Sunday, May 2, 2010

Belief in an Afterlife

“Death is simply a disguised deliverance, or, like the budding rose,
it climbs up on the garden wall to bloom on the other side.”
–James Martin Peebles (1822-1922)

“The wise man looks not to how long he lives,
but to how he dies. For him death has no terrors,
because it is the day of his birth to immortal life.
And he will be mindful of those he has left behind,
and will commune with them.”
–Seneca (4? B.C.–65 A.D.)
A recent poll indicates that 82% of Americans believe in an afterlife. The numbers are also increasing for those who believe that they have had communication from a loved one on the other side.

It would seem that the religious instinct is innate within humankind, as though a template for the religious experience had been programmed into our genetic structures that govern human expression. Within the innate religious or spiritual instinct are experiences that might be classified as miraculous. But, are many of the events or experiences actually miracles or no more than ordinary occurrences?

Reports of extraordinary and astonishing events attributed to supreme being or divine power will be found in virtually every world religion, every culture, and probably within every human mind from primitive times right up into the modern age. Many cultures do not regard miracles or paranormal events as anything extraordinary but merely the natural workings of a natural world. Most cultures who share that idea have well-formulated spiritual beliefs that have been carried forward from generation to generation, throughout history, and many of these cultures have evolved highly sophisticated belief systems.

When one reads the history of cultures, it is very apparent that there has always been a “knowing” within mankind that evolves into understandings that we are, indeed, spiritual beings and that life does not end with the death of the physical body. Mankind has always looked to the heavens in a search for answers. I have often wondered why that is and the answer I have come up with is that no matter our religious upbringing or belief system, we do, within us, have the knowledge that we are much more than a physical body having a life experience. We are temporarily using a physical body for an ongoing spiritual life.

When I look back at my life, I recall at a very young age knowing that there was more to life than just a few years we may have here on Earth. I have also been lucky to have experienced events that have convinced me beyond any doubt that life and love go on after the death of the body. I am hardly alone in that spiritual understanding. That idea and understanding has been presented in writings since the beginning of recorded history. We are also experiencing the coming together of science and spirituality and many in the medical profession are leading the way. Scientific studies are being conducted in various areas of life and death and maybe one day in the not to distant future there will be scientific evidence that consciousness lives on beyond the death of the physical body.

It is my hope that we are now into an age of new spiritual understanding where we can welcome and accept the gift of knowing that we are often given, no matter how subtle that gift may be. We are immortal, eternal spirits.

Those gifts not only make life more joyous, grief easier, but help to remove the fear of death that has been placed culturally as an obstacle to spiritual growth and understanding. We do know who we are. We just have to bring that knowing, our remembrance, to the forefront. And increasing numbers of people are achieving that while in the body. And for those who do not rediscover the knowing, they will know without doubt one day as they pass into another state of being.



Natalie said...

Lovely post, Linda. I agree wholeheartedly. :)

Linda Pendleton said...

Thanks, Natalie... :-)

Edith Newell-Beattie said...

You leave me with a feeling of ease. Thank you <3

Linda Pendleton said...

Hi Edith,

Good, I'm glad I did. It's nice to see you blogging has been some time you had been silent.