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What do you think happens after physical death?

After having a parent pass, I'm so curious about the afterlife... if there is one or not.

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    Oct 13 2013: After death we continue our journey, but in a different setting. And that new setting will be one that is supportive of our continued evolution in consciousness.
    My mother died this year, my father 25 years ago; and it is clear to me that both of them just went somewhere else, and are continuing on.
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    Oct 13 2013: Hi,
    At my age, I am familiar with the loss of parents, siblings and friends. I have been considering all the claims made about what happens after life as we know it.
    There are those that say... when you're gone, you're gone. These same people have savaged religion, spiritually and faith.
    When challenged, they shrill "prove it".
    Then there are others who address this life as a journey to reach a spiritual heaven. When challenged, a number of people, who have experienced near death experiences are quite descriptive of those experiences.
    I myself had one experience in witnessing an actual passing where after the breathing ceased there was a period of time and it seemed to me that the body started to deflate... like air leaking out of balloon. The body didn't actually shrink into a crumpled pile of course, it was more like an sense that something happened.
    So, is there an afterlife.... honestly, I don't know and probably won't until it is my time to pass.
    Will I pass into a heaven of glory and joy for all eternity or will everything just go black forever.
    As a pragmatist, I will live like there is a heaven for there is nothing to loose.
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      Oct 13 2013: You look pretty young Mike....perhaps you have a long life ahead:>)
    • Timo X

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      Oct 21 2013: A pragmatist eh? Descartes tried to weigh the soul (or, more specifically, the res cogitans) by comparing the body weight of the same person when they were alive and when they had died. He concluded bodies were lighter after death. Proof that the soul has measurable weight, or proof that death affects the composition of gases in the body?
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    Oct 13 2013: After the human body dies, The soul goes to sleep in the earth (irrespective of whether the body is buried or cremated), and the spirit returns to it's angelic state and ascends and goes to what I call "the other side or spirit world". I have absolutely no doubt at all that there is life after death and that in that life we retain a sense of who we are, who we loved and the life that we lived... and this is why...

    In January 2013, I lost my husband of 30-years in very tragic and unexpected circumstances, I won't bore you with the details of the circumstances - what I can and will tell you is that after his physical death, I stayed with his body for about 15 - 20 minutes after he passed. As you can imagine I was utterly inconsolable, then at some then as my son, led me out of his cubical at the hospital, I turned to look back at my husband as he lay there for a few moments more, in those moments I saw an amazing thing which I didn't understand at the time... It took a couple of hours to process what I had seen. What I saw was my husband spirit ascend from his body - I have to tell you, his spirit was magnificent, pure gold, with a burning white at it's core, and not a blemish or shadow to be seen anywhere in his new being ... We looked at each other his spirit and me, and there was a sort of communion which even now I can not put into words.. I turned again to leave the cubicle, took one step and turned again, his spirit then nodded to me, and then he was gone.

    I also believe that my husband in his now angelic or spiritual state watches over me and our children. On occasion I get a feeling he is here with me. My mum who I had issues with passed almost 4 years ago - since my husbands passing she has visited me once in my dreams.
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      Oct 13 2013: Dear Anna,
      I am very sorry about your loss, and very glad you came to TED to exchange ideas with us.....welcome.

      While doing hospice care, volunteering in a terminal care facility, I have been with people as they were going through the dying process. Although I have never seen the spirit, I and everyone who has been with someone as they die, agree that there is a change in the energy in the room.

      I'd like to tell you a lovely story.....
      There was a lovely little lady in the care facility where I volunteered, who had her pet parakeet with her in the room. The bird was in a cage at the bottom of her bed, and always very quiet. I was sitting with her as she was actively dying (organs shut down in a predictable way), and she was in and out of consciousness.

      All of a sudden, the bird started squawking, flapping it's wings, and getting very excited. The little lady opened her eyes, smiled, and said "my mother is here with us, and she's standing right by the bird cage". This little lady was in her 90s, and her mother had been dead for many years. She closed her eyes again, the bird calmed down, and she passed on.

      My mother was my primary teacher/guide when she was alive. She died 22 years ago, and I can still feel her energy with me.

      I had a near death experience (NDE) 23 years ago, and the energy that powers the body left.....almost for good.....not quite! Some people call this energy spirit or soul, I perceived it as energy.
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        Oct 13 2013: Thank you for your sympathies and thank you for sharing your experiences as a volunteer in a terminal care facility. My sister also works in a terminal care unit and she has been a fantastic support during these horrendous months since my beloved passed, and has had some of her own interesting experiences about what she has witnessed as an "end of life" carer. Anyway I just wanted to say thank you.
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          Oct 13 2013: Thanks for your reply Anna, and my heart goes out to you for your loss.
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    Oct 13 2013: I am truly sorry that you lost a parent. When you have some real time to sit down comfortably, watch this brilliant presentation. It does provide a clue as to what might be after here......
    May you always feel connected to peace dear Alexandra and to love.
    ~ I send you a big warm hug♡
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      Oct 13 2013: Jill Bolte Taylor's talk is wonderful, and it was a reference to that talk by a friend that brought me to TED years ago:>)
  • Oct 13 2013: After your body 'dies', your consciousness goes to the same place your thoughts go after you have them.
    Your 'consciousness' is timeless, space-less and dimensional-less.
    It doesn't exist in time and space and dimension, so it can't be found there.
    It is a subjective experience and the only way to know it is to 'know thyself.'
    We are energy,. If that is what spirit is then we are spirit energy or energy of the spirit.

    I now think this is true: we are all sharing one conscious process, one consciousness and it
    is the same conscious process just as if we were all one drop of water in the ocean
    that rose up out of it for a short period of 'time', but feels long to the drop, before it drops back
    into the one conscious process of the ocean.
    They cannot be separated.
    So once the drop falls back into the ocean it is falling back into a vast (nothingness so to speak) of
    infinite potential or possibilities to be thrown out again at some time into conscious awareness.

    Same with our consciousness. We go back into a vast nothingness which is all potential to be something
    at some moment.

    Make sense? No? Oh, okay.
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    Oct 13 2013: Alexandra... as detailed in scriptures of Hinduism, we were primarily a spirit, a soul atman on its cosmic life cycle of 8.4 million manifestations that entailed an earthly journey of 96.4 million years. Of 8.4 million manifestations, the last 1.1 million manifestations occurred in human form. After death of human body... our soul atman, the spirit within again manifested a new body based on residual balance of karma of that moment.

    If the residual balance of karma demands our soul atman manifesting a form in the house of a businessman, one just could not be born a Prince. At every stage of life... karma was governing! As our karma... accordingly unfolded our destiny! Only if matching parents were not available on mother earth, the soul atman hibernated in heaven or hell (Swarga and Naraka in Hinduism). In heaven... if the residual balance of karma was positive and hell, if negative!

    Both heaven and hell existed in sun... heaven in the core of sun where temperatures exceeded millions of degrees centigrade and hell in the periphery of sun where temperatures were considerably less. No sooner matching parents became available on mother earth, the hibernating soul atman immediately manifested a new body to start a new cycle of life. This cycle of life after death continues unabated until, we as a soul atman gained absolute purity forever.

    Gaining absolute purity by a soul atman meant human beings gaining enlightenment forever (kaivalya jnana in Hinduism). This was a permanent state. The enlightened one finally gained salvation moksha, moment one leaves the mortal frame! The liberated soul atman finally entered kingdom of God (Vaikuntha in Hinduism)...a point of no return. Everything relating to life-and-death is available in Bhagavad Gita of Hinduism. More on Afterlife -
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    Adam G

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    Oct 11 2013: As there is no correct answer for this, everyone will give you their own point of view. That depend on lots of things. At some point we probably will find the true true about afterlife, hope so.

    My point of view is that when you die it will be like falling asleep, for you it will be just minutes, maybe hours, for those alive, might be days, years, millennia and then you will live again, maybe as a person, child, where you wont remember much as you probably don't at the moment, [what's your earliest memory?] or maybe as some other creature, maybe on the other planet.

    The true is, I don't know, but that what I think will happen.

    I think important thing is to remember that we will all die at some point, Memento Mori.
  • Nov 3 2013: The key word is Spirit - and it is a very misunderstood word. We hear much about the afterlife as some kind of version of our present life, where we recognize each other, wear shimmering clothes, have wings, have our pets with us, and other nonsense. At least, it is to me.

    Spirit is what we have that transcends our life. It is exercised by our mind and body, but it does not belong to them. It belongs to all who are affected by it and perpetuate it. At death, our ability to exercise it dies, too. What is left is carried in those whom we've affected - for better or worse. Their memories of our joy, our involvement, our hatred, our problems live in them after we are gone, and how they ignore, deal with, and exercise they way they have been affected with others determines their spirit.

    So, concentrate on what was good about them. Let the bad die. Good riddance to evil. If you admired something about them, do the same thing yourself. Do it better. Their spirit lives in you as you choose. If you revere their memory, tell others about them, and let their spirit affect them, too.

    If the afterlife is Spirit, where we are one with God, then we are one in spirit when we share what was given to us. The Afterlife isn't off in the ether somewhere, maybe on the other side of Jupiter - it's right here and now as we choose daily to keep their spirit alive.
  • Nov 2 2013: First of all, my regards for your deceased parent. Coming to the topic, there are 2 possibilities for your answer, either afterlife exists, or it doesn't. I am in support of it not exisiting. My reason is as follows-:
    When man came to realise that with his intelligence, he has become the most powerful animal on the planet ane that he is at the top of every food chain, he realised that he was still unable to conquor one thing, death. Just as in the fox and grapes story if you've heard it, unable to get the grapes the fox consolidates himself by saying that the grapes are sour, similarly to consolidate himself, man made the concept of afterlife. He consolidates himself by saying that,"I cannot die. I will simply pass on into afterlife."
    Considering you, I think you will want to support afterlife because you want to meet with all those friends and families that have left you. I know. It hurts a lot. My regards again.
    Well, thats my theory. It doesn't have to be necessarily true but the topic itself is so controversial that we won't get an answer easily
  • Oct 21 2013: As depressing as it may be, I've yet to see any convincing evidence of an afterlife, or an immortal soul for that matter.

    Learning to make peace with with, or alternatively, convincing yourself to believe otherwise despite insufficient evidence, is key to continued function without falling into a depression.
  • Timo X

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    Oct 21 2013: My condolences on your loss. Regarding the existence of the afterlife, I am living my life by two undeniable facts:
    1. The existence of an afterlife implies that I (nor my loved ones) cannot really die.
    2. There is no empirical proof whatsoever regarding the existence of an afterlife.

    Considering fact #1, it is clear to me that the belief in the afterlife is a comforting thought. This explains why you might want to believe in an afterlife. It also neatly explains why there are so many people who claim that there is an afterlife, despite fact #2. Because what does fact #2 really imply? Like any other theory or hypothesis, claims regarding the afterlife should be backed up by evidence to be believable. No such evidence exists one way or the other. From this, you could conclude that the jury is not out yet: there could be an afterlife, or there could not be. You could do so, but you would be wrong.

    Firstly, theories need to be parsimonious, meaning that a theory that makes less assumptions is better. Since a theory that postulates the existence of something /by definition/ has at least one more assumption than a theory that does not postulate the existence of something, it is always less parsimonious. Thus assuming that there is no afterlife is preferable to assuming that there is, because it is more parsimonious.

    But I'll do you one better. Besides this, admittedly, rather academic argument, there is also a simple argument against the existence of the afterlife and it is similar to the argument against travelling backwards in time: if it is possible, where are the time travellers from the future? The appeal of the afterlife is great, and many people seek to prove its existence. If the afterlife is real, why has no proof for it turned up in the thousands of years that we have been looking? Does the belief in an afterlife really have much more basis in reality than the belief in unicorns? I'm afraid it doesn't. I honour reality and life, not delusion and death.
  • Oct 18 2013: Aloha Alexandra I am from Kauai which you already know is the spiritual center of the islands. I studied ancient Hawaiian history at KCC and as part of my study I got to interview a descendant of a royal kahuna on Kauai. The interesting part of his story was his visit to their hidden family burial place in a cave on the cliffs of NaPali coast. He spent several days and nights there communing with his ancestors spirits for the purpose of guidance for the future generations of the family. The point is a lot of people think as I do that life goes on after death in another form. A lot of people talk to their dead friends and relatives as if they were still here, usually in solitude to avoid being called crazy. It is not unusual at all for mates to communicate and even feel the presence of a deceased spouse or parent. Quantum physics has a term for this called “entanglement”, they do not know how it works but can prove that it does exist.
    • Timo X

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      Oct 21 2013: You seem to imply that the entanglement of elementary particles somehow makes it possible to commune with the dead. This is by no means a standard interpretation of (quantum) physics, and it seems that you should provide an apter mechanism and more proof than 'they do not know how it works' before you claim something like that.
      • Oct 21 2013: My comments are just that a comment, something to think about. As I said, science does not know how it works they are barely cognizant of it's existence, give them a few years they will discover more. I am simply using it as a stimuli for thought, you will have to discover your own truth and I know you will. Each of has to walk the path and discover our own truth where ever we find it, I cannot do it for you and you cannot do it for me and even if our truths are in direct contradiction that does not mean either is wrong, we are just different.
        • Timo X

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          Oct 21 2013: Quantum entanglement is a theory designed to explain the relationship between quantum and classical physics, and it does not entail speaking to the dead. If you state otherwise, you are wrong (or on thin ice, at the very least). This is because in the end there is only one reality, only one truth. You may have to walk your own path, but that doesn't mean that there are multiple truths. You want proof of that statement? Try believing that walls are not made of solid material and observe the results when you plot your path through one.
      • Oct 21 2013: Well Timo I love your wall example, I walk through walls everyday and so do you, we all do. How do you get into your home? Don't you walk through a wall to get there? Would you like to try another example?

        "There are no facts, only interpretations"- Friedrich Nietzsche
        • Timo X

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          Oct 21 2013: I do not, because I'm sure you know very well what I meant. And if you do, that means you chose to reinterpret my example in a way that makes it untrue, i.e. to misrepresent it. That is the same thing you did to the theory of quantum entanglement, so it does not surprise me in the least. Quote Nietzsche all you want, he can't change the nature of reality any more than you can.

          "We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one's own ego and one's own desires." - Pope Benedict XVI

          Oh the irony of quotations.
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    Oct 18 2013: Hi Alexandra,
    I believe that the bible gives the correct information regarding life after death.
    It seems that our spirits live on for eternity either with God or without God, according to our wishes. This life is basically for deciding which way we want to go.
    I expect to recieve a new body, & God to make a new universe to live in. This time around there will be no sadness or tears, as God will be in charge. I believe Jesus Christ is God, & that the bible is His book.
    None of us can be 100% sure! but, after much study & consideration, this is what I believe.

  • Oct 17 2013: Dear Alexandra, very sorry to hear about the loss of your parent. On the other hand I'm happy for your parent that passed from this world to an indescribably better world.

    My wife and I had that split experience in 2001 when our daughter suddenly passed away. We were very, very sad to lose her, but happy for her sake to already become and angel.
    This is her memorial service, and there is much more on that website about this life and the next life, as it is in memory of her.

    Then there is a book written by someone who lived, consciously, by invitation, in this material world and the spiritual world at the same time. The title is "Heaven and Hell" and the writer is Emanuel Swedenborg.
    By this same title there is also a Facebook page which is 'liked' by more than 82,000 people, growing by hundreds a day. This is one of those books that you don't have to start reading on page one, you can select which chapter to read depending on what your interests are. I can safely say, there is no other book on this planet, which describes the spiritual world in this amount of detail.
    But please decide for yourself and I wish you many happy hours!
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    Oct 13 2013: It's possible that could be something after. Finding the right anser could be one of the most amazing trips of mind and intelligence through human cultural heritage, by mean, also, of using the question as a tool to exchange ideas with everyone else. An old question,of course, and nobody has still given a response accepted by most. I'll give you mine: I dare say that there is nothing after death, but I'm also afraid to say yes that there is something...
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      Oct 13 2013: Dear Sean,
      Do you think perhaps the fear is in not knowing for sure? Would you change how you live your life?

      Knowing, or not knowing does not change the way I live my life here and now:>)