Once the existence of the Supernatural and God is accepted, we need to turn our view inward. If the Supernatural exists and God exists and caused us to exist, might not there also be a Supernatural part of us?
There is the body. This is definitely Natural. We know a great deal about it, and there is no doubt it is Natural. When a person dies, the body is left behind, and begins to disintegrate. It is just packaging to contain the real person.
The real person is a set of thoughts, memories, feelings, skills, prejudices, beliefs, opinions, habits and such things which are unclear how much of them are Natural and how much Supernatural. And then there is the possibility that there is an “unknown” part of us which is completely Supernatural. The Supernatural part or parts of us are usually referred to as the “soul” or “spirit” or even “ghost”. These things all vanish from the Natural when the person dies. Where do they go? Ah, that is the question.
Possibly if there is a Supernatural world, and definitely if there is not, these parts of the person may just cease to exist. How depressing, that this life is all there is. And if there is a Supernatural and a God who made us, then it seems unlikely. More likely is that for whatever reasons of His own, God “built in” a Supernatural aspect of each of us which continues on after our Natural death.
Now perhaps what we do in the Natural world is not a factor in what happens in the Supernatural world (the “all roads lead to God” concept). This can be a pretty thought for those who prefer to behave “badly” in the Natural world or who are unwilling to “make a choice” from among the possible sets of “God approved” behavior. But what if that is not the case? What if what happens to “you” after death is completely dependent on what you did before death?
This is problematical, since there is no guaranteed set of instructions on how to behave. There are many postulated sets of instructions, which not only differ from each other, but in many cases actually contradict each other. This makes selecting the set of instructions to follow difficult and risky. If you choose “wrong”, not only might your Natural life not be all it could be, but your Supernatural life could be totally trashed.
The various sets of instructions tend to be influenced by the cultures which were inspired to write them down (or generate them, in cases where “God” was invoked as a way of controlling the masses). Thus, we can pretty much divide these sets of instructions on interaction with God (which we will call “religions” for convenience) into two classes, Eastern and Western. Eastern religions have the sub-classes Indian (such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism) and Asian (such as Taoism, Shinto and Confucianism) and can be polytheistic or even non-theistic, a confusing concept for a “religion”. They often combine philosophy and metaphysics with the view of God or Gods. The Western religions (such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam) are monotheistic.
If you want to know more about Eastern religions, Google awaits you. In the next part, we will take a look at the Western religions.