LIFE AFTER DEATH - rastafari
Rastafarians believe in physical immortality as a part of their religious doctrines. They believe that after their God has called the Day of Judgment they will go to what they describe as Mount Zion in Africa to live in freedom for ever. Instead of having everlasting life, which implies an end in the word last, the rastas look forward to having ever living life. Another group that believes in physical immortality is the Rebirthers, who believe that by following the connected breathing process of rebirthing they will live forever physically. When we all die, our body will no longer be with us, but the soul never dies. We have always existed and will. Some may have rough times crossing over because of the fear, others are held back because our love for them won't let them cross.
Spiritual immortality, on the other hand, is a belief that is expressed in nearly every religious tradition. In both Western and Eastern religions, the spirit is an energy or force that transcends the mortal shell, and returns to either the heavens or the cycle of life, directly or indirectly depending on the tradition. Below we consider the perspective some of the world's most popular religions on spiritual immortality. Although they believe in reincarnation they are not concerned with the after life, as salvation happens here in their search for their home, in the search for Africa which is for them associated with heaven.
Rastafarians believe reincarnation follows death and that life is eternal. People of other religions believe that once your physical body dies, you can return to Earth as another person or even as an animal. This is called reincarnation. The second after you die, you could be coming out of the womb to begin a new life. You could be reincarnated as a tree, a dog, or a wombat. Unfortunately, you'd never really know if you were reincarnated until someone very trustworthy told you. Most Rastafarian believes that Selassie is in some way a reincarnation of Jesus and that the Rastafarian is the true Israelites. Rastas are physical immortalists who believe the chosen few will continue to live forever in their current bodies. This idea of ever living (rather than everlasting) life is very strong and important.
For Rastafarians, worship goes beyond the spirit of man, and incorporates the spirit of all living things. Creation is seen as the epitome of Jah (the name of the Supreme Being) and there is the idea that Jah never dies, he only expresses and manifests himself in different carnations. Therefore, the divinity of life in man is not seen merely in his earthly existence, but while he exists on earth, he must adhere to the laws of the earth, be at one with the earth and live in harmony with others. When these things are done, his life has gained purpose, and he has thus created a harmony within himself uniting his divine self with his lower self, and can do work in the mystics, in the arts, in the sciences to further humanity.
True Rastas are believed to be immortal, both physically and spiritually, a concept called "ever living." In keeping with a philosophy that celebrates life, many Rastafarians deny the possibility of death, except as a consequence of sin, and believe that the doctrine of the existence of, and reward in, the afterlife is the White man's teaching aimed at deflecting Blacks from the pursuit of their just rewards in this life.Selassie and Garvey were both adherents of Christianity oddly enough and Rastafarianism is suffused with Christian imagery. "We believe in Jesus but not the Jesus that you have to know to go to Heaven or Hell. In fact, Rastafarians traditionally view Africa, specifically Ethiopia, as heaven on earth. They do not believe in the Christian afterlife of Heaven or Hell. "We see Jesus more for the things that he taught," says Knight, "instead of focusing on Heaven or Hell as your salvation."
Since Rasta believes in reincarnation they also think about karma. Karma is the mechanism that determines the quality of life. The happiness of a being's present life is the result of the moral quality of the actions of the being in its previous life. A soul can only achieve liberation by getting rid of all the karma attached to it. Karma is a logical and understandable way of making sense of good and evil, the different qualities of different lives and the different moral status of different types of creature, without having to involve rules laid down by a god. Karma works without the intervention of any other being - gods or angels have no part to play in dispensing rewards or punishments. Karma is a concept found in religions which include reincarnation in their beliefs. Different religions have different ideas as to exactly how karma operates. Karma is that which is everywhere in the universe. Karma particles are attracted to the jiva (soul) by the actions of that jiva.
It may be helpful to think of karma as floating dust which sticks to the soul, or as types of atomic particle which are attracted to the soul as a result of our actions, words and thoughts. On their own karma particles have no effect, but when they stick to a soul they affect the life of that soul. The quantity and nature of the karma particles sticking to the soul cause the soul to be happy or unhappy and affect the events in the soul's present and future lives.
It's a compound process in that the accumulation of karma causes us to have bad thoughts, deeds, emotions and vices, and these bad actions (etc) cause our souls to attract more karma, which causes more bad thoughts, and so on. Many people, who believe that you have a soul or spiritual aspect to your being, also believe that once your body dies, your soul goes to Heaven where you exist in eternal life.