Throughout human history, people from different cultures have always believed in the existence of another world beyond that in which our mortal beings exist. Different religions have come up with their unique definitions of the afterlife and of the Supreme Being, to whom all life ultimately returns. Modern science has, however, attempted to refute the idea that there is another spectrum of reality beyond that which can be scientifically tested. They base this assertion on the limits of scientific inquiry, particularly because it is practically impossible to use the readily available scientific instruments to conduct experiments on the soul. In this essay, I will seek to support the idea that the afterlife indeed exists. To do this, I will rely on published evidence, as well as accounts provided by individuals close to me.
I was brought up in a Christian family. My parents taught me that we are created by God, an all-loving entity who wants only the best for us. At the same time, my parents also took me to school, where I was taught that the idea of creation is just but a theory. I needed to weigh between the two ideas and determine that which would guide my belief system thereafter. I found the concept of the afterlife to be much more compelling than the idea that life ends at death. I grew even more convinced upon learning about other religions and the similar accounts they have about the afterlife. Moreover, I occasionally encounter Déjà vu experiences and I cannot fathom of a better explanation for them than: these are experiences that I have lived through at some point in the existence of my soul. I believe that the soul is everlasting; it does not have an expiration date but the body does. One has the duty to live a meaningful life as long as they are alive on earth. I may not know exactly what happens thereafter, but I know that a positive afterlife experience will follow a meaningful life here.
I may not have experienced a near-death experience, but I have had the opportunity to talk to someone who has. The person, who was attempting suicide at the time, explained that they experienced a sensation of light and unconditional love which liberated them from the stress and depressive feelings they were experiencing up to that point. The person suggested that during this time, they experienced a reality that was transcended the metaphysical world. The liberation they experienced happened at a state of existence that they had not known of until this point. This experience changed their life forever – they acquired a new meaning of life and began to be more appreciative of their own existence. A skeptic would probably dismiss this experience as fallacious but the fact that this person was a nonbeliever (until this point) and had not had the opportunity to read or listen to other people’s near-death experiences suggests that this experience was merely not scripted. Furthermore, the person’s experience is strikingly similar to that offered by the thousands of respondents interviewed by Jeffrey Long and Paul Perry (2016).
My belief system has evolved over the years. As a child, I was skeptical about heaven and hell and the true nature of God’s love. I could hardly understand why God allowed us to suffer on earth, only banish us to hell after death if we did not live according to his will. Today, I perceive heaven and hell as two spectrums with different energy forms (positive and negative, respectively). I believe that good acts (showing compassion, living ethically, selflessness, etc.) lead someone to the positive direction while evil acts (killing, corruption, envy, etc.) lead the person to the negative direction. The sum of these acts ultimately determine the fate of the person in the afterlife.
Science has not influenced my belief system. However, it has provided me with the range of evidence necessary to be even more compelled that there is an afterlife. For instance, scientists argue that the idea of humans existing independent of their bodies is inconceivable and that there is no evidence to ascertain that people can survive biological death (Carter, 2012; Bailey & Khul, 2012). However, the idea that something cannot be seen does not mean that it does not exist. Moreover, the evidence presented by Long and Perry (2016) should be sufficient to help scientists to change their notions about existence. It is worth remembering that for a long time, geologists refuted ancient ideas of rocks falling from the sky, only later to find evidence of meteorites (Carter, 2012; Olenici, 2001). Thus, while science as is may not provide evidence of existence of an afterlife, future developments could help ascertain non-believers gain a better comprehension of the soul and what happens at death.
The idea of the afterlife may be hard to comprehend from a scientific point of view. However, the lack of instruments to test it should not be used to justify the notion that it does not exist. I believe that we have souls which outlive our bodies and that life on earth is a journey through which one ought to live a meaningful and fulfilling life. Positive deeds ultimately lead one to a happy place in the afterlife, which should be the ultimate aim of every living person. Although science may not provide evidence of existence of an afterlife now, there is a possibility that future developments could contribute the understanding of the soul and the afterlife.
Bailey, A. A., & Khul, D. (2012). A treatise on cosmic fire. Lucis Publishing Companies.
Carter, C. (2012). Science and the Afterlife Experience: Evidence for the immortality of consciousness. Simon and Schuster.
Long, J., & Perry, P. (2016). God and the Afterlife: The Groundbreaking New Evidence for God and Near-death Experience. Harper Collins.
Olenici, D. (2001, January). Meteor Themes on Romanian Medieval Ornaments in Northern Moldavia. In Proceedings of the International Meteor Conference, 19th IMC, Pucioasa, Romania, 2000 (pp. 73-76).