Originally Posted by SlayerOfLight
Although I don't believe in god and angels, the afterlife is still a possibility for me because we understand so little about it, even when scientists claim that NDEs are all hallucinations. Many who've had NDEs change for the better, and you don't just suddenly become a different person thanks to some hallucination. However, there may actually be cases where NDEs are hallucinations, but we just have to separate the hallucinations from the real experiences.
I've read many NDEs and that tells me that there is at least something that lives on after physical death. But the thing that still bothers me without end is to why a select few people have fundamental Christian-type NDEs involving a wrathful angry god, demons, and hell, whereas most people tend to have NDEs that are different or at least a combination of various religions. I don't know what I am supposed to do with all the information I gathered about the afterlife.
As for god, he/she appears in different ways. Sometimes as a wrathful entity hellbent on punishing sinners, sometimes as a kind and all-loving being that doesn't Judge anyone. Either god exists and likes to pull jokes on us, or he simply doesn't exist and is the imaginary part of a near death experience.
I hope things cleared up for you as to why I found my place in the 'middle ground' as you describe it.
I don't necessarily believe in gods or angels either, at least not in the typical Abrahamic or New Age sense. There is God with a capital "G", Spirit with a capital "S", which is simply the whole of all matter, energy, and spacetime in the Multiverse. The word "multiverse" being a misnomer, as it is still one interconnected Universe. Every world imaginable is out there somewhere, some with comprehensible "rules" like Earth, but some worlds beyond our comprehension or perception. This particular God is omnipotent and ever-present because it is everything within and without all of....everything. We humans and our science can only perceive so much of this, but that doesn't make it any less true.
Then there are "gods" with a lowercase "g" and "spirits" with a lowercase "s". These gods, angels, and spirits are one in the same: what you might call a soul, individual little pieces of existence in the inconceivably massive Universe. Just like us, other animals, plants, aliens, planets....The meaning of the word "existence" being up for debate. Most seem to agree our energy and matter must go somewhere after our animal bodies decompose, but vastly different perceptions of death and energy result in often contradicting explanations. These explanations will probably never be fully proven as our brains and technologies will never be fully capable of studying them.
Assuming spacetime is not truly linear outside our human perception, we don't really come from anywhere before birth or go anywhere when we die. We already are and always will be. Likewise, there is no true progress, advancement, evolution, ascension, enlightenment, or truth. We exist in innumerable dimensions, wavelengths, levels of consciousness, etc in our Earthly life, and we exist in different dimensions, wavelengths, levels of consciousness, etc when we die. Any hierarchy among gods or men is illusory as everything else.
But indeed, humans and most other animals on our planet perceive rules and hierarchies, however fluid. We perceive spacetime as linear and change as evident. We perceive beginning and end, good and bad, cost and benefit, life and death. We have leaders, servants, heroes, villains, gods, and demons. Above all, we seek to know the unknowable and find meaning in the meaningless. Perhaps plants, aliens, and spirits experience something totally different, but we are coded to live through a fairly consistent set of physical and psychological laws particular to our kind. For better or worse, for all our contradicting views, our experiences are similarly limited by chemistry, gravity, and quarks. This is probably as it should be, otherwise it simply would not be.
Even if life after death is our own personal hallucination, it is no less real than our current world. Only beyond our grasp right now.