The Next Great Adventure

Sunday, January 9, 2011

"To the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure." – Albus Dumbledore

Life after death is a fascinating subject to me, and an important one in general I would think, no matter what you believe. This week I am much more interested in what everyone else has to say on this subject than I am expounding on it myself. There is so much mystery around the afterlife.

What will it be like? Look like? Feel like?

Who will be there? Will you recognize them?

How will you spend your time? Will time even exist any more?

I know what I think and what I believe, and I'll share them later, but what do YOU think?

Here are some thoughts from various world religions on the subject. Enjoy...

"To consider that after the death of the body the spirit perishes, is like imagining that a bird in a cage will be destroyed if the cage is broken, though the bird has nothing to fear from the destruction of the cage. Our body is like the cage, and the spirit is like the bird. We see that without the cage this bird flies in the world of sleep; therefore if the cage becomes broken, the bird will continue and exist: its feelings will be even more powerful, its perceptions greater, and its happiness increased. In truth, from hell it reaches a paradise of delights, because for the thankful birds there is no paradise greater than freedom from the cage." (Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 326)

"Learn thou! the Life is, spreading life through all;
It cannot anywhere, by any means,
Be anywise diminished, stayed, or changed.
But for these fleeting frames which it informs
With spirit deathless, endless, infinite,
They perish. Let them perish, Prince! and fight!
He who shall say, "Lo! I have slain a man!"
He who shall think, "Lo! I am slain!" those both
Know naught! Life cannot slay. Life is not slain!
Never the spirit was born; the spirit shall cease to be never;
Never was time it was not; End and Beginning are dreams!
Birthless and deathless and changeless remaineth the spirit for
ever" (Hindu, Bhagavad Gita (Edwin Arnold tr))

"O my people! this present life is only a passing joy, but the life to
come is the mansion that abideth." (The Qur'an (Rodwell tr), Sura 40 - The Believer)

"Know thou that the soul of man is exalted above, and is independent of all infirmities of body or mind. That a sick person showeth signs of weakness is due to the hindrances that interpose themselves between his soul and his body, for the soul itself remaineth unaffected by any bodily ailments. Consider the light of the lamp. Though an external object may interfere with its radiance, the light itself continueth to shine with undiminished power. In like manner, every malady afflicting the body of man is an impediment that preventeth the soul from manifesting its inherent might and power. When it leaveth the body, however, it will evince such ascendancy, and reveal such influence as no force on earth can equal. Every pure, every refined and sanctified soul will be endowed with tremendous power, and shall rejoice with exceeding gladness." (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 153)

"Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever." (King James Bible, Psalms 73:24-26)

"Know thou of a truth that the soul, after its separation from the body, will continue to progress until it attaineth the presence of God, in a state and condition which neither the revolution of ages and centuries, nor the changes and chances of this world, can alter. It will endure as long as the Kingdom of 156 God, His sovereignty, His dominion and power will endure. It will manifest the signs of God and His attributes, and will reveal His loving kindness and bounty. The movement of My Pen is stilled when it attempteth to befittingly describe the loftiness and glory of so exalted a station." (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 155)


Suzanne said...

I enjoyed reading the various world religions’ thoughts; thank you.

If I were to describe the afterlife, it is given in one simple word–home. For, there are no words to describe our heavenly Father’s glory.

Suzanne McMillen-Fallon, Published Author (available early 2011)’sWritings.html (currently not active)

Justin Johnson said...

Thank you for posting. I agree - ultimately there are no words. The next life is so completely different than this one we can't really fathom what it will be like. I read something this morning I found interesting...

"Be ye a refuge to the fearful; bring ye rest and peace to the disturbed; make ye a provision for the destitute; be a treasury of riches for the poor; be a healing medicine for those who suffer pain; be ye doctor and nurse to the ailing; promote ye friendship, and honour, and conciliation, and devotion to God, in this world of non-existence." - Abdu'l-Baha

It was that last piece that really struck me - the idea that this world is the world of "non-existence" - NOT the next one. How profound is that? And it follows directly in your line of thinking - that world is the reality, that world is home.

Jonathan Huggybear Aquino said...

As Henry Van Dyke once said, "Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live."

Death is a rite of passage, a normal part of life like puberty. It is the beginning of something new.

Huggybear's story, What Happens At The Hour of Our Death?, is a personal journey in the phenomena of near-death experiences. It presents two controversial but life-affirming books in the most rational and objective perspective.

It is also meant to serve as a source of comfort for the bereaved that there is life in the hereafter.

This story originally appeared in the My Favorite Book contest of The Philippine Star Lifestyle section in 2009

As I write in my third paragraph: " What happens at the hour of our death? There's a very personal reason why I began studying the afterlife. I came across two books that taught me there's more to this world than our finite minds can label and put in a box."

nasser alyaseri said...

life is a dream . and when we die we will face the truth

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