One of the  great questions of mankind   is today’s topic. Is there a life after death? Is our soul transported to a new world after leaving our body? What do the scientists say about this? What do the religions say?

Since the skull is our emblem and the  ultimate symbol of death , we at Skull World naturally asked ourselves this question! And we’re going to answer the questions you just read above in this article to try and find answers to this complex topic. ☠️

The only certainty in life is death. For centuries people have been trying to find ways to deal with it, which may explain why many believe in life after death. From ancient tribes to the modern western world, people have important rituals and beliefs surrounding death…

Is there a life after death?

Science suggests that « no », but this issue is surely beyond what can be scientifically proven in 2020! People have always been

fascinated by death  and the idea of ​​returning to life. Is it really possible to come back from death as some people claim when they wake up from a coma? What is the difference between a living being and a dead body? Let’s take a look together at the scientific theories that try to answer these questions.

Licht am End of the Tunnels

what is death

It may sound strange to ask this question, but it’s the first one we need to answer in order to define what death really is,” says Dr. Jonathan Jong from the Department of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford. ” There is

Rituals surrounding death  that can vary greatly from culture to culture, but there can also be different definitions of what death is. Even within the scientific communities, there is not complete agreement on this ». 🧐 So

is death a standstill of the brain or the heart? What if a person has terminal illness and parts of their body die before the vital organs fail and stop functioning? « When you start thinking about this question in different cultures, the question becomes even more important. In some regions of Indonesia, for example,  families will  dig up the bodies their deceased relatives and bury them again. They say that a person is really dead only after the second burial. For them, death comes in stages,” explains Dr. jong

In some parts of Tibet, the bodies are left on a mountain instead of being buried. To some, this may seem pretty cruel. « But when you consider how difficult it is to carry a corpse up a mountain, it becomes clear that it is a conscious and meaningful act ».

Similarly, in ancient Persia (modern-day Iran), it was common for some tribes, such as the Zoroastrians, to build towers of silence in which to lay their dead so they could be eaten by the birds. « This too may seem like a cruel task to us at first sight, nevertheless they built very expensive structures only for the dead ». ⚰️

All cultures take care of dead bodies, albeit in different ways. Perhaps some people might find it odd to clothe a corpse or even have cosmetic surgery, as is often the case in the US? In Britain, corpses are increasingly being stripped of their natural fluids and filled with embalming fluid to preserve them. These practices may seem normal to us, but they are bizarre to others.Woman body and soul

feelings in the face of death

Rituals evolve to help us deal with death . We need these rituals, »says Dr. Jong, « because our feelings about death can be ambivalent. « We evolved to avoid physical threats, which partly explains why corpses repel us. Not only do they represent reminders of our mortality, but they can also be sources of infectious diseases.

So we’re torn between the need to dispose of a corpse that might be carrying germs and the desire to preserve the still-recognizable body as the property of someone we knew and loved. This contradiction may explain why we surround death with dramatic spectacles and ceremonies. 

Funeral  means we don’t just throw away a corpse as if it’s of no value. We say goodbye to a loved one. We still see him as a person. At least that’s the kind of explanation that evolutionary anthropologists offer ».

man tunnel light

Ars Moriendi (Good Dying)

There is little evidence on what is a good death »? It’s something that has evolved culturally over time. There is certainly a long Western tradition of pondering this subject, stretching back to the philosophers of ancient Greece. In medieval Europe, the Church even published  handbooks on dying well , called  ars moriendi , the art of dying

Over the centuries, reliance on the church as a singular institution became less reliant, and so death, like so many other things, became privatized. People had to make up their own minds about how to die well.

« As you can imagine, when asked what a good death is, most people answer that they don’t want to be in pain or, for example, to be surprised by an accident. To this day, the dominant idea in the West is that people should face death with courage, reminiscent of the ancient Greek ideas about death. But why should people be brave and accept the end of their lives?

The art of dying

Belief in life after death

Belief in an afterlife is psychologically ingrained and probably stems from our intuitions about the mind-body relationship . Let us focus here on the studies of Bruce Hood, Professor of Psychology at the University of Bristol.

Bruce Hood and his colleagues conducted studies with young children around the age of four to five years. He showed them a hamster and then told them he could clone an exact replica. When asked if the cloned hamster had the same physical characteristics as the original, the children usually answered “yes.” However, when asked about the clone’s psychological characteristics (e.g., “Does this hamster know you tickled it?”), the majority of them answered “No.”

In another series of experiments, the children heard about a mouse that had been eaten by an alligator. When asked about the biological characteristics of the mouse, they said, “Is their brain still working? » or « Can she still walk? », the children mostly answered with « no ». However, when asked about the mouse’s feelings, such as “Is the mouse still afraid of the alligator?” ‘, they usually answered ‘yes’. So it seems that the children believe that our body ends when we die, but that part of  our psychology lives on.

It is often assumed that adults tell children what to think. However, research on the subject suggests that children develop these beliefs naturally and sometimes retain them into adulthood.

This fundamental and ingrained notion that our minds (our memories, emotions, and desires) are in some ways distinct and separate from our bodies leads us to believe that if our bodies are allowed to die, we somehow live on, perhaps as immaterial souls. 💭

Eternal life

Believe in the afterlife

Some people find that  belief in an afterlife  is very comforting. It can help overcome heartache, loss, and sadness. It is comforting to think that one day we will be reunited with a loved one who has died in a better world than this one. Especially for people who have had very hard lives, the thought that things will be better after death can help them get through their life now. For example, African American slaves often sang songs about the afterlife to appease their brutally cruel existence. 🎶

Nevertheless, there are different “levels of faith”. Indeed, the belief is that people are made up of  bodies and souls is one thing. Believing in the afterlife is another. And believing in a pleasant or not pleasant afterlife like heaven and hell is something else.

Also: « Not only traditional religious people have a belief in the hereafter. Because as  religious beliefs  decline in countries like France, belief in paradise declines much more slowly. God goes, but paradise remains. 🙏

And there are other ways to keep the dead alive without literally believing in heaven. By talking about someone who has died, by looking at photos and films of that person and maybe even “talking” to them. This is how we keep them alive in our minds, memories and hearts. So in that sense there is life after death.

cloud beyond

Life after death in religions

If you were to ask a biologist what happens to us after death, he would probably tell you all about what happens to our bodies after our hearts stop beating. But that’s not the answer one would expect for one  of mankind’s great questions.  Life after death means our spirit, our consciousness. The major world religions usually answer this question in two ways:

1) Paradise and Hell

The three Abrahamic religions, those that recognize Abraham as their first prophet (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam), all answer this question in a similar way. They say that you are not only your body but also your soul. After your body dies, your soul lives in a world beyond the physical world.

2) Die Renaissance

The major Eastern religions (Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism) also teach that there is something within us that survives the death of our body. However, it does not leave this world. Rather, it finds another body in which to continue living. We call this movement from body to body  reincarnation  or rebirth (samsara).

Life after death according to Christianity

Based on the  New Testament , which tells us how Jesus died and came to life again, Christians hope that God will give them the  vie éternelle après la mort . tells us how Jesus died and came back to life, Christians hope that after death God will give them eternal life. They also believe that at some point their lives will be judged by God. Those who have put their faith in Jesus will go to heaven and those who have rejected him will go to hell. 👹

Hell is often described as a place of pain and suffering. However, this should not be taken too literally. Suffering is the fear we feel when we are condemned to eternal life without God (the Creator of life and all goodness) by our side. Similarly, heaven is not an elevated place in heaven. It is the place where we are united with God, the source of our life.

Protect yourself from death by wearing this “”cross” “” around your neck.

Life after death according to Islam

Because both Islam and Christianity worship the God of Abraham (Allah is the Arabic word for God), these two religions understand the afterlife in a similar way. Like Christians, Muslims also believe that we understand  a soul that survives the death of our body. And the idea that there will come a day when God will judge mankind is one of the six core beliefs of Islam. On this day everyone is sent to Paradise (Jannah) or Hell (Jahannam). ☪️

Believers go to heaven, which is represented as a garden with 7 layers of heaven, the top being the  Garden of Eden  and the house of Adam and Eve. While at the lower levels our neighbors will be people like Jesus and Abraham. Hell also has 7 layers, each with a different necessarily eternal one, as in Christianity. It is possible for a person who has sinned, having served his sentence, to be received in Paradise.


Life after death according to Judaism

The Hebrew Bible and early Jewish texts are not entirely clear on the question of the afterlife. There is an underworld called 

Sheol . However, it is the hell of Christians or Muslims. This is where all the dead go (regardless of whether they have lived a good life or not) to spend eternity as a shadow of themselves. There is no punishment or suffering here, nor is it the house of God.

Later texts of the Telmud develop more familiar notions of judgment, hell (Gehenne) and heaven (Olam Ha-Ba). On the Day of Judgment, those who have followed the laws of Judaism will pass from this world (OlamHa-Zeh) to the world to come (Olam Ha-Ba). The throne of God is in the Garden of Eden . However, Gehenna is the dwelling place of most common people. Here they are either punished or purified (depending on which writing expert you ask), for a period of up to twelve months. After this time they are ready to join God. However, true evil must spend eternity in Hell or be annihilated completely. ✡️

Jewish paradise

Life after death according to Buddhism

The Buddhist tradition differs from the three religions described above in two important respects. First: After death we do not go to another world, but remain in the world we know. When our body dies, we are reborn in another. Second, there is no self or soul, there is no “you”. Confused? Don’t worry, let’s go one step further… 🧘

If there is neither a soul nor a self, then what is there to be reborn? After the  Bouddha, read feeling that we are the same person all our lives is an illusion. For Buddhists, everything is always changing, nothing is permanent. So when we die, it’s not us, but the energies that shape us that take on a new shape. The parts that make us up are arranged slightly differently, forming someone else.

This next life is connected to the previous one by something known as  karma . It is the idea that an action in a previous life will entail a reaction in the next life. Did we do something terrible in a past life? We could be reincarnated as a cockroach! The ultimate goal of Buddhism is to escape this cycle of rebirth by achieving the following Enlightenment or Nirvana.


Life after death according to Hinduism

Tout comme le bouddhisme, l’hindouisme considère également la vie comme un  cycle of death and rebirth  bound by karma. If we are unlucky in our life, we must have done something wrong in the previous life. The goal is therefore to free oneself from this cycle. 🕉

The Hindus call this state of freedom “  moksha ”. But unlike the Buddhists, the Hindus believe that there is something that makes us who we are. They believe that every human being has an  atman,  soul or spirit. This spirit is always the same, regardless of the body in which it temporarily resides.


Life after death according to Sikhism

Like Buddhists, Sikhs believe that life is a cycle of death and rebirth linked by karma. The goal is again Mukti or liberation from this cycle. Like the Hindus, the Sikhs also believe that there is a soul that translates into a series of bodies. 

Just as we can change, our soul is also reborn in a new body. The Sikhs realize Mukti when the soul becomes one with God. The soul originally comes from God , but it has been separated from him. Because of this, she became unclean. But by remembering and meditating on the name of God, the soul can find its way back.


Life after death according to Chinese folk religion

Chinese folk religion’s understanding of the afterlife also focuses on the  rebirth of souls . However, if we have sinned in our previous life, we are not only reborn in an uncomfortable body. We wait to be punished for our sins. And once we receive our punishment, we are ready to be reborn in a new body. The punishment differs according to the sins committed and their severity.

Chinese temple

Life after death in philosophy

It’s quite natural that we want to know if there is life after death, and that we really want there to be life after death. That’s because many of us assume that death is a bad thing, something to fear. But that doesn’t apply to all people. Some philosophers have argued that death is not so important after all…

Let’s assume for a moment that there is no life after death and that when you die it’s all over. Some philosophers wonder: is it wrong to be dead?

Now it is important to add that no one denies that death, the process leading to death, can be unpleasant. When philosophers say that

death is not an evil  or that death is not bad for the dying, do not deny the suffering some people suffer. In this case, on the contrary, they suggest that the state of death is not really bad.

death and philosophy

The theory of Epicurus

The idea that death is not bad is discussed with the Greek philosopher Epicurus (341-272 BC) and his followers. He recognized that many of us fear death, but believed that fear was irrational. He made arguments for this conclusion, which he hoped would reassure people.

The first question is: If death is bad, then who is it bad for? Well, for those who are left behind on earth, it’s difficult, but we don’t worry about them in this case. Above all, we talk about the fact that it is bad for the one who has died. According to Epicurus, however, this is meaningless. Death is annihilation (the ultimate end of all things). At least the person has to exist for something to be bad for someone.

Look at it this way: Epicurus is long dead. It wouldn’t be very logical to go out into the street and shout: “Epicurus was a mad old philosopher! ». Would this comment be bad for Epicurus himself? Certainly not, because he’s not here to take the remark. And so if death is really the end of all we can experience, it suggests that when we’re dead we’re not there to feel anything uncomfortable. So being dead is not bad.

However, not everyone is convinced of Epicure’s reasoning. Some philosophers argue that Epicurus turned bad because he had a wrong idea of ​​what it meant to be bad for someone. He assumed that something is bad for someone only when that person has a negative experience, e.g. B. if a bee stings you, it is very likely that you have a negative feeling. But is there another way to harm a person?


Life before birth

The disciple of Epicurus, Lucretia(99-55 av. J.-C.), a Roman philosopher and poet, proposed another argument, known as the ”  asymmetry argument .” » is known. This argument is best explained by thinking about the time before birth… We were born at a specific time and not earlier. Had we been born earlier, we could have enjoyed things in that earlier period. But few people think that being deprived of the time before they were born is a bad thing. The time before we are born and the time after we die are the same in every respect. Both extend to infinity, and neither includes us. So if we don’t mind missing one, you shouldn’t mind missing the other…

For Epicurus and Lucretius,  letting go of people’s fear of death was most important. If death doesn’t hurt us when we’re dead, then it’s a mistake to let it hurt us when we’re alive. Instead, they were hedonists who believed that the most important thing in life was pleasure. Instead of worrying about our death, we should “eat, drink, and be merry,” as the saying goes.

Defy the law of the Great Grim Reaper by wearing this “”beautiful ring”” featuring his likeness.