RS Classic: My Thoughts on the Afterlife

>> Monday, August 9, 2010

As I mentioned, here's series of wayback articles describing my personal view on Heaven, Hell and God. No one has to agree. No one has to see it the way I see it. It's just the way I see it and my opinion. You are welcome to hold on to your own. If it encourages you to think about it a little more, even better.

Yesterday, I included an email forward in my post so that I could talk about what heaven couldn’t be to me: exclusionary. Nor could I wrap my mind about the concept that a good person could be thrilled at the notion of spending eternity in heaven when everyone who saw life differently, had a different religion, or, in fact, failed to meet the “appropriate” level of sinning was existing in unending torment.

I mentioned at the time that I didn’t believe in Heaven or Hell and I meant it. But, since I think it makes an interesting topic for discussion, I will tell you what I do believe. Before I do, mind you, note that I have no intention of “converting” anyone to my way of thinking. I’m perfectly happy with a belief system of one. If you want to believe in little green men from Alpha Centauri, go right ahead. Ditto if Jesus, Buddha, or Osiris is your God. I’m cool with it.

So, why don’t I believe in Heaven or Hell? Because they don’t make sense to me. I mean, what’s the point? A vacation-land for all eternity - eternity’s a hell of a long time to kick back and do nothing and what a waste. What would be the point of sending us here to learn, to prove ourselves only to spend the rest of eternity retired?

And hell is even stupider. Tormenting people who failed for eternity. To what purpose? It’s not like you can work your way back from Hell. And Satan snatching up souls to beat out God. What for? He get a discount coupon at Starbucks if he gets so many souls? WTF?

Look at the world around you, and the glorious and logical world of nature. Everything has a purpose and is part of the system. Everything performs a function. Nothing is wasted. Now, am I the only one that sees the disconnect?

I guess my view on it is sort of Buddhist/Hindi crossed with a video game. Nature loves to recycle. You live this life, hopefully learning something, hopefully becoming the best you can be. If you die before figuring it out, you start “the level” over again. You’re supposed to grow, to become what whatever deity there is sees as your potential before moving on (and I’ll leave my view of the deity for another time). Once you pull it off, find your enlightenment and live in a way that makes the world a better place, hurting no one unnecessarily - your soul moves on to whatever level comes next.

So I’m not expecting a vacation when I’m through here, but a new struggle, a different test, perhaps a different lesson, a new proving ground. It may not be this life or the next, but I do believe I’m learning. I will beat this level and move on to the next.

And, when we’ve beaten every level and grown up to a mature soul, Heaven then? Pshaw! Why would you help craft something incredible to put it on the shelf? And why would you go through so many lives, learning so much, to not put it to use? I don’t know what my future holds for me, but I sure as heck intend to be useful.

Next time: My view on “God” - which is just as different. Probably.


  • Relax Max

    Religions invented God and every religion invents it's own God, tailor-made to match its own theories. Then we engage ourselves with senseless discussions to which there are no answers. (Paraphrasing Abbas Beydoun)

  • The Mother

    I will simply refer you to the comment I made on yesterday's post.

  • Roy

    I dunno. A long vacation after this sounds like a good idea. Although I guess you have to get back to work at some point. But my favorite quote on this comes from a meh movie that I watch from time to time only because it stars Charlize Theron (be still my beating heart!) - Aeon Flux. It's pretty much really bad science fiction in a post-modern graphic novel presentation, but it does have a line which makes more sense about death than anything proposed by any religion that I've seen: "We're meant to die. It's what makes everything about us matter!" Add to that what the Oracle says in The Matrix Revolutions: "Everything that has a beginning has an end." Makes sense to me!

  • Jeff King

    To each their own...

  • Aron Sora

    I was in a debate with a Christian, he argued that Christianity was right because it was the only religious whose Saviour said "the work is finished" when he/she died. All the others said keep struggling. I find something interesting with the idea of continuously struggling and this idea echos what you said.

  • Boris Legradic

    My main problem with the concept of eternal afterlife is that it runs contrary to the second principle of thermodynamics. Nothing is allowed to do that, not even god ;)

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