Neanderthal Skeleton, AMNH
Neanderthal Skeleton, AMNH (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we speak of the afterlife, we’re pointing to a belief that a spirit, soul or energy continues after death.

This belief arguably dates back to prehistoric times (115,000 – 200,000 years ago) where archeologists have found Homo neanderthalensis in Israel and Spain buried with food items, tools and possibly weapons in hand, often in the fetal position facing sunrise or sunset.

Some scholars maintain that we cannot know the precise meaning of these ancient burial practices. Others say they point to a belief in the afterlife.

Historically speaking, most if not all world religions are premised on the belief in life after death. And the vast majority include some kind of scenario where the soul may travel to various heavens, hells or underworlds.

Recent studies on near death experiences (NDEs) support the idea of an afterlife, although skeptical scientists say that NDEs are hallucinations caused by oxygen shortage.

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  1. I have always been intrigued by the notions of Soul, Life and Death. I have my beliefs and they are extraordinary. All these measures people make, all the things they do in life based on a faith that there is something next…


  2. Thanks for your kind words at ‘About.’ I’ve seen you around before and find your site as intriguing as your writing.

    I agree that belief is central. One thing I’m not 100% sure about is whether God could override belief through revelation, giving someone something absolutely certain (which would be knowledge not belief).

    It seems to me that even with a powerful revelation the intellect could kick in later and ask more questions, rendering the content of the revelation a belief… albeit, perhaps, a strong belief or good “reason to believe.”


  3. I do not believe NDE are all hallucinations. Science always tries to explain away mysteries that it cannot yet solve. In the olden days, they called anything to do with science type stuff magic, simply because they didn’t know what it was..and look how far we have come today.

    This may sound crazy, but sometimes when that intellect kicks in, then you all of a sudden remember just what causes you to believe and how you feel when you realized you had no doubt, strengthening your belief all over again. Besides that, I don’t think believing in a higher power hurts us because it gives us hope when there is no other to be found..


  4. OH, and on the NDE, how can they say lack of oxygen, when a LOT of those people are just under anesthesia when this happens? They’re given oxygen right alongside the paralytic drugs… anyways, that’s my 3 cents on that… 3 due to inflation, instead of just 2 😉


  5. Those afterlife-denying scientists will either be right or happy, because how could anyone be anything but depressed if there is no purpose to our existence?

    Meanwhile, there is abundant evidence of an afterlife. My favorite story is of a man that come back to communicate with his wife and told her were he had hidden a stash of money in the wall of their house. Those non-believing nay-sayers might get a kick out of that – in not for the prospect of an afterlife, at least the idea of finding money, ha, ha!



  6. I prefer to think of our current state as pre-life. In our irrevocable cycle of contradiction, which yields struggle, revolution, and unity, it is illogical to assert any strong feelings on the matter. I would never defend my belief against some other person’s unless it were merely friendly banter, yet, that is also merely my position in the cycle of contradiction, and aggressors are needed too to spurn revolution.

    Anyhow, NDE’s or no, we all have to wait for our own chance to find out, and that’s the bottom line.


  7. And we may not get a chance to find out because if it’s just nothing, then we wouldn’t know!

    I don’t believe this myself but can conceive of the possibility from a purely philosophical perspective.


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