Saturday, September 22, 2007

What happens after we die?

“What happens after you die?” If there could be yet another ultimate question asked of religion, that would be it. Every culture has its theories, every faith has its theories, and every individual has their theories. Yes, I say theories as in plural because it is only human nature to be curious. Death is the single greatest mystery surrounding life. Everyone dies, that much we understand, but obviously after than no one living knows for certain. Does it all end; mind and soul? Or is there really just another adventure waiting to begin? Is there a Heaven or Hell? Is there even another place to go, or do we reincarnate? If we do, what do we reincarnate as? I’ve asked myself each of these questions, but those questions only spawn more.

If you have read the few blogs I’ve posted, you may have guessed the religion I was raised in, you may have not. I was raised as a Methodist Christian. I’ve been taught to believe in a heaven and a hell, and that the choices I make in this world will influence to which place I go after I die. I still believe that, but just to be certain, I’ve covered all bases. Countless times I’ve thought about what it would be like if it all ended, if my soul died with my body. I’ve gone over human reincarnation and with that animal reincarnation too. I’ve come up with a few select animals I’d come back as, just in case I have a choice in the matter. Though it could probably change in time, I’m currently at the owl. I narrowed it down to a bird from a lifelong dream to fly; then to a bird of prey because, hell, I am a guy. Owls are considered wise in every society; their likely the most mysterious of any bird of prey; their powerful; and for a wild animal, they don’t appear wild at all. I must admit that I consider myself a romantic, and in my mind owls are frontrunners for the most romantic animal in the entire kingdom. These ideas are of course only preparations. I want to be ready for any possibility, in case those golden gates don’t show up at the end of the dark tunnel.

If there really is a Heaven, what will it be like? Will every single good person who has ever passed going to be there waiting, or will only the few who knew and loved me during life and died before me be there to greet me? Will there be animals there, or is there really a separate Heaven just for them? The questions really are endless, and when we think about it, so are the possibilities. Say we really do get to Heaven, then what? What would we do? Can we choose to go back as some one or something else? Maybe we can ask to go back to a different reality. I’ve pictured myself going back to a reality where there are super heroes; or a reality where magic exists. It may come off as selfish, but if we had the opportunity to live what we see in the movies or read about in our favorite novels, I bet the majority of us would take that opportunity just like I would.

Maybe we have the power to go where ever we want, do whatever we want to do. Maybe we have a destiny in this world so that we can choose our paths after death. Then again, maybe we don’t have a say in anything. Maybe this life is the only time we have to choose our own paths, and destiny is only an illusion. If we do have a destiny on this planet, if each of our existences has a pre-set place that we can’t change, I believe that we’ll find out what it is when the time comes; but until then, we should take advantage of the choices we have. Nobody can make the right choice every time. We are only human, and bad decisions happen. But are those decisions really even bad? To think that we were able to make a decision, let alone learn from the bad ones, is a concept worthy of miracle status.

My grandfather recently passed away. If he still has control over his soul, then at this moment he’s experiencing the very thing that the living population has wondered about since the beginning of time. I wish I could know how he’s doing, if everything really alright, like I have to keep telling myself. I want to know that he’s happy, that he’s finally with my grandmother again. Maybe now he can finally watch me play baseball. If I don’t have what it takes to play college baseball, maybe he has the ability to rewind and watch the high school games that he never saw. That’s what I would wish for him. The way I know he’s doing ok up there or wherever he is, is if I end up ok. Me getting over his passing, keeping him in my heart, and moving on to bigger and better things, is his way of letting me know that he’s safe.

Those who paid their dues in this world and lived good lives deserve to be happy for eternity. Passing on should just be another great adventure instead of something to fear. I hope to God that what we do is “pass on”; pass over the bridge from this reality to the next, on and on to paradise. Second star to the right, and straight on ‘till morning.

1 comment:

Paul Devitto said...

I wrote an essay once that dealt with a disconcerted person who questioned what happens after death. I can let you borrow it if you'd like. I won't reveal the end, but I will say it has nothing to do with theories.