How do you think an afterlife would relate to existence at large?

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I thought I'd post this here since it's a bit of a personal musing. Something I think about often is how an afterlife, if it exists, relates to existence at large. When I say that, I mean physics, the universe Ect. Among academic parapsychology there's a number of ideas on how survival and conscious might operate, but unless one takes a hard non physicalist (maybe something like pure idealism, not just dualism) stance it seems like they'll still have to interact with existence as we know it now.

Things I wonder, related to that is:

- On top of questions like what might an afterlife be like, is it eternal? Depending on your views on physics, the universe is eventually going to run down until heat death. If that's the case, if an afterlife is related to the state of the universe at large (such as souls actually being some kind of unknown physical information) will it slowly fade away? Or in the case of a cyclic universe, or vacuum decay, will it be destroyed? Or, even, what happens when humanity dies out? If the afterlife is related to our continued existence.
- Related to that, if reincarnation is in fact true, what happens when there are no longer any humans to reincarnate into? Will be just be stuck? 
- Back to the above, if the universe is cyclic and a new universe comes after ours, does that mean we're going to have weird aliens pop up, if we don't have them already?

There's other questions to be asked about other interpretations of quantum physics such as string theory, many worlds theory and how they relate. Or even things like free will and if we don't actually have it here, will we have it in an afterlife kind of thing. But these are just some of the ones that rattle around in my head. What do you guys think?
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(2021-07-21, 09:17 AM)Smaw Wrote: What do you guys think?


I think it’s great that you’re asking this type of question.  Praying hands


(2021-07-21, 09:17 AM)Smaw Wrote: - Related to that, if reincarnation is in fact true, what happens when there are no longer any humans to reincarnate into? Will be just be stuck? 


I don’t tend to worry about this depth of question, it probably will not ever even become an issue, as I don’t even know what a ‘human’ really is. 

The question about the aliens is similar, to me it’s a detail question that requires too many assumptions to become a ‘problem’.

As for the afterlife, I think there is lots of evidence that I’ve seen that taken in isolation may not be persuasive but when added together is rather strong, so I think death will not be ‘the end’, but simply an ending of a session. As to what happens then, I don’t know, but I guess my intuition tells me that it will be at least as ‘good’ as this life. Probably a lot better, as we will at least know that most of us were foolish doubters in this life! 

I’m generally happy to take things ‘one day at a time’, so to speak.
Oh my God, I hate all this.   Surprise
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(2021-07-21, 10:09 AM)Stan Woolley Wrote: I think it’s great that you’re asking this type of question.


I ought to clarify what I mean by this.

I enjoy seeing the more personal stuff we ask ourselves. To me that’s more meaningful than much of the academic oriented stuff that a lot of effort is attached to, I use the word attached deliberately btw. 

The topic being ‘the afterlife’ was really of secondary importance.
Oh my God, I hate all this.   Surprise
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When you play a video game, the rules of the game are serious.

When you stop playing the game, the rules are just an arbitrary set of possibilities.

Physics is describing the rules of the game we're in for this life. Even then there are basic holes, such as why the laws stay the same.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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(2021-07-21, 09:17 AM)Smaw Wrote: I thought I'd post this here since it's a bit of a personal musing. Something I think about often is how an afterlife, if it exists, relates to existence at large. When I say that, I mean physics, the universe Ect. Among academic parapsychology there's a number of ideas on how survival and conscious might operate, but unless one takes a hard non physicalist (maybe something like pure idealism, not just dualism) stance it seems like they'll still have to interact with existence as we know it now.

Things I wonder, related to that is:

- On top of questions like what might an afterlife be like, is it eternal? Depending on your views on physics, the universe is eventually going to run down until heat death. If that's the case, if an afterlife is related to the state of the universe at large (such as souls actually being some kind of unknown physical information) will it slowly fade away? Or in the case of a cyclic universe, or vacuum decay, will it be destroyed? Or, even, what happens when humanity dies out? If the afterlife is related to our continued existence.
- Related to that, if reincarnation is in fact true, what happens when there are no longer any humans to reincarnate into? Will be just be stuck? 
- Back to the above, if the universe is cyclic and a new universe comes after ours, does that mean we're going to have weird aliens pop up, if we don't have them already?

There's other questions to be asked about other interpretations of quantum physics such as string theory, many worlds theory and how they relate. Or even things like free will and if we don't actually have it here, will we have it in an afterlife kind of thing. But these are just some of the ones that rattle around in my head. What do you guys think?

I think that there is an in principle inconceivably vast Existence, of which our physical universe is just an infinitesimal part. Part of this Existence that is in some ways separate from our physical space-time universe we could term the Spiritual Existence or Realm. This is where we go on physical death. In this multi-level part of Existence, thoughts are mostly things and our laws of physics including quantum mechanics are not operative as part of the way things work. This is also the case for much or all of the rest of this Existence. Due to that, none of the questions relating to physics are applicable or meaningful. 

Some channeled teachings bear on these questions. Ron Scolastico's Guides described a spiritual realm something like the preceding, where powerful higher spiritual beings (aka Angels) have created the physical universe, and also life, and have creatively participated in evolution.   

In this teaching (and many others), the Soul is eternal and cannot be destroyed. Therefore it will not be destroyed when or if our physical universe comes to an end. As to what happens when the human race inevitably at some time dies out and reincarnation is no longer possible, the soul (already probably so evolved that the human part or aspect of it is mostly submerged in a much greater consciousness) simply goes on to other experiences. Of course another possibility is that at that point the souls or maybe even higher spiritual beings decide to furnish another living physical vehicle for incarnations.
(This post was last modified: 2021-07-21, 08:54 PM by nbtruthman.)
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Campbell talks about it all being a game like simulation, as do many others. I don't see why new 'servers' couldn't be brought online if people still wanted to play the game of life.
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Thanks for the interesting replies everyone. I definitely can understand the things you all said about layers, I just find it a bit hard to wrap my head around. I think it's a product of the environment I've grown up in. Not at all religious, more sciency, so when I hear things about channelling and weird ideas and things that aren't directly related to all our physical measurements and results I'm hesitant to take it seriously, even now.

It's also a bit of caution too, don't want to set myself up for dissapointment, especially since knowing about NDEs, whether they're afterlife related or not, helped take away a fair bit of the bite my young adult existential angst use to have. Plus, you just have that inherent need to know. It's ironic that I'm not bothered by the idea that we may never have a theory of everything in physics, but I am bothered that if all these other realms exist we don't know how they operate or what they're exactly like until we get there.
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(2021-07-26, 09:09 AM)Smaw Wrote: It's also a bit of caution too, don't want to set myself up for dissapointment, especially since knowing about NDEs, whether they're afterlife related or not, helped take away a fair bit of the bite my young adult existential angst use to have. Plus, you just have that inherent need to know. It's ironic that I'm not bothered by the idea that we may never have a theory of everything in physics, but I am bothered that if all these other realms exist we don't know how they operate or what they're exactly like until we get there.

"I am bothered that if all these other realms exist we don't know how they operate or what they're exactly like until we get there" - interestingly, a couple of times recently I've come across more than one NDE or similar experience where it seems we have a kind of amnesia or mental block over these other realms. This is from memory, if I find a first-hand source I'll update this thread. Basically people say things like "Tell everyone we've all been here before" ('here' referring to the so-called afterlife realms). Or "everything is so familiar, it's like coming home".

In other words, we do know all about those realms, we are very, very familiar with them.

The angle or perspective I'm pointing out here is that we are (apparently, hypothetically if you prefer) on a temporary visit to this planet Earth, but this isn't our home. However for the duration of our visit to Earth, we have a kind of forgetfulness or barrier which makes us forget about the previous existence - to greater or lesser extent - some people do claim to recall quite a lot.

I don't often refer to mythology, I much prefer present-day sources. Nevertheless, the 'river of forgetfulness' seems relevant here.

Lethe – River of Forgetfulness in Greek Mythology
Quote:The river’s name comes from the ancient Greek word for “oblivion” or “forgetfulness,” and drinking from its waters induced total forgetfulness.

Quote:Lethe was sometimes described as being located in a dreary and barren plain with the same name. The river was often described as being near the Elysian Fields, where the most virtuous and heroic souls spent their afterlife. These souls would drink from the river Lethe in order to forget their previous existence. Other writers maintained that all of the souls had to drink from the river Lethe.

Now we should not confuse myth with fact, but it may still point in a direction for research or a way to help understand things.
(This post was last modified: 2021-07-26, 10:03 AM by Typoz.)
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Another article on the Lethe which also describes the NDE of Er.

https://mythology.net/greek/greek-concepts/lethe/

Quote:Wouldn’t it be a relief to simply press a button and erase the abhorrent memories in your mind? Or would you rather confront the truth, whatever it may be, and learn from it instead? In Greek mythology, you were presented with a choice. You could either remember all your knowledge and experiences when you passed into the afterlife, or forget everything. What would you choose?

Myth of Er
Quote:The Myth of Er gives the account of a man who died in battle and his vivid experience of the afterlife and the Lethe River. Ten days after the battle, when the dead bodies were being collected, his body remained undecomposed! Er had travelled to the afterlife with many other souls from the battle and came across an extraordinary place with four mysterious openings. One set of openings went into and out of the sky, and the other set into and out of the ground. Judges directed the approaching souls, sending the immoral downward and the virtuous up into the sky. When Er approached the judges, they told him to wait and watch so he could report back what he had seen.

The souls that emerged from the sky opening recounted the joyous, uplifting sights and feelings they experienced, while those returning from below told of the despair and malevolence they endured. After seven days, Er travelled with the other souls to a place where an incandescent rainbow ruled the sky. Here, he and his fellow travelers were given a numbered ticket. When their number was announced, they were called forth to choose their next life. Er noticed they all chose an antithetical existence to their previous life. One soul who had been good chose to be a dictator, one who had been an animal chose to be a human, and others that were bad chose a humble, virtuous life.

From there, Er and his cohorts travelled to the plane of Oblivion, where the river Lethe flowed. Each traveler was required to drink a certain amount from the river. Er was only allowed to watch as each soul drank, forgot their previous existence and was sent off to begin their journey anew. Er had no recollection of being sent back to Earth, but woke up lying on top of the funeral pyre and able to recall his whole expedition through the afterlife! Since he had not drunk from the Lethe River, he did not have a blank slate like his fellow travelers.
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(2021-07-21, 09:17 AM)Smaw Wrote: I thought I'd post this here since it's a bit of a personal musing. Something I think about often is how an afterlife, if it exists, relates to existence at large. When I say that, I mean physics, the universe Ect. Among academic parapsychology there's a number of ideas on how survival and conscious might operate, but unless one takes a hard non physicalist (maybe something like pure idealism, not just dualism) stance it seems like they'll still have to interact with existence as we know it now.

Things I wonder, related to that is:

- On top of questions like what might an afterlife be like, is it eternal? Depending on your views on physics, the universe is eventually going to run down until heat death. If that's the case, if an afterlife is related to the state of the universe at large (such as souls actually being some kind of unknown physical information) will it slowly fade away? Or in the case of a cyclic universe, or vacuum decay, will it be destroyed? Or, even, what happens when humanity dies out? If the afterlife is related to our continued existence.
- Related to that, if reincarnation is in fact true, what happens when there are no longer any humans to reincarnate into? Will be just be stuck? 
- Back to the above, if the universe is cyclic and a new universe comes after ours, does that mean we're going to have weird aliens pop up, if we don't have them already?

There's other questions to be asked about other interpretations of quantum physics such as string theory, many worlds theory and how they relate. Or even things like free will and if we don't actually have it here, will we have it in an afterlife kind of thing. But these are just some of the ones that rattle around in my head. What do you guys think?

Past observations (of the shared system) get added up to the present, just like lots of numbers can be summed to a result. That result, is our everyday shared experience of nature. But the summed result, should not be mistaken for the actual numbers that have been summed. Rather, the result should be thought about as obscuring the actual system.

Observations also affect the system. What you put into nature, alters the system. So one should be careful, about what one put's into the system, and only put in, what one would like to get out.

What we call the 'past', are facts - they can't be altered. What we call the 'future', are not facts.

But our observations (what we put into nature) can affect how the past facts get added up. So we can correct things in what we think as the future, despite being unable to directly affect the past facts.

Thoughts don't automatically become facts, they don't get put into nature, for example, you can fantasize, without altering the shared system.

The shared system (everyday shared experience) seems to be for communication and co-ordination etc. We can't share effectively with those, who don't have matching patterns (matching experiences). But it seems clear that we can learn a pattern here, so that we can effectively share.

Because thoughts don't automatically become facts, we could suggest some distinction between them, and the everyday shared experience of nature (facts).

My own belief is that this suggests that when the everyday shared experience of nature goes away, there is good reason to think that what ever it is that supports ones thoughts, doesn't.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
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