What Happens Next?

          We all entered this terrestrial world crying, naked, and covered in blood. Soon afterwards, we are cleaned up, placed in cute, one piece rompers and taken home. We begin to utter vague sounds. These sounds evolve into audible words which, although morphed, are understandable on all accounts. Next we learn how to walk; one step, two step, fall down, we repeat the same process until we understand stability and are able to accomplish straight forward walking. Fast forward a few years in kindergarten, we learn the basic components of what we perceive. Shapes such as squares, triangles, and circles, learning the ABCs, counting numbers from 1 to 10, the usual. A little further down the road, we are taught in more complex fields, as we would perceive at the time. We understand adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. We are taught short bursts of history, common knowledge and language lessons, developing a basic understanding of our language(s) and building up our vocabulary arsenal. We make friends, we go out, we socialize and we have fun. Three years later, things get slightly more difficult. Mathematical equations start gnawing at our brains, history lessons get more in depth, and science courses start delving into their rudimentary fields. Then comes High school, considered to be our pinnacle of primary education. We develop complex social emulations and interactions. Our courses get increasingly more complex as choices are available, math enthusiasts lean towards calculus and advanced mathematics while science lovers revel in biology and chemistry. These course choices would soon affect our future university admissions, and inevitably our careers. Five to seven years later we accomplish our college and university educational experiences and thus we start going career hunting. A few requests are denied until we finally land a job. Promotion or demotion, we still continue living, earning a salary, making new friends, engaging in marriage, and having children. We finally reach an age in which we retire, we take life slow, and we revel in what we’ve accomplished. Inevitably, we reach a coming natural process, a heart breaking point in which we pass. When we do pass, a question still lingers on in the minds of most people, What Happens Next?

          We, as humans, have spent the last tens of thousands of years recording how we develop over life. We are aware of how a human is born into this world, and can hypothesize a generalization of what would occur to that child over the course of his or her life (go to school, get a job, et cetera). We can create a probability if an individual can retain a disease and what occurs in the human body from molecules to atoms. We can observe how humans age and how most of them retire their jobs at a certain age. We understand how a human can die of natural causes and the processes of decomposition that occurs after. We, in a brief statement, know all stages of life. But what occurs after we pass, after our lives, is not known. For the Muslims, Christians, and Jews, there is a fork in the road, either heaven or hell depending on one’s karmic actions during their lifetime, for Buddhists the afterlife is karmic incarnation into a new person, and other religions generally have a different representation of what happens next. As a result, we all depend on faith when considering what happens next; we look at our respective religions for the answers, and as a result, we plan our life accordingly for what happens next. It is, after all, difficult to discuss this topic without mentioning the sensitive topic of religion, but this passage is in no way attempting to cause arguments, debates, or offensive feelings, but rather the topic itself is something to pause and think about.