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 The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?

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Smokey
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PostSubject: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:20 pm

So I've been reading a little about the rainbow bridge and the poem associated with it; where it originated from etc.

I thought I'd ask you all. What do you think about the concept of the "rainbow bridge"?

Will we see our beloved furkids when we pass away?

What will the kidos be like?

Will they be able to communicate with us? Will they be perfect in terms of what you want? Or will they be the way they were in their youth with you?

There isn't much in my faith about animals having an afterlife so I pray they will be with me then.
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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:31 pm

I'm agnostic, I believe there's no way we could know about any sort of deity or after life but that we can't rule out the possibility.

I like to think there's an after life, for us and animals. I don't believe that if there is a soul that we're the only creatures that have one. How would we define what a soul is in terms of being able to rule out other animals as not having them?
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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:53 pm

On one hand the concept of the rainbow bridg eis a beautiful thing, but considering that humans do not cross the rainbow bridge, then we won´t see them again.
We all wish to be reunited with those we love, but to make it happen there must be a place where everyone goes to after life.

If if would have to choose I would pick the place described in the rainbow bridge poem not the heaven church is praising.
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AMB
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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:37 pm

All dogs go to heaven. Wink

Seriously though I think a place like that might exist, but it is probably completely different from the poem or from how any of us imagine it. I know that most Christians don't have a definite answer for this topic, and although I can't really speak for other religious groups it's definitely open for interpretation. In the end I think it's up to the individual to decide what to believe in.

Also to answer your other questions, I think that if such a place was around then they would probably be in a form of perfect health and we would be able to communicate with them. But that's just my opinion...
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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:29 pm

I don't believe in the concept of an afterlife (I'm atheist), but I'm glad it gives comfort to others.
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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:22 am

Ditto for me Samantha.  

If anything, I have a quasi Buddhist understanding of things, but I came to realize it recently that being an atheist and being a Buddhist aren't really that different.  What I appreciate about Buddhism is that, unlike the other big religions, it isn't prescriptive or constructive about the afterlife things that are required with the anthropomorphic concepts like soul, Heaven, God, spirits....etc.   I don't believe there is anything out there beyond our human capacity to understand right here and now.

Buddhism seems more naturalistic and if anything, deconstructive.  

That said though, I am not a Buddhist.

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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:25 am

Well I was raised catholic and to be honest, I remember the exact moment I began to 'question' the religion. I was at a religious ed gathering after mass one week (I was probably 7 or Cool and my best friends mom responded to something I said by telling me dogs/animals don't have souls. The more I learn, the less 'sure' I am about anything and the more open minded I become. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:17 am

Jen, that's about the age I was too when I began to question things that I didn't see evidence of (Santa, tooth fairy, unicorns, god(s), etc. ) I think it's part of cognitive development (in Piaget terms, concrete operational stage). Later I went to a Catholic high school and learned (from a nun of all people) what agnostic really means and one can be agnostic theist or agnostic atheist. Interesting stuff! I could go on and on.. lol
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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:18 pm

This is so interesting, partially because we could discuss this all the way to the Rainbow bridge and still not have an answer. I believe there is "something" beyond "now". If someone was segregated as an infant from human contact they would still have a concept of a God and an afterlife. (I read this more than once but can't for the life of me remember where). I think this was the norm for a long time until Religion was conceived. Religion excludes certain people from eternal reward because they do not believe the way the Religion dictates. So in other words, you can be the most giving and kind person in the world but if you are homosexual you end up in eternal damnation. Sounds rather ex-stream for something that isn't your fault or choosing. Lets not even go to the subject of which religion is the one true one, out of who knows how many only one is "saved" the rest perish even though from birth they have been taught the religion they have been brought up with the correct one!!
And what of my ultra religious sister-in-law who could be one of the most evil and despicable people in the world but believes she does this in the name of the lord?
As I said, I believe there is something. The Universe, as much as we understand it at this point in time, is energy. Energy does not simply disappear but changes it's form. So in other words, that voice in my head and heart is an energy that at this time makes it home in my form (Help me I sound like L.Ron Hubbard!). That energy will move on when the body dies, don't know where, not for me to understand yet.
That's pretty much how my mixed-up mind sees things.
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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:44 pm

@Hughie wrote:
The Universe, as much as we understand it at this point in time, is energy.  Energy does not simply disappear but changes it's form.
I believe in reincarnation, so this makes a lot of sense to me. I think when we die our energy goes back into our soul and our soul reunites with Source (however you may conceive that to be, a god, goddess, many deities, perhaps simply the source of all energy, etc.) and all other souls. We choose our next lives among the other souls we are close to. Our lives are based on what our souls want to experience: love, hate, anger, success, wealth, poverty, war, peace, etc. If you've seen the movie or read the book "Cloud Atlas," there's a very striking quote that resonates with me because it describes exactly what I believe today: "Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others, past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future."

Who's to say those we are bound to don't take animal form while on Earth? I strongly believe animals, especially dogs, have souls, and those animals that we meet and that touch our lives are souls we have known before in past lives and may meet again in future lives. Some of you may think that's pretty far out there but it's comforting to me to think about life, death and rebirth that way. It just really feels right to me. It may not to you, but that's perfectly OK.

I came from an extremely "religious" Christian household (both my parents and brother are still that way), and after I spent a year in Germany as an exchange student in high school, I realized life could work in other ways and that it was neither good nor bad, just different. It really opened my eyes to other ways of life and I started questioning a lot of things. I've been agnostic since then but have always thought about the idea of reincarnation and souls and have come to where I am today.
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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:47 pm

I believe in Heaven, but I believe everyone's heaven will be a little different. It would not be paradise for me if my kids weren't there.


also, read this *beware, you may cry*. Just another rainbow bridge spinoff:

Unlike most days at RainBow Bridge, this day dawned cold and gray, damp as a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All the recent arrivals were confused and concerned. They had no idea what to think for they had never experienced a day like this before. But the animals who had spent some time waiting for their beloved people knew exactly what was happening and began to gather at the pathway leading to the Bridge to watch. They knew this was something special.

It wasn't too long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung heavy and low with tail dragging along the ground. The other animals on the pathway...the ones who had been at RainBow Bridge for a while...knew the story of this sad creature immediately. They had seen it happen far too many times.

Although it was obvious the animal's heart was leaden and he was totally overcome with emotional pain and hurt, there was no sign of injury or any illness. Unlike the pets waiting at the Bridge, this dog had not been restored to his prime. He was full of neither health nor vigor. He approached slowly and painfully, watching all the pets who were by now watching him. He knew he was out of place here. This was no resting place for him. He felt instinctively that the sooner he could cross over, the happier he would be. But alas, as he came closer to the Bridge, his way was barred by the appearance of an Angel who spoke softly to the old dog and apologized sorrowfully, telling him that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their special people could pass over the RainBow Bridge. And he had no special beloved people...not here at the Bridge nor on Earth below.

With no place else to turn, the poor elderly dog looked toward the fields before the Bridge. There, in a separate area nearby, he spotted a group of other sad-eyed animals like himself...elderly and infirm. Unlike the pets waiting for their special people, these animals weren't playing, but simply lying on the green grass, forlornly and miserably staring out at the pathway leading to the Bridge. The recent arrival knew he had no choice but to join them. And so, he took his place among them, just watching the pathway and waiting.

One of the newest arrivals at the Bridge, who was waiting for his special people, could not understand what he had just witnessed and asked one of the pets who had been there for some time to explain it to him.

"That poor dog was a rescue, sent to the pound when his owner grew tired of him. The way you see him now, with graying fur and sad, cloudy eyes, was exactly the way he was when he was put into the kennels. He never, ever made it out and passed on only with the love and comfort that the kennel workers could give him as he left his miserable and unloved existence on Earth for good. Because he had no family or special person to give his love, he has nobody to escort him across the Bridge."

The first animal thought about this for a minute and then asked, "So what will happen now?"

As he was about to receive his answer, the clouds suddenly parted and the all-invasive gloom lifted. Coming toward the Bridge could be seen a single figure...a person who, on Earth, had seemed quite ordinary...a person who, just like the elderly dog, had just left Earth forever. This figure turned toward a group of the sad animals and extended outstretched palms. The sweetest sounds they had ever heard echoed gently above them and all were bathed in a pure and golden light. Instantly, each was young and healthy again, just as they had been in the prime of life.

From within the gathering of pets waiting for their special people, a group of animals emerged and moved toward the pathway. As they came close to the passing figure, each bowed low and each received a tender pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears. Their eyes grew even brighter as the figure softly murmured each name. Then, the newly-restored pets fell into line behind the figure and quietly followed this person to the Bridge, where they all crossed together.

The recent arrival who had been watching, was amazed. "What happened?"

"That was a rescuer," came the answer.

"That person spent a lifetime trying to help pets of all kinds. The ones you saw bowing in respect were those who found new homes because of such unselfish work. They will cross when their families arrive. Those you saw restored were ones who never found homes. When a rescuer arrives, they are permitted to perform one, final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort those poor pets that couldn't place on Earth across the Rainbow Bridge. You see, all animals are special to them...just as they are special to all animals."

"I think I like rescuers," said the recent arrival.

"So does God," was the reply.
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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Sat Nov 30, 2013 12:50 am

Honestly I think it's a nice poem, but I believe when we're gone, we're just gone. May be a bleak thought, but makes you want to make the most of the time you have and the time you have with your furry friends. For whatever reason (perhaps because my parent's aren't religious), I've never believed in a god or afterlife and the concept just seems too far fetched for my mind to accept.

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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:13 am

I was also raised Catholic, and I have attended CCD since 6th grade. I was one of those people I went to CCD because I had to and all my friends just happened to be in CCD so we all had a blast. I never really started to listen and think until about 11th grade. Things made sense to me and for the most part, I accepted what I was being taught. Once we got into how the Catholic religion is the one "true" religion, I started to question a LOT of things.

To me, of course, there are differences in religions. But to me, how can a wide majority of people be "Christians" but we are separated by "Lutheran", "Christian" (ironic to me), and yet Catholics are the one true Christians?

I started to question a lot of things my senior year, and I started to pull away from the church. I don't feel my religion defines me, and a lot of Catholics are so hypocritical it makes me sick.

So, while I am "Catholic" I don't follow the religion to a T. I think there is such thing as "Paradise", but paradise cannot be defined, as the Bible is ultimately a book of interpretations. For me, I don't know what it is or what it contains. I'm not sure if I think I will love put eternity with those I lost, including my animals. By definition, animals do not have souls, only human's do. Only those with souls are allowed into "heaven", "paradise".. Whatever. To me, my animals have souls. So basically, I guess I dream that I will live out eternity with *all* that I have lost. Is that how it will be? Who's to say.
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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:42 pm

I think there's a slight misconception with the concept of souls in Catholicism. Every living thing has a soul according to Catholicism, the difference is that Catholics believe humans have "immortal" souls while animals have "mortal" ones, or souls that die with the body. I don't think this directly means you wont see Rover after you die though. In my unprofessional opinion it sounds a lot like putting a file in the recycle bin and then emptying it. The file is gone, but not permanently deleted with no hope of ever coming back if you know what I mean. As for the whole "one true religion" thing that's really kind of to be expected. Pretty much every religion thinks it is the "one true religion" with maybe a couple exceptions. If they didn't truly believe that they were right, then they wouldn't really be believing at all and would quickly fall apart. Of course once again it's up to each individual person to decide what to believe in. No one can force someone else to believe in anything, it just doesn't work that way.

Feel free to ignore/dismiss me and my ramblings if it's controversial at all, the last thing I want is another cyber religion war! D:
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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:58 pm

For sake of argument, it's easier to say that only humans have souls. No need to get into specifics IMO. If we are speaking of the Catholic heaven, animals will not be there. Only humans.

And yes, every religion (basically) says they are the one true religion, it's just that I am Catholic, so of course I use it as an example.
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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:38 pm

I love how we all have expressed our different beliefs (or non beliefs) about afterlife and still get along just fine. Is that a husky owner thing, or is this forum just cool like that. Smile 


Anyway, whether there's a heaven or not, any place without dogs would be hell to me personally.
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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:24 pm

Agreed. I was a little worried when I saw this on the side bar, but a very interesting conversation!

I remember when I saw the movie Fluke when I was really young; and I didn't exactly "understand" what was going on. It has always been one of my favorite movies, so I've seen it numerous times. I think reincarnation, if it's "true", would be amazing.
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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:34 pm

@Eresh wrote:
I love how we all have expressed our different beliefs (or non beliefs) about afterlife and still get along just fine. Is that a husky owner thing, or is this forum just cool like that.   Smile 
I totally agree, it's amazing that we can actually have a discussion without blowing up at each other and thus ruining the thread. If only the entire internet was like this... Razz
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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:51 pm

I am loving reading this guys!

Quote :
To me, of course, there are differences in religions. But to me, how can a wide majority of people be "Christians" but we are separated by "Lutheran", "Christian" (ironic to me), and yet Catholics are the one true Christians?
This is actually quite interesting because apparently all the different forms of Christianity at one point in the '80s tried to sit down and make just one denomination. The only thing they couldn't agree on, and which ultimately killed the whole idea, was when to do communion. Everyone does it differently (i.e. when to do it, how to do it, etc) and they couldn't agree on that.

I am Christian, but I'm not die-hard, o my gosh everyone is going to hell. To be honest, the only sin we can't ask forgiveness for is suicide because well, you're already dead. But I believe animals do have souls and I believe that God loves them enough to take them to Heaven. It says in the Bible that Jesus is preparing a house for us and I like to think that it will include our furry friends. I mean, if he knows when a raven falls from the sky, of course he cares about them right? That's not the universally accepted idea by most Christians but then I don't agree with most Christians. All Dogs go to Heaven was my favorite movie when I was a kid lol.
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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:41 am

@cinnamonbits wrote:
All Dogs go to Heaven was my favorite movie when I was a kid lol.
I have a "horror" story about "All Dogs Go to Heaven." When I was five or six I attended a fifth birthday party for the girl down the street. We watched "All Dogs Go to Heaven," and at the very end when the dogs are in heaven I ran home alone down two blocks (the streets were safer in those days ...) straight into my room, where I bawled my eyes out, much to my parents' confusion. I just couldn't imagine that someone or something could kill a dog in such a way, even if the ending was suppose to be "happy." Needless to say, it was definitely my least favorite movie as a child, haha! More than 20 years later it still brings a tear to my eye when I see it. Interesting how we had such different experiences with it.
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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:34 am

@Eresh wrote:
I love how we all have expressed our different beliefs (or non beliefs) about afterlife and still get along just fine. Is that a husky owner thing, or is this forum just cool like that.   Smile 


Anyway, whether there's a heaven or not, any place without dogs would be hell to me personally.
LOL. It's a dog people thing. I've posted this question on my GSD forums and we still all get along despite the diverging responses...Dogs bring people together. Religion separates us...
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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:03 am

^ well said.

That's because, unlike religion, having one type of dog doesn't alienate you from or hold you in contradiction to other types of dogs. It's not exclusionary Smile
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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:07 am

Liz I know what you mean. I can't watch the movie "Micheal" with John Travoltra because the little dog gets run over by the truck. My wife says, "but he brings him back to life," doesn't help. He was still running to the road and I still get that helpless feeling that I know what is going to happen and can't do anything to stop it.
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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:12 pm

As a fundamentalist Christian (Apostolic/Pentecostal), my understanding of the Bible is that mankind was created in the image of God while other living entities were not. I believe that we are eternal beings because we were created in the image of God. I do not believe that animals have eternal souls.

I love my animals but I believe that once they are gone...they are simply gone.
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PostSubject: Re: The concept of 'the rainbow bridge'. What do you believe?   Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:33 pm

I believe that all animals have souls and that they all go to a place where there is no hunting, no pain, no hunger, basically a part of heaven where all animals roam freely and where only human souls who have treated animals properly have access to.
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