For me a belief in reincarnation and a soul assists in a happier life, right or wrong.
A blogger wrote an inspirational blog recently about the cycle of life, which got me thinking about our relationship with death. I also got to reading a forum discussion between atheists and others about death, and what struck me about that debate was how terrified and disturbed the atheists were about the subject of death.
One of my historical mystery detective puzzles involved the tragic murder of a 14-year-old boy in Colchester over 140 years ago. The boy, John Harding, ran away from home after losing a broom, fearing a savage beating. He had been running from his parents about three days until he was cornered on the 26th April 1870 and killed with a strike to the head with a poker; the anniversary of that death is today. John Harding was buried on 29th April, a few days after running away in an unmarked grave. I paid for a grave marker for him.
It is incidents like that of John Harding that brings me up against the reality of death, and contrary to most, I have no trouble dealing with the issues of death, which is part of the process of life.
I am an agnostic, I have a belief in a soul, and in reincarnation. I like to have at least some evidence for reincarnation, which the many stories of children remembering past lives provides.
A belief in a soul and reincarnation has no negative impact upon my life. This belief is a positive thing, it gives me comfort, and I am accepting of death. I believe that when I die I will be reborn, and start a new life again. There is a part of me that looks forward to being reborn. My approach to the future is to leave a legacy of a better world for that future self to exist in, thus I have a selfish motive in assisting in moving humanity away from its self-destructive path.
I could be totally wrong about reincarnation, but it matters not, it makes me happy and I play to that idea. If I die, and there is nothing beyond death, then I won’t know any different.
In reverse, there are some atheist types who waste their lives arguing over something that is unprovable, insisting with arrogant certainty that there is no life after death. Those same atheists waste further time worrying and fearing death. Those atheist guys get very nervous and unhappy about death. They argued themselves into a corner, which by its nature means they are unable to enjoy life as much as I can, since I have no hang ups over death, and just enjoy life.
Even if there is no life after death, I am going to be buried in the ground like John Harding; the plants and animals will feed on me, and I will live on as part of the cycle of life in plants and animals.