When you lose someone you love, you will go through a grief process and often this process involves some aspect of religious faith. We enter this world not knowing where we came from and leave not knowing where we will go. Many faiths believe the body is just a vessel and the soul, the individuated aspect of the Divine, the witness to our thoughts and experiences, will continue its cosmic journey through the cosmos. This is known as reincarnation and many faiths including the mystical aspect of the Judaism believe in reincarnation.
In Christianity, the notion of heaven is itself a belief in moving on without the restraints of one’s physical body. This is referred to as salvation, a returning to the divine through the living of a good and holy life. Whatever your beliefs, even if you are a strict atheist, the grief process must be engaged fully if you are going to emotionally heal and move on with living. There is a certain alchemy that occurs in the grief process, a transformation brought on through loss which can be very healthy and meaningful.
Our culturally diverse world encompasses a wide variety of faiths, many of them with long, rich histories and complex principles. Indeed, the definition of the word ‘religion’ itself is subject to different interpretations, and discussion of fundamental religious beliefs amongst the devout can arouse intense emotions. Some people while not formally religious, have a devout spiritual practice through meditation and contemplative prayer.
Some define the concept of religion in fairly exclusive terms, involving specific belief in a deity and strict rituals and doctrines, while others hold a broader philosophic view, one of spiritual growth and exploration. A powerful — and often divisive — force throughout human history, faith continues to influence our spiritual and cultural evolution. Although physical human death is accepted as inevitable, the way in which adherents of different faiths understand that event and any subsequent spiritual passage varies widely.