What happens when we die?

by Tatiana 55 Replies latest jw friends

  • Tatiana

    Is death an end, a beginning, or just another stage on the path? I watched a movie last night called The Eye 2. It was about the Buddhist belief in reincarnation. In the movie, souls wait for women to give birth in order to reincarnate into the baby.

    Since my grandaughter's passing, I am just trying to come to grips with the many beliefs surrounding death. As I have been reading a lot about Buddhism lately, I'm trying to at least try to ease the terrible pain and emptiness I feel. The bitterness I have that this "death" was forced upon us. The hole in my chest is consuming me.

    At the funeral, I listened to everyone telling me she was in a better place. That she was in heaven. That that was not her in the little white coffin. As much as I want to believe that, my Jehovah's Witness indoctrination STILL haunts me, and makes me think she is just dead...in the dirt...with no existence anywhere. When you're dead, you're dead. Man has no eternal soul, any more than animals. I was taught that Jehovah keeps dead ones in his memory until the resurrection, but what is memory, if not a "soul?"

    Buddhists say that because the way in which we live our lives and our state of mind at death directly influence our future lives, the aim or mark of a spiritual practitioner is to have no fear or regrets at the time of death. People who practice to the best of their abilities will die, it is said, in a state of great bliss.

    The Buddhist view is that each living being has a continuity or stream of consciousness that moves from one life to the next. Each being has had countless previous lives and will continue to be reborn again and again without control unless he/she develops his/her mind to the point where, like the yogis mentioned above, he/she gains control over this process. When the stream of consciousness or mind moves from one life to the next it brings with it the karmic imprints or potentialities from previous lives.
    Karma literally means "action", and all of the actions of body, speech and mind leave an imprint on the mind-stream. These karmas can be negative, positive or neutral, depending on the action. They can ripen at any time in the future, whenever conditions are suitable. These karmic seeds or imprints are never lost.

    What about babies? They have no prior "actions." They have no sin. I know the Christian faith says we are all sinners because of some past disobedience, but I can't see sin in a baby. They have no sin until we teach it to them.

    One of the Tibetan lamas, Sogyal Rinpoche, says that for up to about twenty-one days after a person dies they are more connected to the previous life than to the next one. So for this period in particular the loved ones can be encouraged to continue their (silent) communication with the deceased person - to say their good-byes, finish any unfinished business, reassure the dead person, encourage them to let go of their old life and to move on to the next one.

    It can be reassuring even just to talk to the dead person and at some level to know that they are probably receiving your message. The mind of the deceased person at this stage can still be subtle and receptive.

    I do talk to her. All I want is to see her again. To hold her again and feel her soft skin. I kissed her and touched her cheek in the coffin. She was hard and cold. Where is she??? What I want right now is to believe with all my heart in ghosts and spirits. Reincarnation would be wonderful! Anything but thinking that she is just deep in the dirt and totally gone. That just can't be true.

  • Gill

    (((((((((((( Tatiana )))))))))))

    I am sorry!

    I don't believe that 'she' is lying in a cold dark grave, only her body. I never did believe that the body was more than a shell even when a JW. It just wasn't possible. Then, when I first saw people who had died I realised that their bodies were just shells and that they had 'gone'.

    Now 'where' is another question altogether but I believe that the dead move on to their 'next great adventure' and that the real 'truth' is that there is nothing to fear at all in death.

    Big hugs to you, Tatiana and my deepest sympathy for your loss.

  • snowbird

    Tatiana, aand a first of all.

    I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my mother in Sep 2005 and a sister in Oct 2006. I believe in the Bible and the teaching of the resurrections, but exactly what happens at death is a question no one can answer. I'm hoping you will be able to find a measure of peace as you deal with your loss in your own way. Peace and love,


  • RAF

    To me we are a part of the essence of everything not only a spirit with a body. What's next I don't know ... but she've been loved and still is ...

  • Sassy

    I hate to say it, but I am having a hard time with death now myself.. I don't know or trust what people say happens.. I don't trust any faith and thus I do not have real closure with death any more

  • greendawn

    Nobody knows for sure, in Christianity the only certain thing is the resurrection so come what may death, if a state of non existence, is only a temporary state of the human experience.

    Otherwise there is no clear message in the Bible, some verses indicate life after death and some non existence after death and until the resurrection.

  • bebu


    Love never dies, I believe. I pray for comfort to touch your heart at its center.

    Mary once gave a link to this site, and I have enjoyed looking through the pages here. I was actually reading several pages earlier today.



  • steve2

    Talk about what happens when we die will always be based on personal beliefs and heaps of speculation. By contrast, talk about what happens when we are alive is a much more important question: How sad to fill up our days with head-stuff about death when our own lives are passing us by.

  • bebu

    steve2, I think both are important. To become totally obsessed with death is one thing; to keep in mind one's mortality as we live our lives is entirely different, and is a wise thing to do imo. Not just for the way we live now, but for being able to find comfort in the midst of sorrow.


  • blueviceroy

    I have thought LONG and LONG about death and life and I have come to some thoughts that seem to feel right to me . That our life force, actually all life force comes from the same source and we are all really just little pieces of the same conciousness that just chose to impart itself to all of creation .When our flesh is exhasted our life force is reabsorbed and we become part of something greater than we can possible imagine. I read somewhere once that life is the part of the universe that is reflecting back on itself so it can determine what it is . Obviously we are all part of something vastly huge ,complicated and impossible to fully comprehend even on this plane of existence. The hopeless feeling that all of this is mere happenstance is only an idea born from a lack of time spent truly comptemplating our reality. All the animals in the world have instincts hardwired into them to behave a certain way, none of these instincts are frivolous or wasted. People have an instinct to find meaning in life and death this is certainly for a reason. We are meant to seek meaning and to seek for spirituality for a reason. I choose to believe there is more because we would not be here wondering if there was more if there wasnt.Call me sophist if you wish . I was also thinking of why God lets bad things happen . If you where a game warden and you could take all the animals and put them in safe cages where nothing bad could happen to them would you? We think nature left alone is a beautifull thing but it is full of bad things happening but it is in balance and all the creatures are free.

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