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The issue about life after death has raised a lot of concern in many societies for centuries. Many people have come up with theories which seek to explain what happens after the death of a person. Some have turned to religion as a way of explaining what happens in after one dies. In the current society, science has tried to explain the events that take place when a person is dying. However, Gray (78) says that the scientific explanation has not received the general acceptance even to the most learned. People tend to believe that there is life after death. The scholar notes that many people do not want to believe that they will be completely wiped away from the earth once they die. They want to believe that they have another chance to live again and to participate in the normal humanistic activities, but in a less strenuous and less eventful life than what we have currently. This is the biggest pillar of almost all the religions in the world. In order to understand various ideas about life after death, the research will analyze some of the popular believes deeply entrenched in the religion and cultural practices.
Reincarnation is an afterlife concept that has its roots among the Buddhists, Hindus, Rosicrucian, Sikhs, Wiccans, and Kabalistic Judaism. In this concept, there is a continuous spiritual development when one dies. After death, a person will be given another opportunity to live in the earthly world, but in a new form (Soto 23). However, the status that one acquires in the new life after death depends on the manner in which he or she behaved before the death. People who lead blemish lives would assume lower and more stressful lives in the afterlife. On the other hand, the virtuous would assume superior grades in their life after death.
Heaven and Hell
The belief in hell and heaven is deeply rooted in the Abrahamic religion. The belief is currently held by the Christians around the world. In this idea, when one dies, he or she will go to heaven or hell based on his or her deeds on earth. The supreme God has some expectations of all his people. He has given mankind a clear guideline on how to relate with others, and how to relate with Him (Atkinson 56). Every person is expected to follow these guidelines to be considered virtuous. Some people choose to follow the laws. When they die, they get the reward of going to heaven to have a union with God, and to lead an eternal life that is free from sorrows and sufferings. On the other hand, those who disregard these principles are always punished by being sent to hell. In hell, it is believed that there is a big lake of fire that is meant to cause eternal suffering for these people.
This is another belief that was developed in the Middle Age and is also common among Christians. In this belief, it is held that there are those who die at infancy before committing any sin or doing good deeds. They are always kept in limbo to wait for the decision of the supreme God. In most of the case, they would be used as angels.
This concept which is common among the Catholics holds that anyone who dies in God’s grace but still considered imperfectly purified is assured of life after death, but will wait a little longer to be purified in spirit.
Atkinson, Kate. Life After Life. London: Black Swan, 2014. Print.
Gray, Claudia. Afterlife. New York: HarperTeen, 2011. Print.
Soto, Gary. The Afterlife. Orlando: Harcourt, 2003. Print.