Monday, July 20, 2015

              The idea of life simply ending at death is too fearful for many to contemplate. Heaven is an ideal and imaginary perfect place, with equivalents in many religions. It is a fear-based reward for good behavior (or bad behavior which has been forgiven); the alternative to Hell. It may be attained if a person is ‘saved,’ or if forgiveness is granted by clergy performing last rites (regardless of crimes committed in life). Heaven is also a convenient avoidance concept –avoidance of responsibility for all wrongdoing, and avoidance of thoughts of decomposition of one's mind and body. Some religions permit you to enter heaven by simply living a peaceful, moral life.
               As science continues to reveal explanations, it displaces fear, mystery, myth, and the supernatural and mystical elements of religion. You are simply born, transmit your DNA, and die. Science has found no evidence of a creator, a spirit world, intelligent design, an afterlife, a supernatural origin of the universe, or an immortal soul. You may therefore choose to be free of superstition, belief in the supernatural, mythical vengeful beings, an afterlife, ghosts, a divine creator, angels, and spirits. However, you must respect, tolerate, and live in harmony with the diverse beliefs of others regarding death.
               If possible, make cremation or burial arrangements while you are young. Ensure your survivors understand and are able to carry out your wishes.
              You may choose a selfish life of exploitation that causes neglect, suffering and misery, or a lifetime of actions which benefit humankind. Fulfillment and contentment come only through your achievement, benevolence, and compassion in this life. It is not important whether you die in the full glory of passionate pursuit of a cause, or die following a long decline in health. It is important that when your final day comes, you will have translated your ideals, values, and virtues into good actions. That you will have lived deeply and unselfishly.
              Face your mortality, and be grateful each day for the beauty, joy, and opportunities that life provides.