The Process of Dying
from T.LOBSANG RAMPA's book "Chapters of Life"
DEATH IS BIRTH INTO ANOTHER DIMENSION
For reasons of their own, Western religions do not tell much about death, but after all, death is a very serious matter for all of us just as is birth, and it seems that death should logically follow the chapter about mediums because if no one died, mediums could not try to get in touch with them.
So we are going to discuss death because, no matter who we are, death is something that comes to all of us just as does birth. But, you know, death is actually birth! Let us see how that comes about.
A baby within its mother dies to that warm, comfortable life within, and reluctantly emerges into the cold, hard world without. Birth pangs (smerter)are death pangs, death to the old, birth into a new state. A person dies upon Earth and the pains of death are the pains of birth into a different state of existence. Most times death - death itself - is a quite painless process.
Actually, as death approaches, Nature, in the shape of various metabolic changes, introduces a form of anaesthesia (bedøvelse) into the body system, anaesthesia which culls (samler) the actual perceptions while allowing the body reflexes to make certain movements which people think of as death pains.
People actually associate pain and death, or if you prefer, death and pain, because in the majority of cases people who are grievously (alvorlig) ill die apparently in pain, but that pain, remember, is not the pain of death but the pain caused by the illness itself.
Perhaps there is a cancer, something affecting body organs, grasping at nerve endings or eating them away. But let us remember that this pain is the pain of the illness, the pain of the complaint, not death itself.
Death, the actual state of transition from this world to the next, the actual state of leaving this physical body, is a painless process because of the anaesthetical properties, which come to most bodies at the moment of death. Some of us know what it is to die and to remember everything, and to come back still remembering. In the process of dying we have a body which is ailing, functions are failing.
But remember this, the functions are failing, that means the ability to perceive or apperceive or to comprehend pain impulses is failing also. We know that people sometimes give an impression of pain at dying, but this again is an illusion.
The dying body is a body which has usually (except in the case of accident) reached the end of its endurance, it can go no more, the mechanism is failing, there is no longer the ability for metabolic processes to renew failing organisms. Eventually the heart stops, the breathing stops. Clinically a person is dead when no breath condenses on a mirror held before the lips; clinically and legally a person is dead when there is no longer a pulse or a heart - beat.
People do not die on the instant, however. After the heart has ceased to beat and after the lungs have ceased to pump, the brain is the next to die. The brain cannot live long without its precious supply of oxygen, but even the brain does not die instantly, it takes minutes. There have been absolutely authenticated cases where people have been beheaded, and the head, severed from the body, has been held up for public inspection. The lips have continued to move and a lip reader can distinguish the words being formed.
Obviously only a lip reader can interpret what is being said because there can be no speech when the neck has been cut and the supply of air from the lungs terminated. It is the air supply going past the vocal chords, which makes the sound.
After the brain has died, after the brain is no longer capable of functioning through this lack of oxygen, the rest of the body dies slowly. Various organs die throughout a day or so. At the end of three days the body is just a lump of decomposing protoplasm, but the body does not matter, it is the immortal soul that matters - the Overself.
But let us go back to the instant of clinical death.
The body in this case is lying on a bed. The breathing has stopped. A clairvoyant who is present can see a cloud like a faint mist forming above the body. It streams from the body, usually from the navel, although various people have various - outlets for the Silver Cord.
Gradually this cloud coalesces and becomes denser, its molecules are less dispersed. Gradually a shadowy shape forms above the body; as the process of death advances, the shape becomes more and more that of the body.
Eventually as more organs fail, the cloud gets thicker and larger, taking at last the exact shape of the body above which it floats.
The cord, which we call the Silver Cord, connects the physical body and the astral body, for the cloud is in fact the astral body.
Gradually this cord thins until at the end it withers, fades away, and parts.
Only then is the body really dead, only then has the real person flown off to another life, to another stage of evolution.
Once that misty figure has gone, it does not matter at all what happens to the fleshy envelope, it can be cremated or buried, it does not matter which.
It is perhaps opportune to disgress here for a moment to issue what may be construed as a warning because so many people make it difficult indeed for the newly 'dead' to continue to live!
When a person has died that person should be left untouched for two or three days if possible.
It is definitely harmful to take the dead body and prop it up in a casket (oppstive i en likkiste) in some Funeral Home (begravelses-hus) and have a lot of well - meaning people go and mutter all sorts of wonderful tributes which most times they don't mean.
Until the Silver Cord be severed and the Golden Bowl be shattered, the astral form floating can pick up the thoughts of those who are making comments at its passing. Further, if a body be cremated in less than three days, there is often intense pain caused to the astral figure, and the pain, curiously enough, is not the pain of hot fire but of intense cold.
So if you value those who have gone on before, and if you will do as you would be done by, you will whenever possible ensure that a person who has died, has three clear days in which to sever and disassociate completely from the physical body.
The picture shows the astral soaring above the dead body as the silver cord being broken - and the man is free to travel to the "holiday-worlds" - if he not of fear or ignorance stays on the earthplane as a earth-bound spirit - and can such be a sort of ghost.
But we have got to the stage where the spirit or astral form has left the body, the spirit has gone on where it meets other spirits and, of course, to each other they are quite as solid as two people on the Earth.
You can only see a so-called 'ghost' as a transparent or semi-transparent person, because that ghost is at a higher vibration than a human in the flesh; but - and I am not making a joke of this - two ghosts are two solid people to each other just as are two ordinary humans in the flesh.
If one has a person of a different dimension, then they might possibly see humans in the flesh as ghosts, because think of this; a two-dimensional object casts a one-dimensional shadow, a three-dimensional object casts a two- imensional shadow, but a four-dimensional object (the fourth dimension again!) casts a three-dimensional shadow, and how do you know that you, to a four - dimensional person, are not just a semi-transparent shadow?
The spirit, then, has left the body and gone on, and if it is an evolved spirit, that is if it is aware of life after death, then it can be assisted in going to what is known as the Hall of Memories where all the incidents of the past life are seen, where all mistakes are perceived and appreciated (verdsette).
This, of course, according to some religions is the Day of Judgment or the Judgment Hall, but according to OUR religion - Man judges himself, and there is no sterner judge than Man judging himself.
Unfortunately it frequently happens that a person dies and he does not believe in an after - life. In that case he drifts about for some time as if in the dark, as if in some stupendous cloying black fog.
He drifts about feeling more and more miserable, until at last he realizes that he is in some form of existence after all; then perhaps some early teaching will come to his aid, he may have gone to Sunday School, he may be a Christian, a Moslem, it does not matter what it is so long as he has some basic training, so long as he has some preconceived (forutfattet) idea about things, he can be helped.
Suppose a person was brought up to some branch of the Christian faith, then he may have thought forms of Heaven and Angels and all that sort of thing, but of course if he was brought up in certain parts of the East he will think of a different type of Heaven where all the pleasures of the flesh which he couldn't satisfy while alive or rather, couldn't satisfy while he was in a flesh body - are his for the asking.
So our man who just had a smattering of religion goes on for a time in an imaginary world peopled by thought forms which he himself has created, thought forms of angels or thought forms of beautiful maidens, depending on which part of the world he came from. It goes on for an indefinite time until at last he begins to perceive various fallacies, various errors in the surroundings.
He might, for example, find that the angels' wings are moulting, or if an Easterner he may find that certain of the beautiful maidens are not so completely beautiful as he thought!
The Christian may come to the conclusion that this is not much of a Heaven where people wear brass halos, because people couldn't be sitting on a cloud playing harps all the time dressed in their best nightshirts. So doubts creep in, doubt of the thought forms, doubt of the reality of that which is being seen.
But let us take the other side.
The fellow wasn't a very good man, he thinks of Hell, he gets all sorts of pains and aches because he has an image of old Satan prodding him in various vital spots. He has thoughts of fire, brimstone, sulphur, and all those ingredients, which would be of more use in a pharmaceutical laboratory. Again doubt creeps in, what is the purpose of all this pain, how can he be prodded so thoroughly when there is no blood, how can he have his bones broken every few minutes or so!
Gradually the doubts strengthen, gradually his spiritual mind becomes accessible to what we might term 'social workers' of the spirit world. At last when he is amenable to assistance they take him in hand, they clear away all the theatrical props (støtter) which the man's imagination has built, they let him see the true reality, they let him see that the other side of death is a far, far better place than is this side (the Earth side).
Death is a very matter of fact affair, we all go through it time after time until at last we are free of the pains and tribulations of being born and dying to Earth. But remember, even when we advance to higher planes and to different forms of existence we still have 'birth' and 'dying' with which to contend, but the higher we go the more painless and the more pleasurable are these two stages in our existence.
Well, let us get back to this poor fellow who we left in the spirit world, he is probably tired of waiting for us, but the spirit world, remember, or rather the astral stage, is an intermediate stage. Some religions relate it to Paradise; there is the Earth plane, Paradise, and eventually Heaven - provided the victim doesn't get sent to Hell first.
Our man is in the spirit world to see what sort of a mess (rot) he has made of his life. Did he leave undone those things which he should have done, did he do those things which he should not have done? If he is a normal human the answer is 'yes' on both counts.
So he goes into the Hall of Memories to see what he did in past lives, how did he fail to learn things which he should have learned?
And then - when he sees his faults and also sees his successes - he discusses with special guides - who are not Red Indians, by the way, or Ancient Chinese with long beards, but very special guides of his own type of person, own basic beliefs, etc., - people who know the problems with which he is confronted, they know what he has been through, they know how they acted in similar circumstances.
They are a bit more evolved, a bit more trained, they can see what this man has to learn in much the same way as a Careers Guidance Counsellor (yrkesveileder) can tell a person how to get a certain qualification, so that he can later try for a specific appointment.
After this meeting, conditions and circumstances are picked so that the person can come back to Earth into the body of a small baby, perhaps as a male, perhaps as a female. It might disconcert (gjøre urolig) some of you, but people come to this Earth as male and then as female, it all depends on which is most applicable to the type of lesson that has to be learned.
It doesn't mean that because you are a very male male now, or an extremely feminine female, you will be the same in the next life or the life after, you might want a change of attitude, you might want to see what the other person has had to put up with.
After a person has been born time after time - they come to a state when they have to be born no more to this Earth plane, but the person living the last life on Earth almost without exception has a very hard time, a time composed of misery, suffering, poverty, misunderstanding. Anyway, misery, misunderstanding, and all kinds of suffering are, as one might say, the leavening which eventually makes a person rise up to be a good spirit instead of an indifferent human.
A person living his last life upon the Earth is often regarded (on the Earth) as one of the unluckiest people ever, instead of the luckiest - in that they are living their last life here. All their hardships are because they are clearing up, getting ready to move out, paying debts, etc. They cannot learn through the flesh in the next life, so they have a good dose in this life. So they die, and most times, if they ever think about it, they are jolly glad.
Then back in the spirit world they get a good rest, for certainly they have earned it, they get a rest where they may be asleep for quite a few years, quite a few years by Earth time, that is.
Then they get rehabilitated, built up, and all that, reconditioned one might say.
After this they start all over again on the upward path, upward, ever upward. So the Great Prophet in one life - who has learned all there is to know, or thinks he has, goes on to another stage of evolution - where there are all sorts of different abilities, all sorts of varying talents, which he has to master. It is like a boy who gets hold of a bicycle - the boy learns to ride the wretched thing, then when he can more or less stay on without failing off he tries a motorcycle; this is a little more complicated because he has other controls to manipulate.
From the motor-cycle to a car, from the car to an aeroplane, from an ordinary aeroplane to an even more difficult helicopter. All the time one is learning more and more difficult things.
When we go to sleep, all of us - well, let us be accurate and say about 90 per cent of us - do astral travelling, we go into the spirit world, into the astral world. As Christ said, 'In my Father's House there are many Mansions, I go to prepare a Way for you.'
In the spirit world there are on y planes of existence, many 'Mansions'.
The one closest to the Earth plane is the astral plane, beyond that is what one might term the spirit world. People who have died to Earth go to the spirit world, but if they want to - they can come down to the astral world to see those who are over at the end of the Earth day.
This is something like visiting people in a prison, but it may be a comforting thought for you, because when you are in the spirit world you may at times want to meet those with whom you were associated upon the Earth. (This is very good described in the channeled book SEVEN STEPS TO ETERNITY of Stewen Turof.
Extract from the Danish edition on link here. R.Ø.remark.)
The above picture shows the physical earth in centre and the different "layers" of the planet which is vibrating in higher frequencies.
The layer nearest to "here" is the lower astral - and next the middle astral, etc. outside we find the higher, spiritual worlds - all are just as physical as these when our particular body is on the same level.
The real distance to the different planes is much larger than shown here. The nearest as ex.reach apx.20x the diameter of the inner "physical" earth. Illus. made of R.Ø.
Going to a higher plane it will comfort you even more to realize that when you are in the spirit world (not the astral) you can only meet those who are compatible with you, you cannot meet those whom you hate nor those who hate you.
You have people around you who are attracted to you, you can only meet those for whom you feel compatibility, kindness, consideration, or love.
In the astral plane you often meet people whom you do not particularly like; you might dislike a person intensely while on Earth and then when you both leave your bodies at night, you go to the astral plane and you might meet to discuss in the astral language, or in Spanish, English, German, or some other language, and you might decide that you will try to patch up the differences between you, you might feel that friction has gone on long enough.
So you have a discussion, you and your adversary, both in the astral plane, you decide what you can do to patch up your differences...
Also in the astral you often discuss what you are going to do in the physical world of the Earth. In the astral you might meet Aunt Fanny who lives in Adelaide, or some other place like that, and she will say, 'Oh, Maria Matilda (or some other name), I wrote you a letter such - and - such a time ago, you should be receiving it tomorrow when you get back to your Earth body.'
Then when you wake up in the morning you have a vague idea about Aunt Fanny, or whoever it is, and you halfheartedly keep an eye open for the mailman to come trudging to your letter - box, and then you are not too surprised that you have a letter from Aunt Fanny in Adelaide, or whoever it was that you were thinking about.
Again, when one is in the astral world one can often meet people from the spirit world who have access to some knowledge. The person will say, 'Now that you have done all you can down there on Earth, you are going to have an argument (krangel) with a bus next week, or the week after, and the bus is going to win, so you'd better get your affairs in order, you have nearly finished your task for this life.'
The man feels very happy while he is in the astral to think that his life on Earth is nearly finished, but when he gets back to Earth, he feels a bit gloomy and apprehensive (engstlig), and tells his wife, if he has one, that he has had such a dreadful nightmare in which he could see that she would soon be a widow.
She, of course, conceals (skjuler) her pleasure at this and when he goes to the office or to the store, she hurries to look in the strongbox (pengeskap) to see that that fat insurance policy is perfectly all right, with all the premiums paid up.
Another way that the better evolved person can know about the future is this; he is able to travel beyond the astral plane and up into what, for want of a better term, we might call the primary spirit world. There he can consult the Akashic Record and the Record of Probabilities because it is not at all difficult to see what the probabilities of a person or of a nation are.
One cannot always say precisely what is going to happen to an individual to the actual minute or even to the hour, but one can most certainly say what is going to happen to a country or to the world.
Well, we certainly have dealt with death in this particular chapter, and so you should regard this as a very pleasant affair, just as do children when leaving day comes for them to finish with their school life. Let us consider for a moment how to prepare for death, because just as one prepares for a wedding, one can have a much better time if one knows what is to be expected.
In Tibet several books are devoted to such things; The Tibetan Book of the Dead is one of the greatest classics in the Eastern part of the world, it tells in minute detail everything that can happen to a soul leaving the body and going out on the journey to the next life.
In Tibet a lama specially clairvoyant and specially trained, will sit by the side of a dying person and by telepathy will keep in touch with him so that even after the astral has left the physical, a conversation can be carried on. Let me state here most emphatically that no matter what the skeptical Western people say, Eastern people KNOW that it is possible to get messages from the so called 'dead'.
Everything has been told in detail, precisely what happens, precisely what it feels like.
The Egyptians also had a Book of the Dead, but in those days the priests wanted to keep a lot of power for themselves, and so they made a lot of symbolic things about the Gods Horus and Osirus, and about weighing the soul against a feather.
That is a very pretty story, but it does not correspond to actual fact - except that the Egyptians who were taught such things went into death with minds stuffed full of preconceived ideas - so actually saw the God Osirus, actually saw the Judgment Chamber, actually in the mind lived through all those curious things where the soul was seen to flutter like a bird and where the Cat God Bubastes and others were perceived.
But remember, this is just a pretty picture, which has to be shattered before anyone can go on to the Reality, it is like trying to live in a Walt Disney world instead of the true world.
Many people have preconceived ideas which perhaps have been fostered by some particular belief or by the lack of any belief at all, they do not know what to expect when they are dying and so they are caught up in remarkable fantasies of their own creation, or even worse caught in some blackness, some blankness because of a lack of understanding.
I will ask you to consider this with an open mind, it does not matter if you believe or disbelieve, just keep an open mind and think of what I am going to say to you now, it will help you later.
Give an hour or two to meditation (see the chapter on Meditation later) upon the subject of death, be prepared to accept the idea that when your time comes to leave this Earth - you are going to force yourself painlessly out of this awful clay body, which is cooling and feeling uncomfortable, and then you are going to gather in a cloud above the recumbent (hvilende) body.
Then - in that cloud, you will send out a mental call for help from loved ones who have preceded you into the next life. You may not know much about telepathy, but that does not matter, when you leave this life for the Greater Life - you will have telepathic abilities automatically, but to help you now let me say this; try to remember when you are dying - that you visualize the person whom you love most ON THE OTHER SIDE.
Try to actually visualize that person, try to send out a thought that you want that person to come and meet you and help you. In much the same way, if you are going on a journey, you some - times send a telegram saying, 'Meet such - and - such a train.' Then let yourself rest in peace, you will find a sensation of lightness, a sensation that you have escaped from a tight compressing chamber.
Keep an open mind, do not scoff (være hånlig), do not believe blindly - but reason it out, practice what you are going to do when you are dying, practise forcing yourself out of the dying body and into life.
Think how similar it is to being born, think how you are going to call on the person whom you love most for help, then when the time comes, you will find that your passing will be painless and anything that the flesh body is experiencing, will not disturb you in the slightest.
You will find that as you float there above the body the Cord anchoring you to it will thin and thin, and dissipate like smoke in a breeze.
You will drift off upwards into the arms of your loved ones who are there to meet you.
They cannot do much for you until the Cord is broken, in much the same way that you cannot shake hands with your friends while the train is still moving into the station.
(This may sound as a sweet dream - but the big mass of "near-death-experiences" from the last 30 years - proves that he has right. And also the other spirit-scientific research-material that exists - as example the cosmology of Martinus. R.Ø.remark.)
One of the things which puzzles many people about death is this: Why is the fear of death universal when beyond death lies only peace and greater evolution?
The answer is very, easy; if people on Earth knew how pleasant it was upon leaving this world, people would not stay here, there would be suicides and that would be a very bad thing indeed because suicide is wrong. So people come down to this Earth with a built - in fear of death. That is a provision of Nature to prevent people from committing suicide or trying to gratify their own 'death wish'.
As death actually approaches, however, all fear of that stage diminishes. So - if you are afraid to die while you are quite well that is a normal state of affairs because we have to be kept here just as children have to be kept in school, and children who evade going to school are not popular with the truant officer!
When your time of dying comes, then, keep an open mind, keep before your consciousness the thought that there are those very willing to help you, remember there is no such thing as Hell, there is no such thing as eternal damnation, there is no such thing as a vengeful God who desires only your destruction.
We do not believe that one should 'fear God', we believe instead that if God is good, God should be loved, not feared. And - death also is good, it should be loved and welcomed with open arms when that time comes, but until that time comes - live according to the rule, 'Do as you would be done by.' (gjør mot andre - slik du selv vil bli behandlet).
If you are willing to devote a bit of time and patience and a whole lot of faith, then most certainly you should be able to investigate the matter of death as a seriously interested onlooker, but you will find that such investigation will entail some sacrifices. For example, you cannot go to parties, you cannot go to the pictures, you cannot call in and get a 'quick one'. Instead, you have to be as a hermit.
I am a hermit, and I prefer to be a hermit because I have all those powers about which I write, and many of which can be yours if you try hard enough and with enough faith. I can do astral travelling, I can see the Akashic Record.
A great amount can be done by meditation, and by concentration. For this, obviously, one has to be a hermit. Hermits, monks, lamas, call them what you will, are solitary people withdrawn from the ordinary circle of social life, withdrawn at their own choice so that they may concentrate, meditate, and go forth in astral travel.
This astral travel business is very, very real, it is a fact, but it is as simple as breathing.
The trouble is that you cannot take any luggage with you, it is useless to travel across the ocean to another country and think that you will stay for the week - end with friends. The difficulty is that your friends, unless they are of the same stage, may not be able to see you, the trouble is that you can neither take anything with you nor can you bring anything back that is material or solid.
One very interesting thing is - in the astral one can see the Akashic Record provided one is of the fortunate few who have what I might call special permission. Let me say here and now that many of those people who pretend to go into the astral world and consult your Akashic Record are fakes and, in fact, swindlers.
They take your money, usually round about fifty dollars - (well that is surely tenfold today - nearly forty years later. R.Ø.remark.) - but they are quite unable to do what they claim to do. So if anyone tells you that he is going to go into the astral world and bring back your Akashic Record for fifty dollars - hang on to your fifty dollars!
It is a fortunate provision that not everyone can see the Akashic Record because think what a terrible weapon it would be in the hands of blackmailers or criminals. Indiscriminate use of the Akashic Record would cause untold harm.
Thus, it is that only those who are of pure intention can gain access to the Akashic Record.
End of extract