“Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.” Kahlil Gibran
Death, the final frontier, the cessation of life, the mysterious end of our world as we know it. We boldly go where all men must inevitably go, venturing forth into the light and whatever lies beyond. And what exactly awaits us in the great beyond? We haven’t got a clue. No one knows with any degree of certainty what death has in store for us.
Throughout recorded history man has sought to understand the mystery of death, seeking to answer the unanswerable and explain the unexplainable, but to no avail. There is no easy answer. For centuries religion, science, psychics, and philosophers have offered us volumes of explanations, conjecture and rationalities, but when all is said and done, we must decide for ourselves what we wish to believe or accept as possible.
What do you believe? I choose to believe that death is much more than the cessation of life and is actually the gateway to eternal life. Perhaps it was all those years I spent in Catholic School with those hellfire and damnation spewing nuns, but I’m a believer. I didn’t particularly care for their scare tactics, their sin + death = hell equation or the Baltimore Catechism brain washing techniques, but hey I suppose all’s fair in the battle for believers many churches seem to play. When all is said and done, as a Christian I have faith that what I believe is true, that there is life after death.
This concept of life after death has prevailed since the dawn of man. Prehistoric man buried personal belongings with their dead. Why? So that they could be used in the afterlife. Yes, even simple minded prehististoric man had a innate belief that there was something more than simply living, breathing, hunting and gathering. Perhaps if we weren’t so inundated with conflicting religious views, interpretation of doctrine and other propaganda that causes us to question, our innate beliefs would take over and we too would simply believe.
There are those who argue that if death is the gateway to an all important spiritual, eternal life, then our human life, this brief moment in time, has no real value and is meaningless. Why must we live in the here and now when there is something better beyond? Religion gives us the answer. Religion teaches us that our time here, though fleeting, is to be spent in God’s service doing things for others, doing the right thing, living a good, wholesome life so that we may reap the rewards of the afterlife. If we look at life this way then our time here is nothing more than a period of testing and proving ourselves, where, upon our deaths our good and bad deeds are reviewed and we gain access to the afterlife only if our good outweighs the bad.
I’m not sure if I believe that when we die God will be sitting on His Heavenly, golden throne with the great ‘Book of Deeds’ open before Him, surrounded by a host of angels, waiting to review our lives and pass judgement on us. I just dont see it happening quite that way. I believe that when we enter the hereafter we will first be greeted by our family and friends who have gone before us, at a grand reception, we will be met and welcomed by God or his Son later, where we will receive our rightful place in Heaven based on our how we lived our lives. That’s right, based on how we lived our Earthly lives.
If this is the case it gives meaning and purpose to our lives. It means life is significant. Life is a series of experiences and events that we live through, ponder on and grow from. We do not live through death. We do not have the opportunity to ponder our death, reflect on or grow from it, therefore death is not a part of life as many believe, but the beginning of the afterlife. Death is not something to be feared. That’s not to say that we should challenge life or take unnecessary risks, but simply that we should embrace life, profess love and use the time we’ve been given living righteously and virtuously.
Death is the door to eternity, a good life, is the key to open that door. Live it.
Just a thought,