Upon death there is a separation between body and soul. But the soul continues to live on as it always has, now unfettered by the physical constraints of the body. And since a person´s true character -- his goodness, virtue, and selflessness -- lies in the soul he will ascend to a higher state after fulfilling his responsibilities on earth.
To put this in perspective, modern physics has taught us that no substance truly disappears, that it only changes form, and that matter is another form of energy. A tree, for instance, might be cut down and used to build a house, a table or chair. Regardless of how the form changes, the wood remains wood. And when that same wood is burned in a furnace, it again changes form, becoming energy that gives off heat and gas. The tree, the chair, and the fire are all merely different forms of the same substance.
In Judaism, a way to honor and continue to elevate the soul of the departed is to say tehillim (psalms) daily with the soul of the person in mind. I have chosen to say daily Psalm 24 for Bill. I believe it applies very well to him, and may his soul, which brought so joy and inspiration to others as evidenced by all the comments on this website, continue to be strong and pure.
1) By (King) David. A Psalm. The earth is the Lord´s and the fullness thereof, the world of men and they that dwell therein.
2) For He has founded it upon the seas and, guiding it, constantly establishes it upon the floods.
3) Who shall ascend to the mountain of the Lord, and who shall. Stand in the place of his Sanctuary?
4) He that is clean of hands and pure of heart, who has not lifted up his soul, which is Mine, unto vanity and has not sworn deceitfully,
5) He shall receive a blessing from the Lord and kindness from the God of his salvation.
6) This is the generation of them that seek after Him, that seek your face O Jacob (Selah).
7) Lift up your heads, O gates, be lifted up to become portals of the future, so that the Kind of Glory may come in.
8) Who is the King of Glory? The Lord, invincible and strong, The Lord, the Mighty One in battle.
9) Lift up your heads again, O gates, lift them up to become portals of the future, so that the King of Glory may come in.
10) Who, then, is this King of Glory? The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of Glory. (Selah)
The few verses of this brief psalm contain the most powerful truths that any mortal lips were ever privileged to utter concerning the ways of God in the history of man. I am proud to say them daily for my friend, and a truly good human being, Bill Goggins.
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