18 Unsettling Theories About What Happens After Death

SharePinEmailIt might not be the cheeriest of subjects, but what happens to us when we die has been the subject of worship, intrigue, and debate for centuries. Different religions have differing beliefs about life after death. The truth is, nobody knows for sure, and the ultimate question may never be fully answered. Intriguing Theories About…

It might not be the cheeriest of subjects, but what happens to us when we die has been the subject of worship, intrigue, and debate for centuries. Different religions have differing beliefs about life after death. The truth is, nobody knows for sure, and the ultimate question may never be fully answered.

Intriguing Theories About Afterlife

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That has not stopped a myriad of fascinating, intriguing, and often scary theories to surface over the centuries about what happens to the souls of the deceased.

What Happens When We Die?

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Here we look at some of the leading theories about what happens to us when we die.

The Concept of Reincarnation

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It is not only religious people who believe in life after death. Some believe in the concept of reincarnation, the philosophical and religious belief that upon biological death we begin a new life in a different physical form or body. Several religions believe in reincarnation, including the Hindu, Buddhist, and Sikh religions.

Ever Had Deja-Vu?

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For some, the sense of déjà vu, the feeling they have repeated an experience, seen a ghost, or had a near-death encounter, convinces them that there is life beyond death.

We Go to Heaven or Hell

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A key Christian belief is that all souls are judged by God upon death. Those who have lived honest and worthy lives with God will have a place in heaven. But those judged as being sinful will spend eternity in Hell. This belief has guided many Christians to conform to a life of devout faith in God.

Near Death Experiences

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Survivors of near-death experiences (NDEs) typically describe an almost spiritual, ethereal encounter, as their bodies begin to shut down. While no two NDEs are the same, survivors often talk about witnessing bright lights and having ‘out of body’ experiences.

Shared Death Experiences

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While we have all heard of near-death experiences, shared-death experiences are less well-documented and perhaps even more baffling. Tales of shared-death experiences have been in circulation since the late 19th Century. The phenomenon involves the experiences of people being on the edge of death and who get a peep at the afterlife, being shared by those who are close to them, either emotionally or physically. They too experience the sensation of dying and entering the afterlife.

Life and Death and Energy Conservation

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Another theory about what happens to us when we die relates to energy conservation. According to the theory, if we are buried, and our bodies decompose, they turn into some other form of chemical energy and then get used by the organisms in the soil. The energy of our bodies is then transferred to the environment as random heat. Our thoughts, memories, personalities, and experiences are therefore not ended but continue to exist in some form. The theory is highly speculative, but is nonetheless, hugely captivating.

Our Spirits Linger On

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A medium might tell you that a spirit does not have an expiry date and can linger forever after death. For some, spirits come and go as they please, making their way through different worlds. Some cultures believe that their ancestors’ spirits watch over them, looking after their loved ones in the physical world.

Eternal Oblivion

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One of the most popular theories about what happens to us when we die, particularly among non-religious communities, is that we enter eternal oblivion, also referred to as nothingness or non-existence. In eternal oblivion, everything ceases, and nothing continues in any sense. This eternal nothingness returns us to the state that preceded our birth. Some might find this theory depressing and something to fear. Others however might be less opposed, seeing it as an eternal state of peace.

A Digital Afterlife

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A much more modern theory about life after death involves computer simulation, which had been created by a civilization that is much more advanced than the one on Earth. Within the digital afterlife theory, death is the same as being deleted from a game. Due to rapid advances of Artificial Intelligence, what was considered pure science fiction several years ago, is gaining credibility in intelligent thought.

We Interact with Our Loved Ones in Dreams

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Dreams that feature a person close to us who has deceased are regarded as a natural process of grief. It may help someone to process their emotions and seek comfort in the subconscious space of dreams. Some however say they have experienced visitation dreams, when a deceased person visits them when they are asleep. Some people say they have been visited by spiritual guides or guardian angels in their sleep. A visitation dream typically occurs when someone is missing a loved one who has died.

The Quantum Theory

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This fascinating theory about what happens when we die is attributed to Dr Stuart Hameroff, of the University of Arizona, who suggested that human consciousness was related on the same level as quantum mechanics.

‘Proto-Conscious’ Structure of Reality

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The theory suggested that the microtubules, which contain quantum energy in our brains, create a ‘proto-conscious’ structure of reality influenced by information. As such, when someone dies, their mind goes on to create its own form of reality.

The Astral World

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The Astral World, also known as the Netherworld or Astral Plane, is the term used to describe where consciousness goes after physical death. The concept can be found in religious and esoteric teachings.

Cryonics

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The term cryonic comes from the Greek word meaning ‘cold.’ It refers to the storage of human remains at a freezing temperature, typically below -196 degrees Celsius. The concept revolves around the speculative hope that if our remains are frozen resurrection may be possible in the future. The theory is however viewed with cynicism within the mainstream scientific community.

The Multiverse Can Give Us Afterlife

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Some scientific theories of what happens after death involve the notion of the multiverse, in which our universe is just one of a potentially infinite number of universes. The afterlife and multiverse theory stipulates that on death, our physical being exists in a different universe, which is identical to our human form on earth. While controversial, the theory provides an intriguing perspective on life after death.

We Will Never Know

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What is more concrete in the subject of the afterlife, is that we will never really know for sure, which makes the subject even more intriguing.

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