Operating along the same lines as my previous blog post, I thought I'd share another discussion I took part in this past week concerning the nature of existence. I couldn't help but ask a dear friend of mine one of my favorite questions: what do you think happens after we die? As is usually the case when I pose this question, her answer was beautiful and fascinating.
Essentially, she told me she believes-- or at least prefers to believe, since no one can know for certain what awaits in the afterlife until they experience it for themselves (unless the atheists are right, in which case we still won't know)-- that whatever a person believes happens to them in the afterlife actually happens to them. That is, followers of Abrahamic religions journey to either Heaven or Hell, Buddhists and Hindus either reincarnate or reach enlightenment or moksha (respectively), atheists return to conscious oblivion, and Scientologists go to wherever the hell it is Scientologists think they wind up. Every religion is right, and every variation of any given afterlife exists to accommodate the souls that enter them.
Now, there is one reason why I really like this outlook on death: manifestation. I am a firm believer that thoughts become things, and that our consciousness dictates our reality. This isn't to say that I could just sit around and think about becoming a published author all day, and that somehow it will magically happen. Realistically, it will require a ton of speech and actions (for example writing and promoting a book in the first place). But what are speech and actions if not more concentrated forms of thought? If we can accept the idea that our thoughts and actions shape our existence in this reality, I don't think it's a stretch to assume that our consciousnesses can shape the reality after this one as well.
The main problem I encounter with this ideal is the question, what becomes of agnostics? Do people who (very rationally) admit that they cannot know what death entails without first experiencing/witnessing death simply cease to be when they die? Are they left in a state of perpetual unknowing? Are their consciousness condemned to forever ponder their own meaning? I'm not sure I have any good answers to this question within the context of this ideology, but if any of you have any thoughts i'd love to hear them.