Are You Open-Minded?

It should come as no surprise to discover that you are a believer, skeptic, or agnostic. Yet when you look at where other people fall, which could be very far outside your belief system, it may be disturbing to consider that you might all be right.

Believers may go to the heaven (or hell) that matches their religious background. In the afterlife they will meet their most cherished version of God–or gods. They will find themselves surrounded by angels or bodhisattvas. The emotional tone of that afterlife could be one of total bliss, if that is the tone they anticipate, or it could feel more ambiguous, even sad.

The experience could even feel like nothing. Skeptics may find that the afterlife is a blank, devoid of conscious sensation. For them, dying could lead to a long sleep without any perception of the self. The question is how long this state will last or what it might become.

For agnostic the afterlife is problematic. They may perceive that they remain themselves, occupying a kind of limbo where good and bad deeds form a hazy cloud that never resolves decisively. In this kind of afterlife the same worries and ambiguities that reside at the center of the agnostic worldview may persist.

And the undecided or open-minded people? They may be in for the biggest surprise, because someone who is truly open-minded dies without any expectations. If your approach to life is to take it one day at a time, the very last day won’t be any different.

In short, the ability of consciousness to shape our lives is the most permanent thing about us, the one aspect of the mind we can expect to continue.

Adapted from Life After Death: The Burden of Proof, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2006).

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Michele Mihlack
Michele Mihlack2 years ago

Being open minded teaches you new things in life, and make you much more aware of your surroundings....and helps you accept things as they are without trying to push your own beliefs on others.

Loo Samantha
Loo sam2 years ago


Jennifer U.
Jennifer A.2 years ago

I would like to think that a person who hurts children and other people won't float in an unconscious state simply because they didn't believe in anything. I would like to think there would be some sort of justice for people that hurt others. As for what that justice is, I can't say for sure and I can't force it on anyone else though I have my own beliefs and that won't be easily changed.

Pamela Tracy
Pamela Tracy2 years ago

Well I was a Christian and wont be a born again Christian, but my Grandmother bless her soul and her life told be to always have faith...and that meant faith in God not man. So, will try to keep that faith.

Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran2 years ago


Marie W.
Marie W.2 years ago

If hope is enough, then I am open minded.

Jordan S.
Jessica W.2 years ago

I am not open-minded to fantasy becoming reality.

Joe B.
Joseph B.2 years ago

Interesting article and good to see that Care2 hasn't been entirely taken over by the devotees of scientism, materialism and fundamentalist atheism.

Miranda Parkinson

thought provoking!

katarzyna phillips

i believe the saying goes 'the only certainty in life is death and taxes'. apart from that, how many people have really 'died' and been able to relive their tale? to be open-minded at the end of it all is to allow you to live your life like you should-one day at a time and as if it was your last