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Thread: After Death

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    After Death

    Non starters for dialogue have been 'I will go where I am sent'. The point here, is to get some dialogue going, as practicing heathens, how they personally view the life after this one or a lack thereof.

    The Road to Hel, is a good work, but to stress I do enjoy reading about those experiences of fellows on the path.

    We read about Ragnarok, wherein the Gods perish and the Einherjar who flood out of Valhalla may well do the same.

    Do the Gods have an Afterlife or what of the Einherjar? Do their lights extinguish then too?

    I look forward to the posts to come.

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    Comes Life.

    It seems to be a matter of cyclical time and regeneration by way of wyrd.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyfing View Post
    It seems to be a matter of cyclical time and regeneration by way of wyrd.
    It's not scientifically proven to be the case of course but I have a certain amount of time for this notion of reincarnation. The universe is a very large and strange place, it may even be infinite. In fact the idea that it is infinite is if anything more plausible than the contrary, as it can hardly be bounded by anything and if it is then what is outside that boundary?

    So if the universe is infinite as I think it is, then whatever can happen (given the physical laws extant in the universe) eventually must happen and happen an infinite number of times.This would have to include being born as a human.
    Close observation may result in feelings of horror, wonder and awe at world you find yourself inhabiting.

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    Without getting into a lot of math and quantum mechanics. . .

    I do not think the gods, or anyone "perishes" at Ragnarok in terms of ceasing to exist. I would say that they are reborn into the world that emerges after this one is burnt and the survivors move on.

    It's often asked why Freyja keeps half the slain and Odin gets the other half. Perhaps it's because Odin's half fight and die at Ragnarok, and have to be reborn int he new world, and Freyja takes her half as the first warrior caste in the new world.

    I think the gods and ourselves are expressions of the same thing, just different in orders of magnitude. Like comparing a calculator to a supercomputer. The spirit, IMO is eternal. Matter decays, energy dissipates, but the spirit moves on, even surviving the end of the world to be reborn in the next. Even the gods. For example, some say in the slavic veda that Odin walked the earth for a given period of time. OK, so that means he died, right? So is Odin no more? That makes no sense. He wouldn't have been able to make the worlds and humans from Ymir if he were confined to only a material body well into human history, nor could he have a hall where he rules from and the Einherjar feast after training.

    As far as reincarnation versus going to a god's hall, I see it like this, and keep in mind, it is opinion, with nothing to back it up. I think that when we die, we go to our respective god's hall, or to Niflheim for those not worthy of any god's hall. We only reincarnate into the next world, or at best in the next epoch (speaking in terms of the four yuga).

    The existing lore speaks to both, but doesn't give much in the way of what determines which path you take.

    I think the truth of the matter is far grander and encompassing than what we think of. I also think that, in the end, we really will end up where we are sent. The trick in this life is to live such that you are sent where you would like to be.

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    Matter ,as we know it on this earth cannot be destroyed or eliminated ,only altered .A persons "geist" or will in a strong person I believe also can never be destroyed.You have to be true to nature and true to yourself and your family and your volk.To deny these things from pressure from "socially accepted religions" or governments is a test which many will fail because of weakness.Deny your blood and you deny your existance;here on earth or after

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    I thank you all for the thoughtful responses.

    I have heard talk of becoming 'one' as if with a greater ocean of being at death.. sounded a bit too new-age/wiccan to me.

    The notion of reincarnation, too, though sounds just as off putting. For instance, in the case of the drop, when it becomes part of the ocean it ceases to be that drop. As with a reincarnation, the soul may be the same but if the mind does not comprehend or aware of this than how could we say there is a continuity.

    To postulate another notion, one could say that between fleshly existence, the soul itself retains the wisdom and experience as well as having full consciousness of it. The, mortal coil, as it were being a thick curtain at the window of looking out over the plain of one's former existences in that way.

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    those who die in battle will go to valhalla or folkvangr as for the rest of us, helheim. the gods maybe reborn or like baldr never really dies just goes to helheim to be reborn again after ragnarok. perhapse when i die i will be reborn again or maybe not. none but the norns know as to what fate we are destined for. i believe i will go to hel or if by some chance i am to die in battle then Freya always has first choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aedan View Post
    The notion of reincarnation, too, though sounds just as off putting. For instance, in the case of the drop, when it becomes part of the ocean it ceases to be that drop. As with a reincarnation, the soul may be the same but if the mind does not comprehend or aware of this than how could we say there is a continuity.
    I think the sense of continuity would be experienced more as a kind of actual being which can't be completely boiled down to the mechanism of the physical brain alone, than of clear memories from earlier existence.
    Trees are aslo experiencing this being, even though they don't have brains, and yes, I think this is linked to a component that isn't limited to the physical and biological realm, and will manifest somewhere else when it's current body is dead.
    If reincarnation/re-birth is possible (which I personally believe), this wouldn't actually be a total reincarnation, which would mean that you are reborn with almost exactly the same characteristics and nature. Our nature consists of many parts, components or elements, many of which are limited to this particular life or manifestation.

    Quote Originally Posted by vicorix View Post
    those who die in battle will go to valhalla or folkvangr as for the rest of us, helheim.
    That's a bit stereotypical, I think. We actually do have sources which tell of people getting access to various halls and places in Asgard without having died in battle.
    These mythological places can be interpreted in various ways, but I think it's safe to say that Asgard, as being the realm of the Aesir and situated above Midgard represents consciousness (after all, its lord is Odin, the eternal seekers of higher consciousness, more insight and more knowledge of the world and of existence). Helheim is situated below Midgard and represents darkness (not actually evil in the Christian sense), stillness, rest, death. I think both Asgard and Helheim has a place in our journey and are essential, but in different ways. Asgard should be our higher goal - the will to improve, to connect to the gods (who are also part of our own nature, as we to a higher or lower degree share in their blood) and be sure that this affects our deeds here in Midgard.

    the gods maybe reborn
    The gods will remanifest in new forms suitable for the new cycle that begins after Ragnarok. I've seen some theorize that Widar (who avenges Odin when he is swallowed by Fenrir) actually is the new form of Odin (Woden's Folk for example)
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    Senior Member Bearkinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vicorix View Post
    those who die in battle will go to valhalla or folkvangr as for the rest of us, helheim.
    The slain in battle go to Valhalla or Sessrumnir (Freyja's hall, Folkvangr is the field in which the hall sits). But there's also Thor's hall Bilskirnir for thralls, others (that I don't remember the names of) for virgins, smiths, etc. Pretty much each god seems to have several halls for people to go to. Hel's hall, Éljúðnir seems to be separate from the wastelands of Niflheim, though located in it. It seems there are those who Hel favors and those unworthy of her hall as well. There are many places to end up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedan View Post
    I thank you all for the thoughtful responses.

    I have heard talk of becoming 'one' as if with a greater ocean of being at death.. sounded a bit too new-age/wiccan to me.
    Yeah, kind of abstract oriental mumbo jumbo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedan View Post
    The notion of reincarnation, too, though sounds just as off putting. For instance, in the case of the drop, when it becomes part of the ocean it ceases to be that drop. As with a reincarnation, the soul may be the same but if the mind does not comprehend or aware of this than how could we say there is a continuity.
    Yes and no.
    Here's where I end up jumping in the pool of quantum theory. Your quantum state can survive nearly anything, likely even singularity events (falling into a black hole, a "big crunch" end of the universe, etc.), and IMO ends up being what we call the soul or spirit.

    I don't see matter and energy existing as we think of it. To put it in the manner of one of my favorite sci-fi authors, the universe is really composed of information, and how we interpret that information determines how we view it.

    How does this tie in? Well, if your spirit survives death, then it stands to reason that it takes its memories and experiences with it. Now, the idea of reincarnation is that we don't choose how/when/where to reincarnate, it is chosen by some outside force (karma, gods, etc). So perhaps the idea that we do not remember (much) of our previous selves, is more a manifestation of our limited form, and not that those memories and experiences didn't survive. Ever have vivid dreams of places, people, and events that are not in the current time of your life? Are they dreams, shamanic journeys to otherworlds, or memories dredged up from your archives of places and times you previously lived?

    Perhaps the gods reincarnate us for a given number of times, until we are as complete as our being can get, then go on to our final disposition in their halls until Ragnarok, after which it starts again, building in the new world?

    The gods, being far more advanced than us (again compare calculators to supercomputers) have the mastery to manifest physically, walk among the worlds, and even incarnate at will. This would explain how Odin helped create the first humans, gave them the breath of life, lived on earth but a few thousand years ago, and will be present in the future at Ragnarok -- His being is not limited to the physical incarnation he once had. It would also make things such as the shapeshifting abilities of the higher spirits and gods make a bit of sense (since they are not confined to a single form, but can manifest as they will, they can shift forms of manifestation as well.). Also explaining things such as Fryja (in the guise of Gullveig) being speared, and burnt three times, and coming back to life three times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedan View Post
    To postulate another notion, one could say that between fleshly existence, the soul itself retains the wisdom and experience as well as having full consciousness of it. The, mortal coil, as it were being a thick curtain at the window of looking out over the plain of one's former existences in that way.
    Kind of what I was getting at saying "our limited form" being the obstacle, not that those memories and experiences don't exist.

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    Although I am not a Heathen I do have Heathen ''leanings,'' and i have formulated a world-view around them. I do not ''throw in'' with any particular conception of the afterlife of a Religion, but i sorta pick n choose from what I feel to be of Ancestral importance and prioritize based off personal feeling. I kinda had this idea of an afterlife being a process of spiritual struggle -a individual ragnarok in a way- which determines the next form ones spirit will take. the forms however only reside within the Folk and it's culture and society, so they are centered on things which are mythologized by that Folk. So for example germanic tree worship is a product of their collective spirit being captured within that form of nature. I will prolly elaborate on this another time, as i have alot of opinions about it.

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