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Editorial 12

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Death

 

There is no need to fear death, because for our deeper consciousness it does not exist. If our future generations will be given this idea as part of their education in their young years, would not that change their world?

Life and death are one

Would it not change the world if people learn to understand why they should live ethical, non-violent, non-greedy etc. If they understand more about death, they would understand life better and would not be urged to commit sins flowing forth from despair and ignorance. Evil does not belong to the nature of the soul and flows but forth from mind-created illusion. This can be avoided. The teachings about death and the immensity of life and consciousness elevate to human mind from within to such an extent that misery can be avoided henceforward. The path towards liberation can be agreeable for all creatures when they can avoid unnecessary mistakes.

What kind of guys were they who made people fear death and hell and doom forever? No doubt they tried to discipline themselves and the world to a faultless life – based on the fear of what would happen to the soul if one were not faultless? Is that what representatives of the order of compassion do: create fear and gloom during life to ensure heaven after death? Certainly not. How can one relief suffering by creating it? But did their self-acclaimed representatives, perhaps based on the best of intentions, they thought, perhaps use some hidden frustration-born sadistic feelings to push their own fears aside? It happened, in Buddhism as much as in Christianity and elsewhere, though in the first hell was never forever. Let’s leave these guys alone with their own karma and not associate ourselves with them. Past is past.

Papyrus of Ani

As a consequence in the western world it happened that religion was thrown overboard entirely and no God or divine presence was needed to explain life and behavior. Many around the world now believe in the temporariness of physical existence and consciousness only.

It is the psychological burden of our belief in temporariness and the need to enjoy and desire as much as possible in the short time given us. The desires make life worse, and know no end until one dies, and continue thereafter. One overcomes them by oneself alone by knowledge of the eternity of the soul. The wish-fulfilling trees of yore gave us food and shelter and ornaments, and the tree of knowledge gives us freedom of mind, even while in the flesh. There is no need of our soul that spiritual Nature does not cover. After death Nature will take care of us even better than wish-fulfilling trees. We don’t have to work to eat and earn, we only experience the energies we ignited during physical life and action.

With the decrease of hankering after desire-satisfaction we will need much less materials and instruments to be ‘happy’ on this planet. It will befriend and save the environment which we love. No action committees and wild demonstrations will be needed for that, because it will be everyone’s patient natural attitude. When we would now live in a world where such ideas ruled, we would not believe our history books when we read about the human attitudes in the 20th and 21st century – though sparks of hope were recognizable even then, historians would say.

The path of the soul is a pilgrimage through cyclic existence through the universe in which it resides, our universe, on whatever scale of cosmic space we mean by the term we use by ‘universe.’ Within this universe we have to learn to know everything, we will ‘visit’ every nook and corner of its internal space and go through every essence of experience. Desire prompts us to touch all these places and experiences. If our minds chose wisely, we could do it all without bad experience, without suffering – but then we would not learn to understand the most obvious illusion under which all beings suffer: suffering itself. By understanding all, ‘subjecting’ all beings to our pure and stainless mind, and distinguishing illusion from truth, we become omniscient and radiate joy all-over within our universe.

The general purport of this editorial is that the root of misery and destruction is in our mind, not in our actions. Nothing will change fundamentally and for the long term by superficial technical measures. No hi-tech nor money will be sufficient. It is the inner man, the thinker, who must change. For that purpose exist philosophy and religion.

More details about death and the invisible realms

It is, for our present consciousness as embodied living human beings, not possible to understand, experience or adequately describe the states of consciousness which we go through between death and reincarnation. Every effort, even when done by an omniscient sage, could only refer to parallel experiences of our present consciousness, and make use of a logic that our minds can grasp. Even in our present state of consciousness, how much can we understand of other experiences in that same waking state? Can a small child understand or experience the thoughts and feelings of an old man or woman? Can men and women understand each other completely? Can we understand and feel how a flower or an animal feels?

When we leave physical life, we lose physical perception as well as the experience of a mind residing in a physical brain. We can no longer feel and think as we do now. We can no longer have physical pain and diseases. We can no longer create new illusions or crazinesses, nor do we have sense impressions to interpret the world around us. We do no longer adhere to a particular set of ideas – we are no longer Buddhists or Muslims or Christians. We only have the non-physical energies of our previous thoughts. Still the states of consciousness between death and life on earth are true, truer even than those during incarnation, because we are no longer hampered by physical matter. It is the same ‘we’ who experience between death and life, but turned into oneself, without external input.

When we are dead, we are beyond thought systems and religions. The truth about death is not written correctly in any religious system and not written incorrectly in others. All are necessarily incorrect when taken literally because the experiences are symbolic and are always right as far as their effort to transfer part of their source is genuine. Symbols are entries to deeper truth, and are not physical. These experiences cloth themselves in subtle forms for our inner eye according to our expectations. Therefore a dead Tibetan will ‘see’ different things than a dead Egyptian, or a dead materialist – of which occult scriptures says will not see anything at all because his mind is permeated by the belief that there is nothing after death. Thus the experiences are highly colored, but the symbols within them are more universal. That is why at first sight texts like the so-called Tibetan Book of the Dead[1] The Mayan Popol Vuh, the Hindu, Christian and Islamic scriptures, Plato’s Book of Er, modern Theosophical scriptures, information from spiritism, near-death experience, clairvoyant reports, and the little that is known through scientific experiments seem very different, even incompatible.

The general view among western thinkers is therefore that all these stories are just fantasies, speculations, or hallucinations due to disturbed brain chemistry, and that therefore there is no proof of the existence of life or consciousness after death. The ancient wisdom is however not based on fantasy, but on esoteric knowledge, or knowledge of the omniscients, and each of the descriptions about this subject in ancient scriptures are ‘more truly true’ than any scientific theory of today. The death which I will write about here below is based on Egyptian, Tibetan, Jain, scientific and other sources. These scriptures present different aspects of the death for different purposes. None, of course, is based on my own conscious mental experience.

Life and death are one: they form together a circle within which many transitions occur. There are many cycles within each cycle. There are many phases in one lifetime, and many phases between death and rebirth and according to Tibetan Buddhists one may die, after physical death, as many as 49 (or 7×7) deaths before the next physical rebirth. Leaving or entering a physical body is just one event in the cycle, like putting of and on a coat or a pajama.

In three articles ‘What is dying and what is death?’ we will pay attention to thoughts about:

How to die (article I), 

The processes and experiences of dying (article II) and

How it is to be really dead (article III)

  1. Actually named: Bardo Thödol: The book of the intermediate states (between dying and rebirth), the Egyptian Book of the Dead ((The so-called Egyptian Book of the Dead is a misnomer for rw nw prt m hrw which means ‘Book of Coming Forth by Day’ or “Book of Emerging Forth into the Light.” It does not deal with the common processes of death like the Bardo Thödol, but exemplifies the Path of the totally pure soul after death or during occult initiation, who then can pass on to the portals of ever higher knowledge. [<<]