I'm reading the Marquis de Sade and he wrote in a dialogue between a priest and a dying atheist, "There is no other world." It's sad but it's just that simple. I don't know of any good reason to believe in an afterlife and anyone who ever told me there I would get one when I died, whether some bright and lofty heaven, some fiery hell beneath the earth, some fairy island in the South China Sea the innards of Mount Tai the jeweled paradise of Amida (see, no one even considers those afterlifes because they're so far out of our experience, but people in imperial China believed in them) whatever, had an agenda of some kind, usually making me stay in line or maintaining their own livelihood, the Governing Body anyone, but it's not just them by far, many religious leaders profit off telling us we'll live forever. We're one of the few animals we know of who know they'll die, elephants seem to also, whales, some other primates. Who wants to die? It's the perfect promise to make because it's a promise that you can't back up, sure they try to but their proof proves nothing, and that's what makes it so appealing and so sinister in some circumstances, if the leaders don't just repeat what someone told them and they believed all their life, too, which I think is usually the case.
Charles Gillette, I take sparky1's perspective as to why you and I and others on this forum still wonder about death from time to time. As a kid the pastor of the church I grew up in taught me that Jesus would return any day now, the trumpet would sound, the dead in Christ would rise first, I can remember the exact words he spoke because he told us so often. It's hard coming to terms with death when you never believed death would find you. But it will, it always does, and if you're not ready it'll come like a "thief in the night."
Get ready for death, do everything you want to do while you're alive, anything you've ever wanted. The only immortality we'll ever know is the world we'll leave behind, the seasons, the hills, the children we bear or adopt in whatever way, our writings, our wisdom, the things we build, recipes, the stories we pass along, the places we love and show to others. That's our immortality. That's our afterlife. It's so hard to accept that sometimes but I'm tired of running from the truth, tired of believing the empty lies of men with nothing to offer but their empty words.
In the Gospel of Thomas it says: "If those who lead you say the kingdom is in the sky, the birds will get there first... But the kingdom is outside you and inside you, whoever knows himself will know this." Which means our body and the world, that's the kingdom, that's where we reign as kings over our own pleasure, over our own experience.
Enjoy your body and this earth while you can, they're truly wonderful. I've just begun to myself.