaven but thou seekest the pleasures of self in heaven, and thus thou canst not see the bliss of truth and the immortality of truth.”
I am sure you must have heard elders often say that if only you do good deeds in this life, you will be born a human being again. Beliefs like these show that people have faith in life after death. After all if this did not exist then where do the animals and plants come from? In fact, where do more human beings come from?
Is there mathematical proof for life after death? No. But if you believe the life-changing evidence for God, Jesus and the Bible, then heaven is as much a concrete reality for you as the Lord in whom you’ve invested your absolute trust. It’s not fantasy – it’s the absolute life-changing hope that strengthens us and gives us peace.
[Image courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/enygmatic/74756566/]