Human Soul and Afterlife
Is there really life after death? Is the afterlife real? There is so much evidence showing that we do go on after we leave our current bodies that it can hardly be refuted. Ever since the dawn of human history, people have believed in higher powers and in some kind of after life. It doesn’t seem likely that this almost universal belief just sprang out of nowhere.
It seems probable that even the early humans had enough evidence of life after death to believe in it. Most of the world still believes it is real; it is the rare person who rejects the idea.
If you’re curious about life after death, the human soul and afterlife, and what goes on in the realms we can’t see after we leave our bodies, these are the things you need to know.
What is the human soul and is it real?
Even outside of death, human history is full of reports of people temporarily leaving their bodies. They may do so during a near death experience, a dream, or through meditation. It can be an involuntary or a voluntary experience.
The version of you that leaves your body is the real you, the “you” who makes you who you are. It is the essence of your true being. Your soul contains thoughts and emotions. The soul travels to many physical bodies in many lifetimes.
Even though you have a different body in this life, the soul is still the same. You have the same interests and passions like you used to. In most cultures, this is referred to as your spirit or your soul.
The spirit and soul are essentially the same thing when referred to in this manner (though there are other meanings for both words that do not apply here). It is the part of you that can exist separately from the body, and is eternal. It never dies.
It was created once and cannot be destroyed. It lives on and on, which means you live on and on. It is often said that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, and this is true.
Our spirits, or souls, inhabit our bodies to have a human experience, but can and do exist entirely separately from them. We don’t need our bodies to live, because our true selves are our souls.
Untold numbers of accounts exist of people leaving their bodies in their spirit form. They walk around, they see and hear what people around them are doing and saying, and they can report back on this when they return to their bodies. Sometimes, they travel long distances and report back on things they could not possibly have known if they’d been there in body form.
In dreams, soul travel through space and even time is possible and has been reported. Because many of the accounts of out of body travel can be verified, there is no reason to doubt the existence of our spirit form.
Depending on what spiritual tradition you follow, you may believe your soul was created by God as something separate from Him, but loved by Him, or you may believe your soul is part of God. Those who believe this also believe everyone’s soul is part of God, and that God divided himself among everyone to have all different types of human experiences.
If you believe this, then you also believe we are all one. Either way, the soul or spirit is something that is eternal, and there is plenty of evidence for this, corroborating the fact that it does go on outside of our bodies.
What happens after we die?
We really only have a few sources for knowing what happens after we die. There are those who have temporarily died and have come back to report their experiences while technically dead. There are people, especially children, who seem to easily recall details of past lives (some of which have been confirmed to be real).
And, there are psychics and psychic mediums, who can communicate with those who have died and are currently existing in spirit form.
There are also dream visitations to the afterlife, which some people do experience, in a way that is similar to getting a visitor’s pass for a brief visit with a loved one or spirit guide, but these other sources are more reliable and verifiable as real.
While there have been reports of near death experiences for almost the entirety of recorded human history, the modern study of it as a serious science and not just a mystical experience began in 1975 with the publication of the book Life After Life by Raymond Moody.
This brought attention of the phenomenon to the public at large, whereas it had mainly been personal experiences known to only those who experienced them and the people they told in the past.
Public interest in this subject became so large that the International Association for Near Death Studies was established in 1981. This organization encourages the serious scientific, cultural, spiritual, and social ramifications of these experiences.
The group also publishes a peer reviewed scientific journal called The Journal of Near Death Studies, as well as a quarterly newsletter called Vital Signs.
Bruce Greyson (a psychiatrist), Kenneth Ring (a psychologist), and Michael Sabom (a cardiologist) were instrumental in introducing near death studies to the academic world. They were active in the field from 1975 to 2005, and discovered some interesting things during this time, along with those who took up the study along with them.
Because of their efforts, 95 percent of the different cultures of the world have been studied, and all of them have at least some reports of near death experiences.
During their research, they interviewed thousands of people who had been through near death experiences, and documented their experiences. The scientific interest in this subject has continued and hundreds of medical and psychological professionals around the world are now studying this phenomenon.
One of the interesting things other researchers have discovered about near death experiences came from Dr. Sam Parnia, a clinical research fellow at Southampton University in the UK. He hypothesized that those who were clinically dead and fit all the criteria for it would not be able to form lucid thoughts or feelings, or lasting memories, as their brains rapidly ceased functioning after the point of death.
He studied dozens of cardiac arrest patients who met the criteria for clinical death and had been resuscitated, and found that an astounding six percent of them reported remarkably similar occurrences while they were “dead,”…things Parnia believed they would not have been able to experience in their state. These patients all described things such as:
- Feelings of peace and joy
- A sense of time flowing differently
- Being out of their body and knowing it, yet still having a spiritual body
- Seeing a bright light
- Going into another world
- Encountering a mystical being and/or one or more deceased relatives
- Encountering a point of no return, where they had to choose to either go on into the afterlife or return to their physical body
Dr. Parnia was surprised to discover the recollections of these patients were clear, quite structured, and easy for them to recall, all things that are consistent with real memories and not hallucinations.
These observations lend more credence to the fact that we do go somewhere when we die, and it is likely the same place everyone else goes. The experiences were too similar among quite diverse and different people for it to be otherwise.
This is consistent with other accounts of people who had near death experiences. If you put all the information together, you will notice a pattern that connects all of these accounts into one cohesive system of death, spiritual existence, re-birth, and reunion with the overall creator, or God, of the universe (or, multiverse in some traditions).
Most accounts from people who have had near death experiences are remarkably similar. They lift out of their bodies, sometimes seeing what is in the room around them. Then, they are taken through a tunnel with a bright light at the end. At the end of the tunnel, they are welcomed into the light, which is made of pure love.
They are often greeted by loved ones who have passed on before them. This can include pets, as there is also ample evidence animals have souls and experience the afterlife.
They are sometimes also greeted by the creator spirit, or by spirit guides who have been with them for most of time and who they only recognize in spirit form. There is some kind of life review, where they look at the life they just lead, and learn from it.
Based on what they learn from it, they decide whether to reincarnate right away, or spend time in the spirit world learning additional lessons before going back. Sometimes, they wait for others from their same soul group who are still on Earth to join them in the afterlife, so they can all reincarnate together.
What is the afterlife like?
The afterlife can best be described as the spirit world that we go to in between physical lives. Many psychics and people who have seen it and come back describe it as much like the world we know, but with telepathic communication and the ability to go to different levels of it to learn things.
Each soul has things it wants to learn through the lives it leads, and through its time in the spirit world. The spirit world has been reported to have houses, jobs, businesses, and classrooms.
There are spirits who spend a lot of time in the spirit world and rarely incarnate in a physical form, because they can learn and grow the best by helping other people in their spirit form. They act as supervisors, greeters, guides, and teachers in the spirit world.
Spirits who elect to only stay in the spirit world for short periods often go to school there to learn things they need to know before incarnating in a physical form again. They may also spend time with family and friends, and other people from their soul group (the group they belong to that usually incarnates together).
If they excel at their lessons, they may get to move to higher levels of the spirit world, where more secrets, advanced lessons, and universal mysteries are revealed and explained to them. They may sit out a few reincarnations with their soul group while they advance through the higher levels of the spirit world before reincarnating again.
When it is time to reincarnate, it is usually an individual soul who makes this decision, or sometimes it is a group decision. Other times, leaders in the spirit world suggest reincarnating again, though it is usually ultimately the decision of the individual soul. Free will is a big thing in the spirit world, as is love.
Usually, a soul will sit down with his or her spirit guides or soul group, and plan out their next incarnation, choosing families and circumstances that will help them learn the new things they want to learn, or re-do certain lessons they did not master the first time (or have not mastered after many lives).
Most members of a soul group do incarnate together in ways they will eventually meet in the life to come. Sometimes, members of the soul group agree to stay behind for a certain incarnation to act as spirit guides to their soul group. They are all part of the same team, regardless of whether they incarnate or stay in the spirit world to offer assistance and guidance from there.
The dead and the living are connected
Near death experience is unique because some people can come back to their physical bodies. However, most people decide to stay in the spirit world because they want to reunite with families and friends. On the other side, they also send messages to their families in the living world.
If you have someone who passed away within 7 days, you’ll notice that there are some strange things happening around you. An example is when the phone rings, you hear the static or strange noise. That means someone is trying to contact you.
When these strange events are happening to you, it’s best to contact a psychic medium or a spiritual advisor for help. A psychic medium can interpret the messages for you. He or she can see and hear the spirits clearly.
In addition, magical practitioners can reveal hidden messages from the other side. Unlike psychic medium, practitioners use spirit board, crystal ball and other tools to contact the dead.
If they have strong power, they can summon (or call) the spirits. This is called “spirit summoning” session. During this session, a practitioner creates a communication channel between you and the spirits. You should ask who the spirits are and what they want.
The Goal of the Soul
Most psychics who are in touch with spirits say the ultimate goal of all souls is to master all the lessons they need and/or want to learn, so they can be reunited with the Source, which is the creator of everything. Reunion with the Source is to become one with it, and exist in a state of pure bliss for eternity.
Some human soul get there more quickly than others. Other souls enjoy reincarnating and learning things, or they have a special calling to help other souls in the spirit world, so they may not return to the Source for an incredibly long time.
No one is sure if reunion with the Source is forever once you get there, or if the Source may one day decide to have a new set of experiences that involves sending its souls back out into this universe or a new one again (either as individuals or as parts of the Source).
What is known is that there is no real thing called death. What is looked at as death by those in a physical incarnation is simply a transition from one form and location to another.
Whatever the soul does, whether it stays with the Source forever or comes back in a physical form again at some point in the inconceivably far future, one thing is certain. The soul, which is our true self and true form, lives forever.