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The Concept Of Afterlife As Explained Through World's Major Religions

2558 words - 10 pages

It wasn't over yet.As the irritating, yet monotonous beeps of the life-monitor in the emergency room began to slowly die away, George struggled to hang on. It's not my time yet, he thought. Please, give me just one more day... The beeps soon became increasingly far in between, while the doctors frantically bustled on in a futile attempt to stabilize the dying man like a bunch of panicking bees trying to save their doomed hive from a pouring rain. The world turned hazy, then completely dark, as George felt himself slowly floating into the darkness. He flew and flew without end. Then there was the light - that infamous 'light at the end of the tunnel.' (Randles 2) It gave out a strange, comforting warmth that enveloped him, easing his fears and relieving all doubts. George somehow knew what to do - to just let go. He felt quite at home.Back on earth, the rhythmic, mechanical beeps suddenly turned into a solid, continuous high E, signaling the end. George was about to cross over. Being bathed in the strangely comforting light, he was soon greeted by his long-lost friends and relatives, beckoning for him to come, come join them. George wanted to stay. More than anything he cared for, George wanted to stay right here, basking in the light of love. But he felt something pull him back. Wait, not yet, he thought. It's not my time yet... The next moment, George was somehow reunited with his physical body, lying on that uncomfortable hospital bed, amidst the doctors sighing in relief, surrounded no longer by that soft glow, but again by that rhythmic beep, beep, beep...Is there a parallel between George's account of a near-death experience (NDE), and what really happens when we ourselves die? Is there indeed a part of us that conquers death and continues to live a different kind of existence where it has new powers and undergoes unfamiliar experiences? Is there really a heaven, or numerous heavens, full of blissful joys awaiting some of us and a hell, or countless hells, full of different punishments for others? Or is physical death, in fact, the end of life as we know it? Such questions about death and dying has intrigued humanity since the dawn of time. One area to which we might look for some answers to this puzzle is religion. Unlike science, dealing only with the material and tangible, traditional religion takes another view of our reality by recognizing the validity of metaphysical experiences. World's major religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity, as well as primal pagan ones, such as the Greek and Roman mythology, although quite different in basic fundamentals of belief, all attempt to give its followers an explanation of the world on the other side of life.In Greek and Roman mythology, Hades is the god of the dead. He was the son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea and the brother of Zeus and Poseidon. (Cumont 34) When the three brothers divided up the universe after they had deposed their father, Cronus, Hades was awarded the...

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