Articles about Spirituality
Q: Can belief in an afterlife be acceptable... even if you're not religious?
Does one need to believe in a traditional god to believe in heaven or some sort of survival of physical death, or is there always some sort of god involved?
A: The funny thing is, while we get this sort of question quite often, in my view... it's pretty common for folks who DON'T believe in organized religion to hold some of the most certain beliefs that something, be it a spiritual transition or otherwise, follows THIS incarnation into the next. As a matter of fact, these days, it's almost "cliche" to describe oneself as "spiritual but NOT religious" and when asked... at least 50% of respondents identify themselves as such.
Here is the thing...
I don't believe you've got to pray to a certain deity or god to believe that there is a higher power.
For example, I personally grew up in a reasonably religious Jewish household, and while I'm not religious by traditional standards (and only very rarely go to Temple or services) I have a firm foundation of faith that there is MUCH more to "life" than meets the eye.
I've had numerous "afterlife encounters" that have been FAR more evidential and persuasive that there is life after death, than anything I was taught growing up.
As a writer and researcher and online publisher of several popular spiritual and psychic content and communities around the web, I can tell you from first hand experience that most of our readers say the exact same thing: They BELIEVED based on faith and practice, but it wasn't until they had their own extraordinary experiences did they KNOW for sure!
My rule of thumb these days? What you actually experience, first hand... is much more powerful than things you are told, or taught, or even FORCED to believe. (as we know, in some cultures, what you are told to believe is often far more strict than those of us experience in the Western world)
My own experiences with psychics, mediums and even exploring all sorts of altered states of consciousness through mediation, and through the use of spiritual or psychic tools and techniques have taught me more about the unseen world, than any textbook could.
Not to say I don't respect or understand people who use their religious faith to arrive at the same place! Some of my closest friends (including several successful psychic mediums) are amongst the most religious people I know, and integrate their afterlife belief system on both what they "see" during a reading, in conjunction with what they were taught as part of their culture or religious community.