The promise of eternal life is a very attractive proposition for a large number of people. Many traditions provide their own unique version of what eternal life is. Most offer an afterlife with various versions, some offer the concept of reincarnation and others simply say this physical existence is the one and only.
Many people are afraid of dying. The concept of eternal suffering in Hell frightens many in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Some are concerned of the divine “holding pattern” of purgatory. Others are concerned about “The Apocalypse.” (An apocalypse is just a disclosure of knowledge or revelation.)
Eastern traditions include reincarnation. Some have fear of having to live lifetime after lifetime to pay off karmic debts, but with the goal to ultimately graduate off the wheel of life. For others it’s just an unknown. As with so many ideas of what comes after physical death many people have a great deal of fear about it. (So much for inner peace.)
During my spiritual counseling sessions, I have found that a person who is afraid of death often goes beyond the common fear of eternal punishment, or staying forever on the wheel of reincarnation, it is really the fear of “non-existence,” that is to lose one’s consciousness/awareness. Simply “winking out” is not a bright prospect and for many a deep-seated fear.
Some individuals find a sense of peace in reading about people who have experienced NDEs (near death experiences). Nearly all who have had NDEs report a sense of unlimited love and eternal peace.
No one can “prove” what comes after physical death. The one thing we know for sure is that there is some sort of afterlife but it is not in the physical body as we know it. Our bodies are left behind for those who remain on earth to deal with. So, if there is something beyond our earthly existence, it has to be a “non-physical” realm.
Let’s look at this using our spiritual principles. The creative principle, source energy, the universe is eternal. It is pure consciousness/awareness. Since it is the all and the everything, the oneness, then we must have been created out of that consciousness. It then follows that the essence of our being, some call it spirit, some call it soul, is also pure consciousness. Consciousness is eternal.
Just because we put on a “space suit,” as I call it, to be able to walk around and enjoy this physical planet, this does not mean that when the space suit wears out, so do we. When our car breaks down and is too old to fix, what do we do? We get another car. Does that mean there is reincarnation? We will have to see on that one, but it does make sense that if we, in our conscious awareness, had the intent to put on a space suit and join the party on planet Earth, doesn’t it make sense we could do it again? If not here someone else?
In reference to reincarnation, Terry Cole-Whittaker once said,
“If you believe in reincarnation, then this is the life you have been dying to live.”
This reference really addresses the whole point. If we, as eternal consciousness, simply realize that, then we can live in the peacefulness of knowing that life goes on. It then does not really matter what expression comes next. This ultimately allows us to focus on this life, and living in the present moment.
The World is not broken, be in peace …
— Jim Hatton is author (under the name James Apollonius Alan) of "A Spiritual Master’s Guide to Life" available on Amazon or at SpiritualMaster.co. Send 600 to 700 word articles to Sally McKirgan, firstname.lastname@example.org