The Third Question

What happens to us when we die?

As discussed earlier, we are our ancestors, biologically. I believe that souls have an actual existence, for I define the soul as the essence of what makes an individual, and individuals obviously exist. The existence of the soul, therefore, must be rooted in biology as well. Taking this to another level of abstraction, one could say that each human being is a unique collection of information. We carry the biological information of all of our ancestors, combined into a one-of-a-kind stew: you. We add to this biological information store over the course of our lives by our education: not in the formal sense of the term (schooling), but in the most literal sense - learning, experience and communication. The essence of what we are is information. Therefore, it's logical to assume that if the soul is to be considered another name for the essence of who we are, then the soul should be a purely informational construct.

Biologically, we are literally eternal creatures: we have eternal life, and we're living it right now. Think about it: your great-great grandfathers genes have been copied into you - they still live, the essence of your great-great grandfather is still "alive" within you today. Again building on a biological base, the more you know about your great-great-grandfather, the more "alive" [real] he becomes, today.

It's not quite the classic "reincarnation", but it's close. Do I believe that I'll "come back" and be "reborn" as my great grandchild? No - not literally. Do I believe that my soul can manifest itself once more in this plane of existence through my great-grandchild? Yes.

My Indo-Eurpoean ancestors agreed that the "soul" was indeed "immortal" - and that each person would be re-manifested (some heathen cultures took it different way - Hinduism is an offshoot of Indo-European religion, after all) probably in the family line. The strength of this manifestation would be determined by the reputation (collective memory) of the ancestor, and added to by each person in turn. This is why every Indo-European culture is concerned with the memory of the dead, and why most heathen faiths practice a sort of ancestor worship.

In the Northern mythos, the "soul" is pictured residing, after death, either in Hel (not the fiery tormet of the Christians, but a simple place of rest) or in the halls of the gods, if one is fortunate enough to be "chosen". But in either case, rebirth into our line is our fate - Midgard (Earth) is where we belong, and Midgard is where we'll ultimately always be.

Life is not a shooting star - streaking across the heavens to burn out in a twinkling. Life is a process over the generations, across the seas of time and space. Death is not an end, but a passage - a passage back to ourselves, a homecoming. I do not seek death, for Midgard is our home, but neither do I fear death, for it is but a passage back through our ancestors to our eternal future on Earth.

(original post)

00:00 /Asatru | 0 comments | permanent link