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How sure are you about the existence of the afterlife

Discussion in 'General Afterlife Discussions' started by Storybud68, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. mac

    mac Staff Member

    I've heard that saying before. It trips off the tongue but in the religion and philosophy that appeals to me we don't say 'belief' or 'proof' in connection with survival after death.

    We can't provide proof of survival but for some seekers mediumship provides evidence of it. Those fortunate enough to hear from a loved one may find it is their personal proof and they may need nothing more to free them from the despair of losing a loved one.

    My personal frustration remains that comparatively few find this personal proof. :( Sceptics have to find their own pathways and although they are not excluded from finding evidence being strongly sceptical may effectively prevent it happening.
    baob likes this.
  2. bluebird

    bluebird Major Contributor


    I'm sure you know I say this with all due respect, but: since, as you said, comparatively few find personal proof, whereas most do not, might that not point to an afterlife actually not existing, and those few who do have personal experiences rather experiencing something more akin to wishful thinking, or a dream, or a meditation, etc.? I mean, if out of 100 people (as an example), only 2 or 3 have an experience they believe is with a dead loved one, which to them proves the existence of an afterlife, doesn't it seem logical that it's more likely those 2 or 3 people are having a non-afterlife related experience, and the other 97 or 98 people who don't have such an experience are experiencing the actual reality?

    Which is not to put down the 2 or 3 experiencers in any way, or to accuse them of lying -- hell, I'm as big as agnostic as they come, and I have had some experiences. I'm not questioning whether people have experiences; rather, I'm questioning what those experiences actually are and mean.
    DenverGuy likes this.
  3. mac

    mac Staff Member

    I can't say you're wrong, bb, but the simple experience some are lucky to have can be the opener for a longer story, one that leads seekers on to other issues. Sure you could counter they're all essentially similar to what you've suggested and I can't prove anything different.

    Here we return to a subject I've challenged about before - what is reality? If it could be pinned down definitively then one might also determine what isn't reality. But if reality is what's experienced personally, be that shared with millions of others or only with thousands, then 'believer' and 'doubter' are both right about what they experience. For the doubter their reality is one that doubts the notion of survival. For the experiencer, or for anyone persuaded in other ways, their reality is that we survive death etc.

    We can easily agree they're not lying but even the most articulate/literate might have difficulty explaining to the full satisfaction of doubters what their experiences are. What those experiences mean is often simple in terms of the evidence for a loved one's survival - those persuaded find their 'black cloud' of uncertainty and doubt/fear has been lifted.

    I'm in neither of the two camps. I haven't experienced what I've talked about on many occasions yet I am wholly persuaded that what I have to 'say' is correct. Trying to explain that is harder than explaining either of the other two!
  4. bluebird

    bluebird Major Contributor

    Thanks for replying, mac.

    In my opinion, there is an actual reality, regardless of the viewpoint or opinion any of us may have on that reality, or the relationship we may have with that reality -- it is only each of our interactions/experiences with it, our perceptions of it, which are different. I don't presume to know for sure what that reality is (the larger reality, I mean, beyond our current day-to-day lives), but nonetheless it exists. Just as, if there is a god and if there is an afterlife, then those things exist regardless of my agnosticism regarding them (or, if they don't exist, then they don't exist regardless of the multitude of people who believe that they do). I suppose what I'm saying is that as far as I'm concerned, I may not know whether Schrodinger's cat is dead or alive, but it is definitively one or the other even if I am not there to see it.
  5. mac

    mac Staff Member

    Reality is an interesting notion but ultimately a frustrating one if we try to pin it down.

    To some extent we're close to being at opposite ends of a spectrum of 'afterlife persuasion'; you don't know (over-simplifying somewhat) and I'm confident I do. Neither of us chose to be at either point. It was down to how the dice were rolled. We both suffered agonising bereavement but ended up at very different destinations.

    Maybe it's my age, maybe it's the cumulative effect of the unrelentingly depressing pandemic situation but I'm feeling I'm at a place where I might soon withdraw from engaging with others on my once-favorite subject for engagement. I've had to accept I can't help you find relief, bb, and you're someone I care about. Maybe that's one of the 'lessons' I've had to learn? If so it's left me feeling I might now have insufficient enthusiasm to keep trying to help those I don't know or care about.

    Some, perhaps most, seem to need to experience something specific to feel confident about survival. For most a medium may be the most likely person to provide it although a tiny few receive direct, personal evidence. I've tried for many years to do what little I can to point folk in a direction I think might help them but I'm losing that sense of purpose. I can't help anyone directly and feel that inability intensely. Perhaps it's time I accepted that bashing my head against a brick wall results only in personal injury - maybe it's time I stopped.

    This website's founder has moved away and increasingly I'm thinking it's my time to do the same, perhaps just curating in future to keep things tidy.
  6. bluebird

    bluebird Major Contributor

    Please don't stop on my account! I am truly sorry if my responses in this thread (or any of my posts/responses here, over the years) have made you feel that you should give up, or that you aren't making a difference. I promise, you have made a difference, to me. You haven't been able to convince me definitively of the existence of an afterlife, but that isn't your fault -- no one could convince me of that other than my husband (either directly or possibly via a medium who was able to provide very detailed/specific information). However, you have helped to lessen my pain a little bit, just by listening, by sharing your knowledge, and mainly by being caring and non-judgemental despite the differences in our viewpoints.

    If you need to stop or take a break from this site and these topics in order to maintain your emotional/mental health during the current apocalypse, then I understand, and you should do what you need to do in order to stay well. But please don't stop just because you feel you haven't helped me, because I swear that is not the case. {{{{hugs}}}}

    p.s. Also -- while many of my posts on this site do have to do with my love for my husband, my pain due to his death, etc., my last couple of responses in this particular thread did not come from pain. To me, they were more of a philosophical thought-exercise, an intellectual discussion. I wasn't expecting you to prove to me the existence of an afterlife, I was just trying to explore the topic philosophically. So please don't worry.

    p.p.s. So has Roberta left the site permanently? I know she hasn't been around, but I wasn't aware she had left altogether (if that is the case). If she has, can we now discuss politics on ALF, in the off-topics section?
  7. mac

    mac Staff Member

    thanks for your consideration, bb :) Please don't be concerned, though, that you're the cause of any decision I've made. BUT I listen to you and I take notice of you and your situation is important to me. I did realise we were having a discussion outside of those circumstances. I remain sad I can't help you with the most important thing in your life but I think I realised and accepted that a long time ago. I am heartened I could offer a few crumbs of comfort but crumbs is indeed all they were.

    Our recent conversation hasn't precipitated a hasty decision but has helped clear and focus my thoughts about ALF. That conversation also helped clear and focus my thoughts about other places where I'm a more frequent contributor than I am here. I'm changing what I do, how I approach things, there too. Sometimes moments of clarity arrive unexpectedly and I see them as prompts from my friends unseen. Just acknowledging the things I did earlier today has lifted my spirits and your words helped me in getting there and I thank you. :) Now I know the right way for me, at least for the moment. Who knows what might happen after that? ;)

    I don't know if Roberta has left her website for good. All I know is the last time she signed in but she could be following everything from a distance. It remains her website, of course, and she's always said she won't allow political or religious discussions because they can become heated and divisive. Out of respect for her I wouldn't deviate from that.
  8. bluebird

    bluebird Major Contributor

    Well I'm glad that you aren't making any decision based on my situation and your kind attempts to help me with it. I will miss you, though, should you decide to be here less often, or to be less active here. Whatever you decide, I hope you are happy and well. I do hope you decide to still participate here.
    baob likes this.
  9. mac

    mac Staff Member

    thanks,bb :) I guess I'll be around doing the general housekeeping and maybe welcoming the occasional newcomer on behalf of ALF but I'm not sure about my participating. I will always try to help if I'm approached but I might not go beyond that.
    baob likes this.

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