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Envisioning the Afterlife

Sum (Book cover)

Image A for the afterlife, if we’ve got one at all, is pretty sketchy. Harps, clouds, angels, pearly gates. Fire and brimstone.

Maybe you picture something else. Strawberry fields. Bliss. Nothingness. Reincarnation.

Neuroscientist David Eagleman has a hobby of imagining afterlives. He’s pictured scores. Really thought them through. Now he’s put forty in a new book. Forty ways of thinking about the afterlife, if there is one.

God is he. God is she. God is they. God is gone. You’re young in heaven. You’re old. You’re a microbe.

This hour, On Point: Imagining the afterlife.

You can join the conversation. How do you picture it? Something? Nothing? Heavenly choirs?

Guest:

David Eagleman, neuroscientist at Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine and author of the new book “Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives.” 

You can read four stories from “Sum” on the book’s website. And here are short summaries of all 40 stories.

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ONPOINT
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Aug 28, 2015
WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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Aug 28, 2015
Lightning first ignited the Meadow fire on July 20, 2014 in Yosemite. By September 8, the fire had charred 2,582 acres. Bernie Krause has recorded soundscapes of national parks destroyed by large areas of forest fires. Listen below.  (National Park Service)

A legendary natural sound collector shares his recordings. We’ll listen in.

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Aug 28, 2015
Lightning first ignited the Meadow fire on July 20, 2014 in Yosemite. By September 8, the fire had charred 2,582 acres. Bernie Krause has recorded soundscapes of national parks destroyed by large areas of forest fires. Listen below.  (National Park Service)

A legendary natural sound collector shares his recordings. We’ll listen in.

 
Aug 28, 2015
WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A deadly shooting on live TV. Wall Street’s roller coaster ride. Biden considers a White House bid. 10 years since Katrina.

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