You’re dead. What next?

by Abby Alexander | @abby_alexander_

So you died. Whoops. Hopefully it happened after many, many years of prosperous life. So what happens next? No one can say for sure, but it doesn’t stop us from speculating. Here are some popular theories about life after death.


One of the most popular theories of life after death, heaven and hell, is based on the premise that karma truly is a bitch and whoever is looking over us is a judgmental prick. Basically it suggests those who were ‘good’ in life will go to a utopian wonderland after they die and live happily. Conversely, it also suggests people who committed sins will burn for eternity. It’s brutal, I’ll admit, but it’s a good incentive to be a nice person.


A popular idea in Buddhism is that death is not the end of life. Rather, death is simply the end of your body. However, your spirit will live on and seek attachment to a new life. There are six realms in which one can be reborn: heaven, humanity, asura (angry ghost), pretas (hungry ghost), animal and hell. The one you get is a result of the karma you carry over from your previous life. So we can say that in Buddhism life does not end, it is an infinite being that merely goes on and on in other forms depending on one’s karma.


Many believe people who die come back to haunt us in the form of a spirit or ghost. These entities can be evil, but some are said to be quite peaceful. Ghosts are often depicted in the Bible, however, tales of ghosts and spirits date thousands of years before the creation of Christ. Reasons for a ghost to haunt someone can include improper burial, a body that was never found – therefore not properly buried – or revenge. People everywhere believe they have seen ghosts but the it’s hard for the so-called evidence, to be conclusive.


A lesser known theory, biocentrism revolves around quantum physics and the idea that our consciousness shapes the world we live in rather than the other way around. For example; our consciousness sees the sky as blue, however if there was a shift in cells, we would instead perceive the sky to be red. So rather than death being something actually existing, biocentrism claims instead death is constructed by our consciousness and is not actually real. Professor Robert Lanza, who first hypothesised the idea in 2007, also claims that once we begin to question preconceived concepts of time and existence we will be able to explore the possibility of multiple universes.


Or, after we die we may simply no longer exist. It all depends on what you believe in.


Image credit: Emma Neumann

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