Saturday Ramble: A politics of the afterlife will prevent the world destroying itself
Life in the 20th/21st centuries has been broadly inimical to any concept of an afterlife.
The weighty intrusion of science into traditional modes of living bears down heavily on all forms of spirituality and anything deemed “natural”. Human society has become more like an ant-hill mimicking the construct of a machine. Observe your way of life more closely and this will become apparent, even to the most obtuse among us.
The thesis of this article is that a re-emergence of belief in an afterlife, amounting to a certainty, will reduce this tendency to dust. Take a look.
There was a time when everyone believed in an afterlife. And not only Christians.
In those days, death was a simple passing through a gossamer curtain to another aspect of life. People lived their lives to the full, conscious that they could survive anything.
In modern times those certainties have been lost beneath a deluge of atheism and scientific speculation. Giants of theoretical science claim that this is all we have … so just get used to it.
The inevitable consequence of this dogmatic view is that our existence must be protected by any means possible. Therein lies the politics of the afterlife.
Physical immortality through medical intervention is passionately sought and paid for, even if it means freezing a newly-dead body for hundreds of years. Cosmetic surgery — now on the NHS — is de rigueur among women of a certain age, often 23 or over.
Politicians of the Left have responded by weaving ever more legal safety nets to stop us walking into danger. The Left is, of course, mostly atheistic. Man is their god and the measure of all things. And he is doomed to extinction. The job of socialists is to extend that span for as long as possible.
The result of this kind of government action is that modern society has become neurotic, as David Cameron pointed out on one of his better days. Sometimes it crosses boundaries that properly belong to the individual and border on the psychotic. Everyone will have their favourite examples.
I believe the cause of this denaturing of life lies outside the political landscape, however. It derives from the moments when Darwin, Freud and others cackhandedly lost touch with the essence of existence and rebuilt it on a rickety structure of theory, poorly executed experiment, and narrowly-based investigation. In our century, the movement relies almost entirely on mathematics and complex equations.
And yet, contrary to received opinion, an afterlife is provable using a multitude of anecdotal evidence from the length and breadth of historical testimony. If you had read as many accounts as I have, you would be in no doubt. See this piece on survival after death — just below this one.
That may not be “science” as we know it. It will always fail the repeatability test of the scientific method because only interactions between simple physical objects tend to a similarity of outcome.
The main sickness of modern society is the feeling of impending doom, even execution, thus “What the hell!” And that sums up all the ills of our world. We seem to be sentenced to death by an implacable fate.
The great Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, was convinced that almost all mental problems in adults are religious in nature, usually linked to a loss of faith. Now this might seem to be something the churches should deal with, not politicians. I don’t agree.
There is as much disputation and loss of confidence among churches and their denominations as in other policy areas. Totalitarian religions are as much to blame for the emptiness of modern life as the titans of science, which has become a religion in itself: Scientism.
Politicians could help by refusing to fund Big Science projects, such as the Large Hadron Collider, and concentrate scarce resources on technology, where small-scale projects can have immense outcomes for employment and productivity. Look at Silicon Valley.
Governments could stop “following the science”. It is this apparent invincibility that’s giving a few rather pathetic figures the aura of knowing all the answers. Their depressing materialism is infecting modern life with a nihilism that is totally self-destructive.
Science has replaced a god as the object of worship in many socialised countries around the globe, including our own. The answer is not necessarily to go back to any one religion, although if Christianity reformed itself, it might become a useful vehicle for a new way of looking at the world.
Since the loss of an afterlife is at the heart of our deep societal neurosis, some way should be found to bring it back on to the public agenda.
Loss of an afterlife is our modern tragedy. It can only be healed by a less materialistic philosophy and a new conviction that death is not the end.
… who is the author of The Eternal Quest for Immortality: Is it staring you in the face? Available from Amazon and all good booksellers.
To be published soon: Mystology: A different way of looking at the world.