A couple of months ago I found David Eagleman’s Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives. This is a fun, imaginative little book — highly recommended. In the spirit of the book, I couldn’t help but write #41 myself:
As far as anyone knows, there is no afterlife, since there is no death. You simply come into existence and never die. There are theories that you might eventually collapse or compress into nothingness, but in billions of years of known history, no one ever has.
You will see plenty of “death”, but none of it is real. Anyone who appears to die has already diverged from any number of shared realities with any number of other beings, who at the “time of death” only see an echo of the “dead person”. This always happens automatically — as you get older, you learn to recognize when you’re going to “shift” instead of “die”.
You don’t find all of this out until you leave your home planet — in this case, Earth. Everybody leaves their home planet on the first shift.
You will change forms many times. Most folks just change as needed, according to the environment in which they find themselves, in order to acclimate and fit in. It all happens involuntarily, like breathing air on Earth.
Though it certainly happens, it’s best if you don’t discover the truth about death too soon — for example, within your first decade or two if you were born on Earth. If you grow up without a firm grasp of the idea of mortality, you almost always wind up adopting a sort of depressingly destructive attitude about it all.