What political party are you? Are you liberal or conservative? What sex are you? What about your sexual orientation? What's your name? Where are you from? What do you do? What religion do you belong to?
What if the categorical boxes we place ourselves in reflect the current mainstream way of dealing with death: putting people into boxes (coffins) and then lowering them into the ground into another box (a vault). It appears we just can't let go of ourselves. Perhaps then this is why our culture is stuck? As we can't let go of ourselves, our culture can't let go of itself? Perhaps the continuation of our life is to allow ourselves to melt into the greater Earth and Universe? Thus the Navajo chant sings:
"The air I become it
The Earth I become it
The bees, the trees, I become it"
Why should we want to be anything? Indeed, by being nothing we become all. Strip yourself of labels and become free of yourself. Learn the sacred meaning of belly dance and striptease. Take it all off and you will embrace all. Hence you will know the unity of hole, whole and holy.
One of the ways people are manipulated by corporate Christianity is via the judgment of the Soul that is supposed to happen at the end of time. If you're not Christian, you will spend eternity in Hell. Thus, "place your money in our collection plates and say you love Jesus and all will be well. No hot sizzling frying pan for you!" I say that with tongue in cheek, for I also know that many people that label themselves Christian are true to their heartfelt love for humanity and the Earth. Yet, as it has been through the centuries, the organized church, Protestant, Catholic and so on, are corporate entities designed to profit in some manner (prestige, self-righteousness, political power (Republicans) financial, etc). I would further add that a lot of this behavior seen in commercialized Christianity is mirrored in the new age gurus appearing on bestselling book lists while holding awakening seminars costing mints of money. So, I'm not just bulldozing Christians. I'm also bulldozing new agers some of whom think we're going to be rescued by aliens. In my humble opinion, the only alien is our self.
The fact is, in our labeling ourselves Christian, Jew, Buddhist, New Age practitioners and so on, we are putting ourselves in boxes. What makes this worse is that our society also places us into categorical boxes and we each tend to put everything else into categorical boxes. If you go to a psychologist, they just have to put you into a diagnostic category otherwise they don't get paid.
There have been near death experiences where people have emerged into an afterlife and have came back to tell us about it. How much of it is farce, or a dream that mimics the person's psyche (developed within the context of a culture) is forever unknown. Just as objectivity in science has been proved a fluke (Talbot, 1998, Capra 1998); the same can be said about near death experiences. Indeed, perhaps near death experiences speak more to the near to dying person's expectations than anything. So, one person visits Hell because of his self-judgment and another sees Heaven based on hers. Or, if one is Muslim, perhaps one sees his beloved Mohammad while a Christian sees Christ.
Could these be dream states? Perhaps my writing and your reading is also a dream state. What if Reality is beyond the dream yet is the Mother to that dream?
Reflecting the need to move beyond the dream state, a Buddhist once said, "If you see the Buddha by the road, kill him." Perhaps the same could be said about all our religious icons seen during the dying process? Perhaps this is also the meaning behind the Old Testaments commandment not to have idols representing the King/Queen of Heaven? Perhaps the deeper vision of the religions throughout the world is to get us beyond idolatry? Perhaps it could also be stated we need to get beyond our idolatry of philosophies, religions, politicians, political orientations and corporate mafia-style domination of the world?
Perhaps all you need is deep within yourself?
To illustrate, I'll paraphrase Deepak Chopra from his Ageless Body Timeless Mind: (1) the 3-D body reported by the senses is a mirage; (2) The void between 2 electrons is proportionately as empty as space between 2 galaxies; (3) Every solid particle is more than 99.9% empty space; (4) Go deeply into the fabric of matter and energy and you arrive at the origin of the universe (Genesis). All events originate in a common source outside the reality we perceive; (5) Beyond the Quantum, the body exists as pure potential.
Of course science would say, "Have you any evidence?" Well, I have tapped into this Ocean by accident on more than one occasion and on purpose during meditation. "But that doesn't count," I'm told. "There was something going seriously wrong in your brain! Besides, you didn't control variables." "Ok," I respond, "are variables controlled in real life? Indeed, doesn't chaos theory say that at any given moment there is infinity of possibilities that could unfold? It also says there is infinity of factors that influence a particular action on this planet."
So, in hearing these criticisms, I researched the various religions and related them to quantum physics. Though I have not been able to successfully publish* (though a self-published edition in the 90's received positive reviews"I have written a revised edition but am tired of the publishing game), I have continued to flesh out the various mystical experiences and dreams that I have had which has resulted in what you are reading today. In other words, what you are reading is based on personal experience (including dreams) first in relation to worldwide spiritual teachings.
So, who is to say it's my brain malfunctioning or it's the critics that can't get beyond their own noses? Furthermore, Chopra bases the above statement on physics experiments. But, the hardcore say, it's just not real. Yet, his is based on quantum physics; or at least some theoretical accounts of physics by some physicists. So, as there are different religions, are there different precepts in science? Is it like a born again Christian wanting to crucify a Muslim? What makes the scientific theoretician any different from the religious zealots arguing from a theological arrogance?