I’m an atheist and a strong one at that, so I do not hold the same beliefs as most of you who do. While watching something on tv, I was made to think about death. I do not know what happens to us after we die (and religious people, neither do you!) and can only speculate as to whether there is an afterlife or not.
Now, when I say afterlife or even if I may venture and say ‘heaven’ – it’s not the kind of afterlife that a lot of you might envision. I do not believe that when one dies ‘we will be embraced by the loving arms of the almighty and he will love us forever’. Yuck! I just want to puke when I think of that. I remember this woman who said it and I looked at her as if she was mad!
But after we die, our bodies decay and only the bones are left. Do our ‘souls’ or ‘spirits’ or whatever that makes us ‘us’ go on? Do we move on to a more enlightened sense of being or ascend to a higher plan? Or do we get reborn as another human being as so many hindus tend to believe? That is a classic one. Coming back as a new human being.
The idea that you never really die but keep getting re-incarnated as different humans but with no recollection of who you were in you previous avatar is quite popular. Many chances for your soul but you don’t retain any of the skills, memories or experiences that you had in the previous one. Except ofcourse, that is, if you happen to be a Cylon!
I don’t think that it can be so. I think one life is it – you don’t get to come back and get reborn. My late maternal grandmother once told me (I don’t know how it came up; probably was casual talk during lunch) that she left that bad people get reborn as dogs and they have to live out a life as a dog for the crimes & wrong doings that they had commited. She might have said Nambudhuris, (a caste in the regional Hindu community) as I have heard that from someone else as well, instead of just all humans.
My answer : I told her that she shouldn’t insult them poor dogs in such a manner. I told her that dogs do not commit crimes and do evil things the way humans do, so why pick on them. And then I told her that it was probably the other way round. Bad dogs probably get punished by being born as a human being and have to endure a life as a man or woman!
You should have seen the look on her face! It was priceless