UH OH You Died! Now What?

The age old question

You feel your eyes open to a peaceful field of darkness. The last thing you remember is eating an unripe grape and choking. (You may, or may not, be Sophocles.) And that’s when you realize: you’re dead. Now, a soft white light is enveloping your consciousness, and it’s time for us to take a little journey to find out where we’re going next.


In traditional Christianity, afterlife is considered to be a physical destination. If you have faith in God (with a capital g) and lead a life of good conduct and believe that Jesus was the Messiah, then you will go to Heaven, a kingdom in the sky with pearl gates and gold streets. However, if you lead a life of wrongdoing and immorality, then you will go to Hell. The Bible describes Hell as a “fiery lake of burning sulfur” per Revelation 21:8. Yikers!

Hell seems reminiscent of The Garden of Earthy Delights


As a special sect of  Christianity, the doctrines of Catholicism also subscribe to the Heaven and Hell theory. However, Catholic teachings state that anyone who dies with unrepented sins will go to Hell. If the sin is small enough though, you’ll go to Purgatory before Heaven.

My priest wondering if I finally kicked the bucket after taking a breath from my seven hour long coughing conniption fit


The Torah repeatedly discusses concepts of resurrection and soul immortality but is notably ambiguous about the matter. One prominent philosophy in the Talmud is the idea of the Olam Haba (world to come), where souls that pass judgement enter the new world to come after death. According to the internet, most people do not enter the Olam Haba immediately, but go through a “re-schooling” phase after death to analyze their life to gain wisdom.

KKBE in Charleston is the oldest, continuous synagogue in America


In Islamic traditions, the Quran describes Jannah (Paradise) and Jahannam (Hell). Allah dictates one’s level of comfort in the Akhirah (afterlife) according to your Iman (faith), which can be raised through piety and good deeds. You can also write Subahann Allah (glory to God) repeatedly like Bart Simpson to better your odds for the Akhirah.

My Akhirah


Samsara is a central topic to the Hindu afterlife, which encompasses definitions surrounding the cycles of life and rebirth. In the Gita, Krishna states that we discard our old body to take a new one, similar to clothes. Samara repeats on the basis of karma (deeds in your life) until moksha (enlightenment) is reached.

Krishna invented dabbing


Similar to Hindus, Buddhists adhere to the principles of karma or kamma and their effect on the rebirth of the same soul. Bad karma can turn you into a Preta (hungry ghost) or send you to lower realm, similar to hell.

This image is my vision board for my vineyard/animal sanctuary in California


Since the Romans merged their religion with the Greeks, I merged these sections, and it’s quite a saga. If you die subscribing to these polytheistic religions, Hermes/Mercury, the god of travel, will first take you down to the underworld, Erebus. Once there you will have to pay Charon the ferryman to cross the River Styx, which is why many Greeks and Romans are buried with a gold coin under their tongue. You will then be judged by the three kings, to determine your place in the underworld among the Asphodel Fields, Elysium, the Fields of Punishment, and Tartarus. Elysium is a paradise like heaven, the Asphodel Fields are similar to purgatory, the Fields of Punishment are like Hell but slightly better, and last but certainly not least, Tartarus is Hell.

Elysium probably looks pretty good next to Tartarus, ngl


When you die, your ka (soul) and ba (personality) go to the Field of Reeds, governed by the god of death, Osiris. This can only be achieved, however, if you are properly embalmed, mummified, and placed in a sarcophagus with hieroglyphics, important texts, and riches. Now the fun can really begin because your heart is weighed against the Shu feather of truth in the Hall of Two Truths. If your heart is lighter, you pass on into the Fields of Yalu to journey with sun every day across the planet, but if you fail, Ammit eats your heart. Oh, who is Ammit you ask? Well, Ammit is a part crocodile, part hippo, part lion she-demon. Yeah…we’ve really lost our creativity when it comes to modern religion.

Hall of Two Truths, aka Netflix’s newest hit


According to the vikings, seven planes of life exist on a tree made from the fabric of the universe called Yggdrasil, and we inhabit the middle called Midgard. If you die a hero, then you go to a palace called Valhalla or an Elysium type situation called Fólkvangr in Asgard higher up on the tree. Baddies go to Hel in the roots of the tree, which is similar to the Fields of Asphodel.

I forgot to mention there is a giant snake monster named Nidhogg at the base of the tree who eats though roots to cause the apocalypse