This blog is for the skeptic, the atheist or agnostic that has doubts about life after death. This particular blog is going to put the Christian Worldview on hold for now. The resurrection of Christ is for another blog. A life with Christ through the resurrection is a well documented, very long debated and verified subject. There is more evidence for the resurrection of Christ than there is for the existence of Napoleon or any other historical figure. N.T. Wright has a magnificent book, some 900 pages, documenting and proving the resurrection of Jesus. Some of the most brilliant minds in the world have studied this subject, William Lane Craig to name one, and have come to the conclusion that Christ rose from the dead.

So, from a Christian point of view, I would write this blog much differently but I’m going to approach the subject of life-after-death from a secular viewpoint. If you conclude there is some veracity to this claim, then I would encourage you to pursue the Christian worldview as to why Jesus offers the only way to eternal life after death with Him, in heaven. You need to avoid the whole “evil-thing-after-death.” Jesus can help you with that. But for now, please read on and let me know what you think. You don’t have to agree with me. This blog is for the honest skeptic. So . . .

What if you could have complete confidence that there is life after death?  Would it make you live your life differently now?  What if you also knew, with complete certainty, that who you choose to become in this life was correlational to your afterlife?  Would it make you step lighter?  What if you knew your actions here were effectually eternal, forever?  Would you do anything differently, anything at all?  Would you BE different now?

If you ask most people about life after death, they’ll tell you, “I believe there’s something after death, I just don’t know what.”  I’ve questioned people on this position to see if they’ve thought much beyond that ambiguous answer and, after a back-and-forth discussion, I always come to the same conclusion; the subject matter is rarely thought about past the point, of “there’s something.”  But even worse, it’s answered with, sometimes, complete indifference.  The “indifferent people” are the most difficult ones to talk to about this because, they just don’t care.  It’s easier to engage an atheist about religion because at least they have a position to debate from and it concerns them.  The Afterlife is a subject we should care, and think about, deeply.

Why do we think about and ponder on the menial things but ignore questions of substantial meaning and eternal consequences?   Why do we doubt the thought of an afterlife when there’s been evidence for it around us our entire lives?  Could it be that, to talk about an afterlife, we must think about what precedes it; namely our own death?

When we ignore discussing subjects of an eternal nature, then we’re gambling with eternal consequences.  Edwin Hubbel Chapin said it well; “Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.”  If that’s true, our actions here become undeniably and critically important.

If we’re really going to believe that there’s life after death, then we need to have good reason to do so.  Some type of evidence that points in that direction.  Do we need every question answered in order to come to a reasonable conclusion?  Not at all.  Here are several examples to illustrate that we can, and do, correctly come to logically coherent conclusions based on the evidence, every day, simply by, “thinking it through.”

The first simple example; If you hear a knock on your door, can you assume there’s a person on the other side of the door waiting to see you?  What if you come across a tree that has fallen; can you examine the trunk and determine if it was cut down, blown over in a storm or struck by lightning? Of course you can.  You do this sort of thing every day.

How about something a little more involved?  You park your car and when you come back to where you parked it, it’s gone.  At first you assume it’s been stolen but then you notice a fire hydrant where your car was parked.  Your missing car and a fire hydrant are enough evidence to strongly suggest that it’s been towed.  So, you call the police to find out where it is.  No one told you anything, no witnesses, you simply “connected the dots,” so to speak, logically.  It’s more reasonable to believe that your car was towed than that some car thief just happened to pick that day that you decided to do your, “fire-hydrant-park-job”, to steal your car.

How about this one?  If I see a tree growing in a field of volcanic rock, with no water in sight for miles, I don’t have to dig a giant hole to verify that there’s an underground stream feeding it.  I can conclude, based on the evidence I see before me, that there’s water running under the tree. It’s the best explanation for the tree being there.  Granted, it’s not the only explanation.  There could be someone who pulls up once a week with a large truck and waters it.  But which is the best explanation for the tree being there?

One more.  You come home and there’s a car in your living room.  You need more evidence, right?  Okay, you look in the car and in the driver’s seat is a very old man, about 100 years old who’s unconscious.  Now what are you thinking?  Or, let’s say you look in the car and there’s a 20-year-old guy. Now what are you thinking?  What you’re doing is asking yourself, “What is the best explanation, given the evidence I have before me, as to what happened here?  What makes the most sense given what I know?”  We naturally go to the best explanation.  We do this all the time without thinking about it.  When we don’t look for the best explanation, we’re usually looking for what explanation will fit our personal agenda and that’s when the truth gets stretched right?  Stay objective.

I’m going to ask that you continue this type of objective, deductive reasoning when considering the existence of life after death.  Don’t segregate the subject of death, merely because it’s uncomfortable or it doesn’t fit your worldview.

What’s the best explanation for Ghost Sightings? Is it Another World or Realm?

I touch on this subject in a previous blog but, in case you haven’t read it yet, I’ll make a few points here as well.  There’s a tremendous amount of people, worldwide, that all claim to have seen apparitions in one form or another.  Some claim they were evil, others claim they’ve encountered an Angel who saved them, still others say that it was their deceased relative.  The point is, these sightings are not of the physical world and a lot of people make these claims.

So in what realm do these beings exist?  If it’s not here, where is it?  People use the phrase, “. . . but it wasn’t real.”  Of course it was.  It just wasn’t physically here.  Unicorns aren’t real, talking horses aren’t real.  Ghosts?  Those are real.  So, using this example, if those beings are showing consciousness and intelligence to whatever degree, then they exist somewhere, just not here.  May I suggest it’s in the realm after death or, the afterlife?

What’s the best explanation for where you are during an OBE (Out of the Body Experience)?

Out of the body experiences have been studied, written about, verified and experienced by the dreamer or meditator.  An OBE doesn’t mean that you’ve died.  What it means is that you were conscious, aware, and somewhere else outside your body, all while being perfectly healthy and alive.  These are usually experienced intentionally through lucid dreaming techniques or meditation or both.  Your consciousness, (long debated as to where our consciousness is located), is not housed within the brain. If it were, the person experiencing the OBE wouldn’t be fully aware of being outside the body.  Our souls are who we are and what carries our memories, thoughts, and consciousness.  The brain is simply a means to communicate with the physical world.

You are not going to convince the lucid dreamer, that has voluntarily induced an out-of-the-body-experience, or dozens for that matter, that they are not real and that they are “just in their imagination.”  The dreamer can tell you where they’ve been, who they saw on this earthly plane, in real time.  They can relay a dream experience in vivid detail due to their being fully conscious in the dream.  Lucid dreaming is nothing new.  It dates back to the ancient Egyptians and more currently, to have been studied at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA.  I’m not going to build the argument for the validity of lucid dreaming because it’s already out there for you to research if you’re interested.  I’m trying to save you some time so for arguments sake, let’s assume it’s a truth.  An objective truth.  (The only kind of truth there is.)

With the clear documentation of conscious, lucid dreaming, I think it’s fair to say that these people are existing, alive, outside their bodies.   When the dreamer experiences lucidity, the plane they are on is more vivid and less muted than life here.  If the dreamer remains conscious and in full capacity of his or her faculties, then I would say that their soul is in another place, without eyes, without a physical body and is functioning above what’s considered normal here, for eyesight, memory, and creativity just to name a few.  To be clear, I only say that their soul is “in another place” in order to make the concept clear.  Eternity or the afterlife, is not in a location.  You can’t go there as you would when using a map.  It’s outside of time and space.  That’s for another blog that I’ll write later, on the subject of, “time.”

Back to the dreamer.  There are arguments out there that state that because the person hasn’t died, that they’re tapping into their brain functions “back home” while they’re outside their bodies through the “silver cord.”  This argument falls apart when we consider NDE’s or Near-Death Experiences.  In these cases, they have died.  That’s next.

So ask yourself, what’s the best explanation for where you are while being fully conscious during an out-of-the-body-experience?  How can we explain it if it’s not another realm or world?

What’s the best explanation for consciousness during the NDE (Near Death Experience)?

A NDE is much easier to verify and even harder to argue against since NDE’s are typically not voluntary and sometimes forced upon someone through an accident or medical operation gone wrong.  To make things even harder for the skeptic, they happen to people around the world from every walk of life and at any age.  What sets the NDE apart from the OBE is that, in the NDE, they’ve died.  They have been pronounced clinically dead with no brain waves and no heartbeat.  To boot, some of them did not believe in life-after-death before the experience but became avid believers afterward and completely changing their worldview.

Surely these individuals had been dreaming their entire lives and had all the experiences that normal people have so why did the NDE convert them so quickly?   The commonalities of people that have experienced an NDE are staggering.  They can all tell people what was happening around them, even sometimes miles away, while they were considered dead.  There are some good books on this with some incredible stories that leave no other explanation other than that the NDE participant was alive outside their body.  So, where were they?  They could see what was happening here but they couldn’t be seen by others.  What’s the best explanation for their ability to see, hear and travel while being clinically dead? I’m going to suggest again that there is another life after leaving this one; another realm that is very real and less inhibiting than life on earth.

In Conclusion

We are all eternal beings in temporal bodies.  For a brief period, we are here on earth, in time and space, locked into a universe that’s not static, but expanding, winding down and losing energy.  Because we are in this universe, our bodies age.  Our souls were not made for time and space but for a realm outside of this one; one that we visit and experience often but work hard to write-off as fantasy or “not real.”  We have a plethora of information that screams at us that there’s a world we are a part of and will exist in after death.

To dismiss the testimonies of dreamers, near-death experiences, out-of-the-body-experiences, ghost sightings, angel interventions and so much more, as all fantasy is not being intellectually honest.  If we could be completely honest and objective in our observations and look at the evidence before us, evidence we experience every day, I believe it would change our lives for the better and forever.  When the time comes to transition into our new lives we should step gracefully, confidently and with anticipation.  Not with fear, anxiety, and regrets.

C.S. Lewis said it all too well; “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

See you there.

(If you’d like to leave a comment, I make a policy of removing your email from public view before the comment is approved.  Thanks for reading.)