Whether ther。e’s afte。rlife, the answer has never been。 the same. T。he athei。sts deny after li。fe, believing that our life is no more than from the cradle to the gra。v。e. They may care about their i。llustrious names after deat。h; they may feel attached to the aff。ection of th。eir offspri。ng, but they never lay thei。r hopes on their afterlife. They may also say tha。t good will be rewarded with good, and evil with evil, but they don’t re。ally believe any r。etribution i。n their after life.
However, in the re。ligious world or among the superstitious people, the belief in afterlife is very popular. They do not only beli。eve in afterlife, but thousands of reincarnations as well. In the mys。terious world,。 there are the paradise and the hell, the celestial beings and th。e gods, the Buddha and the Bodhisattvas.
Maybe they really believed it, or maybe they just wanted to make use of people’s veneration, the ancient emper。o。rs always declared that they were the real dragons, the sons of God, while the royal ministers claimed to be the rei。ncarnations of various constellations. But can the stars reincarnate?
Ma。ny people burn incense and kowtow, do good deeds and strive for virtues, not just for the present, but mainly to let God se。e their sincerity s。o as to be reborn into a better afterlife, or to ac。hieve the highest enlightenment after several lives of pr。actice. They do be。lieve in afterlife. But I can’t help asking: S。uppose there were no afterlif。e, would you still do good deeds and strive for virtues? And If God does not see what you are doing, would you still b。e so upright and selfless? If you work, not for serving the public。 and liberating the others, but just for a better afterli。f。e of your own, isn’t it a little to。o selfish? Comparing with this kind of believers, those who don’。t believe in afterlife, but still keep doing good deeds, are the。 most sincere and honest philanthropists, because they do them not for thems。elves but f。or other.
You may wonder if I believe in afterlife。. My an。swer is: I know nothing about my previous life, so I dare not make improper comments on afterlife. But I do hope there’s a。fterlife! Because our present life is。 so short that so many things slip away before our proper understand。i。ng. I have so many dreams, so many wishes, so many ambitions, as well as so many regrets and con。cerns. If there w。ere no afterlife, all of them wi。ll remain unrealized!
I’m。 not cont。ented w。ith the present com。monplace l。ife, I’m very much attached to the affections tha。t should h。ave been mine but h。ave been wash。ed away by the hurrying tim。e, and I yearn fo。r the perfection and maturity if I could star。t all。 over again. So believe it or not, I’d rather there were afterlife.
Transla。ted by Zhang Baodan (Diana)
May 1, 2004