Four years ago, my uncle got a heart attack. He lied in comma for days. He was divorced and didn’t have any child to take care of him. So my mom took a responsibility in taking care of him. He was strangled with that plastic pipe that bring liquid food from the infusion to his body just to keep him alive. Out of the sudden, he awoke from his long and deep sleep. He starred at my mom. He was like half awake, half conscious.
He said this to my mom,”Dear sister, could you please ask the nurse to remove these things away from my body? I think, I don’t need this anymore. Soon, I will leave.”
Shocked by what he said, my mom asked him back,”Leave? What do you mean? Where are you going to leave?”
He replied,”Just leave…”
Then he fell back to sleep again and several days later he finally left my mom. He passed away.
The Crossroads of Life After Death
Scientifically, when our hearts stop beating and our brains are shut down, nothing else will come after us after we die. We scientifically cease to exist. All that remain is our cold and stiff bodies that are waiting to be buried or cremated. Is that it?
If we turn our views upon the life after death to various religion’s beliefs, they will tell us different perspectives too. Some believe that we won’t return to this world ever again, our souls will be transferred into another universe and we will face the judgement day before finally God will decide where will He put our souls after the conviction is carried out. Our souls will go either to heaven or hell. It depends on what we did while we were alive in this world.
Some beliefs even second the medical staffs opinion that nothing else will come after us we die. We will simply plunge into a nothingness. We won’t go anywhere. Dark and lonely.
There are also other alternative views regarding the life after death and that view is reincarnation.
I Tend to Believe In Reincarnation
I went to Islamic high school. I was burst in laugh when my friend told me that he tends to believe in reincarnation. I thought that was a silly thought since you won’t find any of that concept in Islam. When we die, according to Islamic belief, our soul will stay inside the underworld after we are buried while waiting for the apocalypse. After the apocalyptic horn is blown by the angel, all lives cease to exist and the world comes to an end, we will continue our afterlife journey to the Judgement Day. You know what will happen after we pass the judgement day.
However there is a one topic in Islam that I can’t still get away with. It’s about the birth of Al-Mahdi -The Messiah in Islamic version- before the apocalypse. I was taught that before the apocalypse arrive, there would be a great war engulf the whole world between Islam and the infidels army. Then this Mahdi will come out from his hideout to lead the army from the defeat. He would eventually win and for the next 9 to 12 years there will be only Muslims who will live in this world after the war is ended. The Muslims will live in abundance and prosperous. But after he dies, the ignorance will come back in to this world and wipe out all Muslims. It will conclude that when the Judgement day is coming, there won’t be any single Muslim who will experience the horror of the end of days.
What is interesting about this story is that the characteristic or the feature of Al-Mahdi that been told by my teacher. He said that there was a Hadith -a collection of traditions containing sayings of the prophet Muhammad that, with accounts of his daily practice (the Sunna), constitute the major source of guidance for Muslims apart from the Koran.- stated that Al-Mahdi will have the name exactly the same name as mine and he will look similar to my appearance. Does this sound like reincarnation to you?
Later on I finally figure out that this Hadith by some scholars is considered as dhaif or weak. You cannot rely on the authenticity of that Hadith. But still, this story intrigues me.
Lately I grow my interest upon the reincarnation after my faith on any kind of religions have eroded. I find that some religions were born to serve the (political) purpose of their messengers after studying the historical and sociological background during the time when some sort of religion was born.
Sometimes the life stories of this so called “messenger” aren’t different with the stories of some great leaders in history such as Soekarno, Lenin, Washington, De Gaulle, Gandhi, and many more.
There is a stage of revelation. It’s when this leader finally embrace his life mission and purposes. He will carry that belief along his way. There’s a stage of confrontation. It happens when these leaders try to shake up the status quo, then they received the strong opposition from the reigning power. There’s a stage of exile when these famous leaders were forced to leave their home for some period of time. Then there’s a stage of victory when finally these leaders finally earn enough support to overthrow the current ruling government and replace it with his new idea.
When you study the biography of the Prophet Muhammad Pbuh, you will find the similarities between his story and other world leader’s stories.
What bother me about the religion is that I feel like God becomes really anxious to His brethren. I feel like God really afraid if one day we will leave Him.
If God is omnipotent and omniscience, why does He feel so insecure with us? Worrying that we won’t love Him back? Is it true?
I still believe in God by the way, but in my opinion this kind of thinking has stripped the omnipotence of God. God is still omnipotent in any way, with or without us. It is us who need Him, not other way around.
I become believing in science than before. But the question about where will we go after we die remains. It is something that science still can’t answer.
Nevertheless, there’s a simple basic law of physics that I could relate it to the reincarnation. The first law of Thermodynamic or the law of the conservation of energy stated that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another.
Our spirits and consciousness are the energy.
Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another.
-The Law of the Conservation of Energy-
You Can’t Prove The Existence of the Heaven and Hell but You Can Prove Reincarnation
Last year, I was browsing into YouTube and found an interesting video. It was about a Swedish girl who admitted that she was the reincarnation of Anne Frank. I was shocked with what I found and as you know the algorithm will take me to other videos related to reincarnation. I was stunned and can’t get that thought away from my mind.
One day, I had to take my mom to sort of alternative healer. He cures muscle aches. He is a Chinese descendant. Last time when I met him, I was a little boy. He is quite outspoken to every one in my family. He is willing to talk about anything ranging from gossip and religious beliefs. As I grown up now, I began to curious about what he believes about the life after death. His wife is a devoted Christian but he told me that he is not that devoted. He is still holding on to his ancient Chinese belief. I told her about the story of Barbro Karlen, the Swedish girl who admitted that in the previous life, she was Anne Frank.
He didn’t deny my story though. Reincarnation according to his belief does occur in various occasions. In the case of Barbro Karlen, he stated that when the reincarnation is not done perfectly, you do still remember your past life.
I was wondering, if a human soul replaces another human soul, where do these souls originally come from? The current humanity is on an unprecedented number of 7 billion lives right now. It’s even higher than the number of lives that ever existed on earth for more than 100,000 years.
I asked him about this and he answered, these souls are coming from another form of life. Trees also have a soul. After they die, the souls will escape from their bodies and look for another body host to occupy.
He closed our interesting conversation with this following sentence,”You Can’t Prove The Existence of the Heaven and Hell but You Can Prove Reincarnation.”
Why Can’t We Remember Our Past Life?
The Supreme Lord said: Both you and I have had many births, O Arjun. You have forgotten them, while I remember them all, O Parantapa.
-Bhagavad Gita IV.5-
This morning, I read a nice article about the reincarnation written by a student named I Ketut Merta Mupu (pronounce the “I” in his name like the letter “e” in English unlike the pronunciation of I as the first person in English, Because actually I is a title for a Balinese man) on Kompasiana that I would love to share with you.
He quotted from the western scientist named Dick Sutpen who studied reincarnation using the regression method. It is sort of method similar to hypnosis where the patience is taken to his subconscious mind. From there, we can interview the patience to tell us who he or she was in the previous life.
Sutpen later said that,”If we immerse ourselves thinking about the present and the past life, that would consume a lot of our energy. It is us who decided to remove our memories prior to entering the new body. Everyone has a certain strong feeling about a thing that can’t be traced where it was come from.”
I Ketut Merta Mupu then takes a conclusion that let’s imagine that our brain or memories as a computer. What will happen to our computer if it carries a bunch amount of data? It can slow down or even break down, can’t it? Same like our brain. In order to function well in our present life, we need to erase some memories of our past life.
Just imagine when we do our activity on daylight and then we go to bed. After we sleep for 6 to 8 hours the next day, we can’t barely remember what happened yesterday hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second, can we? We just took the resume upon what happened yesterday to our life.
So in my opinion, death and sleep both has the similarity to bridge the old and the new life. The difference is, when we sleep, our souls escape from our body and return to the same body after several hours. Meanwhile death is not. After we die, Our souls will leave our body and go to look for another body host to occupy.
In the end of I Ketut’s article, he is closing his article by this following interesting statement,”we can’t even remember everything that happened a year ago. Why on earth, should we bother ourselves to remember what happened in our previous life?”
What Will I Do After Knowing This Theory
After the long paragraph that I wrote about the reincarnation, I still consider it as a theory though because we still can’t prove it scientifically. Who knows what will happen after we die? No one comes back from death and tell us what happened in afterlife.
Maybe you will refer to some Near Death Experiences (NDEs). From the accounts of some people who’ve been experiencing NDE. But still we will hear a different stories of what will happen after we die by someone who’ve ever experienced NDE.
For Muslims who experienced NDE, some of them were given the image of the hell and heaven. Some even met their relatives who already passed away a long time ago.
For Christians who experienced NDE, they admitted that they met Jesus Christ when they “died”.
Even the non-believers also have their own version of NDE and it involves nothing that I mentioned earlier. I’m kind of tend to believe in this type of NDE. Some non-believers stated that while having NDE, he felt really peaceful and warm when he “died”. For example Dr. Eben Alexander. He is a non-believer neurosurgeon who never believes that there’s a life after death after he experienced his own NDE. During his unconscious state, he saw the heaven when he experienced NDE. He remains a non-believer after he comes back to life. But one thing has changed after he returns to life, he believes that there’s a life after death.
I Ketut Merta Mupu added that the speed of reincarnation depends on how do we die in our previous life. There’s some cases that people who died in a tragic way such as being killed, robbed, raped, or even killed during the war will return to this world faster than those who died normally. Just like the case of Anne Frank and Barbro Karlen. Anne Frank died in captivity, shot down by the Nazis in 1945. Meanwhile Barbro Karlen was born in 1954. Just 9 years after the death of Anne Frank.
I Ketut Merta Mupu theorizes that the reason behind this is because the deceased or the victim still attached deeply with his or her current life of this world. He or she thinks that he or she haven’t finished doing that he or she is thinking he or she is doing. This thought of the pending task hold our souls back to this world.
If we want to leave this world peacefully, we have to accept that life is just a temporary. It’s a gift from God and someday God can take it back. We shouldn’t be attached our souls or our life to the sparkling of this materialistic world that keeps telling us to feed our greed and ambition through consumerism because all of these things soon will gone too.
Live simply, live modestly, live by your means and always remember that we don’t actually own anything in this world. Someday something or someone can take things away from our hands and we should be prepared for it. Including our lives.
After I coin this theory, I think in the future I will live the way of minimalism just like the Japanese people do. If we don’t have pretty much of everything, we won’t be bothered to lose something. If it turns out that we do lose something, we can just buy another one to replace the lost thing.
The Funeral of My Dream – My Will
This will be the last chapter and before I end this article, I will share another story with you. It’s a little bit scary so be prepared. I don’t know whether it’s true or not because I heard it from the person who experienced it directly. But I don’t want you to focus on the story but on the moral of this story.
On the summer last year I went on a vacation to Karimunjawa with some of my friends from the Netherlands. We should be ready at 5 AM in the morning and we agreed to meet up at their apartment. Because I live so far away from where they live, I had to catch up a taxi and leave the house around 4 AM. It was still a pitch dark at that moment.
On my way to their apartment, I complimented the taxi driver because his car was new and clean. Then he came with this story.
One day, he had to take a pick up order from one of the student of the Police Academy to take her from the academy to Mc Donald’s and return to the academy. She met the student somewhere inside the academy next to some field. The girl didn’t want to eat there, she just dropped by at Mc Donald’s and ordered some food to be taken away. Then they returned to the Police Academy.
When he arrived at the academy, the girl was suddenly missing. She couldn’t be found anywhere. But the funny thing is, she left her Mc Donald’s inside his taxi. Then the driver went to the security post nearby and told the story to the police who were on duty that night. After hearing the story from the taxi driver, the police asked the driver to come inside and calm himself for a while. Then he told the driver a story.
The police sat right in front of the taxi driver and calmed him down. He said that, “it is true that the girl who you picked up this evening is a student of the academy but apparently she already passed away couple of months ago. She died due to the exhaustion and certain illness that she already suffered from for a long time. She died exactly at the same place where you picked her up.”
The taxi driver couldn’t believe what he heard. He was stunned and freezed for a moment. After he gained his consciousness, he said that he will leave the Mc Donald’s order that been ordered by the (ghost) girl to the people who were on sentry duty that night and left the post immediately.
I asked the driver, what possibly could have gone wrong with this girl? Why she is still haunting us? The driver said that it’s possibly because the family of the deceased student still couldn’t accept the fact that she is already passed away. This kind of behavior according to the driver could hinder our journey to the continuation of the journey to the next life. So that’s why her spirit is still there.
That story also answers my question on why we should not mourn heavily upon the departure of our relatives during the funeral and why we should just accept it. We have to accept the lost of our relatives. Perhaps because actually our relatives are not really gone. He or she is about to embark to the new journey. If we can’t accept the fact that he or she is gone, it will strangle him or her in a point where he or she can’t go anywhere. Not to the afterlife nor to the next life.
Who knows we will meet him or her again in the next life just like the movie The New Police Story starred by the famous Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan. When the police inspector Chan tried to save his girlfriend from the grave danger, he whispered to his girlfriend that he hopes they can meet again in the next life.
Therefore I would like to end this article with the will of the funeral of my dream. Since I believe that maybe we are not fully death after we die and there’s a theory of acceptance, I would love to have my funeral as casual as possible just like it’s a farewell party.
If it’s possible, I want my body to be displayed for around couple of days so that relatives and friends who come from really far away place can say a final goodbye to me.
According to Islam, there is a believe that we can’t reach the heaven if we still leave any debt to some parties. Hence, in my funeral, I also would like to open up a help desk where my creditors could settle my debt while I was alive. Although deep inside, I want my creditors to let my debt away haha.
To all my debtors, please while I’m still alive, I’m still hoping that you can settle your debt. But if I die, I will consider that your debt to me personally is all settled. your money won’t do any good to me in the afterlife as I’m going to start a new life. Unless you have a debt or receivables to my companies, you still have to pay it back because the agreement wasn’t written under my name. I only approved it.
Perhaps Islam has this kind of thought because when someone is actually in debt and he or she dies, it will leave a burden to the creditors. So that’s why the creditors still cannot accept the fact that the debtor is already passed away. And as I mentioned previously that when someone still cannot accept your departure from this world, it will take you to nowhere after you die.
I want my funeral will be held like it were a party. The situation would be as fun and exciting as possible. With those banquets and music. If I may, inside my funeral, there is a space where a people can pray for me in any kind of religions that they believe in. And also I hope that there will be a stage where people can share their nice, funny and fondest memories of me while I was alive to entertain the guests who come at my funeral.
After couple of days, If it’s not too much to ask, I really wish that I can be buried inside the Capsula Mundi. I love the concept of sustainable burial. I love the idea of instead of coming to my cemetery, my relatives and friends will sit under the tree which is coming from my capsula mundi. The tree will provide the shade when it grows and I hope that the people who come to visit my grave will feel comfortable. They will stay there a little bit longer.
I think if the mood of my funeral is so cheerful, it can cheer me up too during my funeral. It will make me easier to move to the next stage of my life. Whatever it is.
P.S.: I wish that this song is being played during my funeral whether it’s live or recorded. If somehow I can still manage to preserve my hearing during my funeral, this will be the last song that I want to hear prior to my departure to the next life. For me, this song is the true definition of the divine melody.