chapter four

Death is not the End

     It gives me great pleasure in disappointing anyone who expects me to appeal to faith at this point or thinks I need to.  Just as I proved the existence of God through reason without contradicting myself or anything else we know, I will point out why our existence does not end when we die and how our final judgement is from God and God alone. 

     As with God, lack of empirical evidence or the inability to imagine a reality is no just cause to believe something that makes no sense and contradicts itself or other things we should believe. We cannot just take liberties to make up what suits our fancies in order to have room for some sort of imagination. 

     Here is what we have reason to believe about what we call the soul even though it gets constantly discussed and debated: the soul is an immaterial creation that gives self-interest and awareness to matter, producing material beings. It is within all living things. 

     When I say the soul is not composed of matter, those who want to disagree will falsely make it out as if I'm using what we don't know to prove what we know.  I'm actually going by something we know though: a defining characteristic of matter is inertia.  In a nutshell, that means matter don’t start nothing and don't end nothing.  Matter neither moves itself or stops itself once in motion…ever. 

     My saying that our souls are not made of matter does not imply I'm saying they are non-physical or existing outside the universe.  My soul and I are one.  As long as I live, we are inseparable. If I am here, then my soul is here…in this location.  I am my soul.  

     According to what we know about physics, forces and energies move matter. The energy needed for our actions is calories and is interchangeable with matter. I wouldn't think they have anything to do with the soul. 

     It is reasonable for me to conclude our souls are a type of force. What type of force?  I don't know. I’ll let the scientists figure that out.  I’m just a philosopher using deductive reasoning and the process of elimination. 

     That is to say: I'm not saying our souls are our life forces because I am certain it’s a force.  I'm merely making myself open to the most logical non-contradictory possibility being true. If all other conceivable options contradict themselves and other principles, where is the room for debate?  It is not just possible; it is most plausible that the essence of our existence is not composed of matter, yet it is a part of our physical universe…bound by the laws of physics, known and unknown. 

     One reason I stress the fact that the soul is not material is to dispel the myth that we named a part of our mind, the subconscious, a soul. Let's talk about this organ that is so mysterious that people think they can make up stuff about it.  

     First of all, it is flesh (matter), which means it ain't the initiator of anything.  Need I say more? I shouldn’t have to continue, but I will. It is the center of our nervous system. Nerves are biological sensors and information transmitters. The brain gathers and sends information. That sounds like a bridge, conduit, or middle man to me.    The mind is a bridge between our bodies and souls; between the matter that gives us access to the world and the force that moves and motivates it. 

     Of course, the mind does more than that. It also interprets, calculates, recalls…maybe everything else fits into one of those three categories.  The point I'm about to make is desire is at the root of action. The mind senses that desire, formulates a plan for satisfying that desire, and if successful, commands the body to carry out that plan. The body does what it’s told.   Things outside of us happen that affect our bodies. The body senses these events. The mind interprets the information and reports the results. We are either satisfied or dissatisfied by the results. 

     There are a lot of nuances and back and forths that I'm skipping over. I think you get the point though.  Desire and appreciation seem like mental functions because it is through the mind that our bodies become aware of our wishes, whether it is overt or subtle doesn’t even matter. The urge we call desire and awareness of its existence are not the same thing nor do they happen at the same time. That should be enough of an indicator that the soul is not a part of the mind.

     Think about it this way: the soul is the cause for all action because it is proactive. The mind, on the other hand, is reactive…mental functions are all the results of chemical reactions. It reacts to the wants and wishes of the soul in order to come up with a plan for action. It also reacts to whatever the body experiences in order to interpret the information it feeds the soul. 

     I know…it's funny talking about a force of some sort having feelings like desire and appreciation, but it makes more sense than believing dirt and water or stardust can do anything at all without a motivating force manipulating it.  

     That's another reason I want to stress the soul being immaterial.  I'm getting a little ahead of myself, but I just want to point this out now while I'm kind of on the subject: this thing with people making themselves out to be slaves of the flesh.  

     Matter is inert.  It does what it is told, from within or without.  Perception is not a choice.  What we sense and perceive is as real and as accurate as our cells can give us.  That's the without.  Everything else comes from within. How you react to whatever information your body gives you is a choice.

     Do not let the natural urges we have fool you into believing the flesh is ever in control.  Of course, material beings will have material needs: survival of the individual or genes have requirements, and there should be some consideration given to comfort and pleasure. It is you who sets the guidelines, and no matter what words you say out of your mouth, your body will do exactly what you truly want. 

     What the soul seeks is harmony with reality.  When there is conflict between the two, it can be easier to feed the mind lies in order to filter the information you receive or find distraction in sensual pleasure than it is to change whatever values or priorities that are causing the conflict because your matter is the part of you that can't resist. 

     Your soul can resist and even outright reject what is real if you don't want it to be true or wish it were false.  It can also keep you from doing what you know you should do just because you really don't want to.  Your body, on the other hand, can never stop you from doing anything you want to do or make you do anything you don't want to do because it is never in control of anything.

     Which brings me to the final reason why I must stress the soul is immaterial: death cannot be the end of our individual existence.  Matter and energy have no power to create or destroy, so no physical occurrence can destroy our souls.

     We all know about how our bodies breaks down and returns to the cycle of life. What happens to this force is not as evident, which leaves plenty of room for debate, discussion, speculation, and even fabrication.

     I can honestly say: I have no idea what happens after we die.  Even the ridiculous seems possible.  Instead of focusing on what cannot be logically proven, I focus on what is irrefutable and draw logical conclusions from that.  

      The only thing we have reason to believe with absolute certainty is this: the only way to cease to exist as individuals is to return to God.  Of this we can be certain because that is the only way any creation can cease to exist.  Whether we only get one shot or a bunch of mulligans in between, it is in that end of our individual existence that our values will be judged. 

     You may wonder how the end of our individual existence can be a time of judgement.  It’s really quite simple.  Our soul, which is the source of all self-interest, self-awareness, or want; the acceptor or rejector of what is true or satisfactory, returns to God: Timeless Perfection that can only be defined by us through the absence of all else.    What we loved in life will determine whether we enjoy the experience or not. 

     I've heard people say nothing happens after we die.  They just don't know how literal and true that statement is.  The question is will we be aware as this “nothing” occurs.  I am inclined to believe we will be, but I cannot speak on it with absolute certainty.  

     There are too many unknown variables to consider like: reincarnation. Is it real or wishful thinking?  Do we stay in our lane or do we move up or down the evolutionary ladder?  Does the mental capacity of the matter affect the awareness level of the soul?  I don't know enough to rule out any of the possibilities and I doubt if anyone else does either. 

     Instead of filling in gaps of knowledge with assumption and speculation, I admit what I don't know. Instead of focusing on possibilities and lives that may never be, I will treat this life as the only one I will ever have because it's the only one I will ever know while I’m alive. 

     According to what I know in this life, I expect to be aware of my final instance of individual existence.  In fact, I would expect to be more aware of that event than anything I experience while I'm alive. 

     Sensory perception is fallible, so any conclusions we draw based on such information is questionable.  This is why we have the option of accepting or rejecting reality in spite of how much information we have.  

     Rejecting what is real feeds the mind lies because it is a calculator that will try to draw whatever rational conclusions it can based on the information that is accepted as true.   The delusions that come from perverting the soul’s defense against the fallibility of the flesh can be used as a shield from unwanted truths.  Where can anyone hide from the truth when there is no body to doubt and no brain to confuse? 

     There is nowhere to hide from the Creator of all.  Just as everything came from God, so must everything return.  There is no reason to hide from the one that created an absolute universe and gave you perspective so that you may appreciate it. 

     Do not appreciate it so much that you become unmindful or ungrateful to the Absolute. Your perspective will be the source of your total satisfaction or the instrument of your worst torment. With God is Heaven or Hell.

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