Myths of the Afterlife Made Easy
The ever present anxiety surrounding death may be alleviated by the symbolic content of mythological near-death journeys, which change perception of reality and provide an illumined wisdom to enrich our myths about death.
Almost every religious mythology contains the primordial motif of death and rebirth and portrays the posthumous journey of the deceased following death. Myths of the afterlife exist in all cultures, including that of the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, Babylonians, Romans and Celts and continue to manifest in living faiths such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Although human consciousness has evolved over time, the mystery of death remains beyond rational perception and gives rise to feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. Inquiring whether death may be a transition to rebirth requires looking back into the universal language of myth, which symbolizes the germ of life existing in an afterlife state. As will be shown, this ancient model of the otherworldly journey and resurrection continues to appear in the near-death experience.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
I found this book to be a resource to be mined deeply by those looking to place deathbed visions and near-death experiences in the context of human thought. Myths and archetypes of the afterlife are so universal in so many cultures that they cry out to us in our spiritually impoverished society, showing us that there must be something more than physical reality and its annihilation at death. The experience of resurrection, not at the “end of time”, but in the present eternal moment, in illud tempus, had by hundreds of millions of people around the world,* and many millions more on the deathbed, is overturning both our Cartesian paradigm and the dogmas of Western religions. Using Henry Corbin’s concept of mundus imaginalis (the non-physical imaginal world) as a framework, transcends the need to put these experiences in conventional boxes like fact or fiction, and expands our understanding beyond words into the realm of archetypes, or universal mind. The evidence presented so clearly in Myths allows the reader to easily absorb these ideas; even including hellish or frightening experiences as part of our heritage and path to the enlightenment. For those of us who have had a near-death experience, this world contains only the germ of truth, light, and love; more fully realized in the timeless, eternal dimension. If you want to understand these stories and their heritage, this book is an excellent place to start. ~ Beverly Brodsky, Iands of San Diego
Excellent! Annamaria Hemingway illustrates how the wisdom from ancient myths of many world cultures and religious traditions carried down through the ages offers us a sacred opportunity to unravel the mystery of life and death. This book offers a priceless understanding of why we are all immortal beings. ~ Josie Varga, Author of Visits From Heaven and Visits to Heaven
Both ancient and shamanic cultures understood that to live fully we must be initiated into the mystery of death. In Myths of the Afterlife: Images of an Eternal Reality, Annamaria Hemingway guides us through many of the world's sacred documents that relate the experience of this basic mystery: death is not an end but an opening into another dimension of life. Equally important are Hemingway's accounts of the rediscovery of this truth in our own time through deathbed visions, near-death experiences, and our increasing awareness of the reality of mystic consciousness. This informative study will inspire readers to explore their own assumptions about the meaning of death and life. ~ Betty J. Kovaks, Ph.D., Author of The Miracle of Death
From birth, we are accompanied by both Thanatos and Eros, and we long to reconcile the meaning of life and death. Mythology is one method to awaken our consciousness of another world, in order to give meaning to our existence. In this excellent work, Annamaria Hemingway takes us on a tour de force through the history and meaning of the mythology of an afterlife, and she demonstrates how through myth, we can begin to understand the mystery of life and death. This is a fascinating book and I highly recommend it to any student of consciousness and those interested in what follows after death of the physical body. ~ Dr John L Turner, Author of Medicine, Miracles and Manifestations