Monday, June 11, 2012

Life After Death: My Thoughts on Heaven

Okay so let me preface this since this can potentially be a touchy subject. One: I have a lot of thoughts on organized religion. I have the upmost respect for certain aspects and serious problems with others. But this is about MY personal beliefs, not other people's. Debates about subjects like that are meant for in-person. It usually only ever gets ugly on the internet. Two: While this and many of my future reflections on the possibilities of life after death are supported by many scientific studies/theories, this is a blog. I'm not writing a research paper or thesis.

I'm just reflecting in wake of losing my sister. Please bear both of these things in mind if you feel compelled to respond to this.

My personal religious beliefs fluctuate.  I don’t like to commit to believing one thing because I’ve found that by doing that, it always seems to force me to close my mind off to realms of other possibilities that may make more sense at any given moment.  Sometimes I say “God,” sometimes I say “The universe”.  Sometimes I pray, sometimes I hope.  I’d never been too concerned about the after life because I feel like it’s kind of shallow to be good in this life just because you’re hoping for some kind of reward or you’re afraid of some kind of punishment when it’s all over.  But now that I’ve lost my sister, I can’t help it.

I also have a real problem with ignoring the facts of science just because it might alter your religious beliefs.  On the other hand, I have an equally large problem with staunch atheists who seem determined to offer some sort of explanation, no matter how flimsy, to explain away the possibility that something greater DOES exist.  Both points of view are stubborn.  And I imagine both types of people who practice them holding their hands over their ears going “LALALALALALA!!!”
I never understood how scientific facts MUST negate religion and vice versa.  You know who else felt that way?  Einstein.  I don’t feel like I’m in bad company here.

So along these beliefs of mine, I came up with a theory about the afterlife.  Because I do believe it exists.  I came up with this idea long before I lost Jenna, but with all the discussions I’ve had lately, I’m becoming more and more convinced that this could be a real truth.

Okay, so you know how when you turn off a television, there’s a PFT sound?  Well I believe the brain does something similar when it shuts down—Even when it happens quickly, like being crushed by a falling piano.  Any large source of energy like that makes one last little pft before it goes out.  In that split second, I believe the brain thrusts itself into a dreamlike state to prepare the body for death.  In a dream, a split second can last as long as you need it to. 

So in that dream, you mind takes you wherever you subconsciously believe you belong.  That explains why people who have near death experiences always seem to report going to a heaven that somehow resembles their particular religious beliefs.  I also like think that the truly wicked people in this world subconsciously know that they are wicked people, so they will be haunted by their regrets and misdeeds.  The good people however, like you or me (unless you’re secretly a serial killer) are shown whatever will soothe them the most – Whether it’s a vision of paradise, reliving their best memories, living another life entirely, whatever.  Perhaps the people who have their lives cut short live out whatever they may have missed in the best possible way imaginable.

And while this theory might seem scientific, it is my belief that (assuming I’m right) the fact that the brain does this at all IS divine.  If this function does in fact exist, it serves no real survival purpose.  The idea that our brain has found a way to tap into something like this is truly special.  It is worth wondering about and being in awe of – Just like existence itself.  The big bang obviously happened, but whatever pulled the trigger is unknown and worth revering.  We exist because of it – Whatever it is.  And we should be grateful.

So after that split second… then what?  I have a few theories on that as well, but that’s for another post.  You can't help but wonder about this stuff when you've lost someone you've loved.  And wonder I have.

We're just scratching the surface.  Stay tuned.

"Angelic" way ahead of our time:P
(Galapagos Islands)

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