Death is a portal, a very important one. I happen to believe in reincarnation, not because anyone told me to believe in reincarnation, but because it makes more “spiritual” sense than does not believing in it. Everything I, who started out life as a christian, have ever experienced points towards the reality of reincarnation, and the evolution of the spirit through a series of incarnations. So when I say “death” is a very important portal into another dimension of existence, I am speaking what I see as a universal truth, with myself as my universe. And why is death so important? Death is important because it usually leads to yet another birth, and a new period of learning.
How I went from being a christian to being a firm believer in reincarnation I have told in previous blogs, so I will not tell the whole story here. But two experiences that were so similar as to be two sides of the same coin, or two consecutive cars in a train of cars, I will never forget. The first experience, I went through a wormhole that took me to the place dead spirits go. About ten days or so later I went through another wormhole, and ended up in the exact same place. This spoke to my “scientific mind” because I proved that the process was repeatable–once is an anomaly, twice is proof. Therefore, on the face of it, the place of dead spirits does exist, and the peculiar thing about this place is that it is the very same place from which come the spirits of the about-to-be-born. It is simultaneously a repository of life and a fountain of life. You cannot have one without the other.
One important lesson I took from those visits was that being prepared for death can make a difference in what happens next. Time does not exist on this plane, not as we know it here on Earth, but nor do things happen instantaneously either. If one is not prepared for their death, what I call the crossing of the “veil of death” for want of a better descriptor, there is still the need to heal before the veil is recrossed in the opposite direction. When we die, we actually go back to the same place we were before we were last born. And how we lived our last life CAN AND WILL EFFECT how we will live our next life.
All I am really saying is reincarnation starts and stops in the same non-place as long as you remain involved in human time/space. I should know, I (that is my spiritual-I, not my ego-I) have been resident here in this dimension for some 3 billion years or so. And when I started here, lifetimes lasted a few seconds at most. I’d really hate to have to count how many incarnations I have gone through in those 3 billion years. I say this not to brag, but only to show I have some experience at this thing we call life, in the process we call death, and I am getting to the point I am bringing the learning from past lives with me into the present life. However, while I am here, even with that learning, I am still mostly cut off from that place that was/will be. Under “historic circumstances,” life on the spiritual plane stays separate from life here on the “physical plane.” Until this incarnation I never knew while here that there even was a spiritual plane that acted as my base for the time between lives. The pain of birth, when we are born, is generated partly by the physical separation of baby from mother, but even moreso from the separation of physicality from spirituality. Oh, we are still spiritual beings, and can sense spiritual feelings, but we generally cannot experience true spirituality as long as we are alive on the physical plane. Unless we can discover a wormhole, or other such connector between physical life and true spiritual life, we live in the country of the blind.
My friend, Sha’Tara, recently said something very important to me, “Death isn’t a state, it’s an event, a passage, a transition. By using out-of-body techniques we can learn to experience death[-like experiences] until it becomes something you’re good at and ready to do. A bit like driver training. Eventually you get your license and you’re on the wide open road again… The physical pain, the stoppage of breath, the necessary sudden detachments, these can be problematical for those inexperienced in death. Ask a passenger in coach to take over the controls of a Boeing 727 who’s never been in a pilot seat before, that’s death without proper preparation. To die properly and with dignity requires training. Contemplation of death, seems to me, is a vital exercise to accompany one’s life. Like remembering, or knowing, where the exits are and where one left the car while watching the movie.”
It is possible to prepare for death. Sha’Tara has given her method above. My method is quite different, but both methods end up in the same place. For myself, I asked this question,”Who do I want to be when my time comes to depart this world? I was 19 the first time I asked myself this question, and I’m not really sure why I asked it at that time. At 19 one feels immortal, and the concept of death is something for old folks, not for someone with their whole life ahead of them. But once I thought about it, I could not unthink it. At the time I was going through my “rethinking religion” phase, not yet an agnostic but moving in that direction. I still believed there was a “god,” and that I had to please that god in order to avoid an eternity of damnation. I just did not believe in a “christian god” anymore–to think that a god could favour one group of people over another did not make sense to me. It went against everything I was told a god should be. And I think it was at this time I also rejected the idea of having “one lifetime” to either succeed or fail; everything I saw around me said that no one could succeed in just one lifetime, my world, if not the world itself, was full of religious hypocrites. No one I met, including preachers or Sunday school teachers, was going to heaven based on what I saw them doing. Other people seemed to selectively ignore certain ideas and actions, but my mind was still absolute, my thinking black and white. What I saw was sin committed after sin committed after sin, everywhere I looked. And this was the person, me, who wanted to know, “What would it take to be truly prepared for death?.”
I started reading everything I could get my hands on, which wasn’t much in the days before the internet. Religions, philosophies, way-out ideas, and ultra-conservative ideas. But the more I read, the more confused I became. Different writers were all trying to say something, but it seemed every writer contradicted at least one other writer on at least one important idea. Nobody could agree with everyone else on almost anything. That was when I learned, the only person I could rely upon for answers was myself. Some people call it soul-searching, other people call it meditation, I personally just called it deep-thinking, going down to levels I did not even know existed. And eventually I got to the level of what I can only call “wormholes,” which were a science fiction invention by which space travellers can go from one place in space to another place in space without having to travel the actual distance between the two places. So, inside my own head, inside my own mind, I discovered a wormhole, and as I told you above, I travelled to a place where generally only dead spirits can go.
Now, here I need to try to describe what is not describable in Earthly language, certainly not in English, which is my Mother tongue. There were not any “spirits” hanging around shooting pool or playing pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. There was only one spirit, and that spirit contained all other spirits that were not living in the 3rd dimension at that time. Some had just arrived by crossing the veil of death away from the universe, and others were preparing to cross back into the universe. And there were others, ones who had returned to this place in various states of damage. These damaged spirits were being coddled by the others who were about to be born, and those who had returned here undamaged. The largest number of spirits, though, were the damaged. And they could not go anywhere until they were healed, or so it seemed to me at that time.
There were other things about this level of existence that set it apart from all others, things that were mentioned in myths so ancient as to make me doubt my sanity, or that made me think that people were once more connected to this place then than they are now. The “Music of the Spheres,” for one thing. I am not a fan of classical music, it bores me to tears. But in this place, the music sounded classical, yet it brought tears of joy to my spiritual eyes. The colours, and the patterns in the colours, were more than I could stand to hear. I was touching something like electricity, but as a healing force, not a harmful one. My spirit was inundated with beauty beyond concept, and suddenly I was travelling back down the wormhole to my body’s mind.
I cannot describe the feeling of coming back to my body. The relief that I was not dead. The opportunity to still be alive. The loss of the feeling of community with all life. The loss of beauty beyond measure. The knowledge that there is more life in death than in all the life that can be lived before death. I was just so overwhelmed by feelings beyond my capacity to feel, by truths beyond my capacity to know or understand, by the feeling to return where I had been, because that was where the “real I” was, and the “I” I was on Earth was so much less than the “I” I could be in death. Was I wrong to want to come back? Or was I wrong to want to go back?
In the end, when my body and mind had recovered enough, I searched for another wormhole, and hoped it would take me back to where I had been. Why? For a million reasons, of course, but mainly to make sure it was really there. What a disappointment it would be if that place was a construct to entertain my mind! What a tragedy! But I was lucky, because I did return there. And I was unlucky, because I experienced the admonition that I was not there by crossing the veil of death, but by circumventing it. I was somehow dead without dying, and I could be dead, if I so chose, or I could be alive again, but I could never return there until my body died. As is obvious from the fact you are reading these words, I chose life right now, as opposed to a future life in death. And I believe I made the most positive choice for my spirit, because I don’t think I could ever have forgiven myself for leaving a living body behind me, without me to inhabit it. Sir Walter Scott thought lying created a tangled web, but try dying without being dead. I managed to live a surface life for many years after that, but inside my mind was utter turmoil. Nothing made sense. Reality was something I could only dream about.
Yet slowly, slowly, as I began to put it all together, it started to make sense. For years the visions nagged at my mind till finally dots started to be connected that originally had no relation of any kind to each other. I began to understand what I had seen and heard, and what I had sensed in the short periods of adaptation to a timeless continuum. And out of this arose the list of things I realized I needed to do to be able to be ready to die, in the order of how I am writing about them, there is no requirement that is more important than any other:
- Relinquish all attachments to this world, no matter what they are
- Relinquish all attachments to my body and ego
- To realize that my only duty is to life, in all its varieties and levels of being
- No ties to the physical world can or will survive death. The only thing that exists on the plane of dead beings is the spirit that contains all the spirits of the “dead” beings. I cannot even guess how this works, because the mind itself only exists in this dimension. Beyond this dimension is only spirit. The more a being is attached to, the more that being needs to heal from those attachments.
- I have lived with my body since my birth, and with my ego since shortly thereafter. The longer a person’s life, generally speaking, the stronger the ties to body and ego. However, that said, to progress as a spiritual being is to weaken those ties to body and ego. The buddha said this very thing while contemplating the path to nirvana, but there is no nirvana, or heaven, or firdaus (jannah). There is only life, living, or “dead.”
- Duty, undefined, is something that some, possibly most, humans can perceive as real, though there is no reality where duty is more than a concept. I have never felt a duty to anything such as some people do, but of late I have begun to feel a duty to life in many ways that I could never have imagined before. Having taken total responsibility for my own life has given me a duty to be responsible for all life. But when it comes right down to it, IF I have a duty, the only REAL DUTY I have is to my spirit, which translates to a duty to the spirits of all living beings, which translates to a duty to the spirit of life itself. And since that duty will now follow me wherever I go, it is not really a duty at all. That duty is me, the spiritual me, and that duty is the spirit that we commonly call spirituality. So as long as my spirit lives, as long as my spirit has life, wherever I am, I cannot be other than my spirit, nor other than life itself.
If I can do these things, and probably more besides that I cannot think of right now, then I can properly die, cross the veil of death, and reawaken as a whole spirit on the spiritual side of life. So these are the things I aim for without aiming, and strive for without striving. Probably this sounds like goobledygook to you, but I assure you I am not trying to be flippant. To aim or to strive is to attach oneself to the goal at the end of striving. In order to succeed, one can only seek to find…
THE ART OF DYING, as written by George Harrison
There’ll come a time when all of us must leave here
Then nothing sister Mary can do
Will keep me here with you
As nothing in this life that I’ve been trying
Could equal or surpass the art of dying
Do you believe me?
There’ll come a time when all your hopes are fading
When things that seemed so very plain
Become an awful pain
Searching for the truth among the lying
And answered when you’ve learned the art of dying
But you’re still with me
But if you want it
Then you must find it
But when you have it
There’ll be no need for it
There’ll come a time when most of us return here
Brought back by our desire to be
A perfect entity
Living through a million years of crying
Until you’ve realized the Art of Dying
Do you believe me?
George Harrison – Art Of Dying Lyrics | MetroLyrics