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Death - the Final Frontier Pt.

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Message Blair Gelbond

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Introducton

The process of dying merges into the process of death. In the previous essay we focused on the psychological/emotional level in terms of what loved ones and visitors can do for someone who is dying. In the next pieces I hope to continue to discuss the process of dying from a different point of view - and then move on to what is known about the actual moments of death itself, and possibly, the after-death states.

Death has many things to teach us, if we are willing to listen. "Death is the only wise advisor that we have," said Don Juan, Carlos Casteneda's spiritual teacher.

One of the primary lessons that death has to teach is that there are many orders of existence. Western science and culture have convinced us that the physical plane is all there is.

From Houston Smith:

"Itself occupying no more than a single ontological plane, science challenged by implication the notion that other planes exist.

"As its challenge was not effectively met, it swept the field and gave the modern world its soul... this is the final definition of modernity: an outlook in which this world, this ontological plane, is the only one that is genuinely countenanced and affirmed."

As post-modern science is beginning to reveal, comprehending this reality will entail a major shift in our worldview. As Einstein said. "There are problems that cannot be solved at the level of thinking [and assumptions] that created them." If we truly wish to accept the opportunity to begin saving the Earth and its living inhabitants, a critical issue will be moving beyond the assumptions to which we've become attached.

An Overview

A central idea that informs deep spiritual practice is the relationship among three factors: 1) the human sense of separateness - the ego; 2) Absolute Reality - which can be described as Infinite Existence, Consciousness and Love; and 3) the fact that freedom from suffering and radical transformation of our sense of self and world are possible. The bottom-line simplicity of all ways of liberation points to the possibility of merging with (rather than simply worshiping) the Infinite; this involves the cultivation of wisdom and compassion, clarity, humility and love.

Thus, in the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus is quoted as saying:

"I am not your master. Because you have drunk, you have become intoxicated from the bubbling spring which I have measured out... He who will drink from My mouth will become like Me. I myself shall become he, and the things that are hidden will be revealed to him."

While modern culture has immersed us in a secular worldview - teaching us to only perceive the level of physical reality - there are apparently an infinite number of subtle levels of existence, interpenetrating what we usually consider to be "real."

Another foundational idea is that having a human birth is extraordinarily fortunate because we have the faculties to attain liberation/enlightenment/merging with the Absolute in this lifetime.

However, if we desire, we can be preoccupied with making money, with obtaining status, or fame, with getting high, being enraged and indignant, avoiding getting to know our own mind, or simply living in a habitual, comfortable way. We are absolutely free to not pursue the goal of liberation, but given the above context, this is seen as unfortunate, like squandering a precious opportunity.

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I work as a psychotherapist with an emphasis on transformational learning - a blend of psychoanalytic and transpersonal approaches, and am the author of Self Actualization and Unselfish Love and co-author of Families Helping Families: (more...)
 

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Philip Pease

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Western paths (and culture) have radically over-emphasized the primacy and identification with thoughts, ideas and the importance of "believing."

Being a "westerner" I am subject to this influence. At my age (84) I have thought about death and contemplated an afterlife. Backing up a bit, I reasoned that if there is no afterlife then there would be no I that cares about any of this and my pondering about an afterlife is just imagination. So be it.

Anyway back to my thoughts about an afterlife. One concept that I have read about is "as above, so below"; that is I will still be me and the others will still be them. Along with this belief is one that psychology holds, that I do not perceive things as they are but as I am. Another belief is that the afterlife exhibits a greater awareness (a magnified, intense version of our earthly experience). Then there is the belief that we will spend some period reliving/reexperiencing our earthly life; if that happens in a more intense/magnified version then I can imagine that as perceiving heaven/hell condition and a type of judgement. There is also the concept of various levels or stages in this afterlife.

Then there is the concept that it is all about learning; that we incarnate to gain experience that shape who we become and that the afterlife is where we have a period of examination on what we learned and then choose to reincarnate to do this learning experience again and again until we (or some force decides) we don't need any more educational experiences.

For me, I have enjoyed my life and hope there is more joy in an afterlife for me to experience; and if not ... "that's all folks" (played to the looney tunes theme).

Submitted on Monday, Aug 30, 2021 at 11:48:30 AM

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Blair Gelbond

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Philip,

Wonderful post. Thank you. I resonate with much of it.

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rimpoche is, in my opinion, a great source for understanding the Bardos of life, dying, death, and the after-death states (as is the work of Kenneth Ring). It's true: since the great majority of us do not retain memories of previous lives, deaths, and the intermediate state -- we can legitimately say, "Who knows?'

My own sense is that generating positive karma (deeds, thoughts, words) is wonderful preparation for leaving the body. From reading, contemplation and study with spiritual teachers, my sense is that the personality goes, yet our well-practiced inclinations stay with us and have much to do with what happens next. Also, that all, experiences, including heaven- and hell-realms are temporary, as is our current life.

There is interesting speculation and extrapolation from His teachings that Jesus believed in (or knew of) the process of death and rebirth. (It is shocking, and yet not surprising to me, that the church attempted to destroy much of Jesus's teachings, so that church "men" could retain worldly, patriarchal power).

When someone asked Trungpa Rimpoche what stays with us after death, he joked, "Your bad habits!")

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It is being predicted by renowned individuals such as Joanna Macy, Edgar Morin, Riane Eisler, Margaret Wheatley, Ervin Laszlo and Duane Elgin that, in the upcoming years, we will be facing a series of accelerating crises.

Included in this daunting list: increasing climate disruption, spreading regions of water scarcity, declining agricultural productivity, massive species extinction, enormous disparities of wealth, increased exploitation, rising numbers of climate refugees, overbearing impersonal, bureaucratic systems, oppression and human rights violations, democratic apathy, nuclear weapons, radioactive waste, and mendacious government agendas.

It is not unreasonable to guess that humans and other species will be facing a massive amount of death and misery. And it is understandable that we will shy away from this prediction, attempting to avoid the unthinkable.

However, those of us who are willing to (as they say in AA) "live life on life's terms" may be interested in taking a deeper dive into that which we call death - while we are alive.

To place this endeavor in a context, we need to understand viscerally that we may not be merely witnessing an extinction event. In addition we may be participating in a terrible, amazing, birthing event, which challenges, menaces, bewilders, astonishes and offers us the opportunity to expand our beliefs about what it means to be human.

Submitted on Monday, Aug 30, 2021 at 12:39:53 PM

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Michael Dewey

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"When shall it be said in any country of the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive...when these things can be said, then may that country boast of its constitution and government."~ Thomas Paine"
       -- Tom Paine

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Since started to add things up after a Rocken Down angels awaken back in 1994, have come to figure life always existed, and something went wrong in the beginning. My current Therapist agreed with me when told here that this year, with her saying, "Of course it did." ( I have had some good State Mental Health People to talk to, since the A-slum none believed anything I said.

A couple things came to my mind this year. One was them 24 Elders on Thrones Revelation talks of are not all men, nor do they even have to be the same for everyone who shows up before them. It was Bob Dylan's "Hard Rain" that got me "thinking that." Its what them Elder's sing to us, "Where have you been my blue eyed song? Where have you been my darling young one?"

Am thinking how we answer could tell some of out fate. But then again forever is a long time to live this consciousness with out being born again a couple times. I mean I wouldn't mind being a Lion for a life. Doubt anyone would won't be a rat forever.

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Blair Gelbond

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Hi Michael,

I think you are onto something re- reincarnation.

What I have read is that once a being crosses the threshold of human consciousness, they can not become animals again (although they can become a Donald Trump...close enough)!

Yet, I've also read - and this too makes sense to me - that once we are out of this body, consciousness is multidimensional and can send "pieces" of itself to explore what it is like to be another life-form (without foregoing the human level of awareness in the after-death state).

Re- something going wrong, I would guess we have to again think multidimensionally. At one level ET's or extra-dimensional beings may have been involved. At another level we only need look 5-7000 years into the past when patriarchal, dominator consciousness swept the globe.

Or perhaps its a blend of all of the above.

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Another brave effort at tackling an esoteric, much eschewed subject matter. The following quotes on the topic, dovetail with my thoughts.

"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances." - William Shakespeare

"The wealthiest place in the world is not the gold mines of South America or the oil fields of Iraq or Iran. They are not the diamond mines of South Africa or the banks of the world. The wealthiest place on the planet is just down the road. It is the cemetery. There lie buried companies that were never started, inventions that were never made, bestselling books that were never written, and masterpieces that were never painted. In the cemetery is buried the greatest treasure of untapped potential." - Myles Munroe

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Blair Gelbond

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Thank you, Irene.

Two great quotes deserve another. This is from the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying:

"The 'inner science' of Buddhism is based, as one American scholar puts it, 'on a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of reality...a depth understanding of self and environment'...The source of the Bardo teachings is the enlightened mind, the completely awake...mind, as experienced, explained, and transmitted by a long line of masters...Their careful, meticulous...explanations and formulations of their discoveries of mind over many centuries have given us [a] most complete picture...of both life and death."

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The Time Before Death - Kabir (Robert Bly & Rabindranath Tagore translation)

"O Friend! hope for Him while you live, know while you live,
understand while you live: for in life deliverance abides."

Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive.

Jump into experience while you are alive!
Think . . . and think . . . while you are alive.
What you call "salvation" belongs to the time before death.

If you don't break your ropes while you're alive,
do you think ghosts will do it after?

The idea that the soul will rejoin with the ecstatic
just because the body is rotten
that is all fantasy.

What is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now,
you will simply end up with an apartment in the City of Death.
If you make love with the divine now,
in the next life you will have the face of satisfied desire.

So plunge into the truth, find out who the Teacher is,
Believe in the Great Sound!

Kabir says this: When the Guest is being searched for,
it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest that
does all the work.

Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity.

~~ Kabir

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Michael Dewey

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"When shall it be said in any country of the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive...when these things can be said, then may that country boast of its constitution and government."~ Thomas Paine"
       -- Tom Paine

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This Arlo "Face of Time" song from Mystic Journey has me pondering if this world is my home. Other songs add into that thought. Steve Miller (The Space Cowboy.) has me keeping my eyes on the long falling sky being getting back to that home, even after both heaven and earth cease to exist. Its hard to explain how them songs make me think of life after, the 2rd life to come that the Lamb did speak of.

Its just a short littler poem. I laugh at an Arlo line of his talking to the crowd, "Time doesn't really exists, its just that if could squeeze it into now we'd be there." He goes on to say to the concert in California. "I know you guys here are into that stuff. I'm with ya," he says. (Only recently have I thought it about it like that. Maybe its the recurring dream of my Mom and Dad still being around that brought this comment up.)

I try to resend my ego in my pool and dart retirement all that I can do, with still satisfaction over a well played match.

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Blair Gelbond

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Michael,

Well, that's a lot to ponder. I'll respond tomorrow.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 1, 2021 at 12:22:21 AM

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Michael Dewey

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"When shall it be said in any country of the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive...when these things can be said, then may that country boast of its constitution and government."~ Thomas Paine"
       -- Tom Paine

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Its a bit of a Highway Men song, Kris, Johnny Merle and Willie thrown into the mix too. Johnny sings, "I was a Star Ship Capstan and a Highway Man, but maybe I return as a single drop of rain, or maybe a Highway Man again.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 1, 2021 at 1:29:07 AM

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Michael,

I have a few responses. Thank you for your comment.

"Just passin' by" is IMO a good slogan for human life. Tibetan Buddhism states that our real home and actual identity is the Clear Light, which every being experiences - even if momentarily - upon death. The Light would be the western equivalent of God. Most of us are unable to hold our awareness on the Clear Light, so we are compelled to take another birth to continue to complete our unfinished business.

In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus directs people to light hidden within. He tells his disciples, If they say to you, "Where did you come from?"...say to them, "We come from the light, the place where the light came into being by itself."

In addition it seems quite possible that we can take an incarnation on other planets and other realms, depending on our karma. In Buddhism, heaven and hell realms are experienced between physical births, but are temporary, as is our physical life. With all this said, it seems quite possible that the Earth would not seem like "home."

Re- "the Now" - I see this as profound (if you wish, see Eckhart Tolle's book, THE POWER OF NOW, OR see him on Youtube). One thing we know: the past is a memory, the future is merely a thought, and the Present is all that exists.

It certainly seems possible that your Mom and Dad may be in touch with you, if they are residing in the subtle realm.

Re- the ego: best that it be retired. And that's the work of an entire lifetime.


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Michael Dewey

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"When shall it be said in any country of the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive...when these things can be said, then may that country boast of its constitution and government."~ Thomas Paine"
       -- Tom Paine

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The few dreams+, about Mom & Dad were so clear that they been dead, but in separate dreams they were alive in the King Street Littleton Home. Very clearly they were alive there, saying to myself, we biured you both. One dream Dad was buried, another Mom was, then maybe both. The dreams were so real. A couple recurring. But I was who wanted to be before following nightmare happened to me. Family still will not yet listen too. Who would listen to Number 9 (Or 11th child of 12 in Family.) waking up to be the Prophet Michael of Daniel 12:1, the olive branch child of Revelation 12, where this Country landed on the moon? Plenty enough in travels understand, so worry not about my sanity. Even local cops now know.

Brings me to my Gasoline Alley Dream of the Pool Table in Basement of that King Street Home. Had ping table on one side of 2 brick posts, and older brothers Rock band would practice there for us teenagers.

I strongly recall in that Gasoline Alley this Question song of Moody Blues that I end up living. "Asking down there with younger sister, "I'm looking for something to change my life. (This at 15 years) I'm looking for a miracle in my life." That miracle to change my life did happen in 1994 when a barmaid cut open my soul, right when had some answers:"Worker Ownership of the $20 Billion a year Mondragon Cooperative of the Basque in Spain." Mom had just turned me on to that Cooperative in 1994. Then the $hit hit the fan over a Barmaid who gave me a reason to care, for could help. IBEW could easily make for better jobs for all modeled after Mondragon

But now that barmaid 10+ years dead, is waiting there for me in the land I once lived in. The Moody Blues sing of them un-ansewered letters, knocking on her door.

"Between the silence of the mountains, and the crashing of the sea. There lays a land I once lived in, and she is waiting there for me." (Many other people can have same song.)

Submitted on Saturday, Sep 4, 2021 at 2:52:48 AM

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Blair Gelbond

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Michael,

Thank you for sharing your dreams, etc. I love many of the Moody Blues songs.

Re- your dreams of your Mom and Dad - it is said that beings who reside on the subtle planes can often communicate with us in dreams, especially if we were close when we lived together on the physical plane.

On the other hand, our unconscious mind also seeks to communicate with our conscious self through dreams. Often this involves telling us symbolically about some imbalance in our lives, or communicating something our conscious mind is ignoring or evading.

My best understanding is simply to "sit with" dreams, and, in a relaxed, gut-level way try to sense their meanings.

Submitted on Saturday, Sep 4, 2021 at 12:43:34 PM

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Michael Dewey

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"When shall it be said in any country of the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive...when these things can be said, then may that country boast of its constitution and government."~ Thomas Paine"
       -- Tom Paine

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Oh, I wasn't worried about the dreams. There was actually a positive effect from them. If anything I'd bet they wouldn't have wanted to sell the family home. It would have been perfect job for me to be there, turinng it into a Halfway Hostel set up for Vets and others who need backyards instead of locked wards. Dad put about 60 grand into foundation and floor of the garage basement, a few year before he passed in 2006. One of the other brothers didn't want to sell either, and could have gone to court. Its not that Littleton is any great thing I miss. I've not felt more where I belong than last 4 years back from Belgium enjoying my pool and dart retirement. Sometimes even getting healthy. But love the bar crowds.

King St Home
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Blair Gelbond

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A noble idea - serving the Vets, so many of whom had been physically and psychologically damaged by the Vietnam War (which also was based on a false flag).

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Michael Dewey

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"When shall it be said in any country of the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive...when these things can be said, then may that country boast of its constitution and government."~ Thomas Paine"
       -- Tom Paine

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These Vets I was talking of were from Iraq around 2010. It would have also been good for me to recover from "My Domestic American War", helping to have a purpose with tangible fruits before my eyes. Hope has always been with me in my planting seeds by lettering in the spirit of Arlo's littering. At this point the 6 4 page paper News Letters from last 10 years (Other have been lost.) could be a book. If ever published had told owner years ago would buy it back. She said it was in good hands. Here is a short story of basement gasoline alley pool room. Was playing at 7 years old in 60s and felt these words, "You could play up here right now." Replied, "I'm just a kid. Why don't you come down here?" I joke that is how war in heaven was thrown down here.

Submitted on Saturday, Sep 4, 2021 at 3:27:45 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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"Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy."
" Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted on Saturday, Sep 4, 2021 at 9:31:05 PM

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Michael Dewey

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"When shall it be said in any country of the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive...when these things can be said, then may that country boast of its constitution and government."~ Thomas Paine"
       -- Tom Paine

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In a buy & throw away world the Red Road can be full of bumps. But when the intent is to live as one with each other & Mother Earth its easy to slow down to smile at them bumps.

Submitted on Sunday, Sep 5, 2021 at 3:06:51 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Absolutely right on, Michael.

Submitted on Sunday, Sep 5, 2021 at 3:29:19 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Also, death as a reminder to appreciate life...and to see past the differences to - as you say - live at one with each other.

Submitted on Sunday, Sep 5, 2021 at 3:32:58 PM

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Gregory Kozloff

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Why do humans concoct such fantasies about life after death? when you're dead all consciousness is done and so are you. Fear of ending one's life doesn't justify all this blather. you don't wanna die and neither do I but its gonna happen. Making up stories about it doesn't change that reality. Typical of this country to make people fearful about the unknown/unknowable--it's what gives religion power which live humans exploit for profit and to somewhat assuage the grief of loss for those still alive. If making up stories makes you feel better ok but facing reality says more about the quality of your life than any f'n fantasy!

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 1, 2021 at 2:58:12 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Hello Gregory,

I would suggest that it is you who are worshipping a fantasy. In other words, it is you who are "making up stories."

First of all, you don't have any idea what occurs after death, but you obviously have strong conclusions about the matter. By definition such conclusions would be unfounded.

You have obviously bought into the philosophical materialism of our culture, without really examining alternative formulations.

If I may, I would advise you to carefully examine your assumptions. You may have heard that "assuming" "makes as ass out of you and me."

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 1, 2021 at 4:42:36 PM

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Gregory Kozloff

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Reply to Blair Gelbond:   New Content

you're right that I don't know what happens after death but neither do you. So making up stories, your own or others', makes no sense. To you possible, to me, chicken-poop delusion. If it makes you feel better fine but it undermines any credibility you may have no matter the source.

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 2, 2021 at 1:19:44 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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My guess is that you do not have the energy and interest to follow this matter up.

If you do, you may want to see Kenneth Ring's work on NDE's *Near-Death-Experiences*, which provides intriguing hints. Consciousness is key, and if you have not studied the nature of awareness in some depth, you, yourself, appear to immersed in "chicken-poop delusion."

Meanwhile, I'd suggest your not reverently worshipping your beliefs as if they were gods. Humility and the willingness to learn is key to finding out more.

Submitted on Friday, Sep 3, 2021 at 2:37:13 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to Gregory Kozloff:   New Content

Gregory,

As one Tibetan lama says:

"In place of our contemporary nihilistic form of doubt, I would ask you to [replace it with] a "noble doubt," the kind of doubt that is an integral part of the path toward enlightenment.

"The vast truth of the mystical teachings, handed down to us, is not something our endangered world can afford to dismiss. Instead of doubting [those teachings] why don't we doubt ourselves, our ignorance, our assumptions that we understand everything already, our grasping and evasion, our passion for so-called explanations of reality.

"I notice how few people have any idea how to pursue doubts or to use them. Isn't it ironic that in a civilization that so worships the power of deflation and doubt, hardly anyone has the courage to deflate the claims of doubt itself - to unmask cynicism and uncover what fear, despair, hopelessness and tired conditioning it springs from. Then doubt would no longer be an obstacle but a door to realization."

Submitted on Friday, Sep 3, 2021 at 8:33:24 PM

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Michael Dewey

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"When shall it be said in any country of the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive...when these things can be said, then may that country boast of its constitution and government."~ Thomas Paine"
       -- Tom Paine

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I figure these Highway Man are right in this Highway Man song. They sing about how they keep on coming back and back and back. Life just had to come from somewhere. Forever is a real long time. Someday's just watching sun come and down is enough.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 6, 2021 at 6:10:26 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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'Someday's just watching sun come and down is enough.'

Beautiful.

As for physical human rebirth - for me it is a mystery I deal with through reading, reflecting, intuiting and spending time with teachers I respect.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 6, 2021 at 9:11:47 PM

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Michael Dewey

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"When shall it be said in any country of the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive...when these things can be said, then may that country boast of its constitution and government."~ Thomas Paine"
       -- Tom Paine

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Knowing the damage that "the established church" has done to the good news of freedom, its easy to not believe there is any truth in the Bible. But when one ends up living proof of things kept secret in Daniel 8:26, 12:4 & 12:9, I've got good reasons to be hopeful for the current indignation (Lots to do with the Nukes on Japan and undeclared wars.) will run its course, ( As Daniel talks of.) and things will smooth out towards a Brotherhood of Mankind learning to share this crowded boiling melting pot.

John Fogerty sings well in this Mystic Highway song about him wondering how this Bad Moon Arising, he saw 50+ years ago is going to end. Whether one believes it or not, whether they like it or not, we are living in the appointed time of the end (You probably "think" I just said the end of the world?) in Daniel 11:40-45, with that insurrection on 1-6-2021 being what is talked about in Daniel 11:45. Fogerty will be one of them with insight who will shine brightly, in Daniel 12:3 when the Rock and Rolling Pearls of Thunder, (Kept secret in Revelation 10.) when they are given control of the TV, leading towards the Peace-Freedom & Brotherhood Dreams of the 60s. (60 years since the 60s with #9 (Or 11th in family.) being in 60s is a lot a lot of sixes.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 1, 2021 at 5:07:16 PM

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Philip Pease

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Yesterday a friend of mine posted on Facebook that her 5 year old son, while playing with his hot-wheels, said "mommy, we live many lives".

Submitted on Friday, Sep 3, 2021 at 8:08:28 AM

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Blair Gelbond

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Philip, Thank you.

There are some poignant stories of children remembering past lives...and then visiting their previous family and accurately identifying the toys and relatives of their previous incarnation in the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. What this means is a mystery.

BTW, I was unsure about your question re- group process.

Submitted on Friday, Sep 3, 2021 at 2:04:51 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Philip,

From Sogyal Rimpoche:

"'People ask] if we have lived before, why don't we remember it? '

"But why should the fact that we cannot remember our past lives mean that we have never lived before? After all, experiences of our childhood, or of yesterday, or even what we were thinking an hour ago were vivid as they occurred, but the memory of them has almost totally eroded, as though they had never taken place/ If we cannot remember we were doing or thinking last Monday, how on earth do we imagine it would be easy or normal to remember what we were doing in a previous lifetime?"

Submitted on Saturday, Sep 4, 2021 at 12:59:24 PM

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From the Dalai Lama:

"The successive existences in a series of rebirths are not like the pearls in a pearl necklace, held together by a string, the "soul," which passes through all the pearls; rather they are like dice piled one on top of the other. Each is separate, but it supports the one above it, with which it is functionally connected. Between the dice there is no identity, but conditionality"

"[In rebirth] one phenomenon arises and another stops, simultaneously. So, the first act of consciousness in the new existence is neither the same as the last act of consciousness in the previous existence, nor is it different."

Submitted on Saturday, Sep 4, 2021 at 1:51:41 PM

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Philip Pease

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I like this analogy. I do not recall a past life; however when I practiced Yoga and meditation the practice came easily. I suspect I had practiced them before. Likewise I grasp Buddhas' teachings that ones desire for things to be other than what is leads to unhappiness. I think I must have learned that lesson/truth before.

In this life I was brought up in a Christian environment/teaching of loving one another. It was through meditation on Jesus' teaching that the kingdom of heaven is within you that I grasped this truth.

I believe I have lived a previous life as one who practiced meditation in the Buddhist tradition and now practice being here now in loving awareness in the Christian tradition. I consider myself a Buddhist-Christian.

Submitted on Sunday, Sep 5, 2021 at 11:33:51 AM

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Blair Gelbond

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That's a beautiful reflection, Philip.

It is unfortunate that the church attempted to destroy Jesus's (even) more radical teachings, as found in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi texts (discovered just after WW2) where Jesus apparently implores disciples not to worship Him but to become Him (thus removing power from the church and church-men).

Re the deities that are reported to appear in the intermediate (after-death) state, Sogyal Rinpoche states that they are not unique to Tibetans. Rather, they take on forms that we are most familiar with. Thus, for Christians the deities may take the form of Jesus or Mary.

The whole purpose of the manifestation of such beings is to benefit us. However, without spiritual practice in the Bardo we call "life," it is difficult to recognize these beings and make the most of the help they offer.

I very much appreciate Stephen Mitchell's small book:

The Gospel According to Jesus: A New Translation and Guide to His Essential Teachings for Believers and Unbelievers

**

"Such a fantastic read, so accessible yet foundationally erudite. If you are interested in connections between Jesus and other wisdom religions, this is your book. If you want to get to know Jesus in a way that seems more genuine than whom the early church promoted, this is your eye-opener. Not just scholarly, but witty, wise, and built on a vast scholarship that Mitchell wears like a comfortable old sweater."

"This book is Stephen Mitchell at his best. All Christians should understand where the ideas that inform their beliefs originated. Once we get rid of the religious and theological accretions that evolved into the New Testament we can see the message of Jesus in all its beautiful simplicity. Having read the Upanishads and the Tao Te Ching over many years (including Mitchell's translation of the latter), I've come to conclude that it is possible to recognise the voice of the One and in the Gospel According the Jesus it rings out loud and clear."

Submitted on Sunday, Sep 5, 2021 at 1:31:01 PM

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From Ram Dass:

DYING IS ABSOLUTELY SAFE - AWARENESS BEYOND DEATH

When you extricate yourself from the solid identification with your body, you begin to have the spaciousness to allow for the possibility that death is a part of the process of life - rather than the end of life. I feel this very deeply. Dying is Absolutely Safe People ask, "Do you believe that there is continuity after death?" And I say, "I don't believe it. It just is." That offends my scientific friends no end. But belief is something you hold on to with your intellect. My faith in the continuity of life has gone way beyond the intellect.

Belief is a problem because it is rooted in the mind, and in the process of death, the mind crumbles. Faith, consciousness, and awareness all exist beyond the thinking mind.

I have a friend named, Emmanuel. Some of you have met him through his books. He is a spook, a being of Light that has dropped his body. Emmanuel shares a lot of great wisdom. He is like an uncle to me. I once said to him, "Emmanuel, I often deal with the fear of death in this culture. What should I tell people about dying?"

And Emmanuel said, "Tell them it's absolutely SAFE!" He said, "It's like taking off a tight shoe."

Submitted on Monday, Sep 6, 2021 at 5:09:58 PM

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More from R.D.:

Ram Dass writes about how his attitude towards death has changed with his spiritual growth, and that he's got it on good authority that dying is absolutely safe.

Attitudes Toward Death

There is a tombstone in Ashby, Massachusetts that reads, "Remember friend, as you pass by, as you are now, so once was I. As I am now, so you must be. Prepare yourself to follow me."

Something has happened to me as a result of meandering through many realms of consciousness over the past fifty years that has changed my attitude toward death. A lot of the fear about death has gone from me. I am someone who actually delights in being with people as they are dying. It is such incredible grace for me. In the morning, if I know I am going to be with such a person, I get absolutely thrilled because I know I am going to have an opportunity to be in the presence of Truth.

It is now becoming acceptable in our culture for people to die. For many decades, death was kept behind closed doors. But now we are allowing it to come out into the open. Having grown up in this culture, the first few months I spent in India in the 1960's were quite an experience. There, when someone dies, the body is placed on a pallet, wrapped in a sheet, and carried through the streets to the burning grounds while a mantra is chanted. Death is out in the open for everyone to see. The body is right there. It isn't in a box. It isn't hidden. And because India is a culture of extended families, most people are dying at home. So most people, as they grow up, have been in the presence of someone dying. They haven't walked away from it and hidden from it as we have in the West.

I was certainly one of the people in this culture who hid from death. But over the past few decades I have changed dramatically. The initial change came as a result of my experiences with psychedelic chemicals. I came into contact with a part of my being that I had not identified with in my adult life. I was a Western psychologist, a professor at Harvard, and a philosophical materialist.

What I experienced through psychedelics was extremely confusing, because there was nothing in my background that prepared me to deal with another component of my being.

Once I started to experience myself as a "Being of Consciousness" - rather than as a psychologist, or as a conglomerate of social roles, the experience profoundly changed the nature of my life. It changed who I thought I was. Prior to my first experience with psychedelics, I had identified with that which dies - the ego. The ego is who I think I am. Now, I identify much more with who I really am - the Soul. As long as you identify with that which dies, there is always fear of death.

What our ego fears is the cessation of its own existence. Although I didn't know what form it would take after death - I realized that the essence of my Being - and the essence of my awareness - is beyond death. The interesting thing to me at the time was that my first experience with psychedelics was absolutely indescribable.

I had no concepts to apply to what I was finding in my own being. Aldous Huxley gave me a copy of The Tibetan Book of the Dead. As I read it, I was amazed to find myself reading lucid, clearly articulated descriptions of the very experiences I was having with psychedelics. It was immensely confusing to me because The Tibetan Book of the Dead is 2500 years old. I had thought, in 1961,that I was at the leading edge of of the unknown. But here was an ancient text which revealed that Tibetan Buddhists already knew - 2500 years ago - everything I had just learned. The Tibetan Book of the Dead was used by Tibetan Buddhist lamas to read to fellow lamas as they were dying, and for forty-nine days after their death.

Tim Leary, Ralph Metzner, and I began to see the Book in metaphorical terms as the story of psychological death and rebirth, even though it was originally intended as a guide through the process of physical death and rebirth. I now think that the idea of dying and being born into truth, or wisdom, or spirit is really what our business is when we talk about death.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 6, 2021 at 5:11:09 PM

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Many eastern paths assert that at the moment of death, there are two things that count:

Whatever we have done in our lives, and what state of mind we are in at that moment. Even if we have accumulated a lot of negative karma, if we are really able to make a change of heart at the moment of death, it can decisively influence our future and transform our karma; for the moment of death is an exceptionally powerful opportunity for purifying karma.

The Dalai Lama explains:

"At the time of death attitudes of long familiarity usually take precedence and direct the rebirth. For this same reason, strong attachment if generated for the self, since our fears that one's self is becoming nonexistent. This attachment serves as the connecting link to the intermediate state between lives, the liking for the body in turn acts as a cause establishing the body of the intermediate being."

This is why the masters stress that the quality of the atmosphere around us when we die is crucial.

For a powerful western view of this process, see The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 7, 2021 at 12:19:03 PM

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Philip Pease

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Going deeper - Some "teachers/masters" talk about duality and the idea that transcending that state, which they consider illusion, as a goal of ending the endless cycle of incarnations. They consider death as providing the possibility of bringing about the end of an endless state of rebirths, of duality.

In thinking about this prospect I reflect of the beauty, wonder, of creation (aka duality). I question the notion that creation is something to let go of rather than hold onto its magnificence. It seems to me that this creation, like all works of art, is to be admired, and that embracing this beautiful, wonderous dream is a gift to be enjoyed not a nightmare to awaken from.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 8, 2021 at 9:28:24 AM

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Blair Gelbond

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Yes, thank you for deep thoughts, Philip.

I very much appreciate the Buddhist statement: "Form is none other than Emptiness;. Emptiness is none other than Form." This definitely affirms non-duality. Tom Yeomans speaks of transcendence needing to be complemented by descendance, i.e, bringing whatever transcendence we achieve back into the body and everyday life. Mexican spiritual guide, Don Juan Mateus, was seen crying after his son was killed in an accident. Casteneda (his student) said, "Don Juan, you said reality is an illusion." Don Juan answered "Yes, but the death of a child is the greatest illusion."

As I understand it, death can bring about the end of rebirths only if we have trained our mind to be capable of recognizing and abiding in the Clear Light ("God"). I appreciate your analogy of creation being like a work of art to be admired and embraced. On the other hand, I believe it is important to clearly see the suffering that pervades our planet.

I think it is also worthwhile to deeply contemplate the Buddha's realization that material existence is a fire that is burning us up. It seems to me that at best, we can only embrace both the delight and the suffering of incarnation.

For more on this, you may want to see the very lucid and well-written, Instinct for Freedom, by a dear friend, Alan Clements.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 8, 2021 at 12:28:49 PM

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Some of us have been fortunate enough to encounter an enlightened being - either in person, through books, or through our own heart's devotion. Whether this being be Jesus, the Buddha or the abundant, but limited, number of fully realized beings on our planet, their teachings can be extraordinarily helpful during the process of death and beyond.

This from Dilgo Khyentse Rimpoche:

"He is like a great ship for beings to cross the perilous ocean of existence, an unerring captain who guides them to the dry land of liberation, a rain that extinguishes the fire of the passions, a bright sun and moon that dispel the dark­ness of ignorance, a firm ground that can bear the weight of both good and bad, a wish-fulfilling tree that bestows tem­poral happiness and ultimate bliss, a treasury of vast and deep instructions, a wish-fulfilling jewel granting all the qualities of realization, a father and a mother giving their love equally to all sentient beings, a great river of compas­sion, a mountain rising above worldly concerns unshaken by the winds of emotions, and a great cloud filled with rain to soothe the torments of the passions.

"In brief, he is the equal of all the buddhas. To make any connection with him, whether through seeing him, hearing his voice, re­membering him, or being touched by his hand, will lead us toward liberation. To have full confidence in him is the sure way to progress toward enlightenment. The warmth of his wisdom and compassion will melt the ore of our being and release the gold of the buddha-nature within."

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 9, 2021 at 9:27:20 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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According to the Tibetans (The Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying) - just after the moment of death all creatures experience the Clear Light/the Source of all/God. Even though the ground luminosity presents itself naturally to us all, most of us are totally unprepared for its sheer immensity, the vast and subtle depth of its naked simplicity.

"The majority of us will simply have no means of recognizing it because we have not made ourselves familiar with the ways of recognizing it in life. What happens, then, is that we tend to react instinctively with all our past fears, habits, and conditioning, all our old reflexes.

"Though the negative emotions may have died for the luminosity to appear, the habits of lifetimes still remain, hidden in the background of our ordinary mind.

"Though all the confusion dies in death, instead of surrendering and opening to the luminosity, we withdraw and instinctively hold on to our grasping. This is what obstructs us from truly using this powerful moment as an opportunity for liberation.

Submitted on Saturday, Sep 11, 2021 at 1:42:39 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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We can practice for the dying process right now by being willing to inwardly let go of cherished attachments and assumptions. This can occur in relatively small moments, for example, accepting being stuck in a traffic jam: "Ah, so." There will be larger situations in which we are not getting what we want - for example, the deprivations connected with the pandemic.

We can recall that in the dying process we will need to let go of all we thought of as "mine:" relationships, possessions, comfort, even our conception of ourselves as vital, thinking human beings.

Like the mystery of birth, this is why it is useful to have a companion, midwife, or "coach," to help us release body and mind.

Submitted on Sunday, Sep 12, 2021 at 11:02:50 PM

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Zen saying re- the ego:

"If you die before you die, then you don't die when you die."

Submitted on Monday, Sep 13, 2021 at 12:02:14 AM

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"What is the nature of mind like? Imagine a sky, empty, spacious, and pure from the beginning; its essence is like this. Imagine a sun, luminous, clear, unobstructed, and spontaneously present; its nature is like this. Imagine that sun shining out impartially on us and all things, penetrating all directions; its energy, which is the manifestation of compassion, is like this: Nothing can obstruct it, and it pervades everywhere.

"Padmasambhava explained this: 'This power to attain stability by just recognizing the nature of mind is like a torch which in one instant can clear away the darkness of aeons. So if we can recognize the nature of mind in the bardo in the same way as we can now when it is introduced by the master, there is not the slightest doubt that we will attain enlightenment. This is why, from this very moment on, we must become familiar with the nature of mind through practice.

"'...as soon as our body has separated into mind and matter (at death), in the gap before it has been encased once again in the net of , a future body, the mind, along with its magical display, has no concrete, material support. For as long as it lacks such a material basis, we are independent - and we can recognize. [and merge with the Clear Light.]'"

Submitted on Monday, Sep 13, 2021 at 11:46:20 PM

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Irene Fowler

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Blair, where does the sun go when it goes down? The answer to this question may have some bearing on an after-life. ( Just pondering )

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 10:28:52 AM

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Wonderful question, Irene.

I can think of a few answers;

To our eyes the sun is gone for the day, an example of the rhythm/coming and going of all of nature.

Yet, as a metaphor, if we imagine that the sun is our true nature - and that it exists within us as what we can call God (or the Clear Light) - it is birthless and deathless. (We hope that the Earth and Sun will remain for some time into the future).

When our temporary human form is no more, in death we have the opportunity to merge with the Ground of Being....if we have done the work of seeing through the illusion of the ego, and transcended its grasping, aversion and ignorance while we are alive. If that work is incomplete (as it will be for most of us) the idea is that we will choose another human(oid?) form to get on with this completion. Meanwhile, the sun will continue to shine.

(I find it very interesting that are passages in the Bible where Jesus appears to allude to reincarnation, such as his discussion of Elijah and John the Baptist).

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 1:47:26 PM

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There is another way for preparing for the after-death realms.

Western culture - and most of world culture - has created a consensus reality in which the physical realm is all there is. Yet, if we look carefully at our experience, we find that we have access to a variety of levels of consciousness.

We are all familiar with the consciousness of physical objects - the world of concrete things and beings, which we perceive through our five senses. We appear to ourselves as physical bodies separated from one another in time and space; we occupy a time span of a limited number of years between birth and death. This just seems like common sense. The laws of this dimension are strict; it appears that gravity and the conservation of matter and energy (which can neither be created or destroyed) are immutable. To some extent we must master this dimension to live.

The powers we may have in this dimension include physical and mental strength, reason, the ability to make decisions and act on them, emotional awareness and expression, sexuality and personal and institutional authority. It is commonplace to become attached to this level of perception.

However, the next level of awareness can be described as consciousness of subtle objects. This is known as the subtle realm. While we can access aspects of this realm at times while we are alive, it apparently is a primary experience after we pass beyond the physical body in death.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 15, 2021 at 11:20:04 PM

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In life we experience this subtle sphere in the world of dreams, intuition, imagination and inspiration. We may sometimes feel a subtle presence that is not available to the five senses.

The laws of this subtle world are fluid. Time does not bind as strictly as in our physical world. Gravity is no longer an absolute factor. The powers we have include imagination, artistic ability, spiritual sensitivity, healing abilities and intuition.

We may also feel ourselves detached from the physical world and unable to navigate it as well as someone without intuition and spiritual sensitivity.

Some, while alive, will have access to these energies. After death, we may perceive archetypes in the form of "gods," and what we would call spirits or etheric beings.

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 16, 2021 at 1:31:53 PM

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Pure consciousness: This is the world of awareness, which can be conscious of objects, such as seeing, hearing or subtle phenomenon, but does not identify with them.

Metaphorically, we can compare it to the water in a fish tank, that is not particularly affected by the fish swimming in it - or the sky, which remains as it is, as clouds pass through it. In life it is accessed through silence of mind, which can observe thoughts, etc., while remaining detached from them. We can witness them without attachment.

It is said that time, space, mind, and physical things gestate here.

Although free of anything solidly discernable, pure consciousness is eager to give birth. Time and space come and go within your being. You can call upon any of the most advanced human qualities, such as love, compassion, truth, and strength in their fullness.

(It should be noted that Assagioli, founder of psychosynthesis stated that pure self-awareness and will are both at our core; residing in that space we are able to call upon on such "superconscious" qualities.)

This experience of pure awareness is said to be uncreated. Birth and death have no relevance. Instead there is only eternal existence.

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 16, 2021 at 2:03:50 PM

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The "afterlife" is somewhat of a misnomer. All three dimensions of consciousness are present while we are alive.

We can be aware of our three dimensional physical world.

The subtle realm is accessible, especially to artists, intuitives, and deeply spiritual people. Other etheric beings may be felt directly,

Pure existence can feel incredibly secure because one experiences unity with everything. Creation emanates out of a single point like an energy beam or a flower opening endlessly.

Aldous Huxley wrote about this experience in The Doors of Perception.

Submitted on Friday, Sep 17, 2021 at 11:30:46 AM

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While we are alive, there are other ways to prepare for the after-death states, The discipline known as psychosynthesis provides tools we can all use. (Its founder, Roberto Assagioli, was a student of Freud's - the founder of psychoanalysis - who broke away to originate his own approach to the psyche and human wholeness.

I like to frame his perspective as an imaginary exchange he had with Freud: "Sigmund, you are great with the basement of the personality, but this house also has a sky-light."

Psychosynthesis depicts the unconscious that Freud was famous for decoding as the "lower unconscious." It also posits a "higher unconscious," (or superconscious) which is the repository of human potential - all the contents of consciousness that contain the best qualities of human beings: courage, love, compassion, creativity, spiritual inspiration, and many more.

Assagioli described the personal self as comprised of two qualities - self-awareness and will. Deep within the personal self lies the Universal Self, which some would describe as the "spark of God within."

Other key principles that form the centerpiece in psychosynthesis are identification, dis-identification, and Self-identification.

It is a natural human tendency to become absorbed in and identified with events, thoughts and emotions. We also have the capacity to step back and gain more perspective or "space" on them. Doing so is known in psychosynthesis as the process of "dis-identification." With much work on ourselves we can gain the ability to re-identify with the Self, sometimes called God or the "Self of the Universe."

Submitted on Friday, Sep 17, 2021 at 11:36:23 AM

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The Self of the Universe is said to be empty of contents, but pregnant with the possibility of all things, beings, and concepts. Time and space can be thought of the fabric which the Self wears.

Thus, Lao Tzu says:

"To know this Reality directly is possible only through practicing non-duality. When you live this non-separation, all things manifest the One, and nothing is excluded. Whoever comes to enlightenment, no matter when or where, Realizes personally this fundamental Source"

"When the fundamental nature of things is not recognized, the mind's essential peace is disturbed to no avail. The Way is perfect as vast space is perfect, where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess"

"The arising of 'other' gives rise to self; giving rise to self generates others. Know these seeming two as facets of the One Fundamental Reality. In this Emptiness, these two are really one, and each contains all phenomena. If not comparing, nor attached to 'refined' and 'vulgar' you will not fall into judgment and opinion...

"The Great Way is embracing and spacious to live in it is neither easy nor difficult. Those who rely on limited views are fearful and irresolute: The faster they hurry, the slower they go.

"Each thing reveals the One, the One manifests as all things. To live in this Realization is not to worry about perfection or non-perfection. To put your trust in the Heart-Mind is to live without separation, and in this non-duality you are one with your Life-Source."

Submitted on Friday, Sep 17, 2021 at 11:59:21 AM

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During the process of dying there is the need - to the degree we are able - to let go, to dis-identify from the body and mind.

In the after-death states, it is said that we first experience the Universal Self or luminous Ground of Being. If, during our mortal sojourn, we have learned to unite our consciousness with the Self (Self-identification), we can attain enlightenment or Unity Consciousness at this moment. However, due to our long-practiced tendencies, the great majority of us will not be able to experience merging with the Ground Luminosity/Clear Light/God.

We will then descend to the next level of consciousness, where we will experience our universe as the universal radiant energies underlying all manifestation; we will also experience an unwinding of our karmic patterns. Within this experience can be found what we call "heavens" and "hell-realms." These, as is true of the entire universe, are seen as temporary.

There is a phantasmagoria sense to this experience, as we no longer have our former body and mind to ground us. Here, too, if we have learned to practice dis-identification, we can make use of this skill, such that we do not personalize these experiences. If we have practiced during life, we can learn to perceive these energies as manifestations of Universal Consciousness.

If we are unable to do so, we spiral toward another rebirth. There are methods to help us choose a positive rebirth, which will provide us with the optimum opportunities to evolve in our next lifetime.

Submitted on Friday, Sep 17, 2021 at 3:07:24 PM

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We can do the work now...

The Time Before Death

by Kabir

(translated by Robert Bly)

"Friend? hope for the Guest while you are alive.
Jump into experience while you are alive!
Think... and think... while you are alive.
What you call "salvation" belongs to the time
before death.

"If you don't break your ropes while you're alive,
do you think ghosts will do it after?

"The idea that the soul will join with the ecstatic
just because the body is rotten --
that is all fantasy.

"What is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now,
you will simply end up with an apartment in the
City of Death.
If you make love with the divine now, in the next
life you will have the face of satisfied desire.

"So plunge into the truth, find out who the Teacher is,
Believe in the Great Sound!

"Kabir says this: 'When the Guest is being searched for,
it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest
that does all the work.'

"Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity."

Submitted on Saturday, Sep 18, 2021 at 1:49:09 PM

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Many people imagine that upon death, we give up the physical world for a "higher world." Another way to look at this is a shift of "allegiance." We give up our attachment to perceiving a world of physical objects and move on to world filled with subtle phenomena.

The reason this is difficult for many people is that the physical world is so convincing. We do however, experience the subtle world each night when we dream.

Right now, most of us rely on rational thought. We proceed from event to event in a linear way. Our physical strength enables us to manipulate objects and feel secure that we can defend ourselves. Our willpower and force of character support us in accomplishing short- and long-range goals.

None of these powers are relevant in the subtle world. This threshold is often disorienting and confusing. This is why it is advisable to familiarize oneself - and to some degree master - the subtle world while we are alive. We may well take these skills with us into the after-death state.


Submitted on Saturday, Sep 18, 2021 at 2:07:51 PM

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In Hinduism the Source of All is referred to as "Sat-Chit-Ananda" - roughly translated as infinite existence (or truth), infinite awareness, and infinite bliss. The reason this is not evident to us is that, so to speak, we are victimized by our explanations.

According to various traditions, this is what we experience, just after we leave the body. Yet, there are layers of cognition, which soon pull us away from this transcendent source.

The key is practicing to transcend these while we are alive. Humans tend to be absorbed in worldviews - views of the world we unconsciously assume to be true.

Thus, two people with different worldviews will see the same fact and give totally divergent interpretations of it. We can think of a worldview as a series of filters, such as memory, beliefs, and associations.

Each filter alters the raw data we perceive instantaneously and usually, without our conscious awareness.

Submitted on Sunday, Sep 19, 2021 at 3:25:37 PM

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A worldview provides us with consistency of perceptions and cognition, as well as fixed grooves for behavior. They are sourced at the level of the autonomic nervous system, which is an unconscious dimension of our experience. Unless we have worked on developing our awareness (mindfulness) - worldviews remain unconscious, while they bend what we see and how we act.

Worldviews are built of symbols that fulfill a need and give meaning to experience. They package meaning into the building blocks of "reality."

The first key to seeing beyond our worldviews is the practice of observing ourselves without judgment (or if we notice judgment - observing that). This can occur through fostering stillness of mind - detaching oneself from our constant internal dialogue and simply being curiously aware of the stream of thoughts, emotions, sensations and intentions.

Such an "open mind" is not trapped by secondhand beliefs, judgments opinions or other mental baggage.

A preparation for the after-death journey involves moving beyond these "memes" (also in eastern paths sometimes called "samskaras)."

Submitted on Sunday, Sep 19, 2021 at 3:44:12 PM

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