Man behind the green curtain here, usually I am behind the scenes keeping the dot com gears moving and keeping my thoughts to myself. But today is your lucky day as I am filling in as a HIH
guest host Houseguest.
I have been thinking about different beliefs lately, and the different afterlife options they present. Combine that with my serious problem of not taking anything seriously, and we have ourselves a post about the afterlife :)
So join me, if you will, as we try on different versions of the afterlife to see what fits, as we ask “Where do bad folks go when they die?”
Stop me if you’ve heard about this one…
Revelations tells us there will be an eternity of worship service, along with all sorts of wacky business going on in heaven to enjoy, check out the deeply educational brick testament for more.
As the Hymm goes “Prostrate before Thy throne to lie, And gaze, and gaze on Thee!” Roughly translated is staring at God forever and not moving around, dressing nicely and probably collecting tons of gold stars.
My Verdict: Hmm, all in all, doesn’t sounds doable for me, It’s hard enough sitting still let alone following all those rules for eternity.
Speaking of which, the Christian alternative is Hell which doesn’t sound so different. Heaven sounds so boring and fixed, hell may not be a bad alternative. David Byrne suggests in the song “You & Eye” that maybe it won’t be so bad with the lyrics “You & I — go straight to hell. Where they have barbeque & beer Better than they do up here … Yeah–we smoke cigarettes We dance with the dead … And Darling, I think you’ll like it here”
This sounds pretty neat, no indefinite worshiping, more like rivers that go on forever, hairless freaks, and clothes that don’t wear out, which is pretty handy. From the Hadith – Mishkat text “The inhabitants of Paradise are hairless, beardless and have black eyes, their youth does not pass away and their garments do not wear out.”
Doh’ it looks like it will be full of poor dudes and not very many women, sorry ladies. “I looked at Paradise and found poor people forming the majority of its inhabitants; and I looked at Hell and saw that the majority of its inhabitants were women.” Hadith – Sahih Bukhari 4:464
My Verdict: All in all, nothing too special about Paradise, plus I would have to devote my life to worship and with iPhones who has time for that these days, I think I will hang out with the ladies in hell.
Oh, and the the whole 72 virgins in Paradise for martyrs is pretty much made up and not in the Qur’an. Which always sparked this image in my mind, not much of a reward:
Now we’re talkin’ some good old fashioned slain warrior rewards. This is an afterlife I can believe in, it really is beer heaven: “Odin states that the goat Heiðrún and the hart Eikþyrnir stand on top of Valhalla and graze on the branches of the tree Læraðr. Heiðrún produces vats of mead that liquor cannot be compared to, and from Eikþyrnir’s antlers drip liquid into the spring Hvergelmir from which flows forth all waters.”
The TV series True Blood describes it succinctly “Viking 1: The gods wait for you in Valhalla. Vikiing 2: There will be a party with meat…and gold…and beer. Viking 1: And women? Will there be women? Eric: Wherever I am…there will always be women.”
Plus, Valhalla is made out of weaponry and armor “This vast hall has five hundred and forty doors. The rafters are spears, the hall is roofed with shields and breast-plates litter the benches. A wolf guards the western door and an eagle hovers over it.”
My Verdict: step 1. become warrior, 2. get slain, 3. go to Valhalla; I am so there.
Reincarnation is a pretty sweet deal, if you die, you get to pop back into existence, inhabiting a new lifeforms according to how you lived your life. Is there anything more comforting to think that George W. Bush will come back as a dung beetle?
I am fascinated by the stories of past lives, especially when they come from children with an extreme amount of detail much like this case.
For references, I give you the movie Fluke, which strangely enough, is about the best example of reincarnation in pop culture.
My Verdict: I could definitely hang with reincarnation, I like the concept and in a “Energy cannot be destroyed, only transferred“, Ghosts and paranormal sort of way, it’s definitely believable.
Realists, Atheists (Non) afterlife
Who can argue with the Tom Waits song Dirt in the Ground which says “What does it matter, a dream of love Or a dream of lies. We’re all gonna be in the same place When we die.Your spirit don’t leave knowing Your face or your name. And the wind through your bones Is all that remains. And we’re all gonna be We’re all gonna be Just dirt in the ground.”
My Verdict: Not much to say here, in a way it’s true and it doesn’t really count as an afterlife, but before we can completely throw away the Atheism non afterlife and move on, it is interesting to ponder, and what is non existence, and does it exist.
Check out QualiaSoup on Youtube if you want some convincing, if not completely dry, full coverage of the topic.
This is much more nebulous, vaguely combining Buddhism, Taoism, Solipsism, and any religion where the ground rules are not so defined. This, by design, avoids science and testing, as it’s considered part of the game of life to hide from any testing. Death is not separate from Life, and Death and life exist in equal parts forever.
Time, space, yourself do not exists and only exist as words. Reality has been like this instance forever, and we are playing a game and playing hide and go seek from ourselves, leaving our bodies, going into new bodies. We are not separate from the Reality we experience, and the experience and experiencer are one.
My Verdict: This is closest to what I believe of life and the afterlife, what I feel and think before my mind has time to put it into words. In this case, there is no real afterlife and no real death, just continual movement.
As reality, life and the afterlife, no matter which way you look at it, sure is crazy. I will leave you with a long but worth it video featuring Alan Watts, laying down the awesome: