"Life is a journey.
Death is a return to earth.
The universe is like an inn.
The passing years are like dust.
Regard this phantom world
As a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream,
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
A flickering lamp - a phantom - and a dream."
A while ago I wrote an article titled Near Death Experiences-What Happens After We Die? In it I described the “for and against” if you like of what happens after we die. I described both sides of the argument and each one made perfect sense. I tried not to disclose my opinion on the subject in order to allow the reader to make his or her mind up.
I have often been asked what do I believe and I have always replied with certainty that, “of course there is life after death” and I would describe what I knew to be the answer; that we all may have lived several lives and may return to the Earth Plane again and again after we pass. I have argued with “non believers” and stood my ground on what I supposed was true and would not hear anything different other than my own view, that is until I began researching for “Near Death Experiences” (NDE) and the way opened up for another way of thinking. After talking with Dr John Happs president of "Western Australian Skeptics" I realised that his estimation made a lot of sense and I began to wonder, “What if he is right? What if there is nothing after you die?” That is a depressing suggestion to say the least, but it is incomprehensible to me that the essence of a person can just cease to exist.
Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) had the ability to leave his body and travel into the after life. He has astonished people from all over the globe with tales of his experiences. He had the ability to experience regular NDEs and developed the ability of being able to diagnose and treat sick individuals from a distance by astral travelling.
Christian beliefs are that once the body is no longer alive the soul faces judgement and is directed either into Heaven or to suffer forever in Hell.
Buddhists accept as true that whatever happens to the soul after the body dies is related to how the individual lived his or her life. Karma comes into play in regards to determining what life the spirit will be reborn into. They believe in the concept of reincarnation.
According to The Government Of Tibet In Exile His Holiness the Dalai Lama was born in 1935 and was acknowledged when he was around two years old to be the reincarnation of 13th Dalai Lama, his forerunner.
Reincarnation is the acquisition of a new body when the old one dies and therefore beginning a new life without any conscious recollection of the previous one. It has been quoted that the Buddha compared this process to the lighting of a new candle with the flame of the old one thus keeping the flame lit independent of the original source. This course of action is known as "transmigration.” The idea is to learn through each life and eventually achieve the wisdom of “Nirvana”, the state of freedom from the cycle of death and rebirth.
The basic assumption is the life is suffering and you will never achieve complete peace on earth based on material pleasure. The only road to complete peace is to follow Buddha and detach one’s self from all worldly attachments. Over time the ego will dwindle and eventually over time Nirvana will be reached.
There are spirits who have been through many lifetimes and have come to true understanding and do not physically reincarnate on the earth plane in order to help others are called "Bodhisattva". They exist in a Bodhisattva realm and are comparable to Christian Saints and people pray to them for assistance.
Buddhists believe that what we call soul or spirit, the “mindstream" lives on from one life to the next until Nirvana is reached. The cycle of rebirth is called “Samsara” and this is where Bodhisattva remains out of compassion for other’s quest for enlightenment.
So regardless of your convictions a lot of us are comfortable with the idea that we are all inherent spirits and we are much more than our physical bodies.
There are endless reports of ghost sightings and many theories in regards to this.
According to Wikipedia encyclopaedia, “A ghost is the apparition of a deceased person, frequently similar in appearance to that person, and usually encountered in places she or he frequented, the place of his or her death, or in association with the person's former belongings.”
It is often said that ghosts are spirits of people who have some kind of unfinished business on earth and refuse to leave our realm until the situation is resolved, which makes me wonder; wouldn’t the majority of us have unfinished business to take care of upon our demise? It is my view that unless you are in a situation where you had an inkling of the time of your death, such as terminal illness when you would have time to “prepare” for our final exit and tie up all loose ends you would have things that you still need to do even though your life may be over. There are numerous tales of ghosts residing in buildings here on Earth and refusing to cross over.
The McPike Mansion for example has been named as one of the most haunted houses in small town America. Built on Alby Street in the town of Alton in 1869 for Henry Guest McPike a wealthy and prominent citizen the mansion has been featured in numerous books and television shows because of supernatural activity and bizarre encounters.
The McPike family sold the home around 1936 to Paul Laichinger who resided there and put many of the rooms out for rent so many tenants came and went until 1945 when Mr Laichinger died. It is at this time that mysterious encounters began to be recorded. Apparently many of the documented occurrences may have been the ghost of Mr. Laichinger and his many tenants.
Unexplained phenomena includes the sound of children laughing and apparitions moving about the house; one of which has been named Sarah who was believed to have been a servant who resided in the mansion. She has been reported as a gentle wandering spirit who would leave living residents and visitors with a feeling of being hugged or touched. There have been reports of Paul Laichinger’s image peering through windows and has been seen doing chores around the place as he did when he was living and it is rumoured that the ghost of a lady who once drowned in one of the bathtubs in 1869 is quite active.
In 1999 Dr Rene Horath and a group of fellow researchers arrived at McPike to film paranormal activity in a basement using infrared equipment as there are no windows therefore no sunlight in the room. A thick mist which, according to Dr Horath felt like feathers brushing against her engulfed what was once the wine cellar. Renee claimed her body felt electric. The theory that the mist may have been caused by humidity was dismissed as there was no condensation on the camera lenses and could not be felt on the skin. The mist appeared to have a will of its own moving around and changing direction and eventually vanished as quickly as it materialized.
I wonder if we will ever have a plausible explanation that will answer the one question we all have in common, what happens after we die?
It makes a great deal of sense and rings true for me that when our body dies it is not the end and I have had the feeling on many occasions that I have been here before this life and I recalled that sentiment very strongly when I was a child although back then I had no real interest in spirituality or a particularly religious upbringing.
I like the notion that the Earth life is a journey. A journey of lessons in suffering and love and when this journey is over we will move on to another plane where we may reminisce about out past earthly experiences and decide from there what lessons we may need to repeat or how we will settle our own Karmic debt.
Is it as simple as that I wonder? I hope so.
Here is the link to a video called Ghosts On Tape; it includes The McPike Mansion mist incident. Fascinating stuff!
Ghosts On Tape
For those who are really curios about the Paranormal this is the link to Ghost Photographs where you will find a list of ghost pictures deemed fake and otherwise.
You can visit The McPike Mansion site for more information.