SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Afterlife

The afterlife is the belief that the essential part of an individual's identity or the stream of consciousness continues after the death of the physical body. According to various ideas about the afterlife, the essential aspect of the individual that lives on after death may be some partial element, or the entire soul or spirit, of an individual, which carries with it and may confer personal identity or, on the contrary nirvana. Belief in an afterlife is in contrast to the belief in oblivion after death. In some views, this continued existence takes place in a spiritual realm, in other popular views, the individual may be reborn into this world and begin the life cycle over again with no memory of what they have done in the past. In this latter view, such rebirths and deaths may take place over and over again continuously until the individual gains entry to a spiritual realm or otherworld. Major views on the afterlife derive from religion and metaphysics; some belief systems, such as those in the Abrahamic tradition, hold that the dead go to a specific plane of existence after death, as determined by God, or other divine judgment, based on their actions or beliefs during life.

In contrast, in systems of reincarnation, such as those in the Indian religions, the nature of the continued existence is determined directly by the actions of the individual in the ended life. Theists believe some afterlife awaits people when they die. Members of some non-theistic religions tend to believe in an afterlife but without reference to a deity; the Sadducees were an ancient Jewish sect that believed that there was a God but no afterlife. Many religions, whether they believe in the soul's existence in another world like Christianity and many pagan belief systems, or reincarnation like many forms of Hinduism and Buddhism, believe that one's status in the afterlife is a reward or punishment for their conduct during life. Reincarnation is the philosophical or religious concept that an aspect of a living being starts a new life in a different physical body or form after each death, it is called rebirth or transmigration and is a part of the Saṃsāra doctrine of cyclic existence. It is a central tenet of all major Indian religions, namely Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism.

The idea of reincarnation is found in many ancient cultures, a belief in rebirth/metempsychosis was held by historic Greek figures, such as Pythagoras and Plato. It is a common belief of various ancient and modern religions such as Spiritism and Eckankar, it is found as well in many tribal societies around the world, in places such as Australia, East Asia and South America. Although the majority of denominations within the Abrahamic religions of Judaism and Islam do not believe that individuals reincarnate, particular groups within these religions do refer to reincarnation; the historical relations between these sects and the beliefs about reincarnation that were characteristic of Neoplatonism, Hermeticism and Gnosticism of the Roman era as well as the Indian religions have been the subject of recent scholarly research. Unity Church and its founder Charles Fillmore teach reincarnation. Rosicrucians speak of a life review period occurring after death and before entering the afterlife's planes of existence, followed by a judgment, more akin to a final review or end report over one's life.

Heaven, the heavens, seven heavens, pure lands, Jannah, Valhalla, or the Summerland, is a common religious, cosmological, or transcendent place where beings such as gods, jinn, saints, or venerated ancestors are said to originate, be enthroned, or live. According to the beliefs of some religions, heavenly beings can descend to earth or incarnate, earthly beings can ascend to heaven in the afterlife, or in exceptional cases enter heaven alive. Heaven is described as a "higher place", the holiest place, a paradise, in contrast to hell or the underworld or the "low places", universally or conditionally accessible by earthly beings according to various standards of divinity, piety, faith or other virtues or right beliefs or the will of God; some believe in the possibility of a heaven on Earth in a world to come. In Indian religions, heaven is considered as Svarga loka. There are seven positive regions the soul can go to after seven negative regions. After completing its stay in the respective region, the soul is subjected to rebirth in different living forms according to its karma.

This cycle can be broken after a soul achieves Nirvana. Any place of existence, either of humans, souls or deities, outside the tangible world is referred to as otherworld. Hell, in many religious and folkloric traditions, is a place of torment and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history depict hell as an eternal destination, while religions with a cyclic history depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations; these traditions locate hell in another dimension or under the earth's surface and include entrances to hell from the land of the living. Other afterlife destinations include limbo. Traditions that do not conceive of the afterlife as a place of punishment or reward describe hell as an abode of the dead, the grave, a neutral place located under the surface of earth; the afterlife played an important role in Ancient Egyptian religion, its belief system is one of the earliest known in re

Australian Volunteers for International Development

The Australian Volunteers for International Development program is an initiative of the Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The AVID program offers a range of opportunities for the Australian community to share skills and foster linkages with people and organisations in developing countries to make a difference as part of Australia’s overseas aid program; the program is delivered on behalf of the Australian Government by three Core Partners. Australian volunteers come from a diverse range of backgrounds and include men and women aged from 18 to 80 years. Australian volunteers have varying professional backgrounds which enable them to work on a range of activities such as setting up medical clinics so that women can give birth safely, building stronger homes to withstand cyclones and helping children with disabilities to get to school; the AVID program places volunteers with Host Organisations in the Pacific and Africa. HOs are the organisations. Hosts can be government departments, international agencies, non-government organisations at provincial, local and international level, educational institutions, research institutes or private companies.

Each assignment is developed in line with Australian Government priorities and are sourced depending on the priorities and needs of the host country. The AVID program works with Australian Partner Organisations to develop and support Australian volunteer assignments. APOs are Australian organisations and are drawn from government departments, non-government organisations, educational institutions and private companies that have or wish to establish links with organisations working in development in Asia, the Pacific and Africa. For example, APOs work together with HOs to develop Australian volunteer assignment proposals, assist in advertising to potential volunteers and provide mentoring and support to volunteers throughout their assignments. HOs do not need to have an APO to submit an assignment to the AVID program. Assignments are posted online on the first day of each month at www.australianaidvolunteers.gov.au

Steven Hill (basketball)

Steven Hill is an American former professional basketball player. A 7-foot center, he attended University of Arkansas. In his freshman year, Hill started 18 of 30 games for the Arkansas Razorbacks and finished second in the Southeastern Conference with 1.8 blocks per game averaging 2.3 points and rebounds. The number of blocks achieved, 54, was second most for a freshman in Arkansas history, the leader being Oliver Miller with 60. In his second year, Hill upped his numbers averaging 2.8 blocks in the process, good enough for second in the conference. His 91 blocks as a sophomore surpassed Miller's record of 85. Hill received SEC Defensive Player of the Year accolades in his junior year, improved his averages once again, while his 93 made shots and 218 total points doubled his career totals entering the year. In blocked shots, Hill's total of 99 made him the first Razorback to get 90+ blocks in more than one year. In his senior year, his numbers decreased slightly. After going undrafted in the 2008 NBA draft, Hill was signed by the Portland Trail Blazers in August 2008, but was waived in October, before the 2008-09 season began.

He was signed by the Oklahoma City Thunder on November 4, 2008, playing one game before being assigned to the Thunder's D-League affiliate Tulsa 66ers on November 21. On December 13, Hill was recalled by the Thunder, after averaging 9.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in 25.6 minutes in five games for the 66ers. A week without playing an additional game, he was made expendable and subsequently waived by the Thunder to make room on their roster for newly signed 7'0" center Nenad Krstic, he played with the Minnesota Timberwolves during the NBA 2009 Summer League and with the Sacramento Kings during the NBA 2010 Summer League. In October 2010, Hill signed a training camp contract with the Portland Trail Blazers, but was waived prior to the regular season. NBA.com profile