I have and continue to devote all my time in serious thought, to life. I am not the least bit concerned with life after death. I am betting my life that if we simply reach out to the limits of our capacities, to others and to God in life, God will look after what follows. There is no question that death is a fact of life. However, despite anecdotal evidence, until we actually get there to verify it, life after death will remain a theory.
The roots of our present day theory go deep into our past, probably back to the point in our evolution where our ancestors realized they dreamed in a different 'place' than they lived. With a short step from fact to theory they could easily have equated sleeping with death and then come to believe the part of us that dreamed went to that place where we dreamed, after death. As they began to think more about the hardships of life, life after death evolved into a better existence to compensate for the difficulties. Over time primitive beliefs became more complicated religions in which the after life was an existence we entered only if we accepted a particular religious belief and followed prescribed religious practices during life.
In the early days of an evolving commerce, religious leaders began selling memberships in their religions, which included advance bookings at the Paradise Valley Resort. It was advertised as a place where life after death is everything we wish life before death could be. Entering the resort was supposed to be like winning the lottery in perfect health and living forever after life like the rich do before death. Membership in one religion even offers special privileges for martyrdom. As an added incentive most warn that failing to sign up guarantees an eternal stay in Hell's Hole Lodge.
When I do give the possibility of life after death slightly more serious thought I wonder if the marketeers might have it wrong. I consider the likelihood that if there is life after death it is the mirror image of life which at the present time would not be a desirable place to be. A more worrisome thought is that existences on both sides of the 'border' are linked; and thus life after death is contingent on the continuation of life.
If this is a possibility then we are in serious trouble because our present apparently self-destructive activities are not only destroying life, they are also destroying what might be "after life". This means eventually we will have neither our present place nor "a better place" in which to be. Faced with the prospect of limiting our future it seems to me both believers and non believers, should be trying to save our present the only way we can, by reaching out to the limits of our capacities, to others and to God, our common natural activity which replaces self-destruction with self-realization. (The Last Why: the prose)