By David M. Petersen
Because of the extremely pervasive and critical idea and promise of eternal life throughout all cultures down through the centuries, I want to believe!
I think that the large number of hauntingly similar 'Near Death Experiences' chronicled by so many people are compelling, but because of the ready neurological explanations for them they are not proof of an afterlife. In other words, at the death of an individual, there is oxygen deprivation to the brain resulting in tunnel vision and euphoria, and many people believe this completely explains the phenomenon.
Also, arguments against an afterlife usually seem to center around a soul not being able to "go" anywhere because it's not physical (even though I believe it IS "physical," we just need a broader definition of the word.)
However, I feel it necessary to point out that, because of the proven absolute relativity of time (The theory of general relativity), the universe is four-dimensional and therefore it follows that it is an eternal structure, of which all of us are an essential part. An Individual's spirit therefore doesn't have to go anywhere, but resides in the same four dimensional physical space the individual has occupied their whole life.
All that is really neccesary then is an event that ties it all together that is characterized by a powerful unifying glimpse of eternity. This event could potentially tie together an individual's entire set of conscious moments into a 'four dimensional conscious node,' or a beautiful conscious state that doesn't include any new experiences and yet is not a "prison."
Therefore I'm not going to be saying definitely that there is an afterlife, only that there COULD BE because the soul does not have to 'go' anywhere, and all that is required is this hypothetical conscious 'event' at death.
This answers the question, "How would Alzheimer's disease patients go to 'Heaven'?" because they have lost their memories. If this theory is true, thier memories are still there and they are still connected to them
This could result in a type of heaven or hell for the individual. Maybe they see how they have contributed to reality or not. Maybe Hitler died and realized what a shmuck he was in the grand scheme of things!
As you may know, I also believe that the universe is evolving into God, "God" being just another name for the Super-Conscious Unity of all of the energy in the universe ahead of us in time.
So, at the death of an individual, at first a biological event at this point in time, there is oxygen deprivation to the brain resulting in tunnel vision and euphoria, but I believe that this may be only the beginning of an overwhelmingly beautiful conscious process in which every individual 'meets and flows into' the Super-Conscious Unity.
I believe this because I believe that an afterlife and a connection with the Super-Conscious Unity is part of the 'consciousness package' if you will.
So, I think that our conscious moments are eternal, but we probably don't have a never-ending string of them, since we did experience a beginning. This 'afterlife state' is therefore a form of eternal life, not eternal consciousness (or a never ending string of conscious experiences) and must also evolve in general; or in other words, be different for later (as well as earlier) conscious beings.
I think that it must be true that only the Super-Conscious Unity has eternal consciousness, although as sentient beings evolve closer and closer to the Super-Conscious Unity, the distinction will become less and less clear. As to an eternal string of conscious experiences for an individual who is not the Super-Conscious Unity, it seems very unlikely.
The 21st century needs its own philosophy; here it is:
My entire body of work is archived Here forever, (http://wayback.archive.org/web/*/
http://philosophy.dmpetersen.net) except for some documents in my storage space.