Everybody has a different concept of what happens after death.
Three-quarters of Americans believe there is some kind of life after death. Roughly nine out of ten Mormons, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Protestants, Muslims, and Catholics believe in an afterlife. Just over half of Jews and Hindus do. Only a third of atheists or agnostics do. More believe in Heaven than in Hell.
Followers of established religions have similar beliefs. Christians believe that after death, they come before God and are judged, then sent to Heaven or Hell (or Purgatory or Limbo). Mormons believe that they have always lived and will always live as the same individual even after death. Buddhists believe that there is a rebirth to another life determined by the behavior of the individual, their Karma. Hindus believe that the afterlife is a passage of time in a heaven or hell, dependent upon the Karma built up in life. Muslims believe that there is life after death in which there will be some resurrection and judgment for all regardless of religious belief, but non-Muslims can only reach Paradise after atonement. The Jewish religion emphasizes life rather than life after death, but recognizes that the spirit lives after death. Atheists believe that there is no God and no life after death. Agnostics believe that it is impossible to know if there is a God or life after death.
Here’s what I believe …
What Happens Before Death
Many people believe humans have a lifeforce, called a soul. Some people believe animals also have souls. People who believe in souls usually believe they are incorporated into each individual at some specific time — at conception, at birth, or when they finally grow up and leave their parent’s house.
I believe we all have such a lifeforce but not that it is installed fully formed at some specific point in our lives. Rather, I believe our souls mature throughout our lives and even after our deaths. It’s like having a bank vault that you spend your lifetime filling with what makes you a unique individual — your thoughts, beliefs, aspirations, behaviors, interpersonal interactions, and the choices you made, both good and bad. You are not just your job or your hobbies, nor your awards and accomplishments, nor even your mistakes and crimes. You are how you interacted with other lifeforces — individuals, animals, and the whole natural world. Deathbed conversions are meaningless.
Souls originate from somewhere in the universe and maybe everywhere in the universe. No one knows where or how and it’s not likely we’ll ever know as we can neither observe nor experiment with the afterlife. But, souls may begin as a molecule of dark matter, unobservable matter that is thought to make up perhaps a quarter of the natural universe. Maybe, at some point, dark matter is incorporated into our being where it evolves as it acquires energy from life.
In the natural world, matter consists of atoms that vibrate at certain frequencies. Combinations of different atoms comprise different substances, like our bodies. We are just mixtures of myriads of different energy frequencies vibrating in myriads of different ways. While matter and energy in the natural world is defined by the dimensions of space (length, width, height) and time, the universe we live in after death is defined solely by energy frequencies.
Our souls grow and evolve every time we interact with others. We learn from those interactions and respond in a way that ultimately defines our lifeforce after death. Those interactions provide energy for the soul; our specific behaviors determine what kinds of energies are added. The energies have frequencies like the frequencies that make up music. Some are simple and have a definite character while other are complex and variable. Some are pleasant sounding and others are discordant. Our lifeforce after death is like a musical composition. Some are sizable and elaborate like multipart symphonies. Some are simple and repetitive like chants or mantras. Some are small and dark and chaotic.
Our souls aren’t just defined by our lifetime of experiences. They are also enhanced by our associations with other lifeforces after we die. Individuals whose lives are cut short — by abortion, miscarriage, suicide, accident, illness, or other causes — grow their souls in the afterlife. No soul goes to waste. A fully mature soul consists of bundles of energy that define our nature.
What Happens at Death
As our lives come to a close, many of us consciously or subconsciously begin to reflect on old memories. It’s our souls compiling our essences. It’s like a data download. Our actions and behaviors in life define our lifeforce. This is the judgment taught by many religions. We are not judged; we are defined by the judgments we exercised in life.
At death, our lifeforces, our souls, are distilled down into our component energies and leave our bodies as a transfer of energy from the natural world to a new plane of existence. They become the dark energy hypothesized in the visible universe.
In the afterlife, our lifeforces can connect with compatible frequencies, whether they are nearby or millions of light years away in the living world, whether they are in the past, present, or future, or whether they were previously known to us or not. That’s why life after death is so much more enriching and expansive than life in the natural world.
What Happens after Death
After death, you remember who you are, only without your old body. You feel comfortable and free of any of the bodily ailments and disabilities you had in life. You have all your memories, even ones you hadn’t remembered at the end of your life. There are no familiar surroundings, however. In fact, there are no surroundings at all, just empty space. You’re not in outer space, though, you are in a different plane of existence.
Life in the Afterlife
Shortly after death, you become aware of others, other lifeforces. They are not corporeal entities, just areas of energy. Even so, you recognize some of the lifeforces. They are relatives, friends and acquaintances, and many others. Some of the lifeforces belong to people whom you have never met. There are no language barriers. You’ll finally meet Mr. Right if you didn’t during your life. You’ll finally get to talk to the little red-headed girl you had a crush on in your youth.
In the afterlife, lifeforces seek other lifeforces with compatible energies — individuals who behaved similarly in life. When you arrive, you will be greeted by many others, like on your first day at a new school or job. You will feel comfortable with most of the other lifeforces. Those who you don’t feel comfortable being near will gradually withdraw. Like in music, there are some notes that form melodious chords while others are dissonant. Your lifeforce can tolerate incompatible lifeforms but only for a short time before having to move away. You could meet Hitler but would probably have to flee because your life energies would be so incompatible.
The lifeforces that remain with you after you die will comfort you and tell you about your new life.
Because you are no longer limited by time and space, you can relive old experiences and create new ones just by thinking about them, like writing a screenplay. You can experience events from the past even if you were not there in life. You can be an observer or a participant. You can go to the prom you never went to because you were sick. You can relive your wedding or attend your own funeral. You can visit with friends, relatives, pets, others who died before you, and even those who have not yet died. You can meet your ancestors and descendants. You can meet famous people of the past, that is, if they want to associate with you. You can even associate with lifeforms who did not live on the Earth. You may not even comprehend this distinction.
You can explore past events anywhere in any time. You can find answers to mysteries you wondered about in life — how did the dinosaurs evolve and die off, who built the Sphinx and the Pyramids, who killed JonBenét, and what happened to a favorite pet that ran away.
If you were the adventurous type in life, you could explore the Earths in the Universe as Swedenborg wrote about in 1758. If you were more of a solitary type, you could live in your own Garden of Eden with all the pets you loved in your lifetime. If you had a life full of interests, you could associate with others who expressed their love of those interests in similar ways. If you liked a sports team or a political party, you could associate with others who behaved about the interest in the same way. Fans would associate with fans; trolls would associate with trolls.
Heaven and Hell
It is from the instinct of every lifeforce to associate with lifeforces having computable energies that the notions of Heaven and Hell makes sense. If you led a life empathetic to others, you will associate with others who lived the same way and continue to act charitably in the afterlife. Many people would consider that to be Heaven, at least their Heaven. Everybody has their own versions of Heaven and Hell. One size does not fit for all.
If you lived a deeply religious life, you will be able to find your god and comingle with other lifeforces who followed a religion in the same way, though not necessarily the same religion as in life. If you used your religion in life to promote charity, you would associate with those who did the same. If you used your religion to demean and dominate others in life, you would associate with lifeforces who demean and dominate you in the afterlife.
If you lived your life competing, like in business or sports, you will also engage in competition after death. It doesn’t matter what the competition involved, however, it’s how you competed. If you followed the rules and always gave your best effort in life, you’ll enjoy both your victories and your losses in the afterlife. If you cheated, cut corners, abused teammates and opponents, or behaved immorally, you will experience that same exploitation after you die. You will always suffer bitter losses in whatever you try to do.
If you lived a life of self-indulgence, partying and pursuing selfish interests, your afterlife will be more tedious and boring than anything you ever experienced in life. You will always be fatigued and lethargic. Every day will be the same for eternity. No new adventures will be available to you.
If you lived your life pursuing money and power, you will find neither in the afterlife. There is no need for money or any valuables in the afterlife. Your power will be contained in your soul’s energy, built by good behavior in life. The most authoritarian leaders in life — Ivan the Terrible, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Genghis Khan, Adolf Hitler, and Attila the Hun — are the weakest, most insignificant souls in the afterlife. They spend all of their time trying to bully each other.
If you lived a life full of hate and violence, you will do the same in the afterlife with others like you. The difference is that in the afterlife, you will be in constant conflict with each other, not the goodhearted, for all of eternity. Imagine fighting, killing and being killed, over and over, with no end possible. Most people would consider that to be Hell.
Seeing the Afterlife in Life
For the most part, the world of the living is separate from the expanse of those who have transitioned after death. The world of the living holds little interest for most of those who have died. It is too chaotic and dissonant. But, there are times when lifeforces in the afterlife do interact with the living. The results are unexpected and often disconcerting.
In the world of the living, you might have dreams of relatives or acquaintances who have passed. You might unexpectedly experience a psychic connection with someone living. You might have thoughts, premonitions, or feelings of foreboding about events that have not yet occurred. Such experiences are influenced by those in the afterlife. Some people are especially sensitive to such connections. Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and Baba Vanga are famous for their prophetic connections.
The most commonly noted interactions with the afterlife is the appearance of ghosts. A sighting of a ghost is an instance in which the lifeforce energy of a deceased individual associates with someone in the world of the living. These interactions are usually brief when the energy frequencies of the ghost and the witness are incompatible, though they may reoccur. These occurrences are often interpreted as devils, demons, doppelgangers, or shadow people. Cases of reincarnation may involve associations in which the energy frequencies of the two souls are compatible so the association persists. These occurrences may also be interpreted as Guardian Angels, who are souls who try to be as helpful in the afterlife as they were in life.
While ghosts, angels, and reincarnated souls are instances of a departed soul approaching the natural world, out-of-body and near-death experiences are instances of souls of living individuals approaching the afterlife. In these cases, the energy frequencies of souls of living individuals interact with other places through the afterlife. Prayer is an attempt to communicate with the afterlife, but regardless of your intentions, you may not reach who you hope. It’s like calling a remote phone at a random number. You don’t know who, if anyone, will answer. Miracles are when someone answers.
In an out-of-body experience, an individual’s soul energy visits other places in the natural world by passing through the afterlife. Remote viewing involves the same mechanism. Extraterrestrials cross the vast distances of space in the natural world by passing through the dimension of the afterlife.
In a near-death experience, an individual’s soul energy visits other souls in the afterlife for a short period of time. The pleasantness of the encounter depends on the compatibility of the energy frequencies of the souls involved. Encounters that are warm and loving, that feature friends and relatives, often in a bright white light, involve associations of souls with compatible energy frequencies. Encounters that are cold and dark that elicit despair and loneliness involve associations of souls with dissonant energy frequencies.
What Do You Believe?
So that is what I believe happens after death. What you believe happens is probably different. Everyone gets to create or follow their own expectations. They may follow religious or spiritual teachings, or like mine, be a compilation of many ideas including my own. And, no one can be proven wrong. There is no scientific observation or experiment that can do that. It’s better that way.