What are your thoughts on life after death? Do you believe we have a spirit that carries on after we depart this material plane? Or do you believe that this life is all there is for us, and that we sink into “eternal sleep” when we die?

I have wondered about all of this since I was a young child. I used to consider myself a “deep thinker” back in those days as I pondered it all. In CEGEP, I had one course called Death and Dying, which studied Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s well-known book of the same name. We also studied the near-death experience, and the accounts of so many people who had been to the “other side” temporarily before they were resuscitated. Many of their stories — the tunnel, the white light at the end, the life review, the feeling of bliss etc. — were very similar to some of the old legends and myths about what we see after we die, such as that found in the Tibetan Book of the Dead. In time, I found, or was reunited with, Theosophy, which teaches about reincarnation and karma. I say “reunited” because when I read the words of people, long dead, like Annie Besant, it was as if I had written the words myself. I knew inherently everything they were talking about. I felt a kinship with them, as if I hung out with them back in the early 1900s. Who knows? (Annie was a shite-disturbing journalist and feminist before she settled down with Theosophy . . .)

Many religions believe in reincarnation, and almost all believe the spirit continues one way or another. I love the Bhagavad’Gita, which predates the Bible and pretty much lays out the philosophy of reincarnation and karma. Even the early Christians believed in reincarnation, and there are still passages in the Bible that talk about people coming back from the great beyond.

Still, belief in life after death takes a certain leap of faith for most of us, unless you have had a near-death experience. Those who have say it’s unmistakable, and they no longer fear death. Indeed, some say they wished they hadn’t been brought back because it was just all so beautiful on “the other side.”

Whatever the case may be, death is part of the natural cycle here on planet Earth, and we have to put our trust in the natural order of things, if not in a higher power.

As for God, I don’t believe in a little old guy pulling puppet strings. I do believe in an animating energy force that we can channel in loving ways . . because that is the nature of the Force.

Thoughts, anyone?