Most world religions view death as both an ending and a beginning — an end of life as it is currently known and the beginning of a new type of existence.
The three basic concepts of life after death are:
. This concept is characteristic of the three major world religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. According to these systems of belief, each human being lives a single life and, after death, survives as a disembodied soul. At some future date, the soul is re-embodied and undergoes a last judgment by God, after which it enjoys eternal physical bliss in heaven or endures eternal physical anguish in hell.
. The Hindu and Buddhist traditions believe in a process of continuous rebirth, or reincarnation, until a state of oneness with ultimate reality is achieved, at which time the process of rebirth ceases. The circumstances of reincarnation vary depending on karmic principles, such as the person´s actions in a previous life.
. According to many indigenous religions and some New Age beliefs, people return to a cosmic and essential spirit after they die.
Storey P and Knight CF. Unipac two: alleviating psychological and spiritual pain in the terminally ill. Reston, Virginia. American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. 1998. p. 95.