September 23, 2009

Is there anything beyond this? (a spiritual question)

Recently, in another venue, I revealed to someone my belief in an afterlife, or a beforelife -- a life beyond this one, a realm beyond the one we can see and touch. Many people don't believe in this realm, because they can't prove it exists. They can't prove it does NOT exist, but they can't prove it exists, so it must not exist - or so goes their thinking, at least as I understand it. But I think there is another sense beyond the traditional five that can't be denied. Some people call it the sixth sense. In any case, I think there is another realm, beyond this physical realm. Another plane of existence. I don't call it heaven or hell. I don't call it anything, really. If pressed to give it a name of some sort, I call it an afterlife.

I don't believe in a realm beyond this one because I am scared of the idea that when we're dead, we're dead, and there's nothing more to it. If that's the case, fine. I can live with that. I really can. This life and this world are magnificent in many ways, as well as horrific in many ways. But if this is all there is, that's fine. The magnificence of this world will get me a long way. My spiritual beliefs in a world beyond this physical one are not born of fear. They are born of a sense I have had, something I have felt, in several instances, that is beyond me, and beyond this physical plane. I know other people who have felt it more deeply, more clearly. My sense of another realm is not so clear or obvious to me. It's just a knowing, in my core, in my soul, that my soul transcends this world. I think this is true for animals, too. This belief provides my life with a richness I enjoy. Of course I can't prove that this other realm exists, but that doesn't make it not true, and more importantly, it doesn't make it not true for me. I would never press my beliefs on someone else, nor do I wish for them to press theirs on me.

How this relates to parenthood is manifold. For one, I came to this personal belief on my own, without the influence of others. I was not raised religiously. My parents are agnostics, or even athiests (I think they were athiests, but more than believing that there is no god, they just didn't give a crap either way, so they called themselves agnostics; however, recently my dad has been going to church, which feels odd to me.). I have studied a number of different religions. I used to call myself pagan, or a witch. I don't practice any religion or spirituality right now, and I wouldn't say I believe in "god." My point is, Eliot can find his own way in terms of spirituality. He can choose his own path in this, and in everything else, really.

Also, I believe Eliot's soul and mine, and Brady's, have met before. This just makes sense to me. I can't explain it, but it feels right on a gut level. On an intuitive level. What if this is not true? What if our souls have never met before? That doesn't scare me. I don't hold this belief because the alternative is scary. I hold this belief because it feels right to me.

It's late and I can't think of the other ways that this fits into my philosophies on parenthood. Goodnight.


Kate C said...

I feel honored to be part of your community Natalie. I'm glad you are exploring your beliefs about the afterlife right now. It makes sense because having a baby is a new connection to the next generation...and if all goes well Eliot will live a lot longer than you and Brady. So I urge you to keep searching and keep sharing with us. Much love, kate

Jen said...

I like your thinking :)

Anonymous said...

I believe that quantum physics has proved that there are a multitude of other realms beyond ours. To sense it is to be fully aware I think.

My mother was raised Catholic and my father Methodist, but my parents lost their religon in college and became atheists (although they studied many religons). My sister and I were raised Unitarian to keep the local bible beaters off my mom's back and I got a lot out of it. I would like to start taking our boys to the Unitarian church at some point, because the great take home message I always got is that there is much suffering in the world but if we all work together in tolerance we can alievate some of it.

I really liked the Desiderata philosophy to it.

Love, Christie

Natalie Henry Bennon said...

Ya know, the guy who challenged my beliefs by asking if I believe lies is a physicist. Interesting.

Natalie Henry Bennon said...

I wanted to write here, for the record, that my Dad does "give a crap." He emailed me this:

"So you think I don't give a crap?
That's not true.
I do think that there is a force which explains GOOD things. I thank the "big guy" for what goes right with my life. Big and small. Having you as a daughter is one of the - big ones.

He can be pretty sweet sometimes.