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Cultural Analysis on Death and the Afterlife

Uploaded by Xavier0 on Jan 16, 2000

If there is one constant in this world, it would surely be death. Dying is an unavoidable part of life. Indeed, everything that lives will at sometime die. The fear of death is held by everyone. Perhaps it is the correlation of death with pain or the unknown state of the human consciousness after death, maybe a combination of both, that creates this fear. The fear felt is undoubtedly universal, however, the ways in which it is dealt with are varied and diverse. The concept of human mortality and how it is dealt with is dependent upon one’s society or culture. For it is the society that has great impact on the individual’s beliefs. Hence, it is also possible for other cultures to influence the people of a different culture on such comprehensions. The primary and traditional way men and women have made dying a less depressing and disturbing idea is though religion. Various religions offer the comforting conception of death as a begining for another life or perhaps a continuation for the former. Christians, for example, believe that souls that have lived by the words of their God will exist eternally in heaven as divine beings themselves. This conception of an afterlife is generally what we people who are residents of the Unitied States hold to be true. For American culture has its roots in Europe and European culture was and is still influenced by Christian faiths. Similar to Christianity, the Hinduism also eases the fear of death by presenting a life after death. Disimilarities present themselves in the two faiths concerning exactly what kind of afterlife is lived. Believers of the Hindu faith expect to be reincarnated after their demise, either as an animal or human being depending on the manner in which their lives were carried out. These ideals have influenced our culture though our use of language and thought. The implications are apparent in the common references to one’s past lives. For instance, if someone has a natural talent for music one may refer to the person as being once a talented musician in a past life. A religion which describes death as a continuation of existance is held by the Crow tribe of middle America. They viewed death as a journey with the final destination as a place where all their anscestors have gone before them. This notion of an afterlife eased the tribes assimilation...

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Uploaded by:   Xavier0

Date:   01/16/2000

Category:   Miscellaneous

Length:   5 pages (1,074 words)

Views:   1568

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