|What, Where, WhoâŚAfter This Life?
Since the beginning of humanity, no doubt, there have been varied beliefs and innumerable discussions about what each of us finds when pass from this physical side of life to The Other Side.
I wonder when the early humans began to believe that there might be something moreâŚsomething after their physical lives. In this 21st century, most, perhaps all humans have strong opinions about their belief regarding the afterlife. Not all of the beliefs are grounded in religious tradition. Some blend their religious teachings with personal, original, thoughts based on individual life experiences. Regardless of the belief, nobody can come back with evidence that proves theirs was the correct belief.
Christians, who believe that they will go to a Heaven where Jesus is the Holy One theyâll worship along with fellow Christians forever, believe that they have evidence of their belief. They believe that Jesus, whom they worship as the Son of God, actually died on a Cross, was buried, then came back from the dead and told them about it. Christianity and Catholicism are based on that âevidenceâ; however, nothing scientific has ever proven the truth of that evidence. As with all religious and spiritual beliefs, the evidence is truth only to those who believe it.
My mother became a Christian when I was seven years of age and I remember watching her being baptized in a small church in Oklahoma. During the remaining of her 88 years, she held closely to her beliefs about Heaven. I wonder though, didnât she doubt just a little bit the day her husband died; she knew that he had never âaccepted Jesusâ so could not go to heaven?
That was the day that I stopped believing what Mother and Christianity taught me about their Heaven. As an adult Sunday school teacher standing at my fatherâs coffin and reading verses to my family from Romans that ânothing can separate us from the Love of Godâ, I quit believing that good people, who had not followed the ritual of baptism, would go to the Biblical Hell. He was an alcoholic and not a perfect man, but my father had a good heart and lots of love for family, children and people who had less than he did, that Hell could not his home for eternity.
Years have passed since that day. Mother died and my brother died. He lived as my father had lived throughout his adult life. My mother was encouraged in the fact that at age 13, he was baptized as a Christian believer. In her belief, it made no difference whether he ever went to church again, that he had gained entry into heaven at age 13. She never doubted he would go to Heaven; however, I who had been baptized and taught Sunday school 20 years like she had, was suddenly a candidate for Hell the day I âcame outâ as lesbian.
Beliefs about Heaven and Hell, The Other Side, Nirvana, places with a myriad of other names, are easily changed day to day or for all time. Changes may come, as my motherâs seemed to have changed that day. Did my mothr meet my father and my brother in her Heaven? Will she see me one day in her Heaven which is supposed to be impossible according to her Baptist, Christian beliefs about who is good enough to go to that Bibleâs Heaven? As long as Christian, Catholic and other religious leaders teach hate against homosexuals, I guess I wonât be going there.
Thatâs fine. I donât believe in that Heaven. I donât believe that there is a Hell of a judgment by the God of the Baptists, the Christians, the Catholics, or the God of any other religion. I believe that when I go to The Other Side, the spiritual side of this physical life, that it will be a place where every human spirit, and perhaps their beloved animals, go to review the physical life we lived. In that review, our spirits, I believe, will judge whether we lived the attributes that contributed in positive ways to all humanity.
I just cannot believe that the spirit of each human being simply dissolves into nothing at physical death. The spirit is truly the person, the personality, the uniqueness of the living being; and, if so, surely it lives on in a spiritual place. In recent years I have come to believe that the spirit lives one physical life after another with the goal of living to learn the attributes that contribute to peace among all living beings.
I donât believe that everyone else should believe as I do; nor do I attempt, like most religions do, to force my belief onto others. It seems to me, that regardless of what words explain a belief, no good is done by trying to make other people believe the same. And, whatever The Other Side, if it is there, is like, it isnât going to change regardless of who believes correctly about it. It just is.
The one thing that can change, however, is the hateful and negative attitude of religious and individual believers toward anyone who does not believe their way. It is the hatefulness and anger shown by them that creates so much hell here on earth. Just stop it! STOP IT! STOP IT NOW!
Copyright 2010 ann patterson