The Christian Afterlife

Finding ways to cope with the loss of someone you love is a self-preservation mechanism. You can never blame someone who lost their children or their spouse to believe they are in a good place and that they will see them again soon.

The afterlife is a touchy subject. For that comforting belief to work, you have to believe that:

  1. you keep your individuality and are not merged with all other people after they die
  2. you will have a physical body, capable of hugging, kissing, seeing, hearing and talking
  3. people will look like you remember them and not change age, gender, or physical appearance
  4. you will not look like they did at the time of death, which would be horrifying in some cases
  5. you stop aging and stop being sick
  6. you and your loved ones will recognize each other, both physically and mentally when you get reunited
  7. you will be able to find each other in the billions of people that populates the afterlife
  8. you will still feel the same about each other as you felt on Earth
  9. you will have kept all your memories
  10. the afterlife will include pets, but not mean or dangerous ones
  11. you get reunited at the moment you die and not 20 million years after
  12. family members and friends will all find each other and get along
  13. there will be no conflicts to spoil heavenly relationships
  14. you will not get bored of seeing the same people for 137 trillion years
  15. every good persons will be together
  16. you will not miss people who are not there

Another way to look at the afterlife idea is that reality doesn’t matter as the afterlife concept is for the living and not the the dead. It doesn’t matter if the popular afterlife belief or the biblical version is true or not, since its main goal is to provide comfort for people who lost loved ones.

You can choose to believe in something without evidence for personal comfort or to make sense of something so horrible you would not be able to live otherwise. But there is a difference between something you choose to believe and something being true or real. I think the afterlife is a personal belief and not something you can convince people of with arguments.

In this case, you would be better off believing in a totally made up version of the afterlife and surely not the one proposed by the Bible.

The popular version of the afterlife is a warm place full of people you love, without conflict, sickness or death, forever.

the biblical version is a large floating cube with streets made of gold, presided by creatures full of eyes and mercenary angels. There is also an idea of a New Earth with a New Jerusalem, without war, sickness or natural disaster. You get access to that version only at the end of times, which is a timeframe not defined. People you love who were not Christian or messed up on one important thing Jesus allegedly said in one of the parable that was edited, mistranslated or mis-reported in the chosen and published books that made the final version of the Bible.

Which version will make you feel better when a love one dies?

Mental Games I Play

Selective Awareness
When walking outside, I sometimes focus mostly on all the sounds around me and try to differentiate them all, building a 3D auditory map of my surroundings.

Passive Thought Observation
Before going to sleep, I close my eyes and observe my thoughts. I can see them appearing, morphing and vanishing like ever-changing clouds on a cinema screen.

Controlled Fly-through Mental Exploration
I create a mental 3D scene and imagine flying around a room, going under tables, raising close the ceiling, as the scene angles and details are changing. Another scene I like is to imagine slowly taking-off with a jet pack and feeling my body lifting from the ground and looking at the changing perspective of the landscape as I go higher. I also imagine flying above a wheat field, twisting and flipping in the air, then flying over a cliff — all with images so vivid it looks like a camera on a plane.

Natural Complexity Awareness
I look at the fractal structure of branches, the multiple layers of moving clouds at different altitudes, etc. I also imagine how the landscape where I stand would of there were no roads, no buildings and nothing built by people.

Scale Awareness
I sometimes mentally zoom out from me and see my street, my town, my country, my continent, the Earth and keep zooming out to the solar system and galaxy level. At that moment, I have the very clear feeling of being on the surface of a planet, in space, way off the center of our galaxy. I also do the opposite and imagine the atomic structure of the floor or my body, being made mostly of empty space between the nucleus of the atoms and their orbiting electrons.

What mental games do you play?

Where do you draw the line?

If you are Christian, you have to believe in magic, as the Bible is filled with it.
If you believe in New Age therapies, you probably believe in magic as well, as they routinely invoke untested or untestable magical ideas.

But where do you draw the line?

If you must believe in angels & demons, giants, wizards, talking donkeys & snakes (all mentioned in the Bible), do you also believe in unicorns, mermaids, leprechauns, gnomes, trolls, fairies, vampires, ghosts, elves, dragons, and werewolves?

If you believe in exorcisms (as clearly depicted in the Bible), do you also believe in voodoo power, magic potions, magical charms and talismans, rain dance, psychics, astrologers, and curses?

Would you believe in a creature I made up 5 minutes ago called the Hexegan Beast? What if I write a book about it and add some Photoshopped pictures of it as proof? What if 50 people told you they also heard about it. What if someone creates a TV show about it on the History Channel? Does it makes that beast more real?

What if I tell you I heard from my psychic that you can cure cancer using purple crystals blessed by a blind albino Shaman? Will you stop your medical treatment to follow it?

What if I tell you the angel Gabriel told me to leave my family, change my name to O’rok and go to a cave for 20 years? Will you think I’m crazy? If you’re Christian , Jewish or Muslim, you must believe in angels as it’s part of your Scripture — so why would you not believe me?

If you believe in magic, how to you tell if something is possible or not?
How do you evaluate a source of information?
How do you access if something is unreal or a hoax?
Do evidence count for something in that world view?

New TV shows

Reno & Run!

Interior designers and painters break into houses when people are sleeping to repaint and decorate their kitchens, bathrooms or even bedrooms.
They have to make sure to cut those pesky alarm system wires before they begin their intrusion and dress up as ninjas.
Before leaving, they hide camera to watch the reaction of the house owners.

The Nose

Blindfolded contestants have to smell people and guess who they are. Highlights of the show include a 80 homeless man with chronic diarrhea, a sweaty sumo and a sardine worker.

Win it Back

An hilarious reality TV contest where 5 random strangers are abducted and one of their organs removes. They are then invited to guess which one is their organ. If they guess correctly, they can have it back!

Mile-High Roulette

5 contestants are pushed down a plane with only 4 of them having a real parachute. Each round, one of the contestants gets flattened, while the final remaining contestant wins the $50,000 prize.