I agree with everything you say about religion and power. Your every word shows your experience.
I meditated for about 15 years and discovered that anything that "comes into my mind" is coming FROM my mind--nowhere else. Thoughts or images enter the mind through life experiences. If we sit still long enough, the mind replays its stored images, often in random and distorted ways. This is absolutely NOT evidence for the existence of any "astral body" or afterlife. When I realized that meditation and oriental religious stories were simply stories, as are occidental religions, I came to my senses. I grew up. I let all the stories be stories. I learned to become a critical thinker. I became a true atheist. I accept only provable facts. No one could or can prove what happens after death, since nothing happens. Afterlife may be a comforting story for some and a danger for others. It makes far more sense to just accept death.
I agree! Well said!
The desperate wish to continue to live either out of fear, or in order to feel better about family or friends who have died young or there being some kind of supernatural justice after death are the three reasons people wish there to be something more, but the only evidence is once brain activity stops, there is no consciousness. Life has ended, period. Promising more is lying and should be ignored and in some cases where money is exchanged for promises people should be imprisoned.
Has anyone else here studied cultural anthropology and heard of cultures who soften the "cruel blow" with a belief that people fully die only when no one remains who remembers them?
We get a kind of immortality if we have the money or connections to have our names attached to all kinds of structures, roads, etc.
Our DNA perhaps lasts longer.
Hadn't heard that Tom, but as far as I'm concerned memories are just that, only memories. I hate memories, but at the same time I don't want to forget those I love who have passed away. Memories sadden me.
Anthony, you have a strong reason to hate memories. I wonder if it is possible for you to replace hate-memories with flourishing-memories?
I call afterlife a lie. Money exchanged for promises should result in criminal charges and prosecution.
Joan, will you ever come down out of idealism to realism?
There are criminal acts and civil wrongs.
An act is criminal only when it violates a law. I doubt the existence of any laws about an afterlife.
However, suppose A promises B an afterlife and B pays for the promise.
B probably won't tell an heir.
An heir who learns of the payment might think A wronged B.
Heir-of-B can sue A in a civil action and might recover what B paid.
Belief in an astral body can easily confuse you into thinking that something exists outside of you, and that you "have a soul" rather than the truth that YOU are the soul. But is any of this real in any sense? Yes. I have had OBE's and they are simply a projection of your own consciousness. This is like saying you can take a flashlight and project beams of light. The projected beam does not exist separate from the flashlight and it never "gets caught outside of the flashlight." Once the body dies (or the flashlight is no more) then the beam stops. The light beam no longer exists. This may be why in astral lore it is said that your astral body is connected to your real body by a cord. Not everyone can see this cord, but it is the ancients way of saying something similar to what I have explained above. Keep in mind that it is human nature not to believe in death, and we have tried through millennia to discredit death. In my dreams, for example, I can fly. In reality I can no more fly than Superman.
In past times mediums and spiritism were the thing. This was another "life after death" hoax in which the medium or an accomplice used ectoplasm to project the dead for you. Many hoaxs are out there and it involves fleecing you of your money. Such things cannot stand up to modern scrutiny. What about "ectoplasm?" Nothing. They made it all up!
Glossolalia is another subject. Someone in this forum wanted something written about it. I'll try to do a humorous take on it soon. Again, it's pure bunk. It proves nothing.
Dennis, I agree with all you write!
This is for Michele. You speak of a "fadeout of consciousness about a week after" meaning (I suppose) that consciousness at death may take a week to be fully gone. Let me ask you when the light bulb stops glowing once we have taken electricity away from it? Very quickly. Your "weeks fadeout" is an adjustment phase having to do with the living who remain. That means YOU and not the departed. When my former wife died in Texas my daughter and myself heard her doing dishes and laundry, and walking up and down the halls. This is what she should be doing, but our minds were being prepared for the fact that this will never happen again. It's part of the grief process. Did any dishes or laundry actually get done? No. It's not related to her desire to remain with us. Its related to our desire not to let her go.