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Adi & Praja 145

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Adi and Praja

Chapter 9

Issue 145: A long tunnel

During his training in the monastery, Shano would have to experience these things in full consciousness and then return to his body. These were the practical lessons which were but extensions of the theoretical ones. But to learn that fully would take time.


(through a long tunnel)

Another experience most people go through when they die, is as if they go through a long, round tunnel or tube, and a light is waiting for them at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes they see – in their imagination – someone waiting for them who they used to know and trust and love, or to whom they longed. Some see their mother, or their husband, or an angel or their god. It is their own mind during the process of leaving the body which creates such images. These images are so real that death is a great consolation – nothing to fear for at any rate. While the man or woman or boy or girl who is dying goes through this “tunnel experience” a bystander who has the eyes to see it (and Shano had such eyes more or less developed during his whole life) can see that a model of the physical body separates itself from the physical body, and keeps floating above the physical body. The model body, which consists of the more refined part of the physical matter of the physical body, remains connected with a silvery or gold-like cord. The bystanders without these clairvoyant eyes just stand there, and see nothing, and think that the person is dead, and often start crying. If they could see what actually happened, they would be happy for that dying person, in stead of crying for their own pettiness. While the dying person is going through his or her tunnel, the silver cord is getting thinner, and thinner, and thinner … until its snaps. Even though his or heart may have stopped working hours ago, and the brain was declared dead by the ignorant clairblind doctors, only now is the person really death. Until that moment what is said and done may be of considerable influence for his future, even his next life. From then on the dying person cannot hear anything of what happens around him or her – for the time being – but until that time he may, and what it said may influence his dying brain-mind and feelings. After a while though, after his first real death experiences, his consciousness of the world around him may reawaken off and on and the dead person remains aware of earthly things for days, sometimes, with intervals – for weeks. So maintain a period of ‘mourning’ – or rather respecting the dead person and only think with love of his best qualities (even if he had many you don’t like). If you can’t, don’t think of him or her at all. Why give suffering to any human being in a otherwise blissful period? Nature will bring his soul and your soul to where it belongs. If monks were present at the moment a person was just dying, they would tell everyone to keep absolutely silent, not say a word, and have spiritual thoughts only, burn a candle or two at the head’s side, keep the window open however cold it might be to give the dying one an opportunity to leave quietly and without disturbance, like a mother leaves the room or stays very calm when her child has just fallen asleep. “Never ever disturb a dying person,” the teacher told Shano. Only specialized experts, who knew and could follow the process accurately, could whisper spiritual guidelines to the dying person, helping him to recognize the stages of his dying process and make optimal use of them.

It is also important what the last thought in one’s brain is when one dies. So everything around a dying person should be the best thing possible, serene, happy and quiet. Let those who want to cry leave the room of the dying person. Don’t do anything of what the person might have liked during his life, like bringing in his favorite food or play his favorite music except when it is very spiritual music of which he recognized the beauty in his life – such as church organ music or high quality music devoted to God or high deities, but to which he was not emotionally attached. Don’t do anything that might want him to come back, because he can’t come back, but he can still suffer. Don’t do these things ever at a burial or cremation ceremony. Let him depart from his body quietly, through an open window. But don’t chase him away and don’t touch his body, don’t take out his organs, before he has really completely died and left his body.

All these things were clear for Shano – even though he couldn’t check the truth of it all at that moment. But he had seen people dying, and seen the silver cord. Only now he understood. He had read about these things in books, but now that his teacher, who had living experience and understanding of these processes, told him, the whole scene became alive.

Shano seemed to come closer to understanding the paradox. He was sure now that dying does not mean the end of life. He also understood that being dead is not the same as being alive on earth. But still, what about the soul? Would it die later, perhaps, at the second death, and then would nothing remain – nothing – no thoughts, no feelings, no consciousness, no past, no future?

But for today these lessons were over, and he had to do a lot of physical work, in the garden, cutting vegetables, cleaning his room, looking at the sunset over the snowy mountain tops, and reading his books. It was silent, silent, silent.

The next lesson was not about the processes of dying, as he had hoped, but about cause and effect. It was a theoretical lesson, explaining that everything that happens must have had a cause – chance doesn’t exist. Chance only appears to exist for those who don’t have the eyes to look behind the horizon of possible physical knowledge. Everything has a cause, and everything is a cause. Even if there is no physical way to know the cause. It is an endless chain leading back to the infinite past (via periods of relative calm and waiting) towards the infinite future (with again periods of the calm of sleep or death). Nobody knew what ‘infinite’ meant, not even the Head of the Monastery, the Abbot, understood it fully. Anyway it meant ‘farther away then about which any speculation is possible.’ The conclusion was that whatever happens has a cause, and that processes must always run in circles, from infinitesimally small to infinitely big circles, to return to the mind who energized that cause – which always was already an effect of a still earlier cause, but could be modified by the mind. Once he was in the lesson, Shano liked this one also very much, maybe even more than the one about the processes of dying. It was purely philosophical. He didn’t yet realize how practical it also was.

Then the lessons about death continued. “After the breaking of the silver cord,” the ‘teacher of permanence’ explained, “the died person falls in a swoon, with only the greatest yogi’s as an exception. But the teacher added that he himself was not yet that great a yogi. Nobody else knows anything about the swoon. In the mean time the model body, separated from the dead part of the physical body, starts to dissipate like a fog, but may, for some time, hang around at the grave of his own buried counterpart. This of course is impossible when the body was cremated or eaten by scavengers. The ‘soul’ of the dying person has nothing to do with it any more, like when you have put your ragged shirt in the garbage bin. Only after a while the swoon is over, and the dead person reawakens. He may have a vague impression about the world he lives in now, or, when trained for that, a vivid awareness. But an untrained person, like you and me, probably, may have vague impressions of friends we knew, desires we had, things we wanted, atmospheres on earth we feel attracted to. These experiences may be pleasant or unpleasant, weak of strong, just as in daily life, but only in the case of very powerful evil or sensual persons it may be more or less like a hell. There are also the dying remains, like astral or ‘stardust’ (as we called it earlier) corpses, of people who have already died their second death, but these astral corpses are unconscious, or almost so. The real, better, ego of people who died their second death are now fully awake and happy in another world. There exist trained people, who can function in full consciousness in this world, called the astral world, if they have learned it during their stay on earth, by discipline and guided training, to develop their astral organs to clear functioning.” That is what the teacher said.

Most people remain rather sleepy in that period, just as strong or as weak the desires were which they fed during the life on earth in the body that was now long burned, buried, or eaten. And that is good enough, for that world is full of confusion, and it is almost impossible to distinguish the true from the false – the real, from illusion or fantasy or a mixture of these. One would be constantly hurled from one situation to another and from one mood to the other. This world is called the world of desires – because it is not the physical world as we are used to now, and also not the world in which the good mind has awakened. Strong desires give strong pictures for consciousness, and weak desires gave faint, ill-defined pictures. Everyone has created their own ‘astral’ world, also called ‘world of desires’, themselves. It lasts as long as the desires last. It can be pleasant or unpleasant, but is no hell and no heaven. Hell is only created by strong, sustained evil thoughts and evil desires. Such thoughts, and the strong energies accompanying them, create images as terrible as the mind of the evildoer is. Hatred (independent of whether the person feels justified in his hatred) creates hell, as all other thoughts and deeds that strongly oppose Nature.

This was the second lesson. It was very vivid for Shano’s mind’s eye. But that is not the same as actual experience. The mental picture still had to be corrected by experience via the inner (astral) senses – and these were far from being fully developed in Shano – because that brings great risks – but the beginning was there.

Shano’s reading of philosophy books was intimately connected with his daily life. Whatever he had read, he would experience and apply almost immediately.

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