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Is Afterlife The Same For Everyone?

Is Afterlife The Same For Everyone?

Since belief isn’t a given in our society, why should we all expect the same afterlife? Choice and conditioning must pay a huge part in the outcome. Consider the following two people whose lives diverge in many ways:

Marion was born into a large Catholic family. She took Communion and was a believer until her mother died of ovarian cancer at forty. Watching her mother’s suffering killed something in Marion. She stopped believing in God’s mercy, although she hardly acknowledged this, even to herself.

When she married a man who had long ago dropped his faith, she turned to career and family, and together they achieved success. At fifty-two, she again feels the need for the faith she grew up in.

Aaron comes from a small family of nonpracticing Jews. As the only son his needs were nurtured as a child, perhaps to a fault. By age thirty, Aaron was established in a prominent Manhattan law firm, never looking back.

He married late to a woman who is also a lawyer. When he found out that his wife was cheating on him, Aaron got over his shock rapidly. He arranged a divorce settlement that benefited him as much as possible. At fifty, so far as he is aware, he hasn’t had a spiritual thought in years.

It’s obvious that these two people have led very different lives. One is a placid follower, the other a fierce competitor. One put her energy into raising a family, the other into making a career. Key words for Marion include stability, intimacy, caring, togetherness, cooperation, listening, and patience. The key words for Aaron include independence, self-reliance, competition, power, ambition, and success. When two lives are so different in so many core values, why should they anticipate the same afterlife?

Everyone’s basic choices, which have shaped their lives, begin at the level of consciousness. At this level choices aren’t simple. They depend on memory and conditioning, on culture and expectation. All these ingredients factor into what happens in the afterlife. Only some of the beliefs that make a difference center on religion. Looming much larger are the infinite other choices we make every day, for they create our personal reality.

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

Read more: Deepak Chopra's Tips, Spirit, , ,

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.

108 comments

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10:56AM PST on Jan 5, 2011

Noted with thanks.

4:46AM PST on Dec 10, 2010

Thanks for the article.

7:03AM PDT on Sep 11, 2010

thoughtful article, thank you

4:22PM PDT on Apr 20, 2010

yes, It all ends when you die. No after life. No re-dos here. You get 1 chance to do it right. Live your life right while your here cause you are not coming back. Treat people right while your here, expect nothing in return. Your heaven (or your hell) is lived right here on earth.

10:38AM PDT on Apr 14, 2010

this article gives you a lot to think about.

9:29PM PDT on Apr 13, 2010

Well, I feel that a lot has been written about the "afterlife", We all will have different ideas, that's what 's great about our country, we can have our own ideas. I also think that it could be a good idea to think about this life now on this planet mother earth,and how we are with one another, and the earth, our causes that we have, the good we are trying to do,the lessons that we try to teach each other, being helped by each's experiences.Exchange thoughts,giving love,joy, laughter in this present day.After all of this and more, we might be ready to learn about the after life. Of course that may not happen until we're ready to die. Live our life,and be thankful for our life, no matter what lessons we are learning , hard or easy.

8:18AM PDT on Apr 8, 2010

Each religion has its own concept of afterlife.Each stress that their concept is true and the rest are all false.Religionists say that if you do not believe in our God, however good you may be in this life, you will surely go to hell and if you believe you will go to heaven.

4:33PM PDT on Apr 4, 2010

Love to think that in fact their is an afterlife. So I can reunite with the people I love.

12:59PM PDT on Apr 4, 2010

This is a case where Science and Religion can actually back each other up.. See, EVERYTHING is energy, even a rock. Energy, by definition, CAN NOT BE CREATED, NOR DESTROYED, it always was and always has beeen... And, Time is infinite... So, our body's energy (or soul) will always be and has always been.. It didn't just start when we were born, and certainly won't end when we "die".

10:36AM PDT on Apr 3, 2010

Aynsley Chalmers & Resta C. - Oh dear. I am getting increasingly more and more impatient with born-again Christians. What about the billions of humans who are NOT Christians (who may never even have heard of the Christ) - will they be punished for this by not being allowed into Heaven? There were a great many humans who lived prior to the advent of Christianity - what about all of those? Will they also be punished by not being allowed into Heaven?

What you fervent Christians are saying is that other religions are not acceptable; ONLY Christianity will give you a ticket to Heaven. Oh really. Has it ever occurred to you that other belief systems have their own "Heaven" and their own ideas about the afterlife? Personally, I do not wish to go to your Christian Heaven. I want to be reunited with all of my animals who have predeceased me, and apparently animals are not allowed into your Heaven as they, allegedly, do not have a soul.

Resta - You do not seem to be a very clear thinker: ".according to the Bible, without Him, hell is waiting....this was not His original choice for man but for those angels that rebelled in heaven, ". What you are stating is that God is NOT omnipotent. If God were omnipotent, the angels would not have been ABLE to rebel without his permitting them to do so! Surely you understand that?

"So afterlife is either heaven or hell...the choice is up to you..." In that case, Hell will be a very crowded place, while Heaven will be fairly empty.

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