Where Do we Go When we Die

I am sure this is a question on most people’s minds but which they feel uneasy or afraid to openly discuss. Death is always seen as a mysterious thing almost a taboo, but rightfully so; it snatches the people we love from us, aspiring individuals, the young who feel deserve to have a shot at life, the old who we feel should be around a little longer and so on. But whether we like to have it so or not, death is inevitable. It is part of the cosmic structure and process; that we are born, we live, and we ultimately die. It’s just how it was built. Anyway, back to our question, where do we go when we die?

Some of the sources that might give us the closest answers or at least some clue to our question is either through religious scriptures, or accounts from individuals who claim to have almost died at some point in their lives (near death experience).

Virtually all religious scriptures teach us that there is life after death; they emphasize that death is a mere transformation from one state of consciousness to another. The three main Abrahamic religions (Christian, Islam, & Judaism) share with us the concept of heaven and hell where a soul can go to either of the two depending on if they lived in accordance to the scriptures during their life journey. They teach us that an individual or a soul that lived in accordance to scriptural teachings gets rewarded with an eternal heavenly life full of peace and bliss. On the other hand, an individual who never lived in accordance to the scriptures is condemned to eternal damnation in hell.

Oriental religions (Hinduism, Sikhism, & Buddhism) hold a somewhat different perspective from Abrahamic religions; they state that once an individual (whom we will refer to as the soul here) exits the physical body, can either be reborn, or totally be liberated from the cycles of life and death, depending on their deeds while still alive and how spiritually inclined they are. For instance an individual who fully dedicates their earthly life to a spiritual path, and who practices good deeds, is more likely to be liberated from birth-death cycle where their individual soul gets to once more join the super soul from whence it came.

Oriental religions further state that for those who are not spiritually inclined, get to be reborn over and again until that moment where they will commit to a spiritual path and commit to it with the hope that they will ultimately attain liberation through divine grace. How and where one gets to be reborn in their next life is determined by their deeds or karma from this life. In essence what they are saying here is that God or the Universe is a self rewarding entity. You only get what you put out there in the universe.

Near death experiences also offer interesting accounts. Most of these accounts reveal that at the point of death, the individual’s higher self detaches from the physical body, nothing much changes at this point as you can still see and hear people around you as if you were still alive. After awhile a bright light appears together with your spirit guides, long departed family, and friends welcoming you to the afterlife ushering you to step into the white light which is supposed to lead you from your journey from this earth into your next phase of your cosmic journey.

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