That adventure called Death
“ Death does not exist. People only die when they forget it.
If you can remember me, I will always be with you. ”
- Isabel Allende-
The current western world is highly skeptical when talking about a conscious life beyond the physical body. At least in word, but in thought. In other regions of the world where other religions profess, or at other times in history, just the opposite happened. The strongly rooted belief that there is an eternal life in the hereafter marked humanity's behavior in earthly life, and its attitude toward " the other side " was quite different. Today, it seems that it is fashionable to hide the idea of death. We don't like to think about her. We hide the old, sick and dying in hospitals or geriatric centers as if their state of transition was a fault or a sin alien to us. As if death were never going to touch us. And yet, sooner or later we will all feel it in our experience.
In this way, wouldn't it be better if we were prepared for the inevitable?
It would be less traumatic for modern man, if society stopped rejecting the fact that we are all going to die someday, and instead proposed resources to study the phenomenon and guide the traveler on his way to the hereafter.
If we are planning for example an adventure trip, we leave the right thing to improvisation. On the other hand, we carry out a study of the area we want to visit, we document ourselves, we buy travel guides, we reserve a hotel, we study the transport schedules, the customs of the country, the language etc. That is, we do everything possible to be prepared and enjoy the trip.
Shouldn't we do the same with death? Let's look at a series of fundamental steps.
The return from the Hereafter
Most people who have gone through an extracorporeal experience have the great certainty that they will encounter similar experiences after death. Everyone says, " How could it be otherwise? ». " I know from my own incontrovertible experience that I can be really alive and conscious in this second body, totally separated from my normal body, and when I lose it with death, nothing can stop me from living in my second body ."
And nothing will make them give up their certainty. But the materialist who has not had this experience and does not want to admit these disturbing ideas that would disrupt all his previous convictions, what can he say? He will say that they are dreams or some kind of hallucinations; everything but accept the ideas to which your mind is closed. I doubt that we can ever have material evidence of life after death, evidence that even the most stubborn scientist is forced to accept. All we can expect is a great accumulation of cases that, due to their similarity and sincerity, are enough to convince people with an open and inquiring mind.
What would happen then if someone really died and then returned, remembering what it was like to be dead? Thanks to medical progress in resuscitation, there are really hundreds of people who have done it. Some people have died drowned or from a heart attack. Sometimes attempts have been made to resuscitate them but without success. In some cases a death certificate has even been written. However, for whatever reason, perhaps at the request of a relative, the doctor has tried again and the patient, clinically dead, has risen thanks to a massage of the heart and breathing artificial, or some more modern techniques. Some people to whom this has happened do not remember anything that they may have experienced on the other side. But others, hundreds of them, clearly remember these events and can relate them to the doctor or a close relative. A few people died twice in an interval of a few years. On one occasion they remembered nothing, but on the other they had extracorporeal life experiences.
Two American doctors, Dr. Raymond A. Moody and Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, spent several years collecting data on these cases without knowing it, each by their side. But it was Moody who released the first publication under the title: Life after life .
Cases of people close to death are similar in many ways. Very often the experience begins when the person, freed from his dying body, goes through a dark tunnel with a light at the other end. Upon leaving him, he usually encounters a benevolent and kind entity, which we might call Christ or God, but which normally has no form; It can be described simply as a globe of light or as a Being of Light. This entity invites the individual, kindly but firmly, to review his entire previous life. and this is facilitated by displaying before him a kind of three-dimensional film or television screen, on which the most important events of his life are contemplated. Some people claim that all the little episodes, no matter how trivial, were embodied there. It is interesting that the Being simply directs the attention of the observer, inviting him to reconsider his actions, especially asking how much true or altruistic love each one of them includes.
The Self pronounces no judgment; It simply invites the person to judge himself. With the vision and more clear understanding of this other world, the person finds all their illusions and pretensions naked and is forced to make a true judgment, however painful or humiliating it may be .
We might think that this detailed review should last a lifetime, or at least many hours. But those who have experienced it often comment that time seems totally different in that other world - in fact it almost does not exist - as if the present, the past and the future coincided in the present moment. Frequently, because of the speed of resuscitation, there is evidence that the review may have lasted only a few minutes of earthly time and sometimes only a few seconds.
Another interesting point is that this extracorporeal experiment can happen to anyone who has been exposed to extreme danger, but in fact escaped alive, with or without wounds. He had a " mortal fear " and suffered a kind of psychological death in which he left his body for a few moments. Moody talks about the case of a motorist who skidded the road and left his body during the time the car flew through the air, landing at the end of an embankment. He escaped with minor injuries. Another example from Moody's second book " Reflections on life after life " tells us about a person who was trapped in a fire with numerous explosions. He saw how they came to rescue him, but he was sure he would die before they could reach him. In his terror he left his body and underwent a review of his past life. Then he returned and was amazed to see the rescuers a step away from him. They saved him, but suffered severe burns.
A certain number of people who died and returned were received by relatives who had previously died. It seems natural and appropriate, but the convinced skeptic can still consider it as imagination. Robert Monroe described a series of voluntary out-of-body visits in his book " Out of Body Travel, " including a visit to his own deceased father. Monroe's father died, after several months of paralysis and inability to speak, after an attack; He was 82 years old. It was several months before Monroe tried to visit him, concentrating on his father's personality to help him. Monroe traveled a long time in the dark, then stopped at what appeared to be a hospital. In a small room he found his father, looking about 50 years old, and still looking quite tired. The dead man turned and saw his son and spoke to him: « What are you doing here! “ Monroe was too excited to speak, and his father took him under his arms and lifted him over his head, as he used to do when Monroe was little. When asked about his health, the father replied: “ Now much better; The pain has disappeared . But with the memory seemed to escape his energy and Monroe realized that it was time to leave.
The Heavenly Blessing
" He died and went to heaven, " says the story.
He did so and we will all do it, because this is a story that becomes a reality for everyone. But it is not as simple or as immediate as the story implies. The natural abode of the Higher Self is the kingdom that has been called by some the mental " plane " and which we are going to refer to as heaven. The abrupt transition from earthly life to heavenly life would be too sudden and really very unpleasant for most of us. We need a period of preparation in an Intermediate Kingdom because also life in the hereafter is divided into planes or stages. In that Intermediate Kingdom we will remain until we are prepared to continue moving forward. Any unsatisfied desire, any concern that still binds us to Earth, must be resolved in the Intermediate Kingdom.
People who die quietly of old age often have some visions of the life that awaits them. They can remember, more clearly than before, their visits to the other world in dreams or have extracorporeal conscious experiences. When the moment of death is near they tell us that they see what awaits them to receive them. It is really a very common observation that the face of the dead has an expression of peace and happiness. In the same way, people who fulfill their mission in the Intermediate Kingdom and who are about to move to a higher stage of the existence of the beyond, have glimpses of what awaits them. They may spend some short periods in that pure and refined kingdom and then go back to the upper levels of the Intermediate Kingdom. But in the end they will be prepared and eager to continue moving forward. To enter heaven, they will have passed the necessary period in the intermediate world and will have freed themselves from bonds, turned their backs on the attractions of earthly life and their more refined duplicates of the astral levels. They will have purified their soul from all the rudest emotions, which cannot find expression in the celestial world. Upon entering heaven, we reach our true abode: we meet with our Higher Self, we become a whole again. What's more, we have stripped ourselves of all the tiring aspects of our personality, those that prevent us from knowing God. Now we are liberated from all this; We can enter our true abode, finally, in peace and with all glory. This new life is so different from earthly life that it is very difficult to imagine. All the unpleasant characteristics of life on earth are now forgotten; in heaven there is no sadness or memory of unhappiness or evil. We will only remember the happy and valuable events and the wisdom we have gained in the past life. Imagination is the key to this world. Everything we imagine comes into existence instantly. We create our own heaven exactly as we wish. If we believe that cartoon in which we are sitting on a cloud playing the harp, then, that is precisely what we will do until we get tired and think of something more interesting to do. If we are devotees, we can spend long periods in a contemplative attitude in our particular church, temple or mosque, or finding God in nature. But if our idea of heaven is the image of a happy family life, then it will be that; Family and friends, living or dead, will be around us in happy communion. How can this be, you may ask, when some of them are still alive on earth? I have already said that imagination was the key: they are figures created, for the most part, by imagination, although they will seem real and, in a sense, they are real because each of these images is a kind of duplicate of the true person, quickened For your own thoughts and feelings. In that world it is possible to be in many places at once, even without knowing it consciously. But if the thought or love for another person is strong enough and he or she is also in heaven, then we can really meet and communicate consciously. If this happens, it is a more intimate, complete and satisfying communion than anything we can experience on earth: we become, so to speak, a single and single thought.
If, however, our idea of heaven has a more intellectual or artistic aspect, then we will not be disappointed either. We can spend our time exchanging ideas with others who have similar interests, learning or teaching, as preferred. It will not be like a debate or an earthly discussion heavy or interrupted by inappropriate words and likely to be misinterpreted. Communication consists of a kind of telepathy of ideas, of thoughts in themselves, and not of their clumsy verbal expression. If we like to make plans or we are creative thinkers we may continue to elaborate splendid plans and organize new civilizations, where everyone is wise and feels happy. Or maybe we will create a wonderful new philosophy that guides men to wisdom and harmony. We can do whatever we want, giving free rein to the imagination. We may listen to a heavenly music, unlike any sound produced by earthly instruments, or we may even compose that music. We can contemplate or even write great plays and opera. and other things like that; everything we do or enjoy will be what we want to do; a continuation of the preferred activities on earth carried out without any obstacles or frustrations due to earthly limitations.
Does all this seem too wonderful to be true? It won't be. Reality will be much more wonderful than you can possibly imagine. However, in another sense it is too good to be true. When in earthly life we have a vision of the other (astral) world, we discover that it is beyond description. It has its unique qualities: in many ways it is different from everything on earth and it is wonderful. But if we could rise with all our consciousness to a greater height, to the next important level that is this celestial world we are talking about, exactly the same will happen to us. The experience would be a totally new revelation of a state of being more glorious, freer and higher than we could have ever imagined. For this mental level also has its own uniqueness, its own special and unpredictable qualities.
But in practice, very few of us are able to make this transition while we are still on earth, and so we have no experience of this strange new world, we don't know how to How to face him. When we finally reach this sphere, after death, we are like newborns born on earth. But this is an imperfect analogy; The baby learns right away. However, when we reach heaven, it seems that we are not able to experience and learn as a baby does; We can only make use of the experiences we gain while still retaining a physical body and a brain that helped us organize these new experiences. But most of us, in earthly life, are not yet prepared for these sublime experiences: we have other earthly affairs to keep us fully occupied. So we get to heaven without any preparation and the only thing we can do is create our own little piece of heaven around us and dwell in it subjectively in a kind of dream state. For a long-experienced yogi who has exceeded this mental level, the situation of the majority of the inhabitants of heaven will surely appear that way, but to each of these individuals it does not seem the same in absolute. For each one of them it is a fully happy life, in perfect freedom and that is what matters - our own feelings about the situation. I have already said that the conditions of this world are really indescribable and all this may not make much sense right now. Do not worry; We will enjoy it immensely when we get there.
Another narrative of life after death suggests that it is a cruel deception to consider the life of heaven as a new dream and illusion. In physical life, it is pointed out, many of us are considerably self-centered and act only within a limited area. We are limited not only with respect to our place of residence and our work, but in our thoughts and ideas, and we live in our own little world of prejudices, habits and conventions. That is why it would not be surprising if we did the same in heaven. However, it is not the same; in heaven we are much closer to that origin of our being, and that is why we see and think in a more real way. Nor should we assume that this long stay in heaven is useless. On the contrary, it has its purpose and really serves a dual purpose. On the one hand " we receive the reward in heaven " for all the trials and tribulations of a difficult life well spent on earth; We enjoy a quiet relaxation and reflect on our past life acquisitions. On the other hand, these reflections have a positive value; We have a very long time to digest our numerous experiences and extract their virtue from them. Then we transmute the experience into wisdom, and unrealized aspirations, with the power to carry them out if we have another chance. It takes time and freedom of commitment to do all this. We have at our disposal how much force we need and can use.
Life on earth seems to be progressing faster and faster, as science and civilization bring rapid changes to our way of life and as the world's population increases rapidly. That is why some people suggest that heavenly life may also be accelerated. In the absence of any event that signals the passage of time, the experience will be timeless and time, as we understand it, will have no value.
It is said that the mental "plane" is subdivided into a number of sub-levels, distinct from each other by the quality of their refined mental substance. The lower half is associated with concrete thoughts and is part of the realm of personality, the lower self, while the upper part deals with abstract thinking and is the abode of the Higher Self. It seems that the soul in heaven is not obliged to experience the conditions of the different sub-levels, one after another. She is attracted to the level appropriate to her temperament and inclinations.
What, then, are the options? It is said that the first level is the natural abode of all those people who have not asked for anything more on earth than an affective family life and a circle of good friends. If this is your inclination, then you will be very pleased. Your family and friends are there with you, wherever you want them. There is no need to travel, as on earth, to visit the sons and daughters who live far from home. Simply, it will be enough to think of them to have them by your side, with all their love, along with their wives and husbands and with your grandchildren, whom you may have rarely seen on earth, or others who were possibly born after your death. Your friends and their families will also be at your disposal as soon as you wish. Maybe you wonder about pets. You missed them when they died, or maybe you left before and left them crying for you. Yes, you can have them by your side. It will be through imagination, truly, although it will seem so real that you will not realize it. Animals may not be able to reach your level, but the image you will create when you think about them will be animated and quickened by the affection they had on earth. The same goes for friends. You cannot claim them exclusively; It would be something selfish and unfair, because they have other friends. In heaven there is no place for selfishness and injustice. But that will not be a problem, because you can see them as much as you want. If you get tired of his company you just have to withdraw your attention and they will fade away.
The second level is for those who sought their guidance beyond family and friends, who worshiped some religious character such as Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad or a particular saint, or one of the Hindu Gods, according to their accepted religious sect. If you went to church only on Sunday, then, undoubtedly, you can continue with something similar to this practice, spending most of your time on the first level and visiting the second whenever you feel the religious need. You will no longer be pressured by local custom or a sense of duty. You can do exactly that towards which you feel inclined.
The third level is, above all, for those whose religious inclinations had a less personal aspect, those who worshiped God or Cosmic Intelligence or Brahma, somehow more abstract. Also for those who saw the Divine Principle embodied in men and women and who actively took care to help others.
The fourth level is for those of a more intellectual inclination, who took these abstractions to a more advanced stage, trying to work for the good of humanity, rather than for a particular individual or for groups of people.
Here are the people for whom spiritual knowledge was an altruistic aspiration, the philosophers and the most inspired scientists, the great writers, actors, musicians, artists and others; the people who tried to convey some of their own spiritual understanding to others.
There is no need to give more precise details and examples. By the time we reach the celestial world we will be totally accustomed to living without a physical body. We must insist that we do not need to feel the slightest fear of this new transition, this new stage of our adventure. Without conscious effort, we will find ourselves in the most suitable conditions for the needs of the moment, and in others equally suitable when the needs vary.
There are even higher stages of this world, but the only people who will feel good there are those who were totally familiar with abstract spiritual thinking on earth. I am referring to people who understood the total purpose of life and who were willing to sacrifice worldly pleasures to cooperate with these spiritual purposes. There are actually many souls in the upper levels. Most of them are not prepared to have a fully awake consciousness in that holy kingdom, and they spend time in a kind of dream full of blessed dreams, a condition that cannot be described without giving rise to misinterpretations. However, it is said that everyone has at least one conscious view of the higher level, where we remain naked, revealed our true and eternal Higher Self, finally free of those last vestiges of personality that we have animated since birth.
In conclusion, I will insist once again that the key to a long and happy stay in heaven is the way we think and act on earth. Count every good thought and every good work done spontaneously, without any selfish hope of reward.
How could we prepare for this new type of trip? It is unlike any other we have undertaken. We need to reconsider the purpose of life on earth and, above all, think about the purpose of life " on the other side ." Well, it is this wonderful new life that we will access when the real journey begins through the portal of death.
When we internalize our thoughts and reflect on the meaning of life, we need to think about heavenly life as well as our earthly existence, to complete the cycle. We need to think about the future and the past. If you have been raised in the Christian faith and cannot believe in reincarnation, the thing does not change. The conclusion remains the same. If you are sure that you only have one life, then your need is even more urgent to complete what has to be done in the days you have left here. The message is " Perfection ." Do you think it's an impossible task? It really isn't, because there are several stages on the road to perfection. It is like a staircase, after reaching a landing that at one point seemed unattainable, we will see that there are still other steps to climb.
We may find it useful to think that the key to the problem is the idea of letting go. What can be simpler? Getting it may not be so easy, but it really seems worth a try. You already know the familiar saying. You ca n't take it with you. This naturally refers to material possessions. You will be separated from them by death, no matter how much you dislike the idea. But you can let go of your attachment to material things with your imagination, here and now. This will help to reduce the sensation of loss when you are on the other side . You could even decide that you don't need some of them. It would surely be of great help to the people you left behind you, if you have ordered and organized your possessions, getting rid of some of them. Maybe you wanted to change your will. We can take with us our thoughts and feelings, prejudices and habits, defects and virtues. But do we want to do it? We will retain those parts of our character that are good and positive, but why not learn to let go of the negative parts now? We will be happier, more serene, and with that we could accelerate our passage to the celestial world.
There is a way to let go that does not demand too much effort; A simple form of meditation. Try it when you are sitting quietly, resting in bed just before falling asleep, or if you wake up early. Make your thoughts and feelings turn to your Higher Self. If you are accustomed to pray, offer your devotion to God. Try to think about heavenly things. You don't have to force yourself. If worldly thoughts continue to be introduced, do not let them worry you; recognize them as such and slowly return to your elevated thoughts. This simple meditation is suitable for the restless Western mind, particularly in the last years of life. It can be done at any time of tranquility and after a while you will realize that peace and tranquility will replace anxiety. Consider our defects and faults. Let us recognize them and admit them. If we want to change them, it is better to replace them than to fight them. Let the old habits go. Let's try new ones and see what happens. For example, you may have an irritable temper. Be aware of this as a defect that you would like to get rid of. Think positively of its opposite, of peace, harmony and serenity. When they provoke you, your mood will burst again automatically. But, little by little, it will become something alien to you; Next time it won't last that long. Finally you will get it from rennet; you will suddenly find yourself with a feeling of anger and then, with a smile, you will dissipate it and you will experience serenity again. Please try and check for yourself its effectiveness.
SOURCE: Our last adventure of Lester Smith.