The way I think, is that no matter what our beliefs are, it is NOW that we each need to live for.
I see no need for knowing if there is or is not an afterlife. All I can say is that I know things have happened, do happen, that are not what many may regard as the 'norm'.
Now this just says to me that there are things around that we are just not able to understand yet. But that this may not always be the case.
I am not sure if there is any sort of afterlife myself. Nothing I have ever come across points to this as a fact either. But within I feel a Something and this something has nothing to do with any religious god.
It is a pretty lively Something! A joy and a pleasure and a great Inspirator. I seem very recently to have decided, for now anyhow, just to call it Spirit.
What is Spirit to me? This Thing we are all from. As we are born of It, we also contain It and we seem to be Within It......
( The Native American 'myths' are the closest I have got to hearing from others the Spirit I resonate to myself. The following is from http://www.livingmyths.com/Native.htm
Among all tribes there is a strong sense that behind all individual spirits and personifications of the divine, there is a single creative life-force, sometimes called the Great Mystery, which expresses itself throughout the universe, in every human, animal, tree and grain of sand. Every story, too, is a working out of this life-force.
Whatever. This Spirit appears to me to be of Love. And for whatever reason, human kind 'went wrong', (very vague on this cos I am just not sure..just still picking up as I go along..). Anyway, a LOT behind that thought. It just means to me anyway, the same it might mean to many of have never thought in terms of a Great Spirit, or have and just don't see It. We all still need to be earthed, to live for the Moment. To be the best we can.
It indeed is the case some can feel Spirit, and call It other names, give it Things, I don't see it IT. That's for sure. But whatever It is, It is for all. It has to be, cos it is ALL. I sure believe we are It's experiences. Why do I think that? I have no idea. It resonates almost Absolute where so much has not appealed at all, or once did and then has served it's purpose.
Anyhow! Before I rattle on. Carl Sagan. Indeed, a wondrously inquiring mind.
I was first introduced to Carl on my second ever forum by an atheist. And I am glad to be reminded of him.
"I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking."
Interesting quote you chose from him, Jobee.
I have no doubt that as Energy forms, 'we' never die, we just transform. Now, whether in that transformation, we keep some of our earth personalities, or indeed from other experiences, I can, of course, only guess. I do work along those lines myself. Maybe indeed trough wishful thinking, but I think not.
I would say we are Spirit, and Spirit divides (for whatever reasons) and we then get a 'clump of Spirit' (
) becoming Soul, or individuality / ego. Not just for a one life experience but many. And that soul will not lose memory, BUT maybe, though we lose memory, we keep Experience. memory is not important, whether we have been a priest, prostitute or Carl Sagan before.
It is the Soul we are now, the combination of experiences, that hopefully we use in any present life.
(Isn't memory and experiences pretty sameness? There is a difference. Just not phrasing it right, I think?)
"But much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking."
Carl may not have known anything to suggest otherwise but many have and do, of course.
WHAT may be behind these metaphysical ideas though is just too diverse to ever get down to a One Idea. I can't see it ever happening. It just appears to me some people do experience THINGS, sensations, Words, Shadows, Touches, Awareness, of that which is not seen. And some do not.
Carl is an atheist, isn't he? But you know, he did actually say some wonderfully spiritual stuff.
And why not? One does not require religion to be spiritual. He admitted himself that we can only look at stuff with the understanding we have at this time. I go to my list of great 'spiritual' quotes from 'atheists' and I see this from Carl:
"When a comparatively simple, straightforward mathematical expression turns out to correspond to aspects of the natural world . . . believe me, almost every scientist who's experienced that feels the same kind of reverence and awe that we bring to great art and great music."
".........kind of reverence and awe that we bring to great art and great music."
See, a kind of reverence. He gets this feeling his Way and others get it from other Ways.
It is this 'feeling of reverence'.
What names and qualities have been given to this.
I am quiet deist at times, IF I have to label myself. I get this 'reverence' just looking in the garden. Just yesterday in my mum's garden. The two rows of ants deep in their daily tasks from one hole in the ground to another, to build their underground 'homes and workplaces'. The passing by and little slight stops where two or more will 'physically' acknowledge the others, then just carry on. Me watching above, them so aware. And it is "I" who am the revere. But it is also I who feel so At One with them.
The two I's. The "I" and the I.
It is just how IT seems to work for me, Jobee.
From another Carl:
As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.
Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.
I can personally resonate and work with both of these ideas.
I have to go! Thank you, Jobee, for making me ponder a bit today. It has been a pleasure and I hope it continues to be a pleasure....
Love to you........
Love and LIGHT
We are all of 1 Spirit
1 Spirit is The All That Is!