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Here is what could be an interesting topic. What do you believe happens to "us" after we die?

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
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Joined: May 2005

Let's face it. From the moment we are born we are starting our journey towards death. There are many thoughts on what happens to our spirit/soul/energy/essence/being, whatever you wish to call it, after we die. Do you believe in Heaven and Hell, reincarnation, transfer of energy to another dimension, something else, or are you just DEAD?
I think this can be an interesting topic for everyone's thoughts.
-phil

August 22, 2009: Just an update. I'm very happy that so many people responded and that many have found this to be an interesting topic. This is more than I had hoped for when I created this thread. I'm also VERY happy that CSN decided to create this space for us to talk about topics like these since most of us have had a brush with our own mortality.
Thanks again to everyone who has posted here
-phil

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

..are beautiful stories, I love the hawk one, and believe that our loved ones leave signs for us all the time. I have dreams of my loved ones who have passed on, and believe they just show up to let me know they are still around. I believe in "Pennies from Heaven" because I always see pennies on the dresser, or on the table or on the floor, and know I just cleaned it off, and it was NOT there before, I believe they leave them for me to know that they are still here. I've even caught visions in the corners of my eyes of shadows that looked like mom and dad, it was scary, but it happened, and I love that song "Amazing Grace". You will never really be gone, I don't believe that would ever happen :)

Hugsss!
~Donna

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sure_hope
Posts: 62
Joined: Feb 2009

WHEN you hear the terms “soul” and “spirit,” what comes to your mind? Many believe that these words mean something invisible and immortal that exists inside us. They think that at death this invisible part of a human leaves the body and lives on. Since this belief is so widespread, many are surprised to learn that it is not at all what the Bible teaches.

What, then, is the soul, and what is the spirit, according to God’s Word?

First, consider the soul. You may remember that the Bible was originally written mainly in Hebrew and Greek. When writing about the soul, the Bible writers used the Hebrew word ne′phesh or the Greek word psy·khe′. These two words occur well over 800 times in the Scriptures, and the New World Translation consistently renders them “soul.”

Soul

Definition: In the Bible, “soul” is translated from the Hebrew ne′phesh and the Greek psy·khe′. Bible usage shows the soul to be a person or an animal or the life that a person or an animal enjoys. To many persons, however, “soul” means the immaterial or spirit part of a human being that survives the death of the physical body. Others understand it to be the principle of life. But these latter views are not Bible teachings.

What does the Bible say that helps us to understand what the soul is?

Gen. 2:7: “Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul.” (Notice that this does not say that man was given a soul but that he became a soul, a living person.) (The part of the Hebrew word here rendered “soul” is ne′phesh. KJ, AS, and Dy agree with that rendering. RS, JB, NAB read “being.” NE says “creature.” Kx reads “person.”)

1 Cor. 15:45: “It is even so written: ‘The first man Adam became a living soul.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” (So the Christian Greek Scriptures agree with the Hebrew Scriptures as to what the soul is.) (The Greek word here translated “soul” is the accusative case of psy·khe′. KJ, AS, Dy, JB, NAB, and Kx also read “soul.” RS, NE, and TEV say “being.”)

1 Pet. 3:20: “In Noah’s days . . . a few people, that is, eight souls, were carried safely through the water.” (The Greek word here translated “souls” is psy·khai′, the plural form of psy·khe′. KJ, AS, Dy, and Kx also read “souls.” JB and TEV say “people”; RS, NE, and NAB use “persons.”)

Gen. 9:5: “Besides that, your blood of your souls [or, “lives”; Hebrew, from ne′phesh] shall I ask back.” (Here the soul is said to have blood.)

Josh. 11:11: “They went striking every soul [Hebrew, ne′phesh] that was in it with the edge of the sword.” (The soul is here shown to be something that can be touched by the sword, so these souls could not have been spirits.)

Is the soul the same as the spirit?

Eccl. 12:7: “Then the dust returns to the earth just as it happened to be and the spirit [or, life-force; Hebrew, ru′ach] itself returns to the true God who gave it.” (Notice that the Hebrew word for spirit is ru′ach; but the word translated soul is ne′phesh. The text does not mean that at death the spirit travels all the way to the personal presence of God; rather, any prospect for the person to live again rests with God. In similar usage, we may say that, if required payments are not made by the buyer of a piece of property, the property “returns” to its owner.) (KJ, AS, RS, NE, and Dy all here render ru′ach as “spirit.” NAB reads “life breath.”)

Eccl. 3:19: “There is an eventuality as respects the sons of mankind and an eventuality as respects the beast, and they have the same eventuality. As the one dies, so the other dies; and they all have but one spirit [Hebrew, ru′ach].” (Thus both mankind and beasts are shown to have the same ru′ach, or spirit.)

Heb. 4:12: “The word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of soul [Greek, psy·khes′; “life,” NE] and spirit [Greek, pneu′ma·tos], and of joints and their marrow, and is able to discern thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Observe that the Greek word for “spirit” is not the same as the word for “soul.”)

Can the human soul die?

Ezek. 18:4: “Look! All the souls—to me they belong. As the soul of the father so likewise the soul of the son—to me they belong. The soul* that is sinning—it itself will die.” (*Hebrew reads “the ne′phesh.” KJ, AS, RS, NE, and Dy render it “the soul.” Some translations say “the man” or “the person.”)

Matt. 10:28: “Do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul [or, “life”]; but rather be in fear of him that can destroy both soul* and body in Gehenna.” (*Greek has the accusative case of psy·khe′. KJ, AS, RS, NE, TEV, Dy, JB, and NAB all render it “soul.”)

Acts 3:23: “Indeed, any soul [Greek, psy·khe′] that does not listen to that Prophet will be completely destroyed from among the people.”

Spirit

Bible writers used the Hebrew word ru′ach or the Greek word pneu′ma when writing about the “spirit.”

Definition: The Hebrew word ru′ach and the Greek pneu′ma, which are often translated “spirit,” have a number of meanings. All of them refer to that which is invisible to human sight and which gives evidence of force in motion. The Hebrew and Greek words are used with reference to the active life-force in earthly creatures.

Is there a spirit part of man that survives the death of the body?

Ezek. 18:4: “The soul that is sinning—it itself will die.” (RS, NE, KJ, and Dy all render the Hebrew word ne′phesh in this verse as “soul,” thus saying that it is the soul that dies. Some translations that render ne′phesh as “soul” in other passages use the expression “the man” or “the one” in this verse. So, the ne′phesh, the soul, is the person, not an immaterial part of him that survives when his body dies.)

Ps. 146:4: “His spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground; in that day his thoughts do perish.” (The Hebrew word here translated “spirit” is a derivative of ru′ach. Some translators render it “breath.” When that ru′ach, or active life-force, leaves the body, the person’s thoughts perish; they do not continue in another realm.)

Eccl. 3:19-21: “There is an eventuality as respects the sons of mankind and an eventuality as respects the beast, and they have the same eventuality. As the one dies, so the other dies; and they all have but one spirit, so that there is no superiority of the man over the beast, for everything is vanity. All are going to one place. They have all come to be from the dust, and they are all returning to the dust. Who is there knowing the spirit of the sons of mankind, whether it is ascending upward; and the spirit of the beast, whether it is descending downward to the earth?” (Because of the inheritance of sin and death from Adam, humans all die and return to the dust, as animals do. But does each human have a spirit that goes on living as an intelligent personality after it ceases to function in the body? No; verse 19 answers that humans and beasts “all have but one spirit.”

Based merely on human observation, no one can authoritatively answer the question raised in verse 21 regarding the spirit. But God’s Word answers that there is nothing that humans have as a result of birth that gives them superiority over beasts when they die. However, because of God’s merciful provision through Christ, the prospect of living forever has been opened up to humans who exercise faith, but not to animals. For many of mankind, that will be made possible by resurrection, when active life-force from God will invigorate them again.)

Luke 23:46: “Jesus called with a loud voice and said: ‘Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit [Greek, pneu′ma′].’ When he had said this, he expired.” (Notice that Jesus expired. When his spirit went out he was not on his way to heaven. Not until the third day from this was Jesus resurrected from the dead. Then, as Acts 1:3, 9 shows, it was 40 more days before he ascended to heaven. So, what is the meaning of what Jesus said at the time of his death? He was saying that he knew that, when he died, his future life prospects rested entirely with God.

Were humans made simply to live for a few years and then die?

Gen. 2:15-17: “Jehovah God proceeded to take the man [Adam] and settle him in the garden of Eden to cultivate it and to take care of it. And Jehovah God also laid this command upon the man: ‘From every tree of the garden you may eat to satisfaction. But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will positively die.’” (God here spoke of death, not as an unavoidable circumstance, but as what would result from sin. He was urging Adam to avoid it. Compare Romans 6:23.)

Gen. 2:8, 9: “Jehovah God planted a garden in Eden, toward the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. Thus Jehovah God made to grow out of the ground every tree desirable to one’s sight and good for food and also the tree of life in the middle of the garden.” (After Adam’s sin the human pair were driven out of Eden so that they would not eat from the tree of life, according to Genesis 3:22, 23. So it seems that if Adam had remained obedient to his Creator, God would in time have permitted him to eat from that tree as a symbol of his having proved worthy to live forever. The presence of the tree of life in Eden pointed to such a prospect.)

Ps. 37:29: “The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.” (This promise makes it clear that God’s basic purpose regarding the earth and mankind has not changed.)

But in our own case today, is a brief existence, often marred by suffering, what life is meant to be?

Rom. 5:12: “Through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned.” (That is what all of us inherited, not because God purposed it, but because of Adam’s sin.)

Job 14:1: “Man, born of woman, is short-lived and glutted with agitation.” (To a large extent that characterizes life in this imperfect system of things.)

On what basis can anyone hope to have more than his present brief human existence?

Matt. 20:28: “The Son of man [Jesus Christ] came, not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give his soul a ransom in exchange for many.”

John 3:16: “God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.”

Heb. 5:9: “After he [Jesus Christ] had been made perfect he became responsible for everlasting salvation to all those obeying him.” (Also John 3:36)

How will the prospects for future life be realized?

Acts 24:15: “I have hope toward God, which hope these men themselves also entertain, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (This will include persons who faithfully served God in the past as well as the large number who never knew enough about the true God to accept or to reject his ways.)

John 11:25, 26: “Jesus said to her [the sister of a man whom he thereaf
ter restored to life]: ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He that exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life; and everyone that is living and exercises faith in me will never die at all. Do you believe this?’” (So, besides the hope of resurrection, Jesus held out something else for persons living when the present wicked world comes to its end. Those with the hope of being earthly subjects of God’s Kingdom have the prospect of surviving and never dying at all.)

Is there any evidence in the makeup of the human body that it was designed to live forever?

It is widely recognized that the capacity of the human brain far exceeds any use to which we put it during our present lifetime, whether we live to 70 or even 100 years of age. The Encyclopædia Britannica states that the human brain “is endowed with considerably more potential than is realizable in the course of one person’s lifetime.” (1976, Vol. 12, p. 998) Scientist Carl Sagan states that the human brain could hold information that “would fill some twenty million volumes, as many as in the world’s largest libraries.” (Cosmos, 1980, p. 278) Regarding the capacity of the human brain’s “filing system,” biochemist Isaac Asimov wrote that it is “perfectly capable of handling any load of learning and memory which the human being is likely to put upon it—and a billion times more than that quantity, too.”—The New York Times Magazine, October 9, 1966, p. 146. (Why was the human brain endowed with such a capacity if it was not to be used? Is it not reasonable that humans, with the capacity for endless learning, were actually designed to live forever?)

http://www.watchtower.org/e/bh/appendix_07.htm

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
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Sure Hope,
I'm happy for you that you are comfortable and have certainty of what will happen to you after you pass on.
Thanks for your response
-p

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Marcia527
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Didn't really apply to anything. Just commenting on how long this thread was. Sorry, I'll try to stick to the subject.

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daisy366
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I am reading this on the "day of the dead"!! This discussion is intense and interesting and fascinating!! And endless.

All in all, religion is MAN-made. Everyone sees the world through their own lenses and "fundamental" anything is not a good thing, I don't think. The debate about no right of wrong is an example of that - it depends on who you ask really. Are quotes from the Bible any more valid than quotes from the Koran or any other religion?

Regarding the original question, where we go when we die? - I will leave behind a park bench with my name on it - nestled in beautiful surrounding. I'm hoping my spirit will be recycled as positive energy that continues to contribute good things to this world and maybe others!!

Blessings and positive energy to you all. Mary Ann

sierrareef
Posts: 13
Joined: Jun 2006

I've only scanned this thread but I saw somewhere back a request for responses outside the Christian belief system so I thought I'd chime in. I recently lost my wife to cancer and have posted on the caregivers survivor board. My wife was a Christian with a strong Mormon influence, but before we began to date she had drifted from the church. Nevertheless, her Christian faith remained strong.

I was raised a Catholic, was saved in a Southern Baptist chruch as a new US Marine in training in Memphis. Not long after being saved I stopped attending the church and began to question where my faith had come from. I finally accepted that I was agnostic - wanting to believe in God but unable to do so without question, but also unable to say he didn't exist at all. I remained an Agnostic for years and began to formulate my own theories about what spiritual realms and realities were out there.

When my wife was diagnosed with cancer I thought I should help her reconnect on a deeper level with her faith so I began to read the Bible and the Book of Mormon to her at bedtime. From there, we progressed - she had an interest in other faiths so we got books that taught beliefs from different religions. One day she let me know that she had read about Buddhism and that she was quite intrigued with Buddhist teachings.

I then began to read about Buddhism and, simply put, I found my path. For me, for the first time, I had a profound connection to the teachings of a "religion" (some would argus that Buddhism is not a religion). My dear wife led me to my spiritual path when I was trying to reconnect her to her belief system.

Anyway, I am new to the path but feel I have learned enough to talk about it. Suffice it to say that the Buddhist path has been very helpful to me during my wife's cancer journey. I also learned to honor other people's faiths more than I had before. My wife's Christian faith was unwavering and she fought her battle with dignity, strength and a clear conscious, never fearing death because she knew she would be in her Heavenly Father's Kingdom at the end of her battle.

If you are curious about Buddhism, and if I'm capable, I'll try and answer some of your questions. Metta. :)

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PhillieG
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Metla, thank you for adding some other views. I believe there are so many paths to enlightenment if that's what's at the end of the journey.
-phil

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papajedi
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About your wife, she had great courage and grace. What a great post!! I was in the Navy :)

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PhillieG
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I'm glad you enjoyed the question. It's an Oldie but Goodie for sure with as many answers as there are stars in the universe.
Thanks for you input.
-phil

dasspears
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Joined: Feb 2009

We die....we go somewhere...Where? Do I have to work?? Do I get to enjoy my hobbies?? Or am I floating around forever in some nebulous form? Is there a second end? Maybe I get to meet Mark Twain or Winston Churchill.

I have absolutely nothing to contribute regarding what happens when we die. We talk about eternal life - but what does that really mean?

Maybe it's like the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray - although I hope not! Or perhaps we no longer exist - like a candle we are extinguished. And the next generation carries on.

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PhillieG
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"I have absolutely nothing to contribute regarding what happens when we die."
BS!!!!!
You certainly have something to contribute. This isn't a quiz with right or wrong answers.
You said "We die....we go somewhere...Where? Do I have to work?? Do I get to enjoy my hobbies?? Or am I floating around forever in some nebulous form? Is there a second end? Maybe I get to meet Mark Twain or Winston Churchill."
I surely HOPE we do not have to work. I think that maybe that might be what Hell is ;-)
So maybe we do get to meet people we've always wanted to meet. Who knows? No one KNOWS the real answer who still is alive.

You have many ideas of what may happen, thanks for adding them to the list of possibilities.
-p

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soccerfreaks
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:)

Despite Phil's rather emotional (but well-intentioned) outburst, you are correct in the final analysis. None of us has anything to contribute by the standards you imply, since none of us has died and therefore cannot share in the experience, if there is one to share.

We CAN believe, however, which is quite a different thing from knowing. And we can HOPE, which is quite a different thing from knowing.

We can also speculate, which is what Phil was getting at when he started this thread (I think). And that is what he means by his strident insistence that you can contribute, I think. Anyone, in fact, can say whatever one wants to say, and it is valid here.

I find that both amusing and food for further thought. Whenever I am hungry.

Take care and be well,

Joe

DennisR
Posts: 148
Joined: Sep 2009

Hey Joe,
I noticed there's a study being done on people who have experienced clinical death and came back to life with reports of out of body experiences such as hovering over their bodies etc.
Apparently a Scientist is going to place certain unusual objects or projections on the floor in rooms of hundreds of patients who are likely candidates for experiencing clinical death to see if they are able to identify any of the objects that were placed in the room while they were under anesthesia before their operations etc. should they have the dubious fortune to survive and come back from clinical death. I believe the study is called AWARE and is being directed by a Dr Sam Parnia of the Weill Cornell Medical center.
Should be an interesting experiment. I don't know anything else about it, but I'm going to do some research.
DennisR

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soccerfreaks
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I will have to look into that. I was in an induced coma for four days following my first surgery (head/neck cancer) and can tell you for sure that I was not, in fact, in the sort of coma that we associate with the word: I was not brain-dead, but, rather, experiencing, quite painfully (in an emotional sense) and 'real-ly' a number of amazing things that I was so convinced were true that when I finally came to in the step-down unit, I assumed that my wife, who had spent all of that time by my very side, had decided to leave me: all because of some bizzare dream I had while in that coma (it is beyond pyschoanalysis, I think, since it happened in '05 and even back then Robert Downey, Jr. was one of my doctors and conspiring to kill me, among my other notions).

To be honest, the entire two weeks in the hospital, I did not ask my wife if she was leaving, I was so certain, and only got around to the discussion in the car ride on the way home from the hospital.

Interesting. I am open.

Take care and thanks for the head's up,

Joe

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slickwilly
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My grandmother was not a woman of any faith. In fact she was proubly only in churches for weddings and funerals. She was more of a believer in a stiff afternoon drink ha ha. She was about to pass away and my mother was sitting beside her. My grandmother asked who the man was standing at the end of her bed. There was no one there so my mother asked for a description. Here is what she said. Its a man with a long bread and he is wearing white robes. He is reaching his arms out towards me like he wants me to go with him. She passed on that evening. I put that under "things that make you go Hummm". Slickwilly

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PhillieG
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Indeed! Cool story, one never knows...do one?
Thanks for posting

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Buzzard
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LOL........My thoughts are these.....If I believe in God and He is real then I have everything to gain and nothing to lose so it is a win/win. If I don't believe and He is real then what ? I'm not willing or wanting to take that chance. So my thoughts about what happens afterwards are exactly what I expressed, I really think there is a Heaven and Hell. It allows people to be a lot less scared of dying so its good for anyone that believes in it. It doesn't have to be crammed down anyones throat, and hopefully it won't be, but just the same it does help to create a nicer human race as to how we treat each other. My thoughts are mine and mine only, it just seems to bring a calming effect to those who really believe, I am one of those...I do though do not like the visitation part of the churches ministries because of the fact that I think it turns more off than on about religion. If they want to go they know where a church is. Now, if they ask for visitation then fine. Sorry off the subject.....
I think that we do leave our earthly soul to be in Heaven forever. I also do not believe in luck or coincidence either.......Love and Hope, Buzz

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soccerfreaks
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Buzz,

Your notion about what is essentially hedging your bets is not original as you may know; Pascal's Wager, named for the philosopher Blaise Pascal, says the same thing.

It is hard to argue with the practicality of the notion, but practicality and belief are two different things. I would argue, in fact, that reducing god's existence to practicality refutes the possibility that one is a true believer.

Belief is not knowledge but it may in fact be stronger than knowledge given our foibles, and certainly more CERTAIN than a carefully constructed but flawed edifice of chance.

Your recommendations with respect to belief are good ones, buss, for sure. I envy those who can truly believe for whatever reason (faith, I think it is usually called), but I can talk myself into it. Raised in the Halls of Reason, I require more than I have been presented to date.

As for your comments about it being 'crammed down people's throats', christianity has from its inception encouraged proselytizing, so there is little wonder that this continues today, although the shrewdest sects seem to tone it down or amp it up dependent on which culture they cultivating at the moment.

One guy's view.

Take care,

Joe

Laura88
Posts: 47
Joined: Oct 2009

Hello -- great posts. I usually post only in lung cancer but I see my friend Joe here so -- I will add my two cents. I have no idea what happens. I will say this. I have been raised a catholic and have had many, many issues over the years. So many that I left the church. I felt a strong "God" or higher power presence always, but felt I did not need the church to worship correctly. Since my diagnosis I have gone back to church. Do I feel like that helps "God" be with me? Not really. I don't know why I go -- I just do. I am trying very, very hard to believe in something - at this point I really, really need to - but I feel I make no progress at all. I always thought the higher power simply wanted you to live without intentionally hurting others, helping others when you can, etc. I feel like I had definitely done that. I never hurt anyone and always tried to help as best I could. I raised two children alone and worked too much to enjoy them. Now I have grandbabies I can enjoy and I probably won't live long enough to do so. I always said you live a good life, you be as good as you can be, you get what you deserve in the end. I now wonder what I did to get this at just 53 years old. Then I get mad at myself for the self pity -- and it goes on and on. I hope there is an afterlife -- and I hope I'm not too mad when I get there!! I always say the Big Guy has a lot of explaining to me!!

I read such wonderful, hopeful, thankful posts here. You people amaze me. Do you really never get angry? Do you really never question why? Please -- how do you keep your faith through this awful disease and treatment? Some days are okay -- but as I layed there this morning getting my brain and pelvic radiation just two months after intense chest radiation -- I have to wonder what the heck I did that was so bad?

I hope this is not the absolute wrong place to post this. I hope I dont upset people -- it is more a question of how you all continue to believe - how you hold on to your faith. I admire you all a great deal.

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Marcia527
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I don't believe that having cancer was a punishment. It's a matter of genes and environment.

As for faith, I have wavered at times. But I had an experience which proved to me that God is real. Unfortunately I can't prove it to you. I guess we each have to find our own proof. Some people just have to rely on faith.

This is just my opinion.

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PhillieG
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Hi Laura, This is just the right place to post this. It's open to one and all, it's certainly not cancer specific or even cancer related.

I too am a "recovering catholic" so I hear you with their teachings and the other shenanigans they pull.
I certainly do not think you are being punished at all. Maybe you have cancer so you can help others through how you've handled it? I've thought that about my situation at times. I never really played the "why me" game because "why NOT me" works just as well. But I know what you mean, you live your life well and do right by people and get this, while there are others who are just rotten to the core and they are healthy. I think there is much more to life than that.

Thank you for posting and please post/visit more. It's open to one and all and especially to any friend of Joe's.
;-)
-p

58carol
Posts: 17
Joined: Apr 2010

Faith in what we believe or faith in a Creater?

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PhillieG
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I suppose Faith can mean any number of things.

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PhillieG
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Welcome my friend. It's nice to see you visited and posted over here. This is where we all can post what we believe in or whatever the topic is without the sometimes "backlash" one can get in other areas. You may get discussion or questions about what you believe but I've yet to see any discussion blow up at all.

It sounds like it's an insurance policy in a way. I certainly see no harm in believing things the way you do. It kind of seems to me that this is one thing I've believed for a long time. That man created religion (maybe even God too) so it would answer and sooth themselves for when they die. It's comforting to know that you will go to heaven and things will be just right. I know you pretty well from this site so I know you won't take this the wrong way. Now look at some of the muslim extremists. They feel that by being a martyr that they will go into heaven and be greeted by the whole she-bang of virgins. I know this comparison between the muslims and christians is a very far cry from how you live but both seem to be based on doing things in life that are rewarded after death.

I know that those who have the gift of faith find much comfort in church. I was raised catholic but do not go. When I do go to a service it's presbyterian. I like much of what they say and they tend to be a little more flexible and understanding I've found.

Overall though, I have found that the older I have gotten the less I believe in "all that" and instead find myself looking at things in terms of science and us being energy. I certainly do not think that once we die that it's like someone turning off the light switch and everyone going home. It is said that energy can neither be created nor destroyed so being energy I think we move on somewhere and somehow but I do not believe in heaven and hell. However, I do like to believe in karma but then I sometimes go "well, what the F did I do to get cancer???" and then I don't believe it so much. I think I want to believe it so those SOB's who live horrible lives will somehow be punished. I guess it's like wanted them to go to hell. This is all complicated stuff. That's what makes it cool in many ways. No one REALLY knows the answer. We don't have "The Truth" so anything goes. I do not know if we will be judged in the end. I do believe that we should live by what's called the Golden Rule and to do unto others. I like to try to put myself in others shoes, it really makes a difference in how we treat others if it's taken seriously.

I'm not sure about the luck and coincidence stuff. I know that I've willed things to happen. Nothing major or I'd be driving a better car. Also, ever since I got cancer I have had so many strange things happen like knowing the phone is going to ring or calling my wife at the same time she is calling me when we do not have set times to call. Stuff like that and also other things but nothing of groundbreaking importance. It's just that I'm aware of this stuff more. I like it, it's cool.

Clift, it's really good to see you over here. Please visit/comment more. Start a discussion if the "spirit moves you".
Peace
-phil

MRE13
Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2010

This is a sensitive subject open to all sorts of opinions and speculations.
One way to attempt to gain some clarity is to try to interpret odd situations that happen just before or right after the death.

My mother was dying, she was deep in comma and me and other members of the family were around her in the hospital room or nearby in the waiting room. We knew that it would not take too long, a matter of hours, so some of us took short breaks to go to the cafeteria preparing ourselves to pass the night by her bedside while some others would go home to sleep. My mother adored my cousin, who had been by her all the day. When the evening came he had to go home to rest but he went first to have diner in the cafeteria with other members of the family. Half an hour later he was about to leave the hospital but for no good reason he changed his mind and came back to my mother's room. Within few minutes my mother expired. Just by chance or perhaps not by chance she had by her deathbed the very people she truly loved, the others were at that moment in the cafeteria or at home and missed her peaceful end.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4659
Joined: May 2005

in this thread and not on the Main pages.

Thank you for sharing your touching story about your Mom. I have a similar one with my Dad. He had been in and out of consciousness for a few days prior to his passing. The night he died we all were around him but he was not responsive at all. I just started to massage his "third eye" in the middle of his forehead. After a few minutes he woke up and gained consciousness, we all got to talk with him even though he couldn't speak he knew what was going on.
Later that night he passed away.
-phil

visit more and share more too if you feel inclined to

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

I am of presbyterian faith just for everyones knowledge. But some of my thinking may not go along with any one belief. I do believe though that whether good or bad you will stand before God before you are allowed in Heaven or not, and it gives me peace of mind to know that even with murderers , pedophiles, etc that they may be healthy and live to be 120 years old but someday they will stand before God, there will be what they call "Hell to Pay" then for them. That is how I get through that subject.
As far as going to church, I believe that church offers you a place to worship with others of your faith and to allow you to grow in that faith by learning from others. It is fine to stay at home and still believe, but you are limited in growing your faith, but in my opinion the church is where believers worship together, a place for believers to gather...and to advance their knowledge of the teachings
I also believe that doing good works for the Lord is fine, but until you openly take Him as your Lord and Savior then it doesn't matter how many good deeds you have done, you will still not be admitted into the Kingdom of Heaven...and I do want for all to know this is my opinion of they way I believe, and it all makes sense to me.
He gives me free will, which the way I see this is that He didn't give me anything, and Im not sure if He needs to cure anything, you see to me He says that He will destroy Satan, and I believe that this disease I have is doings from Satan so that he can make Gods children suffer, so for Him to cure all of us He would certainly have to destroy Satan, and He says He will, but at the cost of the end of the earth as we know it.

Remember, its my opinion and simply the way I perceive it.........Buzz

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PhillieG
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Your views that is Buzz. I go to the presbyterian church when I go to church. For one my wife plays violin for many holiday services and I also find them "less preachy" than the catholics where I was raised. I think there are many very beneficial things that people can gain from going to a church and belonging to the community. I just never believed in heaven and hell. Even from an early age I thought that there are so many different religions and everyone believes they are right. Something seemed wrong with all of that to me. Everyone can't be right. As I grew older I looked at how many people have been murdered in the name of "God" and that didn't seem right to me either. I think it misses the point of his message if you believe in the bible which is another thing I don't believe in. I mean, I know it was written but I see the stories only as metaphors, not as fact.

I think it's more important to live life in the "now" and do what is right because it's the right thing to do, not because at some point I will be judged by someone for it. At least not by the God that is often mentioned. As far as good and evil, I like to believe that those who lived their lives in a "bad" way will have some sort of cosmic debt to pay but what that is I have no idea. Maybe there is heaven and hell, maybe there isn't. It doesn't affect how I treat others at all.

The cool thing with all of this is that no one knows the answers to the questions. Maybe there is a God and at some point I will stand before her :-) and have to explain a bunch of stuff. Maybe I'll stand before someone else and have even more to explain!

Thanks for sharing Clift
-p

Trew
Posts: 891
Joined: Jan 2010

My view is that death is a sleep until Jesus comes and wakes us up on that great gettin' up morning.

Amazing how cancer can direct the thoughts to this topic. I remember coming back to the doctor's 7 days after prostate surgery. He informed me I had positive margins and that unless I had radiation I would die. I hardly remember hearing the words but my wife picked up on them. When we were going home afterwards I asked my wife what the doc has said, sort of like a dream, you know what I mean. During radiation the doctor told me my outlook was so/so, 50/50. Still a big step up from "will die." Anyway, life does look different on this side of cancer. Sort of like a mountain top experience with an extended view.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
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Joined: May 2005

how cancer can direct our thoughts this way. Most people walk around clueless thinking they will live forever. Cancer or not we are all going to die. I was shaken up and started to smell more roses. I would smell them to some extent before but this has been a positive experience for the most part for me even though it sucks part of the time.

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papajedi
Posts: 110
Joined: Oct 2009

You are so right, sometimes ( I try to control it ) I get upset or jealous as I see people doing sport activities I use to be able to do............it's just hard to watch......:)

Laura88
Posts: 47
Joined: Oct 2009

I totally relate. I try so hard to control it -- but sometimes I just want to scream. I have a friend who is so upset every birthday -- I'm so old, I'm so wrinkled, on and on. This year I could not take it!! I got so mad at her -- started screaming I hope I get to be as old as you!! My son is getting married in 14 mos. I know someone fighting with her daughter over stupid things about her wedding. Again, I want to yell and scream -- leave her alone -- I just hope I'm here for my son's wedding!!! It's so frustrating. I try to look at my cancer as a learning tool -- you quickly learn to appreciate every day, every little thing. I get very angry and frustrated when people close to me do not do that, even though they see my emotional struggles. Anyway -- I think this is what you are talking about. I totally understand - it's very hard. I hope I'm teaching people what is important -- maybe that's why I got this?

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Glenna M
Posts: 1580
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I know exactly how you feel when you say "you quickly learn to appreciate every day, every little thing. I get very angry and frustrated when people close to me do not do that, even though they see my emotional struggles". I appreciate everyday and I get upset when people take the little things for granted but then I realize I see things through different eyes than most people do, if you haven't been diagnosed with cancer you don't think of your time as being limited. Even though these people could die in a freak accident at any time they don't look at life that way, they just assume, like most of us used to, that they will live to a ripe old age :-)

I would also like to teach people, especially my family and friends, to appreciate what is important in life but I think it is hopeless. Not that they don't care but without daily reminders, like cancer patients have, they just get busy with their dail routines and forget that their time here could be cut short at any time.

Stay strong and keep smiling,
Glenna

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5635
Joined: Apr 2009

According to the Bible I read you are right on the money, everyone sleeps till it’s over and Jesus comes back for the ones who put there faith in Him. My cancer did two things, first made me grow closer to God and helped me to appreciate what he has done for me.

We all have our opinions and this is just mine not to offend anyone else in what they believe,as we are all free to believe or not..

Take care and God be with you.

papajedi's picture
papajedi
Posts: 110
Joined: Oct 2009

You got that chance!1 I never did, my Dad dies suddenly and it took me years to reconcile myself to never having gotten to say good-bye.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
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This thread, and the forum for that matter, was set up so we can discuss the topics of Religion, Spirituality, and Meditation without fear of being attacked on a personal level for what we choose to believe and to have respect for the beliefs of others. For the MOST part, I think we have done that. There have been discussions and people have questioned others, sometimes to learn more, other times it seems to have the believer possibly question themselves. I can't speak for others at all so I do not know their reason why. Those are the reasons I post and comment.

It seems like we're getting back to the "disclaimer stage" again where we feel a need to state that it's "our opinion" and "no offense is intended". I hope we can try to get away from that. The point of this forum is to post our beliefs and opinions, however foreign they may seem to others. This is how people can learn about other faiths or schools of thought. I hope (and pray ;-) that we can maintain a level of respect for others on this part of the site at least. This is the sections where anything goes as far as what you believe, there are no right or wrong answers just what you believe.

I do hope that questions are raised to others if they want to find out more about why someone believes what they do. Of course, no one has to answer those questions either. If the discussion gets heated, remember what my Mom overheard in a playground in NYC when I was a kid.
Two Jewish Mothers were telling their kids to "fight nicely".
;-)
Peace out...
-phil

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5635
Joined: Apr 2009

Thanks for clearing that issue up as sometimes I feel I am on pins and needles when I write my post in the fear of offend someone, which is not my intent at all but only to be able to express my own opinion

papajedi's picture
papajedi
Posts: 110
Joined: Oct 2009

Nobody can beat a jewish mom for one liners LOL:)

Trew
Posts: 891
Joined: Jan 2010

I see the Bible as the authority on life and death. I read it regularly and note how these two themes are presented. A serious study of the first 3 chapters of Genesis will answer a lot of questions on life and death. I am not interested in folk lore, world views, or tradition so I often end up walking a different pathway than many. And why not? I have read Genesis very carefully.

Knowledge is an anchor. Emotions and feelings run wild, like the wind, and can blow one anywhere, my o' my have I expereinced that is year! Enjoy emotions for what they are worth on good days, but trust knowledge. As the Bible says, "Thy word is the truth."

PS: I like ping pong, too.

Lisa13Q's picture
Lisa13Q
Posts: 683
Joined: Jul 2009

If heaven is so great, and you truly believe in it, why aren't you all enthusiastic about going, and not joyful about dying? Personally, I don't think I can believe in heaven, if i did I would sure want to get there rather than endure this...

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

For myself, I don't care how beautiful and joyous Heaven is, I am sure it is, but I'm not ready to leave my children yet is why, and they aren't ready to see me go.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4659
Joined: May 2005

They can't WAIT to get there!
How strange (to me) is that?

mariam_11_09's picture
mariam_11_09
Posts: 693
Joined: Nov 2009

yeah, but that's a kind of brainwashing that goes on with the suicide bombers. They have taken on the role of the matyr. Most of them are men and many Muslim men believe that when they die they will go to Paradise(heaven), become the age that Jesus was when he died and be served by 72 virgins. Well isn't that a great fantasy if you are man!

Pity this is so taken out of context (Paradise) because there is a whole mystical aspect behind it.

Marcia527's picture
Marcia527
Posts: 2731
Joined: Jul 2006

I believe in the next life (Heaven if you want to call it that). I know it's better than this life but believe we need to wait till it's our time to pass over and shouldn't rush it. There are lessons to learn and we might be able to help another in some way. This life is really short if you compare it to eternity. No matter how sick I feel or problems I have, I can wait for my time. Besides I'm teaching my husband to cook...he knows how to make eggs now. :>)

Trew
Posts: 891
Joined: Jan 2010

May the Lord bless you and keep you and thank-you for your insight and may the Lord bless your husband with culinary skills equall to your faith and humor!

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

(But without the god part :))

Take care,

Joe

Trew
Posts: 891
Joined: Jan 2010

IF heaven could be gained by simply dying, your question makes sense. And I have no doubts that many have tried to enter that way- by dying.

But there are conditions laid out clearly in the Bible for enterance into heaven. The thief on the cross demonstrated those steps. He repented, believed on Jesus, and submitted or followed (as best he could). Dying is not one of the steps to gaining eternal life.

Paul, facing execution in the near future (he was beheaded) knew there was a glorious future waiting for him- not at death, but according to 1 Cor. 15- at the second Coming of Jesus. It is Jesus who rewards the faithful with life then- at His Coming. Jesus is the one who is in charge of "heavenly admissions," and not we ourselves. So we cling to life here while we live, knowing that life is not ours to take, but to live in a faith relationship with Jesus until our last breath slips away and we fall asleep in Jesus as described in John 11 and 1 Thess. 4.

So, while we live it our lot to be in a state of repentance and obedience before Jesus, and turst in Him and wait. You never know, some who have been close to death have recovered.

All that said, there is nothing wrong with letting a disease takes it course and refusing treatment that only complicates what life is left.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Just as the Christian Scientists, of all people, seem to be moderating their dogma regarding medical intervention, you come up with that last line of yours.

One of the things I find most ironic about the new testament, after much deliberation, is that Jesus purportedly spoke of meekness and turning the other cheek and being humble, while his most adamant adherents today are anything but meek, anything but mild, certainly anything but humble. In your certainty, you seem to be further evidence of that.

Jesus, himself, purportedly and if I remember correctly, had doubts even upon the cross.

Take care,

Joe

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5635
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi Joe

(Jesus, himself, purportedly and if I remember correctly, had doubts even upon the cross). Just trying to see what part of the Bible you were reading that said Jesus doubted

Take care

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

"Why hast thou forsaken me?"

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