'Yes, Virginia, there IS an Afterlife!' Okay, so maybe not in the sense that most think of it, but then, everybody has their own unique perception, right?! One person's idea of an 'Afterlife' could be sitting on 'Cloud 9', playing on harps for Eternity ( a bit of a cliche' ), while another's could be a simple as playing 18 holes every day. The term 'Afterlife', especially for the Christian & certain other religious folks, is usually more-or-less synonymous with 'Heaven'. Some believe that, at the End of Time, the Earth will become 'Heaven', while others believe it is either so now, or at least underway. Whatever the case may be, in the view of this blogger; call it 'Heaven', 'the Afterlife', 'Summerland', or what you will, It, whatever It is, is simply a sort of spiritual 'waiting room', a dimension, if you will, where souls/spirits go when they are separated from their physical hosts, or 'avatars', until such 'time' when they reincarnate. Yes, that's a hard pill to swallow, but that is MY personal view & it resonates with my Spirit!
Having just read 'Proof of Heaven' by a neurological doctor ( surgeon, no less ), I can't help but perceive how his experience ( NDE ) was influenced, to whatever extent, by his chosen religion. No, I'm not saying that it was all in his head, nor am I discounting the reality of his, or any other NDE, just that, as he even states several times in his book, in other words, once 'encumbered' ( limited? ) by his physicality ( brain ) again, he found it well-nigh impossible to accurately portray what he experienced. Neither am I saying that ALL of what he portrayed was 'colored' by his religion; there is no doubt in my mind that 'he' experienced what he did, for there IS consciousness apart from our physicality, or humanity. All I'm saying here, is that while much of what he wrote, again, 'resonates with my Spirit', in the telling of his story, the good doctor showed his religious colors, for what that's worth!
'As above, so below'. Besides being chock-full, in its simplicity & complexity ( kinda like, 'it is what it is' ), this statement implies strongly, among other things, that the state of our Higher Being has a direct correlation to that of our Lower Being. Now, I realize too, that this statement itself implies 'separation', but this cannot really be helped, at least, not on this 'plane', since sadly, many don't acknowledge that they have a Higher & Lower Self!
As we then, humanly speaking, contemplate our own mortality ( whatever our chosen belief system ), it is comforting, to whatever degree, to think that there IS life after death; in other words, that after our biological clock stops ticking, that somehow or other, we will live again, whether it's in another 'form', or in Christian terminology, as a glorified ( ?) human being, inhabiting 'a new heavens & a new earth' in the selfsame ( though 'glorified' ) body. A pleasant dream, no doubt, but a dream nonetheless!
At the very 'core' of our being, we are spirits having a physical experience. You've probably heard something like this before, but it bears repeating. If indeed it is otherwise & we are simply 'Higher Animals' ( on the evolutionary chain ), then why SHOULD we worry about trying to 'do better next time' or waste our time trying to make the world a better place? For that matter, why not just live our lives however the hell we want, since we are 'just' animals & this is all there is?! Thankfully, we are More than 'just' animals: though we have an animalistic nature, we also have a Higher Nature, One that, because of Its interconnectedness with the Divine, allows us to see & therefore live for More!
Dr. Alexander called this 'dimension' in which he experienced the Presence of Divinity 'the Core'. This, in my opinion, is a very fitting name for what most call 'Heaven', for it implies that we are 'Heaven'! Being brought up 'in the nurture & admonition of the Lord', so to speak, I learned, in time, that the Holy Spirit ( ' God' ) lives in our hearts. Now, if that's not 'Heaven', I don't know what is! If you've read any of my posts over the last 10 years ( give or take ) you're probably familiar with the phrase, 'Heaven' is in our hearts'. This is not to say, again, that the doctors 'vision' was all in his head, so to speak, for as he explained in his book; his brain ( at least the necessary cognitive part ) was not functioning at the time. Dr. Alexander DID experience an NDE; for all ( or at least most ) intents & purposes, he was physically ( clinically? ) dead! But, just like Lazarus in the biblical story, his spirit returned to his body & he awoke with New Purpose.
What then, does 'the Afterlife' look like? IS it a waiting room for the Eternal Cycle of, in Christian terms, 'Birth, Death & Resurrection', or in another, 'reincarnation'? Is it simply a place of Eternal Rest where we sing the praises of our Lord & Savior all day long? A 'place' we go to after we die? Of course, WE don't really die, do we?! This biological machine ( some call it our 'avatar' ) will eventually wind down & become wormfood, but who we really are, at the Core of our Being, will never die!
Namaste' & Blessed Be,
Charles Haddon Shank