Everyone dies eventually.  What happens after that is anyone’s guess.  And the guesses are quite varied!  We have people who believe nothing happens because dead is dead, we have people who believe we will go to either Heaven or Hell, still others believe we will enter Purgatory (to account for sins that aren’t lethal enough to warrant going to Hell but must be atoned for before going on to Heaven).  Some people believe we enter a sort of suspended animation as we await the coming of Christ.  I think the premise of this belief is that those who died before this wondrous event occurs will rise up again and live in glory with the savior (at least those who are DESERVING will do so, all others, of course are burning in Hell).  Still others believe that peoples’ spirits can become trapped here (on Earth) for various reasons (untimely death, violent death, unfinished business, etc.).  These people are commonly referred to as ghosts.  I call them spirits.  There’s a difference (in my book anyway) between the two.  Ghosts are but echoes of energy left behind by a person or animal (energy that was super-charged by a strong emotion most likely).  Emotion fuels energy and that energy can become imprinted on an object or an area.  Since energy cannot be destroyed, it lasts forever.  Thus, ghostly hauntings that are centuries old! Since physicists believe the past, present, and future exist simultaneously, then time is of no consequence.  An event that happened centuries ago, is actually happening now and so the energy remains strong!  I know, it can hurt your brain thinking about all this.  Spirits, on the other hand, are people in their spiritual form whose physical bodies have died.  These spirits, however, have not moved on to Heaven or Hell or wherever it is they are supposed to go.  These are the “ghosts” that can communicate with the living.

There’s still another guess on what happens to us when we die and it’s called reincarnation.  The belief on this one is that after we die, we might spend a bit of time in the “hereafter” (reviewing our life maybe?  There’s a rather interesting movie about this idea, actually, called “Defending Your Life“, a favorite of mine) and then we come back, we are reborn!  And we get to live another life as a whole new person (hopefully we learned enough to warrant a better life than the last!).  This is the belief that I share in.  But I also think the other beliefs have some merit.  Let me explain.

One of the above has to be the right answer, yes?  How about all of them?  If our beliefs are what drives the vehicle of our soul, then our beliefs will determine our after death experience.  If I’m wrong, well, no harm done, I’ll eventually learn the truth (yeah for me!) or I will become nothing (bummer).  I suppose some might even say I’m off to Hell (big time bummer!!) Here’s the thing, I believe we are Beings of Spirit, part of God – the Spirit of ALL that exists.  Spiritual Beings cannot become nothing.  It’s a scientific fact that our bodies are made up of charged particles of energy.  And as I’ve already mentioned, energy cannot be destroyed.  Ever.  As for Hell, well I have some ideas on that too.

I just do not believe that a child of God (you and me!) will go directly to Hell for eternity (key word here is “eternity”) after one measly ole life in which we ended up committing various sins.  The odds aren’t good, folks, that we’re going to live a worthy enough life to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  I mean, really.  Aren’t we all “born sinners”?  Aren’t we HUMAN?  And to “err” is human, right?  Is our loving Father really going to send us to Hell for a few mistakes, some of which we might not even have known were mistakes? (some people believe that ignorance is not an excuse!!)  Surely not!  No matter how deserving some people might be for a fate like that!  I know, I KNOW!!  Some of you are saying, “But evil people deserve to go there!”  However much we may believe that (no crime deserves to go unpunished), I just can’t see a loving God sending one of its own off into an eternity in Hell.

Some people are born into a life of crime, it’s all they know, how they were raised, was all they were taught.  Is it fair that they should head off to Hell FOREVER because of the unfortunate circumstance of their birth?  Just bear with me a moment on this.  Consider that even the most hated of people had someone who loved them.  If someone loved them and that someone is part of God (because we are all “sons and daughters” of God), then surely God loves them too?  Even as we enraged Americans might wish someone like Bin Laden an eternity in Hell, the fact is, even he had people who loved him.  Those people who loved him are not going to wish him an eternity in Hell, even if they might not agree with what he did.  Those that hate him (just to be clear here, God does not hate…HUMANS hate) believe that is just what he deserves.  Who is right? Of course those whose lives he wrecked, they are going to think they are justified to believe in his eternal damnation but just as equally, those who loved him believe he did what had to be done (please understand, I am NOT defending that man! I am horrified by his actions and life choices).  And as for those who stand in his corner, I’m sure there are many who will say they are all in the wrong too and should join him in Hell as soon as their lives have ended! But the Bin Laden supporters, they believe otherwise.  They believe what they do because that is how they were raised.  That is the environment they are living in.  I am sure to their way of thinking, we (those whom apposed Bin Laden) are the evil ones.  So again, those poor misled people are all victims of circumstance (or we are depending on whose side your on!).   Are they not worth another chance, another life circumstance so that they may learn differently? Reincarnation offers that chance.

There are good people who have loved “monsters”, those who committed heinous crimes, and although those good people were sick with disgust for the crimes committed, they still loved the person who committed them.  If that person is loved by even ONE other, and God is love, then doesn’t that mean that God loves that person too?  If so, how can God then send that person off to Hell without any chance of redemption?  Love, in its true sense of the word, just isn’t going to allow something like that to happen.  Seriously.  Do you know how long an eternity is?  There’s no end.

Now, I’m not saying Hell doesn’t exist.  Evil exists (it’s an undeniable fact) and on the spiritual side of life, beings of evil (demons, for example) flourish in that awful place known to us as Hell.  Let me also clarify that demons are not in the same category as we “human” souls.  People…extensions of God…you and me…we are the ones whom I believe will not be sent directly to Hell for all eternity without being given a chance to redeem ourselves (reincarnation).  For those who believe otherwise, well they’ll experience what they believe they will experience.  If they think they will be off to Hell then off to hell they go (but not really, they will enter into a state of hell that they believe exists, and there they stay until rescued).  By whom?  Well, I believe God’s angels are on the look out for these “lost souls” and will help them out of their misery.  Then, it’s off to a new life where maybe they’ll learn a little more truth on the whole process!

Another question.  What about all the prisoners who spent the rest of their lives in jail, paying the price for their sins?  Do they get off going to Hell for good behavior or time served?  Some might answer with: “Well, if they are sorry for what they did and have asked God to forgive them, then no, they don’t go to hell. The others, though, they are toast!”  From a loving perspective (through God’s eyes) is this really fair?

The other thing that gets me is this:  If an evil doer, let’s say a mass murderer, realizes in the last moments of his life that what he’s done is awful and asks for forgiveness, the general belief is that he will not go to Hell.  So, he just gets away with it?  All that murdering and in the last moments of life says, “Sorry, please forgive me” and it’s a done deal?  He skips merrily into heaven?  Or maybe he hangs out in purgatory for awhile before skipping merrily into heaven?  In the end, he’s still going to heaven.  And he killed masses of people.  How fair is that?

Now, given the example above, the murderers that die without asking for forgiveness, they must, according to typical Christian belief, head directly to Hell.  Only, I am willing to bet that in their death, some of them are going to see the error or their ways, be truly horrified and ask God for forgiveness.  Who’s to say that can’t happen?  We are back here in the land of the living thinking happy thoughts that a monster is now burning in Hell when in reality he’s seeing the error of his ways and wants to make up for it somehow.  Enter reincarnation.  I honestly think this is the best system of fairness to all.

I know this much.  As a parent of three biological children and step-mother to four, I would never send one of my kids off to Hell no matter what they did.  Even if they committed evil deeds.  I’m going to hate the evil deeds and be sick to death that they did something awful, but I’m not going to stop loving the child I remember and the person I know they are despite the deeds they’ve done.  If I, a lesser being than God, cannot do it, then how is God, unmotivated by human emotion and functioning only on Love…how is God going to do it?  Makes no sense.  If my choices for my naughty child are: an eternity in hell OR a new life in which said child gets a chance to redeem him or herself…well, as the loving parent, I want to give them another chance! I would never forgive myself if I sent my child to an eternity in Hell without giving them the opportunity to learn the error of their ways.  Even Jesus, as he hung from the cross, had only loving thoughts for those who put him there, “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do”!!

I hear these laments over and over again: “Life isn’t fair”, “It’s not fair”, “How unfair” … well, folks, reincarnation makes it all fair.  It levels the field, gives us all a chance no matter our circumstances of birth.  Everyone deserves a fair chance to earn their entry into Heaven.  So, if reincarnation is a fact of life, and we come back to earth, reborn as a new person with new possibilities, then we need to be thankful for this new chance, REJOICE in it, make the best of it!!  Those who fail (the “sinners”), they gotta come back again until they learn to live a sin-free life.  Hopefully.  Can some people choose the low road each and every time and become evil?  I wonder.  Those who manage to “see the light” of God and live a sinless life, they don’t have to come back.  They get to graduate from the school of Earth and move on to other adventures!

In the mean time, as I struggle through this life that has its hardships and rewards, its ups and downs, I know that I am on the road to redemption and need to make the best of it.  I’m not perfect.  I’ve thought bad thoughts, said bad things, committed things believed to be “sinful”, but I don’t consider myself a bad person.  I certainly am not an evil one!  I don’t think I quite deserve a free pass into Heaven just yet and so I will probably come back again (big heartfelt sigh).  I can only hope my next life won’t be full of so many obstacles and strife.  I think those who live the “good life” are those who are getting it right, they’ve learned a lot, but have just a tad bit more to learn.  I think I have a LOT more to learn but I’m going to seek that knowledge while I’m here, give myself a better chance when I’m not.  Each and every life we live teaches us something important.  Just as each and every experience we have in life teaches us something important!  Life is a learning process.  An evolution of our soul.  By the time we’re done, we are going to be a well-rounded, loving, SINLESS individual because we’ll have experienced it all!!

So that’s my take on things.  Agree?  Disagree?  Have any other ideas?  Truly, I’d love to hear from you.  Until then … Blessings to you and Peace Out!!