The Afterlife

Nearly every religion in the world examines some belief in life after death. Some are similar; many are different. Even science has attempted to answer the question of what happens to us after we die.

2,193 Questions
Ancient Religions
The Afterlife

Did the Mayans believe in an afterlife?

Yes, they did. it is described in their hieroglyphs that have been only partly deciphered.

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Judaism
The Afterlife

What do Jews believe will happen after death?

One of the central beliefs of Judaism is that the soul continues to exist and is treated in accordance with the person's actions while he or she was alive. This applies to all people.
The Hebrew Bible doesn't dwell at length on the afterlife. However, that is not meant to diminish its importance. Rather, it means that we are to use the bulk of our energies in keeping God's ways in this world.
Our ancient sages stated the importance of being aware of the next world: "This world is a mere entrance-hall before the afterlife" (Mishna, Avot ch.4).
All outstanding accounts are settled after this life. Some cases illustrate this point, since this entire world wouldn't be enough to reward a Moses or punish a Hitler. And while we're alive, knowledge of the future world serves as one of the motivations to keeping God's will.
Judaism does not delve into detail of the rewards of the righteous because religions could compete with more and more poetic promises. Also because belief in the afterlife was shared by all ancient societies and needed little reiteration. Besides, it would be like describing the colors of a sunrise to someone who was blind from birth.
It is, however, referred to briefly in verses such as Genesis 15:15, which states that "You (Abraham) will come to your fathers in peace and will be buried in good old age." Coming to his fathers does not mean simply to be buried with them, since Abraham was not buried with his ancestors. Such verses are stated many times.
The prophets are more explicit (see Isaiah 26:19 and 66:24, Daniel 12:13, Zechariah 3:7, 1 Kings 8:30, 2 Kings ch.2, Ecclesiastes 12:7). The afterlife is also spoken of at length in the Talmud.
Answer 2
Jews believe that the soul lives on after the human dies. The soul experiences a higher perception of spirituality, truth and God after the person dies. If you live your life as God intended you to, then your soul is ecstatic when it gets to that spiritual state. This is what people call Heaven- a place of ever-increasing revelation of God. If you didn't live that way, then your soul needs to be purified before it can enter Heaven. This is called Gehinnom (purgatory), which is a temporary state the soul is in until the soul is cleansed. Some Jews also believe in reincarnation. Judaism also believes that all deserving souls will return to earth in human form at some point after the Messiah comes- and that is the ultimate spiritual experience- something even greater than heaven.

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Religion & Spirituality
Death and Dying
The Afterlife

Where does man go after death?

After death a person returns to the cycle of carbon, nitrogen and other component elements. The personality or existence does not transcend death and stops like the light from a broken lightbulb.

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Ancient History
History of Africa
The Afterlife

What did the Egyptians take to the afterlife?

The Ancient Egyptians took many things with them into the afterlife. They would have little figures called Shabti figures that would serve them and do their every bidding. They would also take slaves, who would also do their bidding, depending on their rank in Egyptian society. They would also take food and ornaments including furniture and personal items such as their animals. The animals were considered sacred, especially cats because they were connected with Bastet. The organs were removed from the body during mummification except for the heart, and brain which was pulled out through the nose, and placed into canopic jars and placed beside the body in the tomb.

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Transformers
Avenged Sevenfold
The Afterlife

Was Afterlife by Avenged Sevenfold in the Transformers movie?

No, Avenged Sevenfold's song Afterlife was never in a Transformers movie. However, Avenged Sevenfold's song Almost Easy is on the soundtrack for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

It was going to be on the Transformers: The Album, but the song was not yet ready.

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Catholicism
The Afterlife

Why do Roman Catholics believe in the afterlife?

Roman Catholic AnswerCatholics believe in the afterlife since God revealed that is what we were made for.

Yes. We believe that after we die, We either go to Heaven, if we are Saved, or Hell, if we are Damned.

We also believe in Purgatory, which is only a temporal state of suffering, for those souls which are Saved, but, still have sins to atone for, before being made worthy to enter the Presence of Almighty God.

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Law & Legal Issues
The Afterlife

Why do people put flowers over graves?

To pay tribute to loved ones who have passed away.

Decorations around graves is thought to have developed on the Roman Empire as the dead were believed to wander around and it was nice to have beautiful garden to wander in.

Many cultures do NOT put flowers on graves. In many cultures, cut flowers are rarely given as gifts to live or dead friends and relatives (it is bad luck to kill a living thing by cutting it).

Jews do not put flowers on graves. Instead you will see small pebbles or stones on the top of gravemarkers to indicate that the grave had been visited.

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Ancient Egypt
The Afterlife

What was used to preserve the Pharaoh's bodies for the afterlife?

lyme

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Greek and Roman Mythologies
The Afterlife

How many rivers are there in the Greek underworld of the afterlife?

Five (5) is the number of rivers in the Greek Underworld of the afterlife.

Specifically, Acheron provides entry into the Underworld by way of the ferryboat operator, Charon. It also is called the river of sorrow, at the leaving of the transitory world for the eternal. It is the source of the Underworld rivers of lamentation (Cocytus) and of hate (Styx). The remaining two rivers are the Phlegethon, or the river of fire, and the Lethe, or the river of forgetfulness.

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Ancient History
The Afterlife

How were egyptians ideas about the afterlife reflected in their treatment of the dead?

The aim of mummification was not to preserve a person's body as it had been-in life but to create a new bodythat could last for eternity. The Ancient Egyptians believed that a person was made up of a number of physical and non-physical elements. The body was the physical part.The ka and ba, together with a person's name and their shadow, were the non-physical parts. Mummification was intended to create a body that could continue to house a person's ka and ba.

The ka was a 'life force' sustained by the consumption of food and drink.

In the afterlife it also required nourishment to survive. Food offerings left by the living at the tombs of their ancestors sustained the ka. Depictions of offerings on coffins, tomb walls, or other burial objects magically fulfilled the same function.

The most important characteristic of the ba was its ability to move. It could leave the body and travel through the worlds of the living and of the dead, enabling the dead to participate in both. It was believed that the ba needed to return to the body regularly in order to survive. Particular attention was paid to the external appearance of a mummy to enable the ba to recognise its own body and return to it safely. The body, a combination of ka, ba, name and shadow, was thought to make a person complete in this life and in the next. The dead could only fully enjoy eternal life if all the different parts survived.

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The Afterlife

Why do some people not believe in afterlife?

Some people do not believe in life after death because they are atheists. Anyone with a religion believes in a God (regardless of what they call their God or how many they have) and believes in judgment by God in the afterlife.

Only atheists do not and that is simply because they don't believe in God.

Now the above may be true in a religious context, however many people worldwide have had experiences of an afterlife and many of them are agnostic, religious, atheists, and others. Studies by Dr, Raymond Moody, Dr, Ian Stevenson, Robert Schwartz, and many others have discovered a vast array of anomalies that point to the survival of consciousness. Neuroscience is growing rapidly and hopefully will prove the existence of an afterlife someday.

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Judaism
The Afterlife

Do Jews believe in an afterlife?

YES. Note that in Traditional Judaism, there is no eternal delineation between good souls and evil souls as is common in Christianity and Islam. Judaism holds that the Satan is still in heaven, which further means that there is no King of the Damned or any form of Eternal Damnation. During the Afterlife period, there are different mechanisms by which the soul must come to spiritual fitness in order to be a part of the eventual resurrection of the dead. Some Kabbalists say that this comes by way of reincarnation, but the dominant opinion in Judaism is that souls must exert themselves painfully to open up new levels of holiness. This is similar to the Christian concept of Purgatory.

However, there are a large number of Jews, generally from Liberal Judaism, who would say that Judaism has no afterlife. This lack of belief generally comes from the fact that Reform and Conservative Judaism do not stress the afterlife and often ignore teaching about it.

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Judaism
The Afterlife

What is the Jewish afterlife?

Answers from our community
"Writing that would later be incorporated into the Hebrew Bible names sheol as the afterlife, a non-descriptive place where all are destined to go after death. The Book of Numbers identifies sheol as literally underground (Numbers 16:31-33), in the Biblical account of the destruction of the rebellious Korah, Dathan and Abiram and their 250 followers, although it is speculated that this passage should be read literally, signifying an earthquake or split in the earth.
The Talmud offers a number of thoughts relating to the afterlife. After death, the soul is brought for judgement. Those who have lead pristine lives enter immediately into the "World to Come." Most do not enter the World to Come immediately, but now experience a period of review of their earthly actions and they are made aware of what they have done wrong. Some view this period as being a "re-schooling", with the soul gaining wisdom as one's errors are reviewed. Others view this period to include punishment for past wrongs. At the end of this period, approximately one year, the soul then takes its place in the World to Come. Although punishments are made part of certain Jewish conceptions of the afterlife, the concept of "eternal damnation," so prevalent in other religions, is not a central tenet of the Jewish afterlife. According to the Talmud, eternal punishment is reserved for a much smaller group of malicious and evil leaders, either whose deeds go way beyond norms, or who lead large groups of people to evil. In the Talmud, completed by 500 CE, non-Jews who are purely evil such as Hitler cease to exist in any realm when they die.
The Book of Enoch describes sheol as divided into four compartments for four types of the dead: the faithful saints who await resurrection in Paradise, the merely virtuous who await their reward, the wicked who await punishment, and the wicked who have already been punished and will not be resurrected on Judgement Day. It should be noted that the Book of Enoch is considered apocryphal by most denominations of Christianity and all denominations of Judaism.
The book of 2 Maccabees gives a clear account of the dead awaiting a future resurrection and judgement, plus prayers and offerings for the dead to remove the burden of sin.
Maimonides describes the Olam Haba ("World to Come") in spiritual terms, relegating the prophesied physical resurrection to the status of a future miracle, unrelated to the afterlife or the Messianic era. According to Maimonides, an afterlife continues for the soul of every human being, a soul now separated from the body in which it was "housed" during its earthly existence.
The Zohar describes Gehenna not as a place of punishment for the wicked but as a place of spiritual purification for souls."
Answer
The term "afterlife" is not used by Jews, rather, we refer to the "world to come." In truth, Judaism spends little time discussing what might or might not happen when we die as the focus on this life. There is also almost no mention of what happens after death in the Tanach (Jewish Bible). There are some loose ideas of what may happen when we die though:

  • When we die, our souls are cleansed, to accomplish this, we must account for all our actions in life, both good and bad. It's believed that this process doesn't take more than 12 months but virtually no one does enough bad in life to warrant it taking the full 12 months.
  • Some souls may return to HaShem to wait for the world to come.
  • Some souls may be reincarnated as another person to have to opportunity to do more good in the world to become closer to HaShem.
  • Some people are so evil in life that their souls cannot survive the cleansing process and cease to exist.
Answer
One of the central beliefs of Judaism, as codified by Rambam (Maimonides), is that the soul continues to exist and is treated in accordance with the person's actions while he/she was alive. All outstanding accounts are settled after this life. Some cases illustrate this point, since this entire world wouldn't be enough to reward a Moses or punish a Hitler.
The afterlife is detailed at length in the Talmud. A full 20 pages of Talmud (Sanhedrin 90-110) are given to this subject. The afterlife is also referred to briefly in Torah (Bible) verses such as Genesis 15:15, which states that "You (Abraham) will come to your fathers in peace and will be buried in good (ripe; full) old age." This does not mean merely to be buried with one's forefathers, since Abraham was not buried with them. Such verses are stated many times.
The prophets are more explicit with such references (such as Isaiah 26:19, Daniel 12:13).
The Tanakh does not delve into detail of the rewards of the righteous, because other religions could compete with even more poetic promises. Also because belief in the afterlife was shared by all ancient societies and needed little reiteration. See the Kli Yakar commentary to Leviticus ch.26 for a fuller discussion.
Answer
The afterlife is not stressed in Judaism; you are supposed to do good because it is rewarding in the present, and when you do bad, you are to try and make up for it here and now.
There are vague references to "the world to come" in Judaism, but this is never clearly defined, except to say that all righteous people, Jewish or not, will have a share in it.
One tradition among orthodox Jews (though not shared by all Jews) is:
If you are Jewish and have been 'faithful' to the Torah ,done mitzvot (good deeds and commandments) then you have a high likelihood of being in heaven . After death your soul has 11 months to repent for all wrongdoing, and if this is accomplished your soul will be sent to one of the various levels of heaven, If you have been evil, sinned and not repented (while alive or after death) then you are condemned to an eternity of "hell"- which has absolutely NOTHING to do with fire/Satan etc... it is a completely aphysical, negative state of being for your soul.
There are also many other views, such as reincarnation, resurrection of the dead, and many others. But no single view is shared by all Jews.
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Ancient Religions
Ancient Egypt
The Afterlife

How do you know that the afterlife was important to the Egyptians?

We know that the Afterlife was important to ancient Egyptians because they spent so much time and money building pyramids and preserving bodies. They left behind copies of their Book of the Dead.

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Religion & Spirituality
The Afterlife

Is there an afterlife?

YES MAAM

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Hinduism
The Afterlife

What does Hinduism conclude about the afterlife?

hinduism belive that after the life human soul(atma)goes to god(parmatma)and the cycle of rebirth will finish after moksha

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Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Egyptian Mythology
The Afterlife

Who was the dog god of ancient Egypt afterlife?

Anubis. I think that he was actually jackal headed.

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Religion & Spirituality
The Afterlife

What is the afterlife like?

Tradition states that it will depend upon how you behaved in this world. One of the central beliefs of Judaism, as stated in the Talmud (Mishna, Sanhedrin 11:1) and codified by Maimonides (1135-1204), is that the soul continues to exist and is treated in accordance with the person's actions while he or she was alive. This applies to all people, whatever their religion.
The Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) doesn't dwell at length on the afterlife; and nor does Judaism spend a lot of time speculating on its details. However, that is not meant to diminish from its importance. Rather, the Torah implies that we are to use the bulk of our energies in keeping God's ways in this world, with our feet firmly planted on Earth, while nonetheless not losing awareness of our beliefs.
Our ancient sages stated the importance of being aware of the next world: "This world is a mere entrance-hall before the afterlife" (Mishna, Avot ch.4).


All outstanding accounts are settled after this life. Some cases illustrate this point, since this entire world wouldn't be enough to reward a Moses or punish a Hitler. And while we're alive, knowledge of the future world serves as one of the motivations to keeping God's will.


The Tanakh does not delve into detail of the rewards of the righteous because religions could compete with more and more poetic promises. Also because belief in the afterlife was shared by all ancient societies and needed little reiteration. Besides, it would be like describing the colors of a sunrise to someone who was blind from birth.
It is, however, referred to briefly in Torah verses such as Genesis 15:15, which states that "You (Abraham) will come to your fathers in peace and will be buried in good old age." Coming to his fathers does not mean simply to be buried with them, since Abraham was not buried with his ancestors. Such verses are stated many times.
The prophets are more explicit with such references (see Isaiah 26:19 and 66:24, Daniel 12:13, Zechariah 3:7, 1 Kings 8:30, 2 Kings ch.2, Ecclesiastes 12:7). The afterlife is spoken of at length in the Talmud. More than 20 pages of Talmud (Sanhedrin 90-110, Rosh Hashanah 16-18, and other passages) are given to this subject.

See also:

God exists

The key beliefs of Judaism

How do you know there are a heaven and hell?

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The Afterlife

Where do you go when you die?

Some different beliefs about where you go when dead

  • I believe that after you die, you go to the Spirit World where everyone lives until the resurrection. At the resurrection, you will get your body back (a perfect body, free of any impediments that you had during your life), and then the judgement where you and God figure out where you will spend eternity.The very best place is a place where you can be with your family and friends forever and learn to become more like God, but unless you are a mass murderer or something equally bad, even if you don't go to the very best place, the place where you do go will be someplace where you can be happy and hang out with people who are similar to you.
  • After each lifetime we withdraw into subconscious mind or soul. There is an assimilation process and the subsuquent preparation for the next incarnation. This will continue as long as there is further learning needed which is how we can productively us the physical existence. Just how many lifetimes it takes depends on the individual. We are in the process of learning or ignoring. Clearly at this point in our progression 90% are in the process of ignoring, but the number of those taking progression seriously is increasing.
  • We become food for the worms and fertilizer for the soil.

    Job 7:9 As the cloud is consumed and vanishes away, so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more.

    Job 14:10. 12 But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? ... So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.

    Job 20:7 Yet he shall perish for ever like his own dung.

    Isaiah 26:14They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased they shall not rise.

  • Nobody knows. Repeating unproven information does not make it fact.
  • It has of course been observed that the bodies of our friends when they die become more or less immobile after a while, though it is interesting to note that the "worms" (or vultures, or eagles, or jaguars, or whatever creatures or things) which consume our flesh once we die are also alive and sentient. Just as something staggering like 90% of our bodies are made up of organisms which are not actually our cells, the universe is composed of millions of different parts and yet it can be considered one being. We couldn't live without the fact that we are being feasted on from within all the time, same with the universe. In my mind, there are infinite answers to this question; just as there are infinite ways to live, there are infinite ways to go once one has experienced death. An interesting way of looking at the concept of dying is to re-evaluate the linear progress of time. Time is relative to space, and exists only because we are moving at a certain speed through the physical universe (if someone flew very very quickly around the world many times and landed back on earth, many more days/weeks would have passed for them because of the amount of time which elapses through motion. Look this up somewhere, I'm no expert). In some circles it is believed that all moments happen simultaneously, so your death is only one part of a great circle or looping undulating fissure, anything you want it to be! Anything you can imagine it as being now, is what it is. The time before you were born is similar to the time after you die, and of course dissimilar. The passing of time in a linear fashion is a precious framework for the weaving of sentiment and stories, but in the greatness of the universe you are already dead, and some part of "you" or the universe, of which you are a part and any part of which you really can access (this is called psychicism but is in fact a wholly natural thing which goes on every day and you do it whether you know it or not), already knows the answer to this question. But change is sacred and amazing, and the answer changes all the time. It is not a constant though the void involved in all of the things in the universe is staggeringly large. One must fill it all the time in order to be alive; as beings we can but create.
  • What I think happens when you die is that your spirit goes into another body and then you live another life and you forget about your life that you had before and the cycle keeps going and going nonstop.
  • In Daniel 12: 1-4, Daniel talks of the end of the age where it says, "Many that sleep in the dust shall awake to everlasting life." This "sleep" is referring to the physical body sleeping, not the soul or spirit. Our spirit is the "real us." We are a spirit and have a soul (mind, will and emotions) that lives in a body. There is a cultic teaching that talks about "soul sleep" which is not scriptural. When people die, they do not enter into a state of eternal sleep, neither do they cease to exist. When we die, our body will go into the ground to decay and return to dust, but our body is not who we really are (Genesis 3:19). Our spirit, when we die, goes either to hell or to be with the Father in heaven. There is no in-between place, heavenly sleep or state of non-existence.
  • One of the central beliefs of Judaism, as stated in the Talmud (Mishna, Sanhedrin 11:1) and codified by Rambam (Maimonides, 1135-1204), is that the soul continues to exist and is treated in accordance with the person's actions while he or she was alive.
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Death and Dying
The Afterlife

What do we do when we are dead?

Ecclesiastes 9:5 says, "For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing at all, nor do they have any more reward, because all memory of them is forgotten. Also, their love and their hate and their jealousy have already perished, and they no longer have any share in what is done under the sun."

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Ancient Egypt
The Afterlife

How did the Egyptian idea of the afterlife lead to the beginning of mummification?

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Ancient History
History of Africa
The Afterlife

Why did ancient Egyptians believe in the afterlife?

Virtually all civilizations, ancient and modern believe in some kind of afterlife. Humans have a natural aversion at the thought of their own demise.

757677
The Afterlife

Where do people go when they die?

One of the central beliefs of Judaism, as stated in the Talmud (Mishna, Sanhedrin 11:1) and codified by Rambam (Maimonides, 1135-1204), is that the soul continues to exist and is treated in accordance with the person's actions while he or she was alive.
The Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) doesn't dwell at length on the afterlife; and nor do we spend a lot of time speculating on its details. However, that is not meant to diminish from its importance. Rather, the message is that we are to use the bulk of our energies in keeping God's ways and commands in this world, with our feet firmly planted on Earth, while nonetheless not losing awareness of our beliefs.
The ancient sages stated the importance of being aware of the next world: "This world is a mere entrance-hall before the afterlife" (Mishna, Avot ch.4).


All outstanding accounts are settled after this life. Some cases illustrate this point, since this entire world wouldn't be enough to reward a Moses or punish a Hitler. And while we're alive, knowledge of the future world serves as one of the motivations to keeping God's will.


The Tanakh does not delve into detail of the rewards of the righteous because competition could result, with each claimant making ever more poetic promises. Also because belief in the afterlife was shared by all ancient societies and needed little reiteration. Besides, it would be like describing the colors of a sunrise to someone who was blind from birth.
It is, however, referred to briefly in Torah verses such as Genesis 15:15, which states that "You (Abraham) will come to your fathers in peace and will be buried in good old age." Coming to his fathers does not mean simply to be buried with them, since Abraham was not buried with his ancestors. Such verses are stated many times.
The prophets are more explicit with such references (see Isaiah 26:19 and 66:24, Daniel 12:13, Zechariah 3:7, 1 Kings 8:30, 2 Kings ch.2, Ecclesiastes 12:7). The afterlife is spoken of at length in the Talmud. More than 20 pages of Talmud (Sanhedrin 90-110, Rosh Hashanah 16-18, and other passages) are given to this subject.

See also:

How do you know there are a heaven and hell?

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Ireland
English to Scottish Gaelic and Irish (Gaelic)
The Afterlife

What is the Irish gaelic word for afterlife?

"Afterlife" is "an saol atá le teacht" (the world to come); "In afterlife" is "Níos faide anonn sa saol"(Irish).

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Grammar
Sentence and Word Structure
English Spelling and Pronunciation
The Afterlife

Would you capitalize the word afterlife in a sentence?

No, although you would capatilize Heaven and Hell

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