From TV series such as, ‘The Good Place’, ‘The Returned’ to books like, ‘Elsewhere’ people have tried to imagine life after death in all creative manners. As humans, we constantly want to know about life after death, while some seek answers in religion, others turn to science.
Death happens simply when your heart stops beating, your brain stops functioning and life processes stop. When a person dies, it usually feels like a part of you is ripped away, the pain of realising that you can never access the person again makes it even more unbearable. Imagine if we knew exactly where souls went after death and how they are faring on after leaving us. There are over a dozen theories that try to convey what the afterlife would look like. Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Plato, Pharaohs, biocentrism, cryogenicists all have unique views of life after death. Even the popular TV series ‘Stranger Things’ speaks of an interesting theory of the afterlife.
Hindus and Buddhists paint a picture of the rebirth of souls of the dead by them turning to plants or animals. According to this concept, well known as reincarnation, the pet in your house or tree in the backyard could have been someone in a different time and life. It might sound like a far thought concept, but we are all one in nature, are all connected. Hindus imagine that they will be reborn at least 52 million times as animals or plants before becoming human again. Buddhists believe that a human can come back to life as gods, demigods, ghosts instead of being sent to hell. If you ever wanted to be a fierce tiger, a cuddly cat, mighty oak tree, it is possible through the theory of reincarnation.
Christians portray the afterlife as a division of worlds, heaven, and hell. If you were a good person, heaven will be your new home. Heaven is said to be a land of plenty where people shall live together with God. Hell is where the bad people will be thrown into to be consumed by eternal fire. Islamic religion speaks of five pillars that are meant to be achieved before a human departs from the physical world. To them, spiritual life is a continuation of your faith journey.
Mummies have been part of Egypt’s history for centuries all because of pharaohs’ theory. These great leaders of their time presumed death as a temporary state and that through mummification their bodies would be preserved in a pleasant state for their second life.
Far from the religious thoughts of the afterlife are the scientific ideologies. If you have wealth to spare, cryogenic could be something to consider. Through cryogenic science, bodies are set aside at very low temperatures to stop the growth of cells and await the advancement of science when a solution to death will be discovered. Quantum Physicists imagine that a body passes on but a person’s consciousness continues to dwell. Exactly where the consciousness exists remains unknown. Butterflies and Hummingbirds are beautiful creatures well known for their pretty colors, none would think that they were once soldiers on a battlefield. To the Aztecs, soldiers fallen in battle reincarnated four years later as butterflies while those who died by drowning went directly to heaven.
If these theories are too much to handle, you better buckle up because the afterlife train just gets wilder. Some choose to picture life in general simply a fragment of imagination and at the end of our existence, death, we shut down like a program in a computer. This train of thought is mainly by pessimists who view life as meaningless and life after death as non-existent. Picturing life after death offers hope to people for the loved ones that we lose along the way, but pessimists simply do not see it in that manner.
The flickering of a bulb to many could be a sign of faulty electrical wiring, however according to a theory put forward in Stranger Things, it is a way the dead communicate to the living from an upside-down realm. With so many theories at hand, it is impossible to not think about life after death. Whether you are a religious believer or science fanatic, you cannot escape thoughts of what it will be like when we take the final breath. Theories on life after death may be many, but they ensure you have insight into how it can be imagined.