What happens when you die? The question looks right at you. A loved one passes away. What do they feel, if anything? Are they lonely? Is there an answer — or answers? Or nothing at all? We may know more than we think we do.
By David Stone
Assorted Ideas, Large & Small
Getting at the truth, we’re better off setting aside beliefs and looking at what we really know.
It’s not that beliefs don’t matter. Sometimes, they’re all we have, and they’re crucial for living well and responsibly. But they’re substitutes, useful only when facts aren’t possible.
What happens when you die? It’s Physical
Everything we know about the universe is known is because it’s physical. Like us.
That is, we can detect it through our senses, sometimes magnified with scientific equipment, and manipulate it mentally to come up with a world that’s actively sensible and useful.
In the simplest terms, we don’t walk into walls or fall off cliffs because they’re another part of the physical universe.
And it’s not just danger. We sense beauty and power because they’re physical.
All that’s obvious, after a little thought, but when we ask, “What happens when we die?” the obvious deteriorates in a hurry.
Consider first that the most complex computer devised can’t compete with the human brain. Our brains calculate, evaluate, judge and act on the fly as information from billions of particles too tiny to see race in for processing every second.
Information comes from eyes, ears, skin, nose and mouth, in the simplest configuration. Our brains whisk away at least 95% and compile a picture of reality from the most relevant 5%.
And we haven’t even considered the enteric nervous system, or second brain, an operation that largely takes care of what happens in our guts and tells the big brain up on top about it.
Or the more recently discovered “heart brain.”
But even at that, our magnificent brains are no more than half the story.
What Dies: What’s left?
What happens when we die?
The physics-defying contraption that sees, feels and touches, the brain that puts it all together — the you in the mirror — fails catastrophically.
And then, the questions begin.
What happens next? Where did the person we knew go?
Physical material never vanishes. It can’t. Everything that made up a body remains.
But whatever animated it, yoking it together as a living organism, is gone.
We can save the endlessly interesting question of why for another time. What concerns us is, what happens?
It Was Physical, Wasn’t It?
The mystery of “What happens when we die?” clarifies when we stop thinking of ourselves in the old-fashioned way — that is, physical and nothing more.
We don’t need religion or philosophy to prove that’s false.
Have you ever seen an emotion?
Sure, you’ve felt the results of an emotion, and you’ve expressed them. But you’ve never seen one.
What about a thought? A belief? Imagination? A memory?
These are all non-physical. Intangible.
We know they’re there. We may even have a pretty good idea about what they are. But theirs is a not well-understood universe of nonphysical reality.
Physical and nonphysical interact, but we don’t know how…
There’s a lot more you can add to the list, but you haven’t seen, smelled, touched or tasted any of them because they are not physical. But they’re present in our lives. They affect us constantly.
Non-physical things exist as equal partners with physical reality, but there’s a diffierence.
Simply because they’re not physical, there’s no reason to believe they deteriorate as physical things do or that they perish. Ever.
Look all you want. You’re more likely to find Bigfoot.
As much as we’re used to it, physical death is just that: physical. All the other things, the invisible, the emotions, the memories, the ideas, the inspiration — none of them are required to follow along.
We get too hung up on physical awareness. We think it’s us. Logic and reason can explain everything… but that’s as based on faith as any religion.
Logic and reason can’t deliver the ultimate truth, not by a long shot.
What happens when you die? Conclusion
Interaction with the physical environment ceases. Intangibles, emotions, imagination, thoughts, etc. are freed.
People who have near-death experiences report a sense of lightness, freedom, wellness and joy when outside their bodies. That’s what you can look forward to.
And there’s more.
Although you’ve never been completely out of touch, you can now connect cleanly with those who’ve left their physical bodies, at will.
(Yeah, there might be some souls you’d rather do without.)
It’s a nonphysical universe without end, and you’ve never left it.
Thoughtful recognition of what should be apparent to you already, i.e., that you are not limited to your perishable human body, should light the way to insight and a personal comfort zone.