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New here and with some questions on the afterlife

Discussion in 'General Afterlife Discussions' started by Emily E., Jan 31, 2017.

  1. Emily E.

    Emily E. New Member

    Hi, I've been searching up info on the afterlife and eventually came across this forum, and I thought I could hang out here.

    Let me just put it out there first that recently I've been fearing death. I'm currently 19 years old and have a long life ahead of me, but I still would often have panic attacks because I know I'm going to eventually die someday and there's nothing I can do about it. Unlike most people, I just cannot find comfort in the atheistic, materialistic assumption that we cease to exist after we die. The fact that I forget all of my memories and everything about the world, that I'll never see the beauty of nature or feel the warmth of the sun on my face ever again, that I'll never get to enjoy my hobbies or eat my favorite foods. And the fact that it will also eventually happen to everyone I love. My family members, friends, and many more. And what is nonexistence even going to be like? Just darkness with no thinking or senses? People say it's just like before you were born, but the problem is you never actually felt what it was like before you were born and just sprang up in existence!

    The worst part is that most of the time (at least to me), eternal oblivion seems like the most logical conclusion to what happens after we die.

    I want to find a reason to fully believe in the afterlife, I really do, but I'm just so torn between beliefs right now. I grew up a Catholic and was always taught that we go to Heaven, but I've been doubting my beliefs lately so much because it just seems like in a world full of scientific explanations for nearly everything, things that are unexplainable would have an explanation out there. The fact that we have a loving God above us yet he allows things like horrible diseases and natural disasters to happen.

    There are some interesting things I've read suggesting that maybe an afterlife does exist, but they haven't really been enough to convince me entirely, considering that so many scientists claim that NDEs are caused by brain activity before death, and that there are a lot of plotholes regarding the concept of the afterlife (such as the fact that things like brain damage and Alzheimer's can affect peoples' memories and personality, or that if we're simply just souls in another plane of existence, how will we have senses if we don't have organs like eyes, ears, or a nose? Or how will we keep our memories? Will there be nature, water, weather, seasons, nigthtime and daytime, clouds, stars, the moon, and landforms in the hereafter? Do plants, animals, and other living things have afterlifes or is it just humans? If the latter's the case, then why are humans the ones who get special treatment? Did prehistoric neanderthals have an afterlife? How come we didn't have a beforelife? Is religion really just a manmade concept because humans want to feel that they have a purpose in this vast universe?)

    Just so you know, I'm not here simply just to look for comfort or to refute any arguments. I just been looking at so much input on the non-believer's side of the coin that I feel like I should take the other turn and look at the perspective of believers, and I figured that since everyone here seems to know a lot about the afterlife itself that they would be able to answer some of the questions I have for it. I would like to know what makes you sure that there's something beyond death and that we don't just poof out of existence, if there are any genuine solutions for the plotholes, and that if anyone here has any actual evidence that life after death exists (there are a lot of atheists, agnostics, and skeptics who say there's no evidence for it).

    Thank you to anyone who takes the time to read this, and I hope someone is willing to respond :)
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
  2. DarthT15

    DarthT15 New Member

    I was in the same boat as you until recently, had a bad panic attack relating to the subject. After reading a lot about NDE's and whatnot, I do strongly believe an afterlife,

    Here's a fantastic rebuttal to the idea that NDE's are caused by the brain: http://www.near-death.com/science/articles/dying-brain-theory.html
    In fact, the writer of the book even responds to say "I have not claimed that any of my work proves the Dying Brain Hypothesis. In fact no amount of research ever could."

    Another good rebuttal to the idea of it being illusions is the "Peak in Darien" experiences, in which someone either dying or having an NDE sees someone thought to be alive at that point in time but is in fact recently deceased, Here's an excellent paper on the phenomenon including a few such cases: http://deanradin.com/evidence/Greyson2010.pdf

    I was in a rush this morning, so I can't respond to all the questions, but I do hope that these answer some of them.
  3. bluebird

    bluebird Well-Known Member

    I understand and share your doubts regarding the afterlife. I don't know if an afterlife exists, but I fervently hope so, especially since my husband died 4 years ago. In my opinion, no human being can tell you for sure if an afterlife does or does not exist; all anyone can do is offer you her/his opinion regarding the existence and possible nature of the afterlife. Different people have found different things (NDEs, experiences other people have had, writings on the topic, etc.) which to them are sufficient proof of an afterlife, but none of those things are universal proofs. In my opinion, each person needs to determine for her/himself whether s/he believes in an afterlife, and what s/he thinks it may be like.
    milahanna likes this.
  4. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    You've written a lot but really asked a couple of important questions.

    quote "....I would like to know what makes you sure that there's something beyond death and that we don't just poof out of existence, if there are any genuine solutions for the plotholes, and that if anyone here has any actual evidence that life after death exists."

    re the above quote: First sentence, first question. My reply is that my personal experiences and what I've learned in many ways over many years.

    First sentence, second question. My answer is that I don't have a clue what a 'plothole' is...

    First sentence, final question. My answer is yes.

    So you have two answers to two important questions but they're out of context and without studying, researching and learning more you won't ever have a proper context for them. And that's where it can get tough because one has to start working as no amount of answers from others may satisfy you.

    I'm sure I could answer all the other points you've raised but without context what would my answers mean for you? Or anyone else's answers come to that? And as you're 19 years old I'd seriously advise you to get on with the good stuff of life and think about all this afterlife bull when you're decades older - and mac rarely advises anyone about anything! lol :)
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
  5. DarthT15

    DarthT15 New Member

  6. Emily E.

    Emily E. New Member

    Thank you for all your answers, they've been really helpful.

    I'm currently trying my best to live my life to fullest. I'm aware that I'm still very young and have decades ahead of me before I can start thinking about death, but still, knowing that it will happen someday haunts me from time to time. After finding this website and reading all the facinating stories on here, I thought I would share about how I've been feeling and ask some questions I had on life after death.

    To answer your question on what a "plothole" is, Mac, it's a literary device that describes an error, gap, or inconsistency in a storyline, but I just used it as an analogy for the things that doesn't make sense to me about the afterlife in this thread.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
  7. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    I'm guessing 'plothole' is an Americanism! What a horrible word! :D

    As for things not making sense about the afterlife I'd respond that they ain't gonna until you know/understand one hell of a lot more about the subject. There's little about it that doesn't make sense for me but I've been 'at it' for three decades and website owner, Roberta, my senior, has been at it even longer! ;) And as even dim mac can understand it all, anybody can given time, application and a little effort. That's for us old farts though and young uns should get on with life in this dimension and leave all the other stuff until much later when it just might be important. :)
  8. Emily E.

    Emily E. New Member

    Well, I live in the United States, but I didn't know that "plothole" wasn't universal. Lol, just I should've used a better word. And you're right, I need to focus on the present and not worry about the future. I'm currently enjoying my hobbies as much as I can, and trying my hardest in college. Thanks for understanding, and I'll try reading the articles the other users in this thread linked me when I have more free time.
  9. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    I'm in the USA too and 'plothole' isn't an English English term let alone universal. :D

    PLEASE don't spend too much time on this stuff - it ain't that important because it all happens automatically and routinely whether you, me or anyone else understand or cares about it. ;)

    Our lives here are about living and learning from the experiences we have. That's all gonna influence our spiritual progress but it's not anything about which we need to have any concern or even any interest.

    All this happens without us needing to know anything about anything! :) bonne chance!
  10. Emily E.

    Emily E. New Member

    I guess "plothole" is more of modern day slang. Suppose being a teenager in the 2010's can really butcher your ability to speak proper English :D

    Whether I fully believe in an afterlife or not (though hopefully reading those articles will help me open my mind even more to the possibility), I do appreciate all the kind words. I will take Mac's word for it and focus more on right now. I'll still be floating around these forums, but I'll still live my life as much as I can and not worry about what will happen after it :)
  11. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    Good to hear my thoughts appeal to your reason. :)

    On another website elsewhere I encouraged a young wannabe psychic/sensitive that he should focus his efforts on making his way in life before getting hung up on the complications and difficulties of being such a practitioner. We are all here to experience living in-the-body and whatever is gained by that. An awareness that life goes on beyond our present ones can help make sense of otherwise-nonsensical situations but it shouldn't dominate worldly matters.

    On the other score, I used to be pedantic about language but I've come to realise and accept that it's a living, growing, changing thing. Words are routinely coined, old words assume new meaning and context, and American English has developed in ways I still find amusing and even annoying. It's one of the many aspects of living half of my life in the USA that I love. Vive la difference and long may it continue!
  12. Emily E.

    Emily E. New Member

    Another thing I've been wondering. What about those who prefer eternal oblivion over the afterlife? Honestly, despite not liking the idea of nonexistence, I can still understand why most people would much rather prefer "eternal sleep" over continuing their life as a higher consciousness. For people who prefer the former, do they get want they want and fall into oblivion, or do they still go to the afterlife? If the latter's the case, then it wouldn't really be fair to them since they prefered something else and got the opposite.
  13. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    There's not an option or as you guys say in respect of motor vehicles something that's 'available'....

    Personal preferences, as felt in-the-body or mind just don't cut it when we've left this dimension. Even if one holds the same preferences after passing over one can't change how reality is.

    What happens to us humans, whether any of us understand anything much about it or whether we don't, has happened for as long as the great spirit has manifested in its individuated form in this particular world. A period of time we can scarcely contemplate.

    Again you're wondering about stuff totally without context although the points you've raised are academically interesting and similar ones have been raised here on ALF on several occasions.

    Disregard what you think now, forget how you think you'll feel after you kick off your clogs for the last time. Like as not you'll see things wholly differently when you get 'over there' but if you do manage to cling on to your present sentiments, feeling or beliefs it ain't gonna change what happens.

    You can ignore what's happening for everyone else, stamp your feet and declare you ain't gonna do what you don't want to for as long as you can maintain that stance. But what you can't change is the way that life-inspirit goes on simply because you don't want it to be that way.

    And from all that's been taught you're pretty likely to see matters from such a different perspective from the one you have now that all such arguments as those you've outlined will feel irrelevant and you'll also understand why.
  14. Emily E.

    Emily E. New Member

    True, but assuming that the afterlife can "do anything", even being able to mold itself to fit someone's preferences, then I'm sure it would not be out of the ordinary for it to allow that person to fall into eternal sleep if he or she wanted to.

    Then again, I'm not really sure exactly what kind of afterlife you are talking about. Is the afterlife you describe the same for everyone? Or do you believe in a personal afterlife (an afterlife that fits the particular someone's preferences)?
  15. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    Sorry to do this but you're speaking about something you have no understanding of, totally out-of-context and in isolation from the 'big picture' of life here and 'life in the beyond', snapshots of subjects that need a video to be watched to gain some basic understanding....

    The so-called afterlife isn't an entity so there is no 'something' that can "do anything" and personal preference doesn't change the way life goes on in the big picture. Sure someone may be able to control a local, personal situation by the exercise of their will but that's purely a local event, wholly transient and not eternal.....

    About spiritual issues I have no beliefs.
  16. Emily E.

    Emily E. New Member

    Okay, I see what you are saying and sorry if I came off as ignorant. I'll try to look more into what it's all about.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
  17. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    I'm sorry if I was abrupt but ignorance is simply a state of not knowing and not something for which to apologise. We're all ignorant about stuff we don't know and by definition it remains that way until we learn about it!

    I like that you ask the questions you do but from what I've learned over the +30 years I've been 'in the spooks' (as we Brits say) even if one gets answers to questions they're little use if there's no overall context into which to slot them. It happened that way for me and it took me literally years to put the things I was learning into their proper context. Maybe I'm just thick and it took me longer than others needed to understand things but however long it takes for any individual I'm confident time is of the essence.
  18. ALR11606

    ALR11606 Member

    I hit the same wall you have when i was around 17 Emily. Panic of nonexistance.

    I found this forum and begun to dive deeper and also try and become more spiritual in the knowing your own energy sense.

    While I wont say I'm completely 100% sure of something, I'm slowly "growing" and learning more each day. I wish i could tell you it's like a switch and I may be for you. But from what I've experienced these last 4 years is that it takes time to start to bring everything together.

    Best of luck and hope your path is easy!
    Amore likes this.
  19. Widdershins3

    Widdershins3 Active Member

    I asked similar questions to yours, Emily, but at a much earlier age. Not sure if that was due to on-going abuse and desperate unhappiness then or whether (as it seemed to me at the time) I was still able to remember a life previous to this one and desperately wanted my memories to be real. It spurred my reading comprehension to increase rapidly to adult level by the time I was around 8 years old, since the few books in our public library on the subject were written for Victorian adults. And I read and reread them, studied them to try to figure out whether my memories were real and whether there was literally "a better place" waiting for me someday. The Spiritualists' "Summerland" was exactly what I remembered and kept trying to find.

    Many years later, after the death of my son, I was taken in a vivid, non-dream-like "dream" to visit him in an old building where he was recuperating from his long illness. We looked out the window together and there it was--the Summerland. This could of course have just been my grief-stricken mind providing comfort to me, but several other things shown to me in that "dream" later happened exactly as I'd been shown. My reasoning was that if the precognition in the dream was absolutely real, then what I saw out that window probably was too.

    Once in my teens and then again a few years ago, I also saw ghosts, which was so stunning to me that the second experience literally changed my life--I'd been influenced by the contempt of the materialists around me and kind of given up on surviving my death and seeing my son again. The world changed in a split second as the little girl made eye contact with me and I was struck by the intelligence and awareness in her gaze. She was ALIVE, but I was the only person on that moving bus who could see her and she vanished seconds later. I wish you could have that sort of personal proof happen to you, but I realize it doesn't happen for everyone and most people have to go on faith.

    We're lucky to live in a time when so many wonderful books on the afterlife are being published, so read as many as you can and do so critically. Pay attention to what instinctively feels right and set aside what you find jarring or impossible to believe, at least right now. And, if you can, keep your interest from becoming obsessive, since at your age the world is an amazing place where I believe you, I and the rest of us came to learn and grow. Good luck!
  20. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    Dear Silver Birch counselled we should accept only what appeals to our reason and not simply accept what is taught, even by him.....

    One might wish to consider using two 'mental pigeon-holes' for what we hear and learn. In one - marked 'resolved' - place whatever makes sense for us, what feels right or comfortable, what "appeals to our reason". In the other would go everything else, a pigeon-hole marked 'active'. As understanding increases or if we find something no longer seems to fit, anything can be transferred from either pigeon-hole to the other. That process can go on as long as we wish it to, perhaps for the remainder of our lives.

    With effort and good luck in time we can expect more in the 'resolved' hole and less in the 'active' one. ;):)
    Widdershins3 likes this.

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