My Profile | Reload Blog | My 365

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

"Dying to live happily ever after"

"The Western fear of death, some argue, lies at the heart of many contemporary problems, such as the denial of ageing and the marginalisation of the elderly. The Mexican Day Of The Dead - which celebrates the memory of the departed with humour and ribaldry, sugar skulls and sleketon dolls - remains a curiosity. Religions have tried to provide answers to the question of what happens after death but, as traditional beliefs erode, other solutions are sought. We asked three intuitives, familiar with the afterlife, to tell us what's really out there."
MetroFocus, Metro, 1st November 2005, page 19.
I don't normally read the Metro on my way to placement (normally coz i got my head stuck in a book cramming for whatever questions i think i'm gonna be asked..!). But today i did. And this is what i read.
It intrigued me. And the answers the 'panel' gave intrigued me even more. Check this out...
"The afterlife is like a lucid dream...we become who we really are... Of all the things we do in life, our greatest achievements are our acts of true love. It's the love between people that builds the bridge of light between the two worlds."
And the next person -
"I don't believe in Hell. If your afterlife is difficult, it's because that's what you consider you 'deserve'...The dead have jobs. When there are tragedies, like earthquakes, they assist people crossing over. There are healers who heal, educators who teach and also 'policemen'. bear in mind when people first cross, they keep their personalities. Someone like Saddam Hussein won't suddenly become godly."
And person number 3...
"People who were bad in their earthly life find themselves where they expected to be - not Hell exactly, but dark places. Only when they become aware of higher realms can they move on. People often ask the dead what life is about. It's about unconditional love. People struggle with things such as money - but, in the bigger scheme of things, they're just not relevant."
Intriguing, for a number of reasons.
Firstly, i'm intrigued by the fact that the introduction to the article said that religions hadn't provided satisfactory answers and so they're turning to 'intuitives' for the answer to what happens after death....but even these three people don't fully agree either.
And person number one - if we become 'who we really are' in the afterlife, then what are we now? And if it's like a dream...well, dreams aren't real.
Person number 2 - i find it difficult to believe that in the afterlife you get what you think you deserve. And interesting use of the word 'godly' when this person clearly doesn't believe in God...why not 'perfect', or 'good', for example?
Person number 3 - What do we define as 'bad'? And in previous conversations i've had with people about the gospel they've said that they don't like the fact that a person could commit an evil act and then repent and enter heaven. They don't deserve it. Aside from the fact that we're all sinful, this causes a big problem for some people in terms of the gospel, but person 3 is saying that 'when a person becomes aware of higher realms they can move on', no matter, it seems, how bad they are. Quite how they become aware of these higher realms they don't say. But it's an odd concept and i don't understand how people can accept it, given what they think about the gospel.
What i also found intriguing, and slightly sad too, is that two of these people talk about unconditional love as being integral to our lives, or 'afterlife'.
Isn't it sad that people recognise some elements of truth but are blind to the reality.
GOD IS LOVE. And so yes, life is (or should be) about love - because it should be about God.
People the world over are searching for the meaning to their lives. They search for it in money, clothes, celebrity, sex, drink, possessions...and they don't find it. they think they have for a time, but realise sooner or later that actually those things are only temporary and, to re-quote person 3, "in the bigger scheme of things, they're just not relevant".
She's right there. Because the reason we're searching is that we were created by God to enjoy a relationship with Him. And we're not. We've cut ourselves off from Him and our soul yearns within us for our loving creator.
But we shut Him out.
"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." (John chapter 3, verse 36, The Bible.)
Reading through part of Luke's gospel in cell tonight i was again struck at just how simple it is to get eternal life. We just have to accept the invitation! We get bogged down in trying to earn our way to God (if we even believe God exists) and/or trying to find a 'higher spiritual realm'.
If we're honest with ourselves, we know there's something after death. And if we're really honest with ourselves we know there's something more than just an 'afterlife'. The beauty of it is that we're right! And what's even more beautiful is that we don't need to do anything to get it...we simply have to believe and accept Jesus.
If i were to re-write the introduction to that article, maybe i'd say something like this...
"The Western fear of death, I'd argue, stems from the inherent knowledge in each of us that 'there must be more to life than this'. But the fear comes from not knowing exactly what that 'more' is, what follows death. And not knowing what follows stems from not truly listening, from wanting to create our own versions and stories. To get over our fear and grief we create ways to 'connect with the dead' or decide to believe that there is no such thing as hell. Many religions, sects, and 'intuitives' have sought to provide answers to the question of what happens after death, but they fall short. They don't quite satisfy and they don't match up. But Jesus said 'I am the way and the truth and the life. ' (John chapter 3, verse 16, The Bible). Perhaps, just perhaps, the key to eternal life, the answer to what happens when we die, is actually quite easy. It's believing in, and following, this Jesus. Just like he said."
Can you accept that? Oh, if only you could. It's THAT simple.


Post a Comment

<< Home