Life: the byproduct of chemical reactions
Death: the great unknown.
Life, before death. But what is after life?
What is non-existence? Is very hard to define since all we know is existence, but comparing a living brain and a dead one can give us some insight. The former is active. The latter is not. Personally, I like to equate non-existence with the lack of motion. Nothing is happening.
For decades, I’ve been an atheist. Some days I still am. From my point of view, this life was everything there is. Some days I still think so. Some days, I don’t believe in magick, spirits or anything else.
But some some scientist, like Schrödinger and Dyson, supported the idea of a second level of existence. According to them, consciousness wouldn’t be a byproduct of a brain working.
So, if consciousness is not the byproduct of a brain working, what is it? Where is all that information stored? And how?
HH Price has an interesting view of the afterlife. According to him, the consciousness exists after death and uses all the rational and empiric information obtained through life to recreate memories and create new scenarios, with new landscapes, people, etc. Sounds nice, right?
But what leads Price to believe this? That’s an actual question since I have no idea. And I want to know.
All cultures around the world had their own views and all of them agreed and some sort of afterlife. Then again, some philosophers in Ancient Greece believed that there was something akin to the soul, but it was made of atoms and such atoms dispersed after the death of the individual, rendering it useless. Yes, atheists predate the Garden of Eden and Valhalla.
Is easy, from an anthropological point of view, to see why all cultures want to believe in an afterlife. Comfort, but also validation. Life is so brief and we’re so insignificant compared to vast universe that we want some sort of transcendence to validate all the suffering we go through in this life. Then there is the question of moral, but fuck it, I have a thing called empathy, that’s why I don’t go around kicking dogs on the streets, not because I think some god cares if I do it or not.
So, what about near death experiences and why aren’t all of them identical? Well, because they’re near death, not dead already And if they’re not dead, then they’re alive.
Death is a process. So, people hearing themselves being proclaimed dead while possible, doesn’t mean that enough cells in the brain are dead already for consciousness to fade. So I think NDE are, at most, bad arguments.
So, why in hell would we even believe in anything? Because of the times magick works? That can always be excused as a coincidence (or a million coincidences). Sometimes, we know things we can’t know. And that’s not enough. But some other times, several of us know things we can’t know independently and, fuck it, what are the odds of that? I guess the odds are zero. So, such experiences force me to conclude that there is something more. But not necessarily an after life.
And this is as far as I go. Now I want to hear you. What sort of afterlife do you believe in, if any, and why? Why being the key part.