What Happens After Death?

End-Of-Life Controversies ...Answers about the aspects of the human soul, life and death.

Goal; provide information toward helping to explain the difficult topics of the spirit, the soul, death, dying, salvation and redemption.

Question: "Is the human soul mortal or immortal?"

The soul is the incorporeal essence of a person. The soul exits in the body and live on after a person’s death. The Soul and is deemed an integral or essential part of consciousness and personality of the person who has departed.

Philosophical views;

The “Psychē” according to James Hillman a contemporary psychologist is that the spirit has "afterlife, cosmic issues, idealistic values, hopes, and universal truths." While he places the soul, " in the messes of life, also in illness, as well as in the pain and confusion of love. It appears that Hillman believes that religion—especially monotheism and monastic faiths—and humanistic psychology tend to the spirit, at the unfortunate expense of soul. The soul; he writes is where the consciousness rests.

Although according to psychologist James Hillman, the soul has an affinity for negative thoughts and images, whereas spirit seeks to rise above the entanglements of life and death. [And the words soul and psyche here is also treated synonymously, although psyche has more physical connotations, whereas he believes that the soul is connected more closely to spirituality and religion.  The terms soul and spirit are sometimes used interchangeably.

Christianity's view

Without a doubt the human soul is immortal. This is clearly seen in many Scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments: Psalm 22:26; 23:6; 49:7-9; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Daniel 12:2-3; Matthew 25:46; and 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. Daniel 12:2 says, “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” Similarly, Jesus Himself said that the wicked “will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life” (Matthew 25:46). With the same Greek word used to refer to both “punishment” and “life,” it is clear that both the wicked and the righteous have an eternal/immortal soul.

However, in my view the soul may denote a less worldly and a more transcendent aspect of a person.  I am aware that religions may have differing concepts, such as reincarnation, nirvana, etc. The unmistakable teaching of the Bible is that all people, whether they are saved or lost, will exist eternally, in either heaven or hell. True life or spiritual life does not cease when our fleshly bodies pass away in death. Our souls will live forever, either in the presence of God in heaven if we are saved, or in punishment in hell if we reject God’s gift of salvation. In fact, the promise of the Bible is that not only will our souls live forever, but also that our bodies will be resurrected. This hope of a bodily resurrection is at the very heart of the Christian faith (1 Corinthians 15:12-19).

While all souls are immortal, it is important to remember that we are not eternal in the same way that God is. God is the only truly eternal being in that He alone is without a beginning or end. God has always existed and will always continue to exist. All other sentient creatures, whether they are human or angelic, are finite in that they had a beginning. While our souls will live forever once we come into being, the Bible does not support the concept that our souls have always existed. Our souls are immortal, as that is how God created them, but they did have a beginning; there was a time they did not exist

Protestant beliefs

“Protestant generally believes in the soul's existence, but fall into two major camps about what this means in terms of an afterlife. Some, for example following Calvin, believe in the immortality of the soul and conscious existence after death, while others, following Luther, believe in the mortality of the soul and unconscious "sleep" until the resurrection of the dead.‘

A common belief is that the soul is renewed not at death, but at time of salvation through Christ Jesus, taking into account 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"


Other opinions New Age or new religions as well as Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, or other religious beliefs like Seventh-day Adventists beliefs, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints beliefs, and other religious Science, medicine and naturalistic have different beliefs.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Quote –

“On Death and the Butterfly” 


Death is simply a shedding of the physical body
like the butterfly shedding its cocoon.

It is a transition
to a higher state of consciousness
where you continue to perceive,
to understand, to laugh,
and to be able to grow.

Photo Source: Robert Van. Butterfly 3. Royalty Free Use.

Model of Coping with Dying: Five Stages of Dying or Coping with Dying 

Based on her interviews with dying patients, Dr. Kubler-Ross identified fives stages to describe the emotional and psychological response that many people face when coping with a terminal illness.

The five stages of coping with dying, abbreviated DABDA include:
D - Denial
A - Anger
B - Bargaining
D - Depression
A - Acceptance
These stages of coping with a terminal illness and dying are frequently referred to as the "Stages of Dying," the "Five Stages of Dying," the "Stages of Grief" or the "Five Stages of Grief."

[Keeping viewing our web site for more helps\advice and suggestions for going through the steps of grief and grieving your love ones who have departed this life.]


References & Sources:

  1. Elisabeth Kübler Ross, M.D. - Author of On Death and Dying [1969] and Pioneer of Hospice. 
  2. Hillman, James. (1989). A blue fire: Selected writings by James Hillman. Thomas Moore (Ed.). New York: Harper Collins.
  3. Hillman, J. (1990) Oedipus Variations: Studies in Literature and Psychoanalysis. Spring.
  4. International Association for Jungian Studies, [Swiss psychologist Carl Jung].
  5. Got Questions Ministries Online.
  6. Wikipedia online.
  7. Created in God's Image by Anthony Hoekema.
  8. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Ancient Theories of the Soul
  9. The soul in Judaism at Chabad.org
  10. The Old Testament Concept of the Soul by Heinrich J. Vogel (Christian)
  11. Body, Soul and Spirit Article in the Journal of Biblical Accuracy (Christian)
  12. "Soul". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. 
  13. The Bible (NIV)