What If?

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Palliative Care

Dr. Colin Dicks

MBChB, FRANZCR, MBA, MSc Palliative Medicine.
February 14, 2019

What do you believe happens when you die? I know what I believe, but what if I am wrong? What if my belief about dying is so incorrect that it leaves me embarrassed at the time of death? The problem about dying is that it is usually a one-way journey. From a scientific perspective it is impossible to know exactly what happens at the time of death and thereafter.

This is because, as far as I know, there is no way to measure or record what happens at the time of death or after death. Sure, from a purely physical point of view, it is quite easy to tell that the body has died, that respiration has ceased, the heart has stopped beating and there is no one home. But what happens on a spiritual level? I posed a question about near death experiences (NDE) in a group discussion and the responses were quite varied. The usual scientific opinions, about NDE being the failing brain’s last gasp attempts at making sensory sense, were offered. How does anyone know? How can science invalidate the experience of so many people who have had a NDE and say “ Hey there is something out there after dying”? Or what about the religious teaching that proposes that we all have souls and that the souls continue beyond this physical life.

Does the unknown of science invalidate the millions of faith -based viewpoints? My viewpoint is that there is an afterlife, agreater spiritual consciousness after death and an appointment with God. As such I choose to live my life in a particular way with the hope and expectation of an ongoing existence after death. I may be wrong. If I am wrong, my belief does not put me at a disadvantage when I die. At the worst I simply end. Game over. But what if I am not wrong? What if there is life after death? Does this change your game plan? Self-preservation is not a negative thing. There are no awards for being stupid and being unprepared for “life” after this life, in my view is foolish.At the risk of being offensive, I challenge you to have a game plan for the next chapter after this life.

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