Does a person need to believe in an afterlife in order to heal present wounds? Is an eternal reward needed to motivate giving help to others? Perhaps there is something in experience that triggers a leap to the conclusion, “I will go on after death!” This conclusion is then given credence beyond further examination. Yet further examination may take us to more robust conclusions, and lead to finer conceptions of our own consciousness. The surprise is that, instead of life becoming meaningless when the simple idea of immortality is taken away, life becomes a celebration, the mystery of consciousness becomes more wonderful, and the draw of loving neighbor as oneself becomes more compelling.
Bob Greenwell is Leader of the Ethical Society Mid Rivers in St. Charles County. Mid Rivers, a satellite of the St. Louis Society, began accepting members in January, 2004, and its membership now stands at 48. Bob has an M.Ed. in counseling, is married to Kathleen, and is the proud grandfather of four.