The content of the article
- Evidence of the existence of the soul after death
- In Christianity
- In islam
- In Buddhism and Hinduism
- In ancient religions
- Scientifically death
- Evidence of life after death
- Testimonies of people
- History facts
- Scientific evidence
The question of what will happen after passing away from life has been of interest to mankind since ancient times – from the very moment of reflection on the meaning of one’s own individuality. Will consciousness and personality survive after the dying of the physical shell? Where does the soul go after death – scientific facts and statements of believers equally firmly prove and refute the possibility of the afterlife, immortality, testimonies of eyewitnesses and scientists equally converge and contradict each other.
Evidence of the existence of the soul after death
Prove the presence of the soul (anima, atman, etc.) mankind has sought since the epochs of the Sumerian-Akkadian and Egyptian civilizations. In fact, all religious teachings are based on the fact that a person consists of two entities: material and spiritual. The second component is immortal, the basis of personality, and will exist after the death of the physical shell. What scientists say about life after death does not contradict most theses of theologians about the existence of the underworld, since science originally came out of monasteries when monks were collectors of knowledge.
After the scientific revolution in Europe, many practitioners tried to isolate and prove the existence of the soul in the material world. At the same time, Western European philosophy defined self-awareness (self-determination) as a source of a person, his creative and emotional urges, and an incentive to reflection. Against this background, the question arises – what will happen to the spirit that forms the personality, after the destruction of the physical body.
Before the development of physics and chemistry, evidence of the existence of the soul was based solely on philosophical and theological works (Aristotle, Plato, canonical religious works). In the Middle Ages, alchemy tried to isolate the anima not only of a person, but of any elements, flora and fauna. Modern science of life after death and medicine are trying to fix the presence of the soul on the basis of the personal experience of eyewitnesses who have experienced clinical death, medical data and changes in the condition of patients at various points in their lives.
The Christian Church (in its world-recognized directions) refers to human life as a preparatory stage of afterlife. This does not mean that the material world does not matter. On the contrary, the main thing that a Christian faces in life is to live in such a way as to subsequently go to heaven and gain eternal bliss. Evidence of the presence of a soul for any religion is not required, this thesis is the basis for religious consciousness, without it it makes no sense. The personal experience of believers can indirectly serve as confirmation of the existence of a soul for Christianity..
The soul of a Christian, according to dogma, is part of God, but capable of independently making decisions, creating and creating. Therefore, there is the concept of posthumous punishment or reward, depending on how a person in material existence related to the fulfillment of the commandments. In fact, after death, two key conditions are possible (and the intermediate is only for Catholicism):
- paradise – the state of highest bliss, being near the Creator;
- hell – the punishment for an unrighteous and sinful life that contradicted the commandments of faith, a place of eternal torment;
- purgatory – a place that is present only in the Catholic paradigm. The abode of those who die in peace with God, but need additional purification from unredeemed sins in life.
According to the dogmatic principles (the principle of the universe, the presence of the soul, posthumous existence), the second world religion, Islam, is fundamentally no different from Christian postulates. The presence of a particle of the Creator within a person is determined in the suras of the Quran and the religious works of Islamic theologians. A Muslim must live decently, keep the commandments in order to go to heaven. Unlike the Christian dogma of the Last Judgment, where the judge is the Lord, Allah does not take part in determining where the soul will go after death (two angels are judging – Nakir and Munkar).
In Buddhism and Hinduism
In Buddhism (in the European sense) there are two concepts: atman (spiritual essence, higher self) and anatman (lack of an independent person and soul). The first relates to out-of-body categories, and the second to illusions of the material world. Therefore, there is no exact definition of which specific part goes to nirvana (Buddhist paradise) and dissolves in it. One thing is for sure: after the final immersion in death, everyone’s consciousness, from the point of view of Buddhists, merges into the general I.
Human life in Hinduism, as bard Vladimir Vysotsky accurately noted, is a series of migrations. The soul or consciousness does not fit with heaven or hell, but depending on the righteousness of earthly life, they are reborn into another person, animal, plant or even stone. From this point of view, there is much more evidence of post-mortem experience, because there is a sufficient amount of recorded evidence when a person fully told his previous life (given that he could not know about it).
In ancient religions
Judaism has not yet determined its relationship to the very essence of the soul (neshama). In this religion, there are a huge number of directions and traditions that may contradict each other even in basic principles. Thus, the Sadducees are sure that Neshama is mortal and dies with the body, while the Pharisees considered her immortal. Some trends in Judaism are based on the thesis accepted from Ancient Egypt that the soul must go through a cycle of rebirth in order to achieve perfection.
In fact, every religion is based on the fact that the purpose of earthly life is the return of the soul to its creator. Belief of believers in the existence of the afterlife is based for the most part on faith, and not on evidence. But there is no evidence refuting the existence of the soul.
The most accurate definition of death, which is accepted among the scientific community, is the irreversible loss of vital functions. Clinical death involves a short stop in breathing, blood circulation and brain activity, after which the patient returns to life. The number of definitions of the end of life even in modern medicine and philosophy exceeds two dozen. This process or fact remains as secret as the fact of the presence or absence of a soul.
Evidence of life after death
“There is much in the world, friend Horace, which our wise men did not dream of” – this Shakespearean quote with a high degree of accuracy reflects the attitude of scientists towards the unknowable. After all, the fact that we do not know about something does not mean at all that this is not.
Finding evidence of the existence of life after death is an attempt to confirm the existence of a soul. Materialists claim that the whole world consists of only particles, but the presence of an energy essence, substance or field that creates a person does not contradict classical science in any way due to unprovenness (for example, the Higgs boson, a recently found particle, was considered a fiction).
Testimonies of people
In these cases, the stories of people are considered reliable, which are confirmed by an independent commission of psychiatrists, psychologists and theologians. They are conventionally divided into two categories: memories of past lives and stories of survivors of clinical death. The first case is an experiment by Ian Stevenson, who found about 2000 facts of reincarnation (under hypnosis, the test person cannot lie, and many of the facts indicated by patients were confirmed by historical data).
Descriptions of the state of clinical death are often explained by the oxygen deprivation experienced by the human brain at this time, and they are treated with considerable skepticism. However, the strikingly identical stories, which have been recorded for more than a decade, can indicate that one cannot exclude the fact that a certain entity (soul) leaves the material body at the time of its death. It is worth mentioning a large number of descriptions of small details concerning operating rooms, doctors and the environment, the phrases they pronounce that patients in a state of clinical death could not know.
The historical facts of the afterlife include the resurrection of Christ. This refers not only to the basis of the Christian faith, but a large number of historical documents that were not interconnected, but in a single period of time described the same facts and events. Still, for example, it is worth mentioning the famous recognized signature of Napoleon Bonaparte, which appeared on a document of Louis XVIII in 1821 after the death of the emperor (recognized as true by modern historians).
A famous study, which to some extent confirmed the presence of a soul, is considered a series of experiments (“direct weighing of the soul”) of the American doctor Duncan McDougall, who recorded stable weight loss at the time of death of the observed patients. In five experiments confirmed by the scientific community, weight loss ranged from 15 to 35 grams. Separately, science considers the following theses “new in the science of life after death” to be relatively proven:
- consciousness continues to exist after a brain is cut off during clinical death;
- out-of-body experience, visions experienced by patients during operations;
- meeting with deceased relatives and people whom the patient might not even know, but described after returning;
- general similarity in clinical death experience;
- scientific evidence of life after death based on the study of post-mortem transition states;
- the absence of defects in persons with disabilities while out of body;
- the opportunity for children to remember a past life.
Is there any evidence of life after death, 100% reliable, it’s hard to say. There will always be an objective counter-thesis to any fact of post-mortem experience. Everyone has individual ideas on this. Until a soul is proven so that even a person far from science agrees with this fact, the debate will continue. However, the scientific world seeks to maximize the study of subtle matters in order to come closer to understanding, scientific explanation of human nature..