Has this thought bothered you too? Here’s a whole list of perspectives on the matter by different schools of thought.

Death Cannot Be An End


When I lost my father three years ago, I could not believe that he had left our lives permanently. I refused to believe that he had just vanished into the blue. Surely, he had gone somewhere safe and continued to be there for his family, where he could receive our telepathic love and watch over us? Death could just not be the end. Such are the thoughts that have prompted humanity to examine whether there is indeed life after death, what is known as afterlife.

Soul Searching


Most religions talks of the soul or atma that never perishes, that leaves the body after the latter has become lifeless. So, where does this imperishable entity go? Does it just float around on the earth plane (which we probably perceive as ghosts) or does it go to another plane or world where it has a non-human experience?
Tunnel To Where


There have been many cases of patients in coma (considered a state of death) recounting after coming out of it, to have seen a tunnel which has light at the end of it. Is it a glimpse of a journey to another place? Well, we certainly can’t say for certain.
A Wow Place


Apple founder Steve Jobs, just before he died, was heard by near and dear ones as saying “Oh wow, Oh wow, Oh wow”…and died soon afterwords. So, what did his last words mean? Was he happy to die? Was he feeling free of the pain of cancer? Or was he seeing something we couldn’t even imagine? Was it the place he would soon go to?
Dream Sequence


When British neurosurgeon Dr Eben Alexander recovered from his coma, he described an experience which apparently convinced him that an afterlife did exist. It was of the lavishly conventional kind – fluffy clouds, shimmering beings and a beautiful, blue-eyed guide…
Embracing Afterlife


The general human tendency is to fear death, even fear any talk of death, and fear afterlife as well. But why this fear, even “shyness”, to accept the inevitable, when a long history of people dying is before us? Doesn’t our incapacity to accept death make us more miserable in our old age? Doesn’t the theory of an afterlife (as well as reincarnation) give one fresh hope as opposed to a final, all-conclusive Death?
An Out-Of-Body Experience


A theory exists which says that after death, one’s soul rises above one’s dead body. This has been experienced by many patients in comatose state, similar to Dr Alexander. This also proves the fact that the body and soul are separate entities, one being destructible, the other eternal.
Near Death Experience


Many cases of Near Death Experiences (NDEs) are being reported nowadays. According to a study, one in ten cardiac arrest survivors reported having experienced them during their heart failure.
Everything Becomes Crystal Clear


A person who experienced NDE has described it thus: “All of a sudden, it just came over me and I was in it. I was in that light, and I came to this beautiful area. It’s not human, so it’s difficult to express it humanly, but the room was beautiful. Unlike a dream that was never clear, this was so clear.”
God Speaks


Another patient claims she saw God telling her to go back after she died of brain aneurysm. She says, “I had such a sense of knowingness there. Everything made sense…”
When You Know You Have Died


Here’s another first-hand experience of a woman in Intensive Care: “Suddenly, I felt my entire body being sucked up into the white light above. I found myself in a white tunnel, and I knew I had died. Away from the cursing of the medics and the bleeps of the machines, there was a wonderful sense of calm. Instead of awful pain, I felt light and clear-headed. I knew what was happening but I felt no fear. I knew I had to join my loved ones who were already on the other side. It was a tranquil and warm acceptance. I walked down the white tunnel. At the end stood a gate. I remember nothing else until I woke up in intensive care.”
Scientists’ Theory


Scientists have a new theory to explain the phenomenon. They say such experiences happen when the quantum substances forming the soul ‘leave’ the nervous system and enter the universe. Dr Stuart Hameroff of the University of Arizona claims that the essence of our souls is contained in microtubules within the brain cells. These dissipate into the universe when the heart stops, and return if the patient is resuscitated.
It’s Chemistry Once Again


Yet others say that near-death experiences are a psychological phenomenon, a result of chemical changes in the brain.
A Turning Point


Going back to the lady in ICU. She says: “My ‘death’ proved to be the turning point in my life. Up until this point, I had spent my life worrying about what other people thought of me. As I recovered, I made a pledge that half-friendships and fair-weather friends were no longer enough. I stopped seeing the people I didn’t truly love, and told the ones I did just how much they meant to me, never forgetting for a moment just how lucky I was…I will never be able to understand or explain what happened to me on that fateful day nine years ago. But I no longer harbour a fear about death. At the same time, I have stopped being scared of life. I’ve never looked back since.”
Hope Floats


Just hearing others speak of an afterlife infuses us with hope and accepting the concept of death makes us value each day of life more, doesn’t it?
From Afterlife To Reincarnation


From afterlife, one comes to the topic of reincarnation, as in Hinduism, the soul is believed to travel across various planes of existence before returning back to the earth plane in one form or another. The situation of birth is said to be decided by one’s karma, one’s unfulfilled desires and one’s unlearnt lessons…
Preserving The Dead…For Afterlife?


Ancient Egyptians famously preserved their dead by embalming them with various chemicals, which miraculously preserved the dead body for centuries afterwords. These bodies were known as “mummies”. While the ancient Egyptians regarded this process as respecting their dead, modern-day thinkers thought just the opposite and this process has discontinued over time.
Hierarchy In Death


The Egyptians believed that when they died, they would make a journey to another world where they would lead a new life. They would need all the things they had used when they were alive, so their families would put those things in their graves. Egyptians paid vast amounts of money to have their bodies preserved properly. Egyptians who were poor were buried in the sand whilst the rich ones were buried in a tomb. The royals were preserved inside grand tombs, known as pyramids.
Heaven Is A Place Beyond Earth


At the core of Christian belief lies an afterlife, wherein, conduct on earth will determine where you eventually end up: it’s Hell for the wicked ones and Heaven for those who behave well. The Catholic Church further claims that there is an afterlife, located between heaven and hell, known as purgatory, where the spirit is purged of its sins so as to go to heaven. The Protestants, however, do not accept purgatory.
Buddhist ‘No’ To Afterlife


Where Buddha departed most radically from Hinduism was in his doctrine of “anatta”, the notion that individuals do not possess eternal souls. Instead of eternal souls, the belief is that individuals consist of a “bundle” of habits, memories, sensations, desires, and so forth, which together delude one into thinking that he or she consists of a stable, lasting self. Despite its transitory nature, this false self hangs together as a unit, and even reincarnates in body after body.
Jannat Ya Jahannum?


According to the tenets of the Muslim faith, death is the complete end of physical life and the beginning of a period of rest until the day of resurrection, when Allah judges the living and the dead. The righteous are able to see visions of Allah after death and the wicked see visions of hell. Except for these visions, Muslims believe the soul remains in a kind of “soul sleep” until Judgment Day when everyone is judged according to their deeds in life…
Jain Karma In Samsara


Karma is the basic principle within Jainism. Human moral actions form the basis of transmigration of the soul (jīva). The soul is constrained to a cycle of rebirth, trapped within the temporal world (saṃsāra), until it finally achieves liberation (mokṣa). Liberation is achieved by following a path of purification. Karma not only encompasses the causality of transmigration, but is also conceived of as an extremely subtle matter, which infiltrates the soul—obscuring its natural, transparent and pure qualities. Karma is thought of as a kind of pollution, that taints the soul with various colours (leśyā). Based on its karma, a soul undergoes transmigration and reincarnates in various states of existence—like heavens or hells, or as humans or animals. Jains cite inequalities, sufferings, and pain as evidence for the existence of karma.