Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Death - Another Form Of Being
DEATH – ANOTHER FORM OF BEING
We have defined soul as consciousness and have recognized that this I-consciousness produces a continuity, such that the I always experiences itself as the same I, despite the continual changing of the material body over the decades. But this continuity of identity is not confined to the span of a single earthly life, for life and death are but phases of a wider rhythm. The soul, in its changing physical garment, gathers experiences on earth, and is then released to live through a compensatory non-material phase which we call “death”. Death is not absence of being but merely a different pole of being. Thus dying is nothing more nor less than the crossing of the threshold that divides the living from the dead.
Normally we think of the realm of corporeal life as “the here-and-now” and of the unknown realm of the dead as “the beyond”. The here-and-now and the beyond are not two different places but more like different stages of perception or consciousness. Just as the “land of dreams” has no geographical location, so the beyond lies merely across a certain threshold of perception. It is unprofitable to debate about the existence of the beyond, since its existence follows inescapably from the existence of the here-and-now. The law of polarity states that for what we call the here-and-now a polar opposite must exist. This we call the beyond.
This term is indicative of our point of view as physical human beings. When someone crosses the threshold of death, the beyond becomes for him the here-and-now, since that is where he is, whereas the realm of corporeal life, to which he no longer belongs, becomes for him the beyond. Dying thus becomes a subjective experience, whose objectivity stand or falls with polarity. Only our polarized consciousness compels us to experience the timeless flow of life as being divided into the polarity of life and death. As an analogy, consider how an observer in a different place sees it rising – yet the sun itself knows nothing of this, for in reality it neither rises nor sets.
The situation is similar in the case of birth and death. What from our point of view appears as a death is perceived in the beyond as a birth. And a death in the beyond is celebrated by us on earth as the birth of a child. Anyone who lets go slightly of subjective perception will recognize that the here-and-now and the beyond, birth and death are ultimately the same thing. It is only in our polarized consciousness that unity splits into contrasting fragments and what is simultaneous becomes sequential. The human soul having been ejected for the sake of knowledge from the unity where there is neither time nor space, must wander through the darkness of the material world, along the axis of subjective time, and learn to develop and become more and more conscious. But always its ultimate goal remains the same: to return to the original unity and thus complete its own circle.
This path of the human soul is a path of learning and must obey the higher laws. A learning process of this kind, whose goal is perfection, is a long road, requiring many steps and involving many mistakes and many corrections. Only the seemingly endless chain of incarnations guarantees ultimate success.
Thus individual incarnations are comparable to the different classes that a child passes through at school. What we call an earthly life corresponds to a school year with its attendant problems, tasks, difficulties, successes and failures. A school also has its holidays, during which the pupil has the opportunity to make good any deficient or neglected studies. After the summer holiday the child returns to school and will either be promoted to the next class up or will have to repeat a year, depending on how well he has assimilated the lessons from his previous year.
Fate works on the same principle. The only difference is that fate shows an infinite patience. It is always willing to give man fresh opportunities to grasp that which has not been correctly learned and to compensate for mistakes that have been made. To live means to learn, regardless of whether the individual accepts this or not. Fate, with undeviating justice, ensures that each individual learns the very thing that he least willingly accepts and against which he has the greatest resistance.
Fate as a totality only makes sense against the background of reincarnation. If one looks at a life in isolation it is easy to doubt that there is any coherent sense behind fate – and this often causes despair. It is evident that in this life not all men start with equal advantages, and that is certainly not the fault of society! Whether one is arguing from a religious or from an atheistic standpoint, it is difficult, without reincarnation, to explain to someone why he of all people should have been born dumb, lame, disfigured or mentally handicapped into this “best of all possible worlds”. Even pointing to the unfathomable decisions of God does not help much in such cases to impart any sense of meaning.
Yet without meaning life would be unbearable for human beings. The search for the meaning of life is a fundamental need. Only when we are prepared to let go of the notion that each life is an isolated event and to recognize it as a link in a long chain – only then will we learn to comprehend the sense and justice of fate. For a life's destiny is the result of the learned and unlearned lessons of the past.