I was talking with Topaz about zir beliefs in what happens when you die and ze described going to be part of the world again in a new way, not as a whole (reincarnation) but split into basic elements and becoming part of many new lives. I suddenly realized that I didn't have an independent support for my belief in an afterlife. I have read a lot of books of people who died and came back, and they have remarkably similar experiences, but I don't want to base my belief on something someone else says, so for me to believe that I need to be able to find roots for it.
Does an afterlife make sense, given my sense of the universe as a sentient whole, and my understanding of living beings as being composed of memory? The being-composed-of-memory is a fairly new (to me) understanding of consciousness. I believe in a universal sentience and a shared universal memory, because this explains so many otherwise-unexplained things. I think it is possible to communicate with beings who lived in the past not because they still exist as a singular whole, but because their consciousness has been 'uploaded.' I don't know if that happens during life or after death, but considering that many people see a life review soon after they are technically dead, perhaps that is when the upload happens. Perhaps we have some control over it and can upload bits and pieces as we go? I think maybe the reason that people who die and come back become more compassionate is that they have a memory of all memories. If you were to take in another human's entire memory set, you could not help but feel utter compassion for them, I am convinced. This on a broader scale? obviously wouldn't fit into a single brain BUT the emotional memory of that overwhelming compassion WOULD remain. And would make you a better person. Perhaps this emotional memory is present in us when we have a new physical consciousness but it gets washed out as we age. Perhaps animals exhibit compassion (often better than humans) because they still have this emotional memory, even though some of them may not have the reasoning capabilities of humans. Maybe as very young kids we know how to connect to the universal memory? That would explain the often uncanny knowledge of children, and how they speak of life before their birth.
I'm not sure what will happen when I die; perhaps enough of my energy signature will remain together that I could feel myself as an individual, and communicate. I would love to do that, and it is my intention that if I can, I will communicate with people who are still in these forms before the next step. I know that I am not currently a singular whole, that this is an illusion and I contain multitudes of living beings. I am a planet for microbes, who have significant impact on my thinking and desires. What happens when we are separated in the death of my body? what parts of me are microbe and what parts are human? I am unsure of the in-between part but I feel that eventually, my physical and non-physical parts will be reabsorbed and scattered and I will become new things. I feel this has happened over and over and perhaps the reason I feel such a bond with some people is that parts of us were the same tree, or cat, or dolphin, or moss, a few cycles ago. Maybe the people I feel lesser connections with are people I haven't shared a body with in a very long time, and I have less access to memory of them.