The concept of a Heaven and a Hell is not unique to the Christians however. Ancient Greeks believed that the souls of the virtuous and the heroes went to a paradise called Elysium, while the wicked were sent to be tortured in the depths of Tartarus. They even had a purgatory of sorts, the Fields of Asphodel being the destination for souls who did nothing really bad, but didn’t attain real greatness either.
I don’t believe that there is a deity waiting to judge us and mete out punishments or rewards. Our souls see the naked truth of what we were in life, and we judge ourselves. A person who was evil in life won’t suddenly become saint like in death. The soul of that person will see the truth of what they did in life, and then have to face consequences of their own device. This is how the soul learns. But no punishment is forever, no crime deserves eternal damnation or destruction. When that soul has come to terms with their wrongdoing, then they go to the Summerland, to rest and reflect, and choose what lesson they wish to learn when they are reincarnated.
Obviously then, I do believe in reincarnation. I believe that the soul is a being of energy, and it uses physical incarnations as a sort of school. The circumstances and experiences of each incarnation are chosen by the soul before birth. That does not mean that the person’s life is scripted from beginning to end. Rather, some events are chosen, but how the person reacts to it, the decisions they make from that point on, that is what determines what experiences they have next.
I believe that as the soul grows and gains knowledge, the more spiritual an incarnation will become, the more in tune a person is with their soul and the more access they may have to the full knowledge of their soul. These may be the people that claim to remember details of previous lives and those that seem to be wiser and more mature than their years. Often, these are also the people that display psychic gifts such as empaths, seers and so on.
I am also one of the few that believe souls can reincarnate in non human forms. It depends on the lessons to be learned and quite frankly, I think that humankind can learn a great deal from those so called “lower life forms”.
I believe that the paths of souls can become entangled as well. The same souls may run into each other life after life after life. Perhaps the souls are attracted to one another, becoming soul mates, and so choose to encounter each other whenever possible. In some case, the opposite has occurred and souls encounter each other until they can learn to resolve whatever conflict has arisen between them. Or perhaps they are just on the same path for a time, learning the same lessons and have chosen to be with each other for support. Though the conscious mind may not realize it, the inner soul will see the truth.
The oldest souls that still choose to reincarnate do so more as guides and teachers. These souls tend to spend more time in the Summerland in the same roles. These souls are on the verge of ascension. When a soul is ready, they exist as pure energy. What the soul chooses to do at that point is up to them. They may leave this universe, or stay and become those we know as gods or angels. Or they may choose to merge and become one with the Creator.
Do I mourn when loved ones leave this life behind? Of course I do! I’ll meet them again somewhere, sometime. But here and now, it hurts and I grieve just as much as anyone else.
Death is not a comfortable subject to talk about, I understand that. No matter what your beliefs, it is never an easy thing to lose a loved one, or to face the thought of your own mortality. But I don't believe that it is something to be viewed as the ultimate enemy, something to be hated and feared. It is the end of one thing, allowing something new to begin.