What do you think happens when we die?(86 Posts)
I'm an athiest but studied AS level Religious Studies at school as i am fascinated by other peoples religions, thoughts and reasonings.
Now every religion and person on this earth has their own theory on what happens. Whether it be God, nothing, heaven and hell etc.
But what everyone didn't seem to understand is that there is no proof at all as to whether there is something or there is nothing. Nobody knows or will know until they die. At which point if there is nothing, then we won't know anyways
I dont want this to turn into a bun fight and i am respectful of all peoples thoughts. Each to their own etc. So what do you think happens?
I'm supposed to be a Christian but I really don't know. I find it very hard to believe that there's a heaven or that anything 'happens'.
I once heard a theory that when you're in the womb, that's all you know and you could never imagine what the big wide world is like. Similarly, when you are alive you only know what the world is like and you can't comprehend life after death because you just don't have the ability. It will be totally different. I thought it was an interesting perspective.
Redacted - wow i've never heard of that before. It is really interesting, and quite plausible (sp?) when you think about it. Thanks for replying, its the kind of thing i was hoping to get out of this thread!
I find it hard to believe anything can happen once you're brain dead.
I like a lot of the ideas like redacted 's but I just can't believe them, though I'd like to, as they're much nicer...
from "Wean Yourself", part of the works of the sufi muslim mystic Jallalluddin Ar-Rumi:
"Think how it is to have a conversation with an embryo.
You might say 'The world outside is vast and intricate.
There are wheatfields and mountain passes,
and orchards in bloom.
At night there are millions of galaxies, and in sunlight
the beauty of friends dancing at a wedding.'
You ask the embryo why he, or she, stays cooped up
in the dark with eyes closed.
Listen to the answer.
There is no 'other world'
I only know what I have experienced.
You must be hallucinating."
Rumi - from "Wean Yourself"
We will either be burnt or will decompose, but we'll be past caring, at that point, anyhow.
i remembered the poem when i read your post redacted
I am religious (C of E) in a loose sense of the word, in that I pick and choose what to believe in. I attend church fairly regularly and I believe in God, but I don't believe in heaven or hell or any form of life after death. I believe nothing happens after you die - that's it - your soul is extinguished and your body rots.
Sorry - not very inspiring!
I think that our energy leaves our body and takes some other form.
I read that energy is never lost, and since our brains and bodies are basically kept going by electricity, it makes sense to me that that energy still exists in some form after death.
everything's made up of the same stuff. electrons, protons, neutrons. Maybe the energy that makes us up is used again and again and again.
I like to think that we exist in a form that is somehow still us, and remember our lives, and are with all those who died before us. I have no evidence of this either way, but I like it better than the alternative.
I once got flamed on here for saying that! by one of the ones who sneer about sky fairies and all that Apparently you can not believe, that's fine and the only belief an intelligent person is allowed to have , or you can believe even though you're stupid for it but you have to have an unshakeable faith that you can't explain but if you say actually, there is no evidence, but it makes me happy to think that... and it doesn't even really matter if I die and it turns out I was wrong, cos it made my life better...
you are a terrible human being.
Thanks for the replies!
So it seems like the people who have replied don't believe in anything like souls, spirits etc? Any thoughts?
You'll either be burnt to a crisp or start rotting...
Imtoohecsy - im all open for discussions and debates but i'll probably get flamed for not having a leaning either way eventually!
Though i have to say i do have a leaning towards what you believe too, as its nice to think that
A physicist explains about energy (thank you Elise)
I used to firmly believe in God and a heaven. Yes, it would be nice to meet our departed friends and relatives again. But I don't really believe this. The only thing I wonder about is that could all of this planet just have hapened by accident. So I just don't know.
Nothing. I think nothing happens. And yes, I 100% believe that.
I'm a Christian and I believe that there is something after we die. This is a passage I use at funerals from the gospel of John where Jesus is talking to his disciples the night before he is arrested
Dont let this throw you. You trust God, dont you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Fathers home. If that werent so, would I have told you that Im on my way to get a room ready for you? And if Im on my way to get your room ready, Ill come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road Im taking. John14 1-4 (The Message translation)
Now I don't know what this home looks like and I also find the analogy of the child in the womb helpful.
There is plenty of stuff around NDE that indicates that something seems to happen after we die but if you are convinced it doesn't then NDE aren't going to be enough to change your mind.
I think there is something more than just the 'me' and the 'here and now'.
I have no idea what but I don't think it's anything to do with mainstream religion.
I think once you are dead you are dead. No heaven, no spirits etc. I would love to be able to believe otherwise - DH died at 41, you can imagine how much I wish there was some kind of afterlife - but I can't. I think it's all wishful thinking prompted by a fear of the unknown or of total extinction.
Oooh Nicholas, thank you for posting that! That's exactly what I thought of when I saw this thread title but I couldn't think where I'd seen it.
Also Christian, also don't believe in sitting on cloud version of heaven.
I do believe that your soul/essence joins with the universe (or God if you prefer) but that you are no longer 'you' with your memories. Just a spiritual peace/oneness.
On a side note I get really fucked off when I go to church and they witter on about putting up with the suffering in this life as the life to come is better.
I think that's bollocks, I think the here and now is the most important - and that we are here to be with suffering, here to be with loving others, here to live with 'goodness' as much as possible.
So I don't give a flying turd fuck about the 'next life'
>everything's made up of the same stuff. electrons, protons, neutrons. Maybe the energy that makes us up is used again and again and again.
Of course our matter and energy is re-used - just not for anything in particular. We buried the goldfish under the honeysuckle and I told DD that maybe some of its atoms would become flowers - but some might become worm and some just part of the soil.
The other side of this is that 'we are all made of stardust'
I didn't say it was used for anything in particular, just that it was used.
Just read Nicholas's link - I like that - perhaps the most important line though is not the physics but this:
'And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are'
>I didn't say it was used for anything in particular, just that it was used.
sorry - I guess I assumed you meant something 'special' because its fundamental to physics that it is re-used - there's no 'maybe' about it!
I have no idea what happens but with luck you leave love behind in the people you knew.
I do believe we are spiritual. I think on death the spirit separates from the body, but I don't think it goes anywhere, other than where it exists already.
Ah, no, I didn't mean anything special. I meant only what I said, I just said maybe cos I'm not a scientist and I didn't want to write like I knew everything in case I was wrong and folks would go pah, you're talking out your arse, energy isn't used again
I believe there is something after death, im not sure what, but definatly something!
People that think once your dead your dead are to be not awakened, yet
I believe like Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita - our bodies are as clothes that we discard.
I'm catholic, raised that way and returned to it as a matter of practice. However, I always believed in reincarnation since very young and thought my body fairly incidental. It's all about the consciousness.
Obviously one cannot find the eternal in the material. The material is in constant flux. Our bodies constantly change, yet we always feel like ourselves. Odd isn't it. Where is ourselves. Who is ourselves? What is this that feels like 'me?'
This is why the 'who am I?' meditation is so foundational. Whether you figure out who you are or not, you are bound to notice you are not your body. Your identity is not located there, and is not an object, like everything else that is material.
So I may not know where I'm headed exactly after death, but I don't see why I would become an object when I haven't been an object yet.
Your soul dies, but memories remain alive with your loved ones.
Your body rots and feeds the earth (if buried). There is no hell, or paradise. If I was cremated I would like my body to be used to fuel the electricity of the crematorium because its a bit more environmentally friendly.
That's all folks. End if my era.
I think we die into God. What that's like, I don't know -- only one person has ever come back, and he didn't spend his resurrected life giving detailed descriptions, but in encouraging his disciples to build the kingdom of God here on earth. But when we die, we die into God and not, thank God, into nothingness.
To add, that this doesn't make death not terrible. Death is terrible: the end of my physical existence on earth, the end of the me that I've been being all my life, the extinguishing of all my mortal self. The only thing I have to hold against the knowledge that I will have to go into that cold oblivion is the hope that death has been conquered, and that after death, I will be in, with God. I don't have certainty about that, but I have hope.
Niminy - i don't quite understand what you mean by 'die into God'?
As in we become part of him or something along those lines do you mean?
Sorry if i sound ignorant but maybe you could explain it for me if you don't mind?
I know a chap who was brought up as a Catholic. His belief is that when he dies we all cease to exist, so this universe exists purely to amuse him. I like his take on death.
Monsteratemyspacebar: God is beyond space and time, life and death, dark and light. After death we will be in his eternity, which is him. We will be with him and in him.
What exexpat said. Only it was my daughter who died, age 9. That's all, folks, everything else is made up to assuage our fears about the certainty that is death.
I believe in life after death. It makes sense to me about being held accountable for the wrong and evil actions, and reaping the reward for kindness, endless sacrifices and good actions. It gives me great comfort believing I will b reunited with loved ones in the next world.
I find it difficult to accept that a person who was wronged and treated so badly in this world may die without seeing real happiness, and that they will simply rot and become nothing. At the same time we see murderers, individuals commit the worst of crimes to others and children, who occasionally are never brought to justice, and can never be sentenced (look at J. Saville). I believe they have to face the consequences of their actions in the afterlife.
I choose to believe that "we are not bodies with souls, we are souls with bodies" and our physical body is a house for our soul that enables us to exist within the physical plane.
When our house is no longer inhabitable, we become pure spirit, in another dimension perhaps (like the baby in womb analogy, something beyond our earthly comprehension).
I have no proof obv, but I like the idea.
Sam Parnia is doing some fascinating research horizonresearch.org/
Thanks Bella - thats my bedtime reading sorted for tonight
I believe when you die your body dies but your spirit lives on and you do meet up with passed on relatives/ friends. I am really good friends with a medium and she has told me loads to bolster my belief. And since losing my mum I have had a lot of strange things happen like my name called and no one around and I knew it was my mum as she shortened my name and only her said it there has been other things too. But that's my opinion I respect others opinions.
I believe that we do not die, we simply change form- we are spiritual beings living in a physical body and wen that body gets old and dies we carry on living. I dnt think we go anywhere as such, I believe we have always been here and we are at the moment being able to experience a physical world through our physical bodies.
I think our consciousness is individual- whatever a person believes will happen when they die, will happen.
Why is there a need to have the same experience as another person? Or experience of life is our own, why not death?
tethersend I'm with you....i think its about what you personally believe too.
Nobody has come back to tell us have they?.That's what my grandma told me as a child when I asked her what happens when we die.
As a Catholic I believe that your soul is immortal.Your body is just a covering for your soul and when we die,it is only our bodies that die, the soul leaves the body and goes somewhere else.
I am a retired nurse and no stranger to dead bodies, having seen many people actually die.At the moment of death that person suddenly becomes no person at all, just an empty shell.The part that made it a living breathing being is no longer there.I believe that part is your soul, the person you knew in life.When any of my relatives died I no longer wanted to see the body, as that was not the person I knew.
I also believe that when you die, someone who has died before you, always a person you knew and loved in life comes to take you where you are going.I have heard many dying people, my own mother included,call out the name of a dead spouse or relative in the hours beforehand.
I was with my mother when she died, also in the days before.She repeatedly called for her father, my granda, to whom she had been very close.
That is my belief.Sorry if anyone disagrees
You are taken by a loved one to meet Our Lord.
1944 that was a lovely post. I've been having a tough time recently battling with the life-after-death thing, and I have been searching for some positive experiences of death IYSWIM.
I've also heard from a nurse that when a patient dies, she can feel the ages come down to take them. Have you had any experience of that?
Sorry Nonnomum I have not had any experience of the angels coming.
Seeing my mother die definatly made me feel better about death though.
My DM had severe dementia and for the last years of her life was incapable of understanding anything.The year previously to her death one of her grandaughter's died but we kept the news from her.In the last few days of her life my sisters and I were sitting with our mother when we heard her call out my niece's name.This was very uncanny as she was unaware of her death.
When my grandma was dying, she kept saying she could see a little boy; and when a Great Uncle died recently, he kept going an about a dog, as if he thought there was one in the room.
For what it's worth, I don't actually believe in spirits at all, but I was strangely comforted by the sightings those relatives had in their dying days, as it clearly brought some comfort to them.
Thank you for your posts. Reassuring. I know I will face deaths of loved ones in the next few years and I will need to be strong...
Tbh I think that's just it and you cease to exist but at the same time I find it hard to believe that I won't exist. I worry it'll be boring . seriously though I just cannot get my head around the fact that I'll just be gone and never have another thought.
There was a time when you didn't exist, so why is it hard to accept that there will be a time when you won't exist?
To understand what happens when we die, let's consider another scenario:
What happens when we suffer brain trauma or brain cancer? We don't think like before, we don't act like before, and quite often, we are just not the some person, ever again.
So what happened to our "unique consciousness", soul or whatever you want to call it? It seems to be intricately related to the brain.
What do you think will happen when your brain dies?
Cote- I know that, and rationally I can accept that I won't exist and that that's the most likely scenario, but I can't quite get my head around it. It's a bit like knowing that you're not going to see the end of a mini series- a regret for what you're going to miss. I just want to find out what happens next.
I come from a scientific background and most of my peers are outspoken atheists. I believe that there is a soul, or an energy, to each of us, that is separate to the brain and the body. That energy goes somewhere. In the past I believed our souls came back many times to live on this earth until we learnt more and more until eventually we don't need to come back anymore, and will be somewhere in the universe. I think I developed these beliefs after encountering a lot of bereavement early in my life, it was my way of coping as I couldn't handle the concept of ceasing to exist forevermore.
I now believe there is a spirituality, an energy, perhaps a soul, but that's all I believe.
Logically, nothing happens after we die. We cease to exist. Extinguished. Anything else is wishful thinking and superstition IMO and a way for others to control us through religion.
I agree with Cote and blueshoes, and this is after having lost a child myself.
It's a comforting notion, that somehow death is not the end. But, well, that's what it is: a notion.
I'm not sure but from a very young age I started having memories of driving a car. At the age of 12 we moved house and I remember walking past a car park outside the local shops for the first time and thinking to myself 'that's where I used to park my car'.
As a child, I had memories of seeing the sea in Ankara (a landlocked city) where I have been only once. I would go around telling people about it. I can still recall the scene of "the beach" I saw there.
It doesn't mean that I died and lived again. It means that memory is a fickle thing.
interesting point cote about memory being fickle....maybe thats why we are all having so much trouble remembering who we are.
energy can never be lost. It does not ever cease to exist- it simply changes form. If you break everything down- you are energy.
Most people have no trouble remembering who they are.
I suspect you are referring to "who we are" before birth. (The answer to that is obviously "Nobody" but I again suspect that is not the answer you want to hear.)
You just can't use the word "remember" about things that happen before you are born because remembering is what we call recalling experiences we have chemically recorded in our brains. As such, it is not possible to remember something from before you started using this brain.
Re energy - You really should get your information from other sources than half-baked new-age blogs.
Energy is never "lost" because it transfers to your surroundings. If you stay outdoors naked in subzero temperatures, enough if your energy will transfer to the air around you and ground below you that you will likely die of hypothermia. And when that happens, all your energy will transfer to your surroundings until your body temperature measures the same as the ambient temperature.
There is no other energy that transfers anywhere else when someone dies. Or when an animal dies. Pretending that you know of such an energy (let me guess... "cosmic energy"? ) that has never been verified, never been measured nor named scientifically is not convincing, imho.
I kind of believe in reincarnation. But I don't know (obviously!) I'm not even sure I believe it. I definitely believe there is something else, just not got any firm belief in what form
cote yes, i was referring to "who we are" and I liked your answer, "no-body" cos you hit the nail on the head! I believe we are nobody before birth- a soul without a body.
I can use the word "remember" , if I like, thank you very much. And can you explain, how is it then that some people are able to remember things from their past lives or are you going to say, that that's not true- if so, then how do you know?
And about energy, i believe we are made up of energy- so wen you said earlier, that, " there was a time when you didn't exist...." yeah, we didn't exist as the physical human beings that we are today but I believe that we existed as energy and when our bodies die, we carry on existing as energy.
Err I didn't say "no-body". I said "nobody".
You can't and you don't remember anything from a time when you had not started recording memories. Honestly, I don't know how you can even try to dispute this.
"when our bodies die, we carry on existing as energy"
And my 8-year-old believes in the tooth fairy. The difference is that at least she has evidence - her milk teeth exchanged for coins under her pillow.
Yes cote i believe we carry on existing as energy- why do you seem to have such an issue with what I choose to believe in.
No-body- nobody- same thing. Your so predictable...how did i know you were going to argue that one too. Maybe it was that energy you were giving off.
And from your comments about remembering- i take it you dnt believe that people have been able to connect with spirits passed on or remember past lives...etc.... so your basically calling those people liars too?
I think we just cease.... as my MN name is derived from -
"every one of us is made of stardust" -
every atom in every single part of our being has been around since the dawn of time itself...
every atom in every single part of our being will remain until the end of time...
every single part of us will carry on for ever... just no "consciousness"
"we carry on existing as energy"
How marvellous. What kind of energy are we when dead? Heat? Gravity? Sound? Or.... can it be an "energy" that only you know about, which nobody has been able to measure before?
Re people who say they "remember" past lives - I don't know if they are liars as you say, or if they are a combination of liars, schizophrenics, attention seekers, and people who have had "experiences" following brain trauma & minor strokes (I personally know two of this last group).
Whatever you decide to believe, my friendly advice would be to not automatically believe everything you are told. People do lie. And many others have false memories for a variety of reasons.
Try to develop a critical mind. You will really need it in life
May I remind you, cote that the OP asked, "what we think happens, wen we die" and not "try to prove what happens wen we die" . cote you seem like someone who doesn't like to believe something unless there is evidence or proof to back it up. Well, just because something hasn't been proven or lacks evidence does not mean it can't be true. So my suggestion is maybe try having some faith in the unseen/unknown.
I am aware that people lie and I don't always believe everything people tell me or everything I read- I choose to believe certain things that resonate with me on a deeper level...but i guess you wouldn't understand what that feels like.
you come across as very hostile and arrogant person in your posts and one who likes to maybe force their opinions on people-not a very welcome quality- you could try maybe being a bit open minded and accepting. Oh and maybe add a splash of colour to yourself too as at the moment you appear to be very Black & White.
Why can't you answer a simple question?
What kind of energy? (Heat? Sound? Gravity? Nuclear?)
Has anyone ever documented and measured this "energy"?
Scientifically speaking- when we die, energy is released as heat into our environment.
But may i remind you, this is a philosophy/religion/spirituality thread. Our soul is a form of energy.. its not the type of energy that can be measured....only experienced. Jill Bolte Taylor is a Brain Scientist who suffered a brain hemorrhage and speaks of her own experience of how when she had this stroke- she felt alive and found nirvana. Its very interesting.
We leak heat into the environment all the time. That is why we wear thick clothes in winter. That is not "soul". It is heat. A heated kettle also cools down over time (i.e. leaks heat into the environment) and that is not its "soul", either.
I read Jill Bolte Taylor's book and recommend that you do the same. She clearly explains the reasons why she had that "nirvana" experience (her analytical left brain was awash in blood and all she had left was her "live in the moment" right brain). She couldn't talk not understand speech, and had to learn it all again over about 8 years, iirc.
Jill Bolte Taylor's book doesn't claim to have found evidence for a soul or some mysterious form of energy. It is really interesting, though. If you read it, I'm sure that you will learn a lot about the brain.
Thanks for your explanation re heat ....etc. But can i just ask you, what do you personally believe a "Soul" is?
I have no belief at all in a "soul" - we are what we are, a combination of genetics and experiences and when we die we cease to be... we rot or are burned, or in some religions - eaten, back to atoms, back to the "pool" for re-use.....
If we are dependent on evidence to know what happens to the bit of us that we experience as 'us', whether we think of that as consciousness, or soul, or the as-yet not understood effects of electrical brain activity, then none of us has any idea what happens when we die. Those who think we go to heaven have just as much knowledge as those who think it all ends -- that is, no evidence at all. It's just one of the great unknowables.
As a Christian, I believe that death is not the end, and that when we die we are with God, and I base that on the resurrection of Jesus, and the promises he made after his resurrection. I can't, however, know what is going to happen to me after death. On a day to day level, I'd go with the Christian Aid slogan, 'we believe in life before death'.
"none of us has any idea what happens when we die"
To say that none of us has any idea is simply not true. You only have to look at people who have severe brain damage to see that personality is stored in and of the physiology of the mind. To believe that there is a soul or something woo about the makeup of the human body is entirely baseless and mere wishful thinking.
I believe there is nothing after death, the only way we live on is in the passing of our DNA to our children.
I think there's probably a "heaven" (being with our creator) in some dimension we don't know about yet.
I'm exploring my religious beliefs at the moment and I have recently suffered the loss of a parent.
I believe in Heaven and the afterlife. I believe that when we die our soul is free to go where it wants and will usually spend a lot of time with loved ones before it moves on. Then I believe the soul goes to purgatory where it revisits its past behaviours and actions and understands the affect that it's actions had had on others. Following this the soul transcends to heaven where it is reunited with deceased loved ones and Jesus Christ. The deceased soul watches over its living relatives and friends but not to the same extent that it did when it first departed.
Disclaimer - The above is my own personal view and I have had wine tonight!
I am a Christian. I think/believe when we die we meet God face to face. Although as a Christian I believe I already have a relationship with God (the trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit), which is why it is not meeting God for the first time.
I believe that there is a judgement about our lives, and because of Jesus' death on the cross, dying as a sacrifice for our sins, if we choose Jesus we can go to heaven to be with him. Because we all make mistakes and are not perfect but he is a sacrifice in our place.
Traditionally the church thinks of that choice as made in this life not when you die or when you are dead. I believe in heaven. I think heaven will be the most wonderful and fun place. I don't think it will be sitting around on a cloud playing a harp. I think it will be like all the best bits of this life with no more sorrow and every tear will be wiped away.
As a Christian I believe Christian will go to heaven, so I will go to heaven. I can't say who will not go, and I would love it if everyone were there.
I can't imagine life ending, but it is a belief in heaven based on the teachings in the Bible and not on any scientific or personal evidence.
I do not want to judge anyone else's belief.
themonsteratemyspacebar hope that answers your question.
celticclan I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I hope that you have support around you and happy memories. Those things meant a lot to me when my dear father died a few years ago.
Cotw who are you to TELL others what to believe?
Join the discussion
Please login first.