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The concept of death and the afterlife in Ancient Greece - Research Paper Example

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The concept of death and the afterlife in Ancient Greece

No one really knows for sure with a high degree of certainty about what happens when a person dies. However, due to the sensitivity of the issue, it has been left to people of great knowledge and high mystical prowesses to decipher the issues relating to death and the afterlife. Since religion and spirituality varies, there are variations of cultural trends and activities that go on to define the views on the afterlife. The Ancient Greek Civilization is one of the earliest that evolved in the world over 4,000 years ago. It rivaled the Ancient Egyptian Civilization. The Ancient Greeks had a different set of views about spirituality and mysticism. This paper examines the Greek concept of the death and the afterlife. It would examine the very elements and the essence of their views on death and what happens to the soul as it progresses to the next world and the afterlife. The Concept of Death & The Afterlife This section of the paper would focus on general ideas and concepts relating to death and the afterlife. It would form the fundamental framework within which the rest of the paper would be examined in relation to Greek concepts of death and the after-life. Masumian states provides a very strong depiction of death in his description of a situation. “A man is dying and as he reaches the point of greatest physical distress, he hears himself pronounced dead by his doctor. He begins to hear an uncomfortable noise, a loud ringing or buzzing, and at the same time feels himself moving very rapidly through a long tunnel. After this, he suddenly finds himself outside his own physical body but still in the immediate environment and he sees his own body from a distance, as though he is a spectator. He watches the resuscitation attempt from this unusual vantage point and is in a state of emotional upheaval”1 This point of view about death seem to be the central and fundamental idea of what most people fee and think in the case of death. Most cultures and most movies seem to show a situation where a person goes out of his physical body during death. The soul stands aside and watches as other people continue to try to make a dead person come back to life. This is a depiction of most cultural views of how the soul leaves the body. This forms the basis of the duality that surrounds death and the afterlife. This kind of duality has its roots in the history of societies around the world, including the Greek culture and the Greek society. Many religious movements continue to connect their teachings and ideas to the idea that the soul leaves the body and moves elsewhere in a “world of souls”. Different concepts and ideas are developed in line with the transmigration of the soul and the treatment of the mortal remains of a dead person. This forms the basis of social interactions and discussions of death and its related matters. The fundamental concept is that life is physical, but when people die, life does not end there2. This is because most cultures believe that the soul in a body is the breath of God that is put into the body of a person, hence, the soul proceeds back to where it came from3. In some movements, it is believed that the soul goes into another world or the netherworld as some cultures state it. In other cultures, there are discussions about the soul having to be reborn in a human form that is somewhat similar to the form that the dead individual in question hand4. Muslims and ...Show more


The Concept of Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Greece Introduction Death and the Afterlife is a mystery to all human beings and all human societies. The reason why it is a big issue is that no one has experienced death. Hence, it is difficult to identify empirically, the experiences of the afterlife…
Author : theodore80
The concept of death and the afterlife in Ancient Greece essay example
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