Dog eat Dogma: Who holds the key to the afterlife?
Why are we here? Where do we come from? Where do we go? It is the very meaning of life... death, and the understanding of the very nature of our existence. It was the first question man wrestled with as soon as he became sentient. Yet, today this still unexplored frontier of consciousness is still perceived to be psuedoscience, the realm of dogma, even taboo. The concept of an immortal soul or spirit, has been argued, and debated for centuries as we look to answer the age old question of what happens to us after we die. Is there an afterlife? Is it a place set up as a segregated community of heaven dwellers, hell inhabitants, and spiritual nomads who roam the in-between world, the dimension of purgatory? What if there is no heaven or hell? Do we continue on as some atomic particles that meld into space or become trapped energy that produces paranormal activity and ghosts? In any case, we all wonder out of curiosity what happens to us when our time is up because it plays an extremely important role in our lives by seriously shaping our values, commitments and sense of what is worth doing in this incarnation.
New research into NDE (near death experiences) and evidence for reincarnation are pointing us toward the new frontier-consciousness. Scientists and doctors are finally admitting that there is proof for the continuation of consciousness after physical death but the big questions are: How does it work? How are we connected and what drives this energy? Are ghosts a quantum phenomenon? Is there a possibility that we create ghosts by the simple act of observing or measuring a particle of energy and forcing it into a sentient apparition? If consciousness does survive physical death are we able to psychically communicate with discarnate beings?
We can trace fascination with the afterlife and paranormal all the way back to antiquity. The ancient Egyptians were well aware of a life beyond physical death and also had rich beliefs in serious magic. Once religious dogma set in we were encouraged to save our souls but reminded to not delve too deeply into the paranormal aspects of consciousness. Although it may seem disjointed most religions point a wary finger toward psychics, ghost hunters, and paranormal investigations when they themselves admit to beliefs in an immortal soul. The bible alternately can be considered a voluminous book of the paranormal containing accounts of ghosts, apparitions, and spirit communication all recorded as religious text -so what gives? ? With accounts of spirit communication, levitating, rising from the dead to being teleported to an alternate dimension called the afterlife, we have to wonder if these are sensational accounts or the actual cornerstones to our existential existence.
Did dogma develop the notions of heaven and hell so we could grasp the concept of eternal life by having some place to go when we die? Film director and comedian Wood Allen, has a truly pervasive take on the afterlife: “The chief problem about death, incidentally, is the fear that there may be no afterlife -- a depressing thought, particularly for those who have bothered to shave. Also, there is the fear that there is an afterlife but no one will know where it's being held.” [Woody Allen, The Early Essays, Without Feathers (1976)]
Since the popularity of The Secret, a documentary type of film about the law of attraction and What the Bleep!?: Down the Rabbit Hole, a docudrama that illustrates the link between quantum mechanics, neurobiology, human consciousness and day-to-day reality, a new awareness about our consciousness has cropped up raising the bar for further information about our spiritual or energy side. Scientist who once scoffed at the “pseudoscience” of psychic abilities and the paranormal are now coming up with their own theories about the survival of consciousness after death and looking to find if there is a scientific reason for ghosts, hauntings, and psychic sensing. Quantum physicist admit to an intelligent field of entangled energy and are trying to find out if consciousness exists only in this reality or also in other times/dimensions.
As you can see, the different viewpoints on the relationship between human consciousness, psychology, physiology, the mystical, and the spiritual may be debatable but they are getting closer to bridging science with spirituality to build a new paradigm that shows a deep sense of interconnectedness between the scientific mechanical universe and the paranormal magical universe. All explorations into the afterlife, whether scientific, religious, entertainment, or paranormal inclusively, share the common denominator for the philosophical questions: What is soul? Is there an afterlife? Is consciousness independent of time?
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