1001 Afterlives To Visit After You Die

As a rule, Afterlives fall into a few small categories. Most of the classic examples exist in Christianity, so the following list starts with their schema – but proceeds to expand upon it. Suggestions for further examples are welcome.

Heavens:
The classic afterlife, the one where good people are presumed to go after they die. Generally features beautiful natural scenery and/or exquisitely well-kept gardens, angelic inhabitants, and a good (and quite often G-rated) time being had by all. Very frequently, Heavens are the abode of the god or gods. Also called Paradises. A traditional selling point of Heavens is that they are, in one or more ways, quantifiably better than the world of the living.
Limbos:
The in-between place. Limbos are often featureless voids or otherwise free from anything much of interest. The nicer Limbos tend to be Heaven-Lites. They tend to be where you go if you’re kinda bland in life, neither good nor evil, although in some belief systems they are the only afterlife.
Hells:
The other classic afterlife, the one where bad people go after they die. Generally features a whole lot of suffering going on, the details of which vary wildly depending on the origin of the Hell in question. A Purgatory is a Hell with an escape clause, usually release after time-served. In a particularly sadistic cosmology, those who go to Heaven may get to watch those who go to Hell. And eat popcorn.
This World:
The afterlife consists of hanging around this world until you either fade away entirely, or achieve some form of transcendence (often bearing a suspicious resemblance to ticking off a karmic To Do List until one has enough ticks to get into the local Heaven).
Other Worlds:
An afterlife that bears a great resemblance to the pre-afterlife portion of existence. Other World afterlives are often the result of a lack of imagination in either their creators, their inhabitants, or both. Similar in some ways to Miscellaneous (see below), only blander.
Batteries:
An afterlife in which the self per se ceases to exist, becoming merely fuel for either the realm itself or the rulers of the realm. This is not the same thing as achieving oneness with the Godhead, although the similarities are striking. It is the same thing as have your soul eaten by Great Cthulhu, though. Thankfully rare, and on the bright side, should you find yourself in one of the, the chances are you’ll never know it.
Miscellaneous:
More or less the opposite of the Other World afterlife, the Miscellaneous afterlife does not suffer from any lack of imagination. These are the afterlives that defy classification, often because they either let in almost no one or absolutely everyone. They frequently make little or no sense, and just as frequently, are all the more entertaining because of this. Very often, they are invented by science fiction writers, or members of other professions likewise notorious for the use of hallucinogens.
Oblivion:
Game over, no reset. When you die, you either cease to exist, or you are no longer aware that you exist (which amounts to the same thing from your perspective).
Uploads:
Technological afterlives in which consciousnesses are stored via computational means, whether they are then placed into a virtual reality or decanted into cloned bodies (or both).
Reincarnation:
An afterlife only in the most literal sense, Reincarnation is another life in the same world. As such, it is beyond the scope of 1001 Afterlives to Visit After You Die, although if the belief system in question features an eventual escape from the cycle of Reincarnation, that escape is not.

 

Leave a Reply