Does death really happen? Can we prove that we’ll go to Hell if we don’t pray in the right direction? How can I look my best when I eventually reach Nirvana?
These are the questions that people have been attempting to answer for centuries and one that’s no doubt shaped the way that millions of people have chosen to live their lives – but, when it comes to this big divisive issue, have we all been just wasting our breath?
Now, it’s probably best that we come clean straight away – the answer to this question is that no one really knows.
Whilst the question has been rigorously researched, debated over and tossed from one side to the other, like the only steak in a den of lions, no one has really got any closer to confirming definitely whether or not there is an afterlife.
The main issue that people are coming across, when trying to ascertain the truth to this eternal question is the whole death thing.
Here’s a universal example that you should be able to relate to…
An elderly relative of yours is reaching the end of their long and fruitful life.
It’s a sad time, but almost bitter sweet really – Nan has had a rich and rewarding life, you’ll always remember her distinctive cackle and flaccid Sunday Roasts; and who could forget her trademark scolding flannel that she used to use to get unwilling school kids out of bed – many members of your family still carry the signature scold mark on their foreheads?
On your last visit to her bedside you realise that if anyone can answer your questions about the great unknown – it’s Nan. You tell her to call you from heave as soon as she’s died and she dutifully agrees, before whipping out a hot flannel and nearly tagging you on the forehead. She might be dying, but she’s still surprisingly spry…
Nan passes during the night.
No one is surprised, your Mum even seems a bit relieved – you can tell because the mark on her forehead is not as red as it has been in the last few days – and you wait patiently for a call from heaven.
The funeral comes and goes, still no call from Nan and you start to seriously consider that she might have gone to Hell instead. You raise this query with your Mum who quickly zings you with a hot spoon she was hiding behind her back, it’s her own spin on Nan’s classic burn but it leaves a more vivid white-scar, she looks pleased with herself and then suggests that just because Nan hasn’t called from Heaven doesn’t mean that she’s in Hell.
“It could be that she’s in Heaven, but just not able to get to the phone. It could be that she’s in Heaven but they simply don’t have phones to contact us, which would explain all my unanswered prayers”, her wry expression suggests that she’s telling a joke, but you don’t get it.
Keeping one eye on the spoon you slowly pace the room, considering her answer. If there’s no way to know if there’s even phones in Heaven, how could it be possible to know if people are there…how is it possible to know if heaven even exists?
You stop and consider the oblique nature of death and the afterlife, before you feel an affectionate zap on the back of your neck as your Dad gets home. He’s grown fond of carrying a stun-gun on his person at all times and he’s rather proud of the effectiveness of his new toy.