A fellow named “Joe Self” recently asked the Biopantheism Facebook group about our thoughts on an afterlife. Here’s what I wrote to Joe Self:
Before trying to determine what happens to us in the afterlife, I suspect, we need to be very clear about what we are in the beforedeath.
You can think of Joe Self as nothing more than the organism (short for “organize-ism,” a particular way that Existence has organized itself into a thing that exists) that people call by this name, existing alone in a subnatural state (1). If you do this, however, there is nothing about the afterlife you can know for certain, and you would probably be disappointed in the results if you could. Joe Self is a wave in an Ocean of consciousness–a very special wave that learned to think and speak and do a few other tricks, but still just a temporary aspect of the Ocean.
The linear timeline of Joe Self’s existence had a beginning, so it will also have an end, forming a tiny segment of the circular flow of time that we call Nature, or Life. Circumnavigating Life as the essence of Joe Self in the form of a “soul” is a dualistic answer that begs the question of why it needed the vehicle of an organism in the first place, so I would not advise relying on that.
Is it possible that the Ocean of consciousness will rearrange through its continuous flow in a way that reorganizes an organism with the exact same sense of being and identity that Joe Self has now? Will the circle come around to the exact same relative patterns of existence that produce a person feeling this exact sense of “I” you have now, in other words? Well, it is not less possible than the miracle that arranged itself to make you happen here and now, and multiverse/string theories seem to leave that possibility wide open –maybe that’s even why we have afterlife fantasies, though it would make more sense to call them parallel lives because the multiverses “co-exist” outside of each others’ space-time structures. (Our rational mind, operating in four-dimensional space-time without further information, will always want to render them as consecutive segments rather than parallel.) This is probably the most reasonable option for preserving your sense of Joe Self as a continuous phenomenon.
But the truth of that possibility will stay beyond the event horizon in the unknowable Great Mystery, never anything more than theoretical to Joe Self. Linear time leads to a lake of fire that never gives up its dead. Do you want to spend this brief time hoping there are parallel lives and speculating about them? I don’t.
Instead, I suggest doing what the wise ones have always professed: while existing as a wave, learn that you are also the Ocean, or Existence itself.
While carving out this life from the substance of space-time, learn that you are also the Uncarved Block called Life itself.
As you inch your way around the circumference of the circle, experiencing it as a line and fearing its inevitable end, learn that you are also a whole, unbroken circle whose center is everywhere and circumference is nowhere, commonly (but not exclusively) known as God. This limitless potential becomes the turning circle of Life through an eternal process of incarnation, decarnation, and reincarnation, and you, unbeknownst to Joe Self, are That.
Trying to preserve Joe Self, you will lose him. Let Joe Self go for the sake of Life, and you will find Life everywhere, everywhen.
Instead of worrying about the afterlife of Joe Self, know with immediacy and certainty that you are the Self. Let all thought of the beforedeath and afterlife melt into the wholeness of Eternal Life.
(1) “Subnatural” is a new pantheist/Biotheistic term that challenges the idea that our reductionist, subject-object dualistic perception in linear time is “natural” –implying that anything which breaks this mold must be supernatural. Instead, this worldview is considered subnatural, while non-duality is seen in its proper context as what is natural. The Hindu concept of the illusion of Maya is an example of reality distorted by subnatural perception.