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Spiritual Beings: Explore Baha’i Views on Life Beyond Death


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Spiritual Beings: Explore Baha’i Views on Life Beyond Death

Commentary by Sarah Haug | FāVS News

“We are spiritual beings having a physical experience.”

One of my Baha’i friends said this to me the other day, which is rather a neat summation of what Baha’is believe about life after death.

Since the beginning of time, humans have wondered about what comes next. In a very real sense, explaining that is the purpose of religion! The notion that there is something more and greater in the universe than what our five senses can detect has produced the concepts of heaven, hell, the otherworld, hades, reincarnation or any number of beliefs that involve the continuance of the human soul.

It is this concept of the soul that forms a cornerstone of the Baha’i teachings.

Death leads us to the next world, where we are freed from the physical constraints of this one. We are taught not to fear it because we will all in the end “wing [our] way with the utmost joy and happiness throughout the illimitable space.”

Fear of death

This attitude does not appear to be generally accepted in society today. Rather, fear of death touches almost every aspect of life, and, in fact, many believe death is the worst thing that could happen to a person. No wonder we fear illness so profoundly.

But as the Baha’i Writings say: “Consider the light of the lamp. Though an external object may interfere with its radiance, the light itself [continues] to shine with undiminished power. In like manner, every malady afflicting the body of man is an impediment that [prevents] the soul from manifesting its inherent might and power. When it [leaves] the body, however, it will evince such ascendancy, and reveal such influence as no force on earth can equal. ”

I’ve heard interviews with intelligent people who view death as a “problem” to be solved, like self-driving cars. There are people who are paying to freeze their bodies upon death on the chance that in the future we will develop the technology to bring the dead back to life. Numerous popular shows posit a future in which we can download our brains to a digital universe, so we might live happily ever after as ourselves without our bodies.

Our essence living on

The irony, from a Baha’i perspective, is that death is already about living happily ever after without the limitations of a physical world!

After death, the essence of who we are — not our bodies or our brains, but our souls — continues in a purely spiritual existence.

“Through his ignorance man fears death, but the death he shrinks from is imaginary and absolutely unreal; it is only human imagination. [Instead] the bestowal and grace of God have quickened the realm of existence with life and being …”

The views expressed in this opinion column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of FāVS News. FāVS News values diverse perspectives and thoughtful analysis on matters of faith and spirituality.

Sarah Haug
Sarah Haughttps://www.sarahwoodbury.com/
Although an anthropologist by training, Sarah homeschooled her four children for 20 years before beginning work as a writer. She and her husband, Dan, have been married for over 30 years and split their time between their home in Pendleton, Oregon, and Caernarfon, Wales. Sarah's columns on the Baha'i Faith represent her own views and not any official position.

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