I believe that consciousness is eternal. What I mean by this is that there never was or will be a time when you were/are not alive. Just because we don’t remember being babies doesn’t mean we weren’t once babies, and in the same way, I believe we existed long before birth, but do not have a recollection of that time.
In order for you to understand why I believe this I need to say something about my conception of God. I believe God is all there is. All creatures and even material things are a part of God. God is omnipresent, so there is not one atom in the cosmos that is separate from God. An attribute of God’s nature is existence. This being so, it is impossible for God to cease existing, even for a moment, in all eternity. Because we are all part of God, we share in that nature, and therefore exist eternally.
It is a mystery to me what exactly happens before birth and after death. God has not given me a revelation or insight into what happens. But I am quite sure there is a continuation of consciousness, and I believe we probably enter into another realm. The experience of waking up from life into death might be akin to waking up from a long dream into our present waking state.
I am curious about what we might be able to do in order to prepare ourselves for life after death. Not being a Christian or a person of any other particular faith, there are not any particular doctrines that I adhere to concerning the afterlife. There may well be a heaven-like realm, but how do we get there? If you are a Christian, then faith in Jesus is of course central. If you are a Muslim, then good works in accordance with the guidance of the Qur’an are of paramount importance. But if you do not adhere to a particular faith, how do you prepare for life after death?
To be honest, I don’t know the answer to this question, and I would very much appreciate your views. I often pray to God asking Him to help me to use this life in order to prepare for the infinitely longer next one, but I am yet to receive a revelation of what I need to do. I have spent years exploring philosophy and spirituality, but the question remains unanswered.
I do have some reassurance, however. I believe that God is in control of all action in the cosmos, including all human action. So there is no free will. In a sense, this takes the pressure off, because I can have faith that God will unfold every aspect of my life in perfect accordance with His divine will. So you could say it is ultimately up to God how I behave in this life, and how I prepare for the next life.
Do you believe in life after death?
How should we prepare for the next life?
According to Christian belief, unless you believe in and follow Jesus, you have no afterlife. Since you pray to God,- then, if God and Jesus are one, you clearly believe. I don’t expect there to be an afterlife – and the thought of meeting again some of the awful people I’ve had to put with in life would fill me with despair. One positive thing about dying will be that you never have to see any of them again.
There are many differing views about Christ’s Salvific Power, including the most logical one that it applies to all mankind and not just to those who believe and follow Him. How can those who live where there is no easy access to Christian doctrine, or where it is forbidden to follow Him, be excluded? Also, those who believe and follow Christ follow His second commandment and do not consider people to be ‘awful’, but their actions may be. Other people may consider you to be awful too. It’s unwise to judge others.
I’ve been somewhat depressed until recently, so I have not communicated much with anyone other than my mother, to whom, I am her carer.
I posted a reply to Alan’s thought on afterlife you may want to check on WordPress. For a personal thought to you, it seems to me that this worldly reality somehow masks or interferes with our consciousness of God and that we are likely to be united with Him, at some stage, after our earthly death. After unification, we would probably have a more peaceful existence, coupled with a better awareness of God’s reality. That’s my hope……
It’s lovely to hear from you, my friend! Many thanks for your comment replying to Alan, and also your own thoughts about my ‘Life After Death’ post. I am so sorry to hear you have been struggling with depression until recently. I will keep you in my prayers, and I want you to know that I really appreciate interacting with you as you are such an intelligent and thoughtful person. Your comments are always insightful.
As you know I have struggled a lot with depression and am still struggling. Even this morning I lay awake for several hours trying to drag myself out of bed to face the world. Normally I feel a fair bit brighter in the evenings.
How is your mother doing? Have you been up to much else recently or is caring for your mother a full-time thing? Let me know either here or by email if you prefer…
Caring for my mother is a full-time job.
I thank you for your kind words. I don’t know that how intelligent I might be, but I think a lot, and I do so in an honest and unfettered way. That’s why I’m not persuaded to believe that The Bible, in its entirety, is God-inspired. Christians like to tell me what Jesus said, quoting from the Gospels. I remind them that by all accounts, Jesus never wrote anything! All we have is a version, without true contextual identity, of what He is reported to have said and done. If God wanted us to have no doubt about the divinity of Christ, He would have appeared during a time in humanity’s history when we could make a record that was clearly verifiable.
I’m not as depressed as I was, but I’ve yet to experience the hypomanic phase that usually follows a depressive phase. Maybe I’m affected by all the trouble spots or killing lands around the globe currently? I know your thoughts about everything happening through God but I have some difficulty with that. I do not think that we are entirely free to do anything, but we certainly exhibit a vastly larger range of behaviour, good and bad achievements, than ants or robots do. Perhaps this means we are less controlled, or would you say that God gives us more attention to behave in a more complex way?
I’ve read the book, ‘A Little History of Philosophy’ that you reviewed and recommended. It was rather interesting to read the views of so many philosophers compiled in one book. I found myself being drawn into one set of concepts only to be presented with another, sometimes opposing set, in the next chapter. It was quite refreshing; like a mountain spring.
I am really interested in your experience of God as allness. It seems to be similar to mine, and it’s also like a particular small number of other accounts I’ve come across. I don’t believe in any religion either, though I tend to behave buddhistly because I want to respect life and understand ecology. All you need to do, according to a revelation I had, is to be nice to people and do good things. That’s all It said in answer to the same question you prayed about. I interpret this simply – try not just to do no harm, but also try to be positive towards people. I think this will store up experiences which are like the gifts we can give to It. The ‘do good things’ means, I think, that we should strive to high standards in all of our work, chores, hobbies and interests. Do, don’t just be. Anyway, thanks for letting me know of your experience. Best of luck.
Hi Emelius! That’s really interesting that you had a revelation regarding how to live your life. And what you say makes a lot of sense. I’d be interested to check out any other blogs you have found where people share a similar ‘God as allness’ perspective – can you recommend any? If you read a few posts on my blog you should get a good understanding of why I see God as ‘cosmic animator’, in control of all there is. I believe God is everything and everywhere. Best of luck to you too. Stay in touch! Steven
Hi. The easiest access to the idea of God as allness is found in the imperfect but inspired “Conversations with God” of Neale Don Walsch (www.nealedonaldwalsch.com/).
You’ll find his views are labelled “panentheism”, a form of pantheism. His experiences of talking with God are similar to mine and many others. He helped to set up http://www.cwg.org/ to help spread the idea.
The Allness of God is a tenet of Christian Science, and I would normally avoid organised religion, but some of their writers are interesting, e. g. http://sparks.infonetportal.com/2009/05/the-allness-of-god and http://mysticson.blogspot.co.uk/2007/10/allness-of-god. html[?m=].
See also Facebook account Pantheism and searches on that topic.
There’s a lot of dross out there, but some honest accounts, too. All the best.
Thanks for this. I’m familiar with Neale Donald Walsch but I didn’t realise he was considered a panentheist. I think I am close to being a panentheist, and there are various articles about panentheism on this blog. I will check out the links…
Comments are closed.