life and death and life

    i'm going to my grandfather's funeral today. though it is sad, i am relieved that he is now free from the pain he has been in for a year. see, after my Grandmother died February 1998, Grandad never really got over it. during the whole ordeal, he had a stroke, developed cancer, and until recently his lungs and heart were filling up with liquid. he died Wednesday night, and my mother is a wreck.
    so the question is, "is there life after death?"  we (the grand species "we") have been pondering that question for a long time, i suppose. still no answer. everyone has an opinion on this one, i'm sure.
    looking at it simply, without any romantic notions, i would say that there is no life after death. to elaborate... in a minute. my brother is ranting to me about how my parents are assholes. people always fight in my house when there are other, more important things going on.
    to elaborate, what reason for an afterlife would there be? if there truly was some kind of metaphysical dimension where people went after they died, then it would likely not follow the same physical rules as this universe. in other words, our time would not play a factor there. so when we died, all the people we were leaving behind would already be there when we got there. another thing is, what kind of practical purpose would an afterlife serve?
most things in our reality (note: most, not all) serve a practical purpose. the atmoshere protects us from the radiation of space, and gravitational force allowed for the creation and sustaining of a planet that life could exist on. so what does reincarnation do? you could argue that its ultimate purpose is out of my grasp, but it would not be a strong argument unless you yourself knew the purpose of the afterlife.
    i've thought about the idea that reincarnation could be a way to teach the spirit something. but why? life, for the majority, is not about learning; it is simply about existing. agreed, one has to learn the basic skills to survive here, but after that, it is mostly an application of what one has learned. plus, i see no improvements in the state of life on our planet. in fact, it seems like the human race is getting worse, which is probably untrue and due to our fantastic media.
    and the idea of life after death makes me think about other creatures on the planet. does barley go to the "better place" too? it would be arrogant to believe that only the human species is bound for a better place. surely if there was something else after death, insects and reptiles and dinosaurs would experience it, too.
    now, before you get angry and call me close-minded or ignorant, i am not saying that i am right, and that there is no life after death. it is true that for thousands of years, man has been dreaming of some sort of second chance in the universe. we have always had a Heaven in our minds, and that is something to examine. the typical skeptic could say that our notions of reincarnation, or Heaven, or whatever, are merely due to our all-consuming fear of death. you could say that perhaps we all know the truth, that we will all permanently die, and we dream up ideas to comfort ourselves. but, our subconscious has often known what we are only discovering now through science. we felt anger, but didn't understand it. just because we don't understand something does not that it isn't real. if we have always felt that there is something more after death, then perhaps we are right, and science hasn't explained it yet. it could be explained as some sort of subconscious intuition. there is much we do not understand about life, and perhaps afterlife is one of those things.
    as of the present, here is where i stand in my views of reincarnation (friends of mine, bear through this, as you've probably heard it before): our bodies are made up of millions of atoms, none of which were created inside us. everything we are came from somewhere else. in a sense, we are a mosaic of all the things our mother ate, we ate, and the things we ate ate. when we die, our millions/billions of atoms (i'm not a scientist; i don't know numbers) will return once again to the planet. these millions of small parts that make us could be seen as our soul, and when we die our soul is scattered once again back into the system where we will become, or be reincarnated as, other forms of life. so yes, my Grandad will be reincarnated, but not as another whole human being.
    well, that was exhausting. remember, there is very much the possibility that i could be wrong, and i know that. all i have to go on is the small amount of information i've absorbed in my life. so if you have a more convincing idea, feel free to believe it and teach it to others. at the very least, i hope i've made you think about the whole thing.

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