The Afterlife For Sale Antidote to The Fear of Death

The Afterlife For Sale Antidote to The Fear of Death

The concept of life after death is one of the core tenets of many religions.  It often contains both the promise of eternal reward or eternal punishment. Whether you believe in such theories, the concept definitely shapes our culture.

The fear of death is one of the first major questions we have. Children as young as two years old ask what happens when we die.  This is what many philosophers call this our existential fear.

It’s that moment we realize all things die, including us.  This prompts people to seek answers.  This fear is intended to prompt our spiritual quest.  That’s when some religions step in with the antidote to the fear of death they call heaven.

The Afterlife for Sale Antidote for Fear

The idea our awareness, consciousness or spirt body lives on after our physical death transcends many philosophies and religions. Some call it life after death, later life or the hereafter.  Most variations of this concept are mutually exclusive to a specific religious paradigm.  That means the life after death benefits have certain conditions.

This central existential fear should prompt us on our spiritual quest. This is what Joseph Campbell calls the Hero’s Journey.  It is the path of awakening and enlightenment. If we face our existential fear of death, we can learn about how this can make our life meaningful.

However, religion offers a counterfeit to as the antidote to the fear of death.  The antidote religion provides is life after death rewards. This gives people promises to cover up fear. These answers are comforting, but this comfort is fragile.

With the afterlife for sale from so many religions, it’s hard to pick the right one.  Luckily, most people who are a part of religion don’t have to pick one.  They get born into their religion.  So, children and vulnerable rarely have a choice.   Sometimes the beliefs of life after death are a part of a statement of beliefs or creed.

In contrast, some say there is nothing after death, just eternal oblivion.  The belief in existence after death is not exclusive to people with deeply held religious beliefs. Beliefs about life after death are often unique to the individual, even within the same religious sect.

The Antidote to the Fear of Death

Not surprisingly, many religions use the life after death concept as an effective recruitment and retention tool.  However, the Abrahamic religions surpass others in their rebranding efforts.  The sale of the afterlife is big business and has been for centuries.  It is recession-proof.

The Antidote for Fear of Death

Depending on the beliefs, you can receive a range of rewards. If you qualify as a believer and follower of the religion sponsoring this benefit.  Or, if you might also pay “indulgences” to buy your way to eternal life, but if you aren’t a believer and follower, eternal punishment awaits you.

Eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions God’s, infinite love. ― Bill Hicks

In most cases, the belief in a life after death presupposes the belief in the existence of two other mystical realms, Heaven and Hell.  After all, you can’t have a life after death if you’ve nowhere to go.

Life after death beliefs are not an effective antidote for fear of death.  It merely substitutes the fear of death for the fear of the loss of afterlife benefits.   You must submit to the tenets of the belief system if you want to get the benefits when you die.

Christianity sets Life after Death Sales Record

The three largest religions by population are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  Together they boast over 4 billion followers.  Today, there are over 10,000 versions of these themes.  Besides promoting the afterlife for sale, it also borrows the concept of hell.  This is another fear driving idea from the ancient mystery religions of Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, and Assyrian. Here we find the concepts of hell, demons, and a lot of other concepts to keep fear high.

The primary goal of these systems is to generate income.  In fact, the Catholic Church is the wealthiest entity on the planet.  It has more material wealth than most countries. Making the afterlife for sale was a brilliant idea. It is the best all-time cash flow generator.  How rich is the Catholic Church?  It holds an estimated net worth over 400 billion dollars.  This includes cash, real estate, precious metals, and art.

Questions about Life After Death Beliefs

How these concepts shape your worldview is important to understand.  If you answer these questions you’ll learn about how this concept affects your life. Here are the questions to ponder:

    • If you have some kind of life after death beliefs, where did you get them? Are they something you chose after reviewing several possibilities? 
    • Do your life after death beliefs come as part of a package with your religious beliefs?
    • How much do you need to pay your religion to maintain your life after death rewards?
    • Do you hold on to these beliefs because you fear that rejecting them would place you in eternal jeopardy? Do you believe in Hell?
    • Are your beliefs in the hereafter motivate you to show love, compassion, and friendship?  If so, does this love and compassion extend to others outside of your belief system?
    • Do your beliefs in life after death create barriers that prevent you from making or maintaining relationships with others who don’t hold the same beliefs?
    • Are your beliefs an antidote for Fear?  Or do you it simply exchange the anxiety of death for loss of afterlife promises?

In Conclusion

The concept of eternal existence is one of the core tenets of many religions.  It often contains both the promise of eternal reward or eternal punishment. Whether you believe in such theories, the concept shapes our culture.  You must decide for yourself if it is a viable antidote or just the substitution of one fear for another.

With the afterlife on sale from so many religions, it makes it hard to pick the right one.  You know, we are all going to hell in someone else’s religion.  Are you buying the antidote to the fear of death, or is it just an easy answer to a more complex question?

We hope you found this article helpful, maybe even thought-provoking.  You will find more interesting posts on our blog page. Use the search option on the blog page to find articles by key terms, topics, or category.

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References

Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia

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