17 May 2011

Heaven Sent

In an interview with the Guardian, British scientist Stephen Hawking explained, "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."

An according to a poll of the Sydney Morning Herald, 79% of its readers agree with him.

What do you think?

I guess if you think of yourself as a machine, and not a spirit, it would be hard to believe that there is life after death.

I think 'believing' can be a pschycologically positive thing because it can keep some people on the straight and narrow and it offers some hope in a world where, historically, life has been pretty harsh.

As for me, I am an absolute believer in the afterlife.

This belief was firmly cemented not necessarily by religious beliefs but because of a chance meeting with a stranger in a foreign country about 7 years ago. At the risk of being branded ‘odder” than you may already think I am, I will post about it soon. It was intriguing, unsettling and comforting all at the same time.

As for Heaven, well.....all I can say is .....

If there is no Heaven, how does Hawking explain George Clooney, Armedi Italian chocolate and the iPad?
Yeah, thought as much.



Note: The writer wants to be up front about the fact she is also is a firm believer in fairytales and that hope springs eternal.

23 comments:

  1. Hear hear (to the choc!)

    A bit like a warm doona.. faith's something to hold on to. Like everything in life, there's the good bits and the not so good.

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  2. Oh Lilly the faith that there 'is' an afterlife is I believe the only thing that makes any sense - Otherwise why are we here?

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  3. Excellent post Lilly....lots of food for thought (including chocolate!).

    Like you I am an absolute believer in the afterlife, angels, souls, spirits and of course fairytales.

    Lately I have been fascinated by Australian Aboriginal dreamtime stories. I am enjoying learning about the connections between plants, animals and humans.

    Looking forward to hearing about your chance meeting with that stranger my gorgeous kooky friend.

    Big hugs and warmest love
    Peggy xxxx

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  4. Hi Lilly,
    Just heard that your dad has died. So sorry. He was a lovely fellow. What a beautiful ending for him.

    Thanks for brilliant photos Really enjoyed looking at them Felt i was there !

    I believe that we are recycled and go on to another life We don't remember this life apart from occasional deja vu moments !!
    Look forward to the next post with interest

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  5. Being an Indian , i cant help but belive in after life . this idea kind of comforts me when i see some people with unscrupulous ways(plenty in my country) amass wealth , deprive the poor and nothing happens to them ......I know that God and his/her court will punish them suitably and in their after life they will carry the burden of their sins. I do believe in poetic justice atleast in God's court .
    Yes , i believe in heaven and hell and fairies .

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  6. Yes I believe in an afterlife. I think our lives here would be so much sadder if we didn´t have this hope or anticipation of a life after this one.

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  7. good question Lilly. He makes sense, but life doesn't make sense...we need to believe and have faith in some other power, just to be sane in this world.

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  8. Like others have said, it is far better to believe there is something else. I believe we keep coming back until we have learnt the lessons we need to. Then we finally get to 'heaven' when we have learnt what we should. It doesnt really matter what happens because none of us will ever know until we get there but it is far more positive to think we are going some place interesting then just to cease existing in some form or other. I am a believer in the afterlife but not sure about heaven. I think I believe in Hell more than Heaven however and know a few people who will go straight there, lol.

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  9. Even if there wasn't a heaven believing in it is what makes feel human, gives me that sense that everything is going to be okay and when i die i'm not just going to be lying in the ground I'll be somewhere nice, and warm. With my grandparents. Oh how i miss them.

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  10. Whats with all those 79% Sydney readers agreeing with Hawking ? And "fairy story for people afraid of the dark...."....Hmmpf.

    I was going to comment here but it got too big (like Hawking's universe), and so i wrote a post .

    Death, Dark and fairy stories...

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  11. Hello there!
    I relish in the memories ~ and can feel the spirit ~ of every person I loved who is no longer on this Earth. It is my fervent wish to be remembered and felt in this way as well. It's the most comforting and life-affirming part of my existence.
    Love,
    Helen

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  12. Prof. Hawking is brilliant but who knows if he is right on everything.
    I read his recent co-author book, "The Grand Design". Lots of deep thinking in this and his other books. As you may know the book has plenty of critics.

    Believing and having faith in unexplainable things has good and bad results. There are many good ideas and rules that are organized within religions so that's the good side. The bad side is when some religious leaders think they are above all other earthly creatures.

    What I'm trying to say is our actions and reactions with humankind and nature is more important than the basis for doing them.

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  13. I'm with you! Heaven, the afterlife, and fairy stories are my favorites. Professor Hawking is a brilliant scientist, has the right to his opinions, but in my book he's mistaken :)

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  14. I think he is mistaken too but I guess we will have to die first in order to be able to prove him wrong. Without hope of something more or better many of us in the world who are experiencing some very bad times (say in third world countries) would have some very dark days I think without faith.

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  15. Why is it so hard for people to realise once you are gone, you are gone.

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  16. Your post today inspired me - gave you a shout-out

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  17. @ Young Werther - ooh yes, a warm doona - love the analogy!

    @ Kate - Why are we here? don't know but I look forward to finding out. I have assumed it was always so that we could learn whatever lessons we need and then come back again if we still hadnt got it through our thick skulls. Who know, the million dollar question!!

    @ Peggy - Loved your post about the Australian Aboriginal dreamtime stories. I think we have much to learn from the Aorigines.

    @ Barbara - yes those deja vu moments - never thought of those and yet we all have them.....thanks for giving my Dad a laugh with your blog for so long too - he thought you were hilarious and of course his adopted English daughter!

    @ Kirti - yes I am with you somehow when we cannot see justice happening in this world it gives us some satisfaction to think it might happen in the next. Otherwise I think i would take ot my bed right now and hide under the doona.

    @ Betty - Yes it would be sad and it would be sadder for those who through no fault of their own had terrible lives with not much joy.

    @ Christine - true, none of it makes sense and that what gives us hope. I love hope!

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  18. I saw this article too and was thinking about it. You know... I wasn't expecting him to say that though.

    I really do believe in a spiritual afterlife. I don't believe in a heaven or hell or pearly gates. I don't believe you have to believe a certain way. I just think you move on.

    My aunt, who my mother says has a sixth sense told me that she is not afraid of death at all because she's already died once and knows what it's like. I have to believe her. I really do.

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  19. Hi, I've popped over from Lisleman's blog, and I am so glad I did, as I thoroughly enjoyed reading your take on this! As for me, I am not religious, though I do try to respect the beliefs of others, and often applaud the values some faiths espouse. No, I don't believe in an afterlife, but I DO believe in energy, and sometimes we may leave a trace of ourselves behind (which could account for certain sightings).

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  20. @ Banoffi - you and me both my friend, ha ha

    @ Ms McAllister - yes I agree too!

    @ Ugich - yes the 79% surprised me too although the paper is not one of our finest and I am sure sceptics will be the first to join the poll. Great post you did!!

    @ Lisleman - that is very profund and they are very wise words. I get you and I will be over to read your post.

    @ Gran - yep fairy stories top my list.

    @ Sarah - true its natural to hope that inequities felt in this life will somehow be more balanced out in the next life.

    @ Kay - oh, I would love you to post about your Aunty.

    @ Shrinky - I agree there is some force, energy or whatever out there after death. Cant wait to find out one day! Thanks for stopping by.

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  21. In grief something that has given me some relief is to remember that,

    We are not just human beings who have spiritual experiences.
    We are spiritual beings who have human experiences

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  22. Hi Lilly, Very true, all human being will go back to dust and after that the soul will be resurrected but in other living thing, it can be animals, plants or another human being. Good day, nice traveling to your blog.

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  23. @ Chapter Forty - I love that and am going to write that down. Thanks so much.

    @ Travel Guide - Thanks for coming by - there are so many possibilities and that is where we get our hope!

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Thanks for your comments. I love reading what you have to say.