Freeing oneself from beliefs can be tricky, especially if these beliefs were imposed during childhood. Children are easy targets as they are naive and easily scared. When I was a child my parents put me in catechism classes (for those who are unaware, its a Catholic rite of passage done around childhood). I recall being taught about Hell before anything else. The nuns spoke of eternal torment, unending pain, regret, and no second chances. We were told to love and fear god, and that the things that come most naturally to us were sins and repenting was essential is we were to go to heaven. The fear was there, and it stayed with me for a long time. Only when I became of age to question was when I was truly on my way to freedom.
Questioning may not be enough to free your mind. Some people have been infused with the thought of eternal punishment that the paranoia of “what if?” stays in the back of their mind. Because nobody knows for sure what happens after death that paranoia is notoriously difficult to ease. Most Americans live with this fear, being that this nation is mostly Christian despite their denial. Many live their whole lives without being religiously intimate and as they near death their fear takes over, then they surrender themselves to their beliefs.
The question I think one really needs to answer is if you truly want freedom from that way of thinking, why do you require that freedom anyway? Are you tired of apologizing for all your actions despite a real feeling of remorse? Are you questioning the existence of a higher power? Is your faith holding you back from achieving something? There has to be a reason and whatever that reason may be, you need to find an alternative solution to your problem, something that WILL work for you. When you realize that you dont need those beliefs to live a healthy happy life, you will be free. There are those that need those beliefs and may never need to free themselves from it. Sadly, we may never advance as a society because of such beliefs. They keep us from learning real truth to our existance. Think about it, evolution is more or less scientific truth, though people are so stuck on an archaic story that they deny any data proving the story wrong. Their faith is stronger than any evidence. The majority falls under the category, and the majority rules unfortunately. These people will alienate all those who question or deny their beliefs and for those that are trying to rid their minds of such nonsense, they will find thats there’s always some challenge. You will meet people that will try to convince you that you’re wrong, and will try to put doubt in your mind. But the mind works both ways. You can be more convincing than any outside influence if the will is strong enough.
If the fear of the unknown keeps you from detaching from imposed beliefs, you must understand that afterlife is merely speculation. Hell and heaven were created by influential people who needed some way of getting people to follow moral guidelines. Hell was created so people would think twice before committing terrible acts, and heaven is a way of repaying good actions. It was necessary for society to prosper and for order to be maintained. What better way of getting people to do what you want than scaring them into compliance? If you are a generally good person all your life, but never knew the word of god then how can you be justified in being sent to hell? Question things. Most of the time there is no reasonable answer for any of it and the logic isn’t there. Eventually, there won’t be a need for those beliefs and your freedom will be achieved.