After you die I reckon this happens. Well before I go into what I reckon happens I have to give a description of what I think it is that is ending.
So when we are alive I believe we are a device that is used by consciousness to experience itself. So when you are alive you are conscious of stuff from one place and one moment. This is comparable to looking out at space through a telescope. Just as with a telescope you can observe a limited portion of what is observable in any moment; whilst living you are limited to experiencing a small portion of the totality.
So I believe that when you die the telescope, the device disintegrates. This seems tragic because we believe that it is the device that is truly alive.We believe inchoately – and thus strongly – that the bit of us that feels is what we call our character, our individuality, our uniqueness. But really – and this can be discovered whilst alive (it is enlightenment) – it is not the character that feels but that which perceives the character.
So when this seemingly tragic event occurs and there is no longer an individual and unique person what will be experienced is this. Suddenly your perspective will shift from the finite and bounded to the infinite and unbounded. You will go from experiencing what is to be experienced from one position in space and one moment in time to experiencing everything all at once. This is utterly incomprehensible because there won’t be a character and we cannot conceive of experience without our character… currently.
Another thing that will become – not only known but – lived is that there is no separateness. It is an utter illusion. Because the consciousness will still be perceiving through all the perceivers. But because you are dead you will see this. You will not be seeing the birds-eye view because you will be the bird’s eye view.
Of course this is my subjective opinion. I do not believe this to be certainly true. In epistemological terms I believe this but I don’t know this. I don’t actually believe it is possible to know this until it happens. This is because the statement that consciousness does not continue after death is just as rational and reasonable given the evidence as the statement that it does continue.
What we can do given the undecidability of the issue of life after death is ask ourselves “What do I actually believe?” Because we all believe something about anything we think about. We don’t choose to believe that thing we just do. In the face of undecidable questions the only reasonable thing to do is to discover what you believe and express it if you feel inclined.