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Life and Afterlife
A Zarathushtrian's Perspective
by Orang Demehry
With the recent passing of my father, I had no reason or need to search for answers as to why this had happened. I felt confident and self-assured that my faith had prepared me mentally for this day, despite the sudden and unexpected nature of my fatherís passing.
I remember that day quite vividly. I was out of town when I got a call from my sister, who was crying because my father had been rushed to the hospital. I received two subsequent calls updating me on this situation with the last one coming 15 minutes after the first. My sisterís voice was weak and full of sadness. The only words she could get out were "Daddy, daddy isÖ.". I quickly caught the next and last flight out to be with my mother and sister that same night. Arriving at my house, I was surprised to see over 50 people with my mother and sister giving them unconditional support.
My parents have instilled within me a strong belief in God and the value of life. I have never stopped to search for the meaning of life and an individualís role during it. My views have been strongly influenced and formed by my even stronger belief in my Zoroastrian religion, which has taught me the freedom of thinking and choosing.
Zoroastrianism focuses on life and an individualís critical responsibility of making choices based upon a good and informed mind. Equally important are the consequences of those actions. Zoroastrianism does not focus on explaining death. In other words, the focus of the faith and its people is not to think about death and look to the religion to answer the question of what happens after a mortal death, such as resurrections and reincarnations. The focus is to understand life and that it is a continuum. Life never ceases to exist. A soul never ceases to exist just as energy never vanishes. It continues. It spreads. It has consequences and similar ripples effects just as that personís choices and energy had during their life on this world.
It is customary for all of us to define life as when we are born and when we physically pass away. Everything before and after is referred to as pre and after-death. In Zarathushtraís Gathas death is not defined, this is because life does not end with mortal death. A soul is always judged by their actions and continues on after the earthly death. For that reason, life in our dimension is life on one plane where many other spiritual plains may exist. None of us really know what happens after our souls separate from our bodies, just as we do not know how that spirit gives life to that body when we are born. But we do know that all of us seek a truth and that we live by the consequences of our actions. We also know that energy never ceases to exist.
With these beliefs in mind, upon hearing of my fatherís passing I did not feel remorseful for him or myself. I know that his liveliness and influence is always with my family and me and that he has been blessed to progress to the next plane of life.