OM MANI PADME HUM!
The process that we call dying and its end point of "death" is one of our most practiced and perfected of activities as a human incarnate soul, and yet it is the least understood and the most greatly feared because of the inculcation of lies, deception, and erroneous beliefs foisted upon the occidental masses by the Roman Church and all its offshoots of Christianity. These lies and the massive amount of fear generated by them made the Christian Institutions called Churches (whether Orthodox or Protestant or Catholic or otherwise) enormously wealthy and enormously powerful. Now ask yourself, what would The Christ make of all that material wealth and power and those who wield them in the name of religion and the name of The Christ?
It should go without saying, but I'm afraid that I must say it emphatically and forcefully and without reservation for the sake of those who have not awakened from the slumber to discover the lies forced upon them since childhood by loved ones who should have known better. There is no hell! In fact, there is no heaven! There is no eternal damnation! There is no such thing as sin! And there certainly is no such thing as "original sin"! There is no Satan or Devil or Beelzebub or what have you! There is no purgatory! There are no pearly gates! There is no angry, vengeful God with anthropomorphic qualities! There is no "Judgement Day", nor will there ever be one! And at the other end of the spectrum, there is no annihilation of consciousness and cessation of beingness upon death to the physical form and personality structure!
What follows has been given out by Those Who Know, The Teachers and Benefactors of the Human Race Who are called The Ascended Masters of the Wisdom (see "What Is An Ascended Master, Anyway?"), The Great Ones Who have guided all the Kingdoms of Nature on this planet for eons of time. This piece will serve as a complement to "What Happens After Death?" in "Writings Of Mine" and will provide a more detailed examination of the event that remains a mystery to the overwhelming majority of incarnate souls here due to the descent of the Veil of Forgetfulness designed to separate the conscious from the subconscious mind and to allow the full play of free will and karmic balancing within the constraints of each incarnate lifetime. There need be no further secrecy or confusion or apprehension or dread. The hard part is entering the confining prison of the flesh; the easy part is leaving it (once cognizant of the truth).
What we call death is truly a Soul activity. The Soul or Higher Self makes the decision when and where and how the lifetime is going to end and exerts its attractive power under the Universal Law of Attraction. With foreknowledge of what we consider to be the future (when, in fact, the linearity of time is only an illusion - see "Time Is An Illusion"), the Soul will be precognizant of an impending suicide or orchestrate the circumstances for a "sudden" death or oversee the arrangement for a lengthy decline toward death by way of ill health, disease, devitalization, and aging. Most of the time, the manner of departure is known at the beginning of the incarnation, and many times it has to do with karmic liability.
The first of the 3 stages of this process is called Restitution, which refers to the atomic substance of the dense physical body and that of the aetheric body being restored to its originating source, the planetary reservoir of substance. Earth to earth and dust to dust. Physicality is dual in expression. There is the dense physical body to which most humans identify (mistakenly) as the self, and there is the aetheric body double, which is slightly larger, non-visible to the eye, and which interpenetrates the entirety of the dense physical. The dense physical receives all its vitality and energy and life principle from the aetheric vehicle (also called the vital body) and its extensive system of chakras and life-force channels called nadis (refer to "The Aetheric Body").
The two major streams of energy proceeding from the Soul to its incarnate fragment are anchored in two locations in the aetheric body. The stream or thread of consciousness is anchored in the head chakra (crown or 7th chakra), and the stream of dynamic life (life thread) is anchored in the so-called heart chakra (4th chakra). Both of these streams are to be found in what is called the sutratma or silver cord (appearing silver to those with aetheric sight), and they both enter the aetheric head at the crown chakra and the uppermost limit of the sushumna or central aetheric channel. The life thread then descends to the anahata chakra (4th) for the duration of the life cycle, causing the rhythmic contraction of the heart, and the life-giving energy is distributed from there throughout the blood stream and the aetheric network of millions of life-force channels (by way of the major and minor chakras).
There is one other major source of life energy for the physical body, and that is a smaller stream of prana from the universe, which enters the splenic chakra (of the vital body) and rises to join the life stream at the heart chakra. The life stream energizes and maintains coherency of the dense physical body (through the medium of the vital body), and the universal pranic energy provides vitality to all the atoms and cells of the body (with some supplementation of prana through the breathing activity of the lungs). The consciousness stream reveals the evolutionary status and type of consciousness of the incarnate expression of the Soul and enlivens the brain.
The Act of Restitution during the initial phase of the process of death is instituted by an act of the spiritual will of the Soul as It issues the occult command to its physical expression. Until Man becomes more Soul-conscious and Soul-influenced, He will remain unaware of the "calling for return" and be unable to cooperate consciously in the return, which the disciples, Initiates, and mentally-polarized are able to do (if interested, go to "The Only Path On Earth"). The more evolved among the Race are conscious participants in that final restorative process called death.
From the Higher Mental Plane (each of the 7 Major Planes of this solar system has 7 sub-planes), the Soul sends forth a "word of withdrawal" to its incarnation at the propitious moment that the life cycle has reached its end. This is a secret sound or mantram which can be registered by the aetheric body to begin a cascading of events that culminate in the restitution of the physical and aetheric-physical elements to their pool of origination in the physical body of the planet. The more highly-evolved of the Race receive this willful command as a conscious knowing and cooperate willingly and gladly in the final moments of departure.
In cases of sudden death, such as accidents, murder, war, etc., the process is greatly accelerated, but I will give the sequence of events for the more usual, protracted period of dying experienced at the end of a life fully lived, whether short or long. Time has no meaning to the Soul, so there is no perception of time passing at that level.
Following the mantric command of the Soul, physiological events are precipitated. A certain substance, unknown to medical science, is secreted into the blood stream by the endocrine glands (the physical counterparts of the 7 major chakras in the vital body) and is considered "death-dealing" in its effect upon the heart, where the life thread is anchored, and the brain where a reflex action leads to loss of consciousness and a comatose state. The 3 systems most greatly affected initially by this endocrine secretion are the circulatory system, the nervous system, and the endocrine system. A pulsation of activity runs throughout the entirety of the aetheric nadis (the underlying counterpart of the entire nervous system) in response to the "word of withdrawal", and they organize themselves for abstraction from the dense physical body. A "psychic tremor" loosens the connection between the nadis and the nervous system, beginning in the eyes and thusly detaches the aetheric body from its dense counterpart, though it still interpenetrates all of it. This detachment is often evidenced by a peacefulness, relaxation, and a lack of fear in the dying person.
The abstraction, as initiated by the Soul, is pulling the aetheric (vital) body away from the dense physical body and ending its source of vitality and energy. Next, the vital body, under the attractive will of the Soul, withdraws from the extremities and concentrates at the requisite orifice or door of exit of which there are 3, depending on the evolutionary status of the person who is dying. For the average, undeveloped, emotionally-focused person, the vital body will exit the solar plexus area. This is also the point of exit for infants and all animals. The area of exit for kindly, decent, helpful people of goodwill and beginning aspirants on the Path ("The Only Path On Earth") is an area just inferior to the apex of the heart. Finally, for all disciples, Initiates, and the mentally-polarized members of the Race, the vital body exits through the crown chakra of the head. The great majority on the planet exit through the solar plexus chakra (which is directly connected to the emotional body).
At each of these exit points for the concentrated life-force of the vital body, there is a closely-knit aetheric web of interlacing life-force channels that protects against any premature departure. The life energy beats against the protective web in response to the magnetic pull of the Soul, eventually (sooner or later) causing a rupture in the web through which the entire vital body will pour in a forceful rush. But before that happens, there is, most of the time, an opportunity for the physical elemental (the tiny involutionary lives which comprise the physical body) to do fierce battle with the Soul (elaborated upon in "The Soul").
This is called the "earth pull" and is strongest in those who were totally immersed in the physicality of living and those with poor developement of the mind, a struggle which can go on for days or even weeks. This is also evidenced in those with a strong will to "live" and a fear of death. The physical elemental opposes the magnetic pull of the Soul and tries to keep the vital body attached to the dense physical body, a struggle which may sometimes be observed at the death bed. Unless, however, death is not part of the plan at that moment, the Soul always wins the battle and extricates the vital body from its attachment to the dense body. While this inner battle is waging, the consciousness of the dying person is being steadily withdrawn into the astral and mental vehicles (the subtle bodies) preparatory to complete abstraction of the vital body.
At the precise moment when the aetheric body and its forces have escaped through the appropriate door of exit, the life thread and the consciousness thread are rapidly withdrawn through the crown chakra (of the aetheric body) but yet remain attached to the astral and mental vehicles of the individual. This is the moment when the dying one would be considered "dead" because the brain activity has stopped as well as the heartbeat and respirations. The house is vacated. The bird has flown. The spirit has departed.
The vital body, now freed from its prison, assumes the outline of the physical form that it energized due to the influence of the thought-form of the body that was mentally constructed and perfected for so long by the one who has passed out of physicality, and it lingers in the vicinity of the dead body because of a slight rapport that remains between the two (energetically speaking). This is the form that clairvoyant people see at the funeral, hovering around or over the coffin. The astral and mental bodies (kama-manasic vehicle) still interpenetrate the vital body at this point and are still attached to the Soul by the silver cord (containing the life thread and consciousness thread).
Only gradually is the vital body dispersed, with its atomic particles returning to the aetheric body of the Earth and its vital/pranic energy returning to the universal reservoir of prana. Full restitution has been made. The dispersal of the vital body may, however, be greatly delayed and prolonged by the process of embalming that is practiced in the West and especially by the mummification technique practiced by ancient cultures (Egypt, Peru, etc.). The less the developement of the mind of the deceased, the longer will be the lingering of the vital body in the neighborhood of its disintegrating outer shell, because the body thought-form of the deceased has such a strong magnetic attraction.
This is why cemetaries can be such psychically unhealthy places. A fairly-well organized aetheric body, especially one from a cruel, mean-spirited individual, may become possessed by a Dark Entity to be used as a fear-generating mechanism - the ghosts that haunt and terrorize. It is one more way for them to be at their favorite activity, the production of fear. The vital bodies of mummified individuals may remain nearby for centuries before dispersal to the elements and, if possessed by a Dark One, may have some surprises in store for the grave robbers or the archeologists.
Cremation is the answer to a long, drawn-out Process of Restitution and a vital body manipulated for nefarious purposes. Cremation will become the norm in the next Era for Humanity on Earth, for it ensures the immediate destruction of both the dense physical and the aetheric bodies, which are no longer needed, and a complete restoration of the "borrowed" elemental life to its origins.
The next phase of the death process is called the Art of Elimination. There is an awareness of self and individuality with a clarity that was unknown while in physical incarnation, and there is no perception of time being registered as a succession of linear events without the physical brain. The overwhelming majority on this planet find themselves on one of the sub-levels of the Astral Plane clothed in a shell of astral matter. I would say that greater than 90% of the billions of humans will undergo this experience and that a small minority will by-pass this level altogether and go directly to the lower Mental Plane. These are those who have subjugated the emotional body (astral body) and live essentially in the mind, including the disciples to a Master and the Initiates on the Golden Path. (Keep in mind that a Plane is not a location but rather a state of consciousness.)
I have described the Astral Experience in "What Happens After Death?", and more can be learned in "The Astral Body". The silver cord of life and consciousness remains attached to the astral or mental vehicles of the individual whichever Plane he or she goes to. The Art of Elimination has to do with the returning of the astral and mental elemental life of the subtle vehicles to the reservoir of those substances on their respective Planes of Existence. The Astral Plane is the Plane of Desire and Illusion. Until the astral body has eventually and necessarily been eliminated, the experience on that Plane conforms itself to the beliefs and expectations and attitudes and desires of the personality who has passed on from the physical. It is perceived as a very real experience but is, in reality, illusion.
The first thing that happens (and near-death experiencers have spoken of it) is a moment of Soul contact. This is the intense, warm, loving Entity of White Light that so many are automatically drawn to at the end of the "dark tunnel" (also an illusion). Many mistakenly identify It with God, but It is not. After the sense of returning home and being made whole momentarily, there ensues the past-life review as though spread out like a map and seeming to cover a long period of time, but there is no passage of time. The review is guided by an Angel that specializes in this work.
During the review, as supervised by the Soul, there is an isolating out and identification of the 3 major conditioning factors in the life just lived, and these are considered as the 3 "Seeds" for the next lifetime or incarnation. All else fades out of memory and is forgotten by the personality fragment. Only the 3 Seeds remain and are used by the Soul (or Higher Self) to determine the nature of the physical environment, the quality of the vital body and its most active major chakra, and the key to the astral/emotional vehicle of the next incarnation (3 Seeds). I say next, but from the viewpoint of the Soul, there is no sequencing of lives or linearity of time. Think of the 3 Seeds as having a determinative influence on one of the Soul's thousands of incarnate lives.
Following the life review and the Seed isolations, the astral person has the astral experience (see "What Happens After Death?" ). The loved, the familiar, the intimate from by-gone lives are sought out and company kept. Interests are pursued. Desires, excepting those of the human-animal nature (e.g. sex), are fulfilled. Schools are attended. Incarnate loved ones are visited. Habits, addictions, imbalances, and erroneous ideas are eliminated. The mind is exercised and sparked into activity, which is facilitated more readily without the physical brain. There comes a point wherein the lure and attractiveness of the Astral Plane ceases to be, and the individual just knows that it is time to entirely eliminate the astral body (the kamic body) and merge back into the Source of Being, the Soul, having achieved compatibility of vibrational nature to do so.
The astral body is vacated through the astral solar plexus center (the astral body has chakras corresponding to those of the vital body), and simultaneously the silver cord is severed (by the Soul) to the astral form. Reintegration takes place (an ecstatic experience), and the astral elemental returns to its source. The Soul absorbs its fragment aspect. The pilgrim has gone home.
In the case of those balanced and integrated people who have an emotional, desire-filled life yet have made some strides in beginning to stimulate the mind, they are called kama-manasic individuals and have, after physical death, the freedom of the dual life. That is, they have the capacity to contact both the upper Astral Plane and the lower Mental Plane once Restitution is completed. Because of the desire to do so, they gradually withdraw into the mental life and mental body, allowing the astral body to drop away and dissipate. The silver cord remains attached to the manasic vehicle. The more oriented toward the mind and the less emotionally-labile was the person, the more rapidly and consciously the astral is vacated and the mental supervenes, that is, the mental body has had a stronger pull. The formerly kama-manasic person then shatters the mental body by an act of the will and returns home to the Soul, the silver cord being severed simultaneously (to learn more about the silver cord, go to "The Silver Cord").
The manasic person is the one who was polarized in the mental vehicle during the incarnation: the thinkers, the intellects, the mind-oriented, the mentally-developed. These include all the aspirants on the Path of Discipleship or Initiation, the more evolved of the human species. The material desires and human emotions have all been subdued and brought under control. They have basically eliminated the astral body during the recent lifetime and have no experience to undergo on the Astral Plane once physical restitution is finalized. The Art of Elimination for them takes place solely on the Mental Plane (lower sub-levels) and is entirely conscious. If there is any residue whatsoever of astral sediment (depending on the advancement of the student), Light from the Soul is called upon to dissolve it.
Because of the Soul contact and rapport on the Mental Level, there is an awareness of the future, the present, and the past as being one Eternal Moment of Now, and this state of consciousness in which the mental vehicle is eliminated consciously is called Devachan. It involves the use of certain secret Words of Power that are given to the disciple by Initiates in the Ashram of The Ascended Master. The mantram evokes such an infusion of power from the Soul and subsequently such an expansion of consciousness that the mental vehicle is thorougly shattered and scattered to the elements on the Manasic Plane. Towards the end of the incarnational cycle (of many lifetimes), The Master Himself provides the Words of Power. The Initiate-Disciple has joyfully returned to the bosom of the Soul, and the Soul continues as a Student to The Master.
1. Ultimately, the most important aspect of death with which the human being is concerned is the destruction and dispersal of the personality. It is the individualistic personality, created and consolidated during the lifetime, which must be eliminated before the final integration with Source Level, the Soul. For the average, poorly-evolved human, the 3 deaths of the physical, astral, and mental vehicles must be undergone before integration with Soul is possible, but for the aspirant on the Path, there is progressive domination and control by the Soul as the Initiatory Path is traversed until the 3rd Initiation of Transfiguration (or Soul Merge), when the human personality is no more and Soul Integration has been accomplished (the 3rd Initiation eliminates the personality thought-form).
Then the Soul, as guided by The Master, only appears to be working through a human personality, but an altruistic, intelligent server of the Race has become manifest to promote the Divine Plan of The Spiritual Hierarchy and Sanat Kumara (click on "Who Is Sanat Kumara?"). At the end of the life, the Soul-infused Initiate brings about death deliberately and with full consciousness, using an act of the Soul's Will to bring it about. The part returns to the whole and is made whole.
2. The Science of Dying will one day be made known by The Initiate Members of Earth's Spiritual Hierarchy (check out "Who Are The Spiritual Hierarchy?") when the fact of the Soul and its relationship to the body has become universally accepted, and there is no longer a presence of the Dark Brotherhood to misuse the knowledge. These points allow for an easier passing over of the incarnate soul.
There must be silence in the chamber of the sick room so that the departing one may make due preparation and maintain possession of its instrument with clarity as long as possible. Though unconsciousness may be apparent, in 90% of the time there is brain awareness yet an inability to express it. The color of orange assists in focusing attention in the head, of benefit for Soul extraction, and only orange lights should be permitted in the room. In the future, there will be a ceremony for their installation.
The top of the head should be pointed toward the east. Both the feet and hands should be crossed. Sandalwood incense should be burned (and no other incense). This is the incense of the First Ray (Shiva The Destroyer), and the Soul is in process of destroying its habitation. Mantric phrases and a sacred word, which have an affinity with the dying one, will be chanted in a particular key, and certain types of music will be employed when there is greater understanding of this ritual. These will supercede the need for silence the rest of the time.
As practiced by those who maintain the secret traditions in Tibet, accupressure on certain arteries and nerve centers in the region of the head and a particular spot over the medulla oblongata will facilitate the process. There is a scientific basis for anointing the crown of the head with oil (as preserved by the Roman Church in Extreme Unction), and this will be used. When the Human Race is ready for it, each individual's personal musical note of extraction will be known, and the sounding of that note at the precise moment of death (to the physical) will coordinate the withdrawal of the life-force stream and the consciousness stream, leading to rupture of the silver cord (sutratma). A Science of Dying will be taught in the New Era to Come when The Hierarchy walks the Earth along with The Avatar of the Aquarian Age (Lord Kuthumi).
3. The Astral Plane, to which the many billions of humans go when they've passed the threshold of death, is a temporary construct. It was collectively created during the Atlantean Era when the astral body of Mankind was brought into being and perfected over eons of time. The collective desires, emotions, imaginings, and illusions comprised the vast thought-form which generated this state of consciousness and being. But Earth has been the emotional experiment of the galaxy, and so it was meant to be by The Galactic Council Who oversee all that transpires in this galaxy.
There are 7 Root Races of Humanity in each of the 7 Rounds on Earth. We are the 5th sub-Race of the 5th Root Race (and are in the 4th or Middle Round). By the end of the 7th Root Race at the end of this Round, the Astral Plane will be no more. Emotionality will have run its course; the emotional body will no longer be an aspect of human beings; and the Astral Plane of Earth will cease to exist. Humans by then will all be 3rd Degree Initiates (at least), having merged into and become controlled by their Souls. The time of death will be known beforehand, and each will go willingly and consciously and joyously back to the intense focus of Love and Light which is their own Solar Angel (Soul) on the higher Mental Plane. And nevermore will there be sadness and fear about being released from the prison of the flesh. May you be so wise as to do it thusly at the end of this lifetime.