My belief in some kind of existance beyond physical death is NOTHING like Buddhism's nonsense of reincarnation on different worlds to learn different things. Sudaharta Guatama was a "highly overrated mammal" in the words of one of my favorite authors.
For those who can't visit GM and see what I wrote about it, I want to make it clear right now that I do NOT believe in a "soul" or "spirit". I do believe, quite frankly based on one unexplainable experience of my own and on ...I'll be honest ...watching the show "Ghosthunters". I think surviving physical death isn't normal. I think those who happen to have part of their mind somehow survive and stick around seem very lost and confused, sad, angry, and just plain depressed. They don't often know who they are anymore or how they got here or why they are still here. They often don't know they are dead and can even be heard on a lot of EVP's just asking to be left alone.
Am not so sure ghosts might not yield to a scientific explanation-- such as some sort of persistent energy pattern.
A better question relates to conscious self-awareness. How is it that we can say "I am" and know what it means? So far, no one has come up with an explanation based in 'physical reality'.
The brain is a biological computer; no explanation there, except, maybe that conscious self-awareness attaches to 'living computers'. Science has no clue for building a consciously self-aware computer.
One explanation is the existence of some great mind beyond physical reality. It senses and views this reality via each person's body and brain. It is part of us and allows each person to be a self-aware individual.
Can that individual survive death? Buddha appears to say 'No'. How can someone have multiple lives, usually with no memories to build upon, and be the same individual? And, if one ends up as God, then, doesn't that kind of squash the idea of individual survival?
Jesus said we can survive as an individual. That was a revolutioary teaching.
Your faith strikes me as odd because it does not seem to hope for much. Why would someone believe 'God' ('Goddess', 'The Great Spirit') does not exist when it is clearly, by simple logic, impossible to prove?
I'm not here to debate the meaning of the term Pagan. But I'll offer help to Si since she seems confused.
Wikipedia defines it thusly ...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pagan
The Witches voice says this ...
"So, What Does It All Mean?
Let’s start at the beginning. Paganism is not a single religion. It is an umbrella term generally used to cover all those religions, which are not considered to be “main world religions”, i.e. Christianity, Judaism and Islam. A person who follows one of the “other” faiths is considered to be a Pagan. Many Witches, and other Neo-Pagans simply identify themselves as "Pagan" in order to simplify the conversation when talking with someone (like, perhaps you) who may or may not be familiar with the different belief systems. This, rather unintentionally, often makes it sound as though "Paganism" is a religion – as opposed to a collection of religions. Just for the record, Neo-Paganism is not the same as the "New Age" movement. Generally, Pagans are involved in a distinctive religion. The New Age movement draws its spirituality from varied sources, as almost a supplement to the religion already practiced by that person"
Decide for yourself. But Please, don't call me Pagan.
Wiki and Witches' Voice descriptions are not all that bad. (Of course, the notion of including Buddhism, Hinduism, and and any other of the long established religions of the East "Pagan" is absurd. That is simply swallowing the blanket definition for "pagan" or "heathan" supplied by the early Christian church.)
However, those descriptions miss a basic fact of who modern Pagans actually are.
Modern Pagans are essentially individually spiritual.
Some may participate in Wicca or some other 'pagan religion'; but, even then, most are 'individual practioners'. As for the religions, they are so small, uncomprehensive, and undemanding that being a member amounts to practicing individual spirituality. Pagans routinely add in or reject beliefs as they wish or feel led.
Most modern Pagans are not 'religious' in the sense that term is used to describe members of, say, a Christian or Islamic sect.
To the above we can add that modern Pagans generally feel an affinity for the Earth and for nature as a teacher. Modern Pagans tend to be spiritual explorers; they are, in general, going to have some interest in so-called 'new age' topics and items.