It is very difficult for humans to say the words “he/she/they died”. What a wonderful number of euphemisms for death we have. We pass, we croak, we kick the bucket, we come home, we expire, we succumb, we leave, we meet our creator, we go to our bounty, we waste ourselves, we take a look, we rest eternally, we are lost, we finish, we bite the dust, we are liquidated, finished and annihilated. We renounce the ghost, we make the change, the transition, we mertilize, we go to the other side, we fall asleep, they take us, rub us and turn us off. We start, transcend and buy the farm. We feel no pain, we lose the race, we get paid, we cross the Jordan and we go with the angels. We finish, we become glory, we return to dust, we wither, we give up, we take the long sleep and a dirt bath. It can be curtains, a fallen body, two meters under the ground and out of our misery. We find eternal peace, new lives in the afterlife, we ride into the sunset and that’s all we write. But in fact, we are dead.
The whole religion is based on the fact that we have to go somewhere after death. “We” are everything, from our spirit and energy to our mind and etheric body. We like it better if there’s a good place for good guys and a bad place for idiots. Although the idea of reincarnation lends itself to leaving everyone in her place after having learned lessons along the way many times.
Western churches spend their lives convincing you that their understanding is THE only understanding of what happens when we die, and they usually give you a program whereby you can leave your material possessions, you know, the ones they told you in the Sermons You Won’t Hoard, To Them I’ve seen many families outside of the particular “gone home” denomination have to face the fact that all the assets went to their church and not their family. Let’s make a rule that if a person gives her belongings to the church after her death, and the sons or daughters protest, the church has to return it to the family. This will help the church practice what it preaches and give what really belongs to a family to the family it really belongs to. Beware of churches that have a program for you to “honor God by dying” or “Your will, a way for you to keep on giving after you die.” Money given to the Church will be wasted and it would be more satisfying for her children to waste it than for her church. Amen.
It’s funny how if you ask someone about quantum physics or how life works, it’s such an intractable mystery in the final analysis, at least for now. But ask a religious person what happens after death, and pfffft… that’s easy. We go to heaven, they go to hell, we reincarnate often, we are more dead than dead, we wait in the grave until Jesus returns, we rise in a physical body, we rise in a spiritual “body”, we are this and that. as if they knew and the truth is that they don’t. Westerners would never question that the Bible knows what happens after death, although one can find everything mentioned above in one form or another in the pages of the Bible. Like humans, the biblical understanding of death became what we see in the evangelical Christian Church today.
The Catholic Church has gotten good at adding new places for the dead to go, like unsaved babies, or the unborn, or the guys who haven’t been saved at all, but it’s all a dice game. Because we can ask ourselves questions like “well, what kind of God would throw an innocent child into hell for not knowing…”, we have to discover new holding pens for such categories of people. They are not real, but they help us cope.
Missionaries rush to save the lost before they die while admitting, in some circles, that if left ignorant, a loving God would automatically translate them to heaven after death. I mean, they can’t help but be born in New Guinea or the Great Plains. I loved it when the general who hunted him down and imprisoned him in Florida asked Geronimo if he wanted to go to heaven when he died. Geronimo asked if the General was also going to be there. “Of course, of course,” was the reply that was met with a simple “Then no” from Geronimo. Hell would be for many to have to spend eternity with those who drove them crazy in this life! I mean, do you really want to spend eternity closer than ever to everyone in your church, including the same pastor day and night forever? I do not think so! Heaven can seem like one big endless gathering of boring people still pretending to be who they never were on earth. It would be a timeless and obligatory Thanksgiving or Christmas with the family members most never wanted to attend anyway! No, if I can go to heaven, please, God, let there be quiet places where no one can find me and those I want to be with. You know, kind of like what we can do down here if we choose.
I saw a lot of death as a minister. Sometimes it was long enough after the fact to simply bury someone in a good funeral service in a nice setting. I would sometimes find myself standing on the banks of a river while a missing one was being searched for or taken to a morgue to remove the corpse of a child or a friend from a drawer for a private family look. I even dug a grave once on a farm while we waited for the family to arrive for a quick funeral and same day burial. I picked up the cemains, ugh what a word, from people I had just spoken to a few days earlier, now down to around 10lbs. of gray sand. I have transported the carefully wrapped body of a newborn to another city in the back seat of my car, as the couple could not afford to have the funeral home do it.
I once visited a mother, just socially, who spent much of the visit telling us about her daughter’s talents, abilities and beauty, which is normal when a father is very pleased. I specifically remember thinking on the way home “how would she manage if she lost that daughter, who was the center of everything mom lived for? When I got home, the phone was ringing and I was going back to the hospital where this mom was. young”. he had just been fatally run over on 18 wrong crossing a street. Something difficult. I lost a nephew on a train who couldn’t get his attention while he was wearing his walkman. Yesterday I lost a brother-in-law.
As a hobby, I took up paramedic skills. I learned why so many paramedics are overweight and smoke like chimneys. Pure stress. Most paramedics are wonderful caregivers, but they often deal with the most horrendous human deaths. They eat and smoke too much and have too much fun. I do not blame them. I will not relate what I have seen. I only know that I have seen it. Death at its worst. A soldier could certainly overcome that.
The dot seems to live in the moment, staying out of the past of our lives, where we tend to store our anger and pain, and also the future, where we store our anxiety and all that is unknowable. No one knows what happens in death. Just saying that is stirring the pot of religious security. I know, no one but YOU.
There are some great past life stories remembered by some in amazing detail. Hmm, could be. Even the Bible gives the account of the blind man who caused the disciples to ask if the man’s blindness was his parents’ fault or his own sin, “that he was born blind.” At least we have to admit that there is room to question that if one is born blind because of sin, the sin must have occurred in a previous life. There is no other possible explanation. Some in the early church believed in reincarnation. General George Patton was famous for knowing where he had fought as a Roman soldier in a previous life, while he was fighting again during World War II in Europe. He wasn’t kidding and no one made fun of him either.
There are stories of those who have left their bodies in near-death experiences only to come back and recount the experience in detail that only a, well, “Ghost” could give. They were evidently reminded to end their lives and everyone who experiences something like this never fears death again. It’s worth the experience, if only for that little peace of mind, I’d say.
Stories abound of people having organ transplants donated by deceased people, only to mysteriously acquire the deceased’s taste for food, books, or familiarity with subjects they never studied in their own lives. This would lend credence to the idea that cellular memory can be passed on. Whoa… pretty inspiring stuff and not just a little creepy.
The gross religions make a lot of money from the masses who need to buy their places in the Kingdom of God. I remember once shoveling a driveway buried in feet of snow for a woman who then paid me back with Catholic indulgences. They gave me a full 90 days minus in Purgatory. I told her that she was a Presbyterian. She smiled and closed the door. I almost pushed the snow back on the trail.
I am glad that so many can be so sure that they know what happens in death. Some just know this because they read it in the Bible without thinking that even that book is just another attempt by humans to figure this out. Some just know it’s true because it’s “true to me.” Some feel like it just has to be true or what’s the point. One cannot just die for nothing after learning all these things in life. And some just know that what they know is true because somehow even science can prove it.
As I mentioned earlier, yesterday my brother-in-law died just two days after being told he could live another three months. If ever there was an example of a mind that said, “uh, no, I think I need to go now,” this was it. He just walked away, and I think on his own terms. Or maybe he passed away, or went home, or bit the dust, or left his world, or mertilized, transcended, lost the race, cashed in, turned to glory, is on heavenly shores, out of his misery, taken by The angels found peace, entered the field of zero point, the beyond, rode into the sunset and that was all he wrote.
In any case, that man I knew as Jim did well in this life and, like tens of thousands on the planet every day, went somewhere hopefully free now as a conscious spirit who had a human experience in a limited five-sense carbon-based wetsuit and now it’s free. Peace my dear friend… call me when you can and tell me what it is about! 🙂