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Internet Lessons with additions,
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Beyond Death (Audio)
AYP Plus Additions:
376.1 - On Pain,
Suffering, Death and Suicide (Audio)
376.2 - Transcending the Body/Mind and then Putting
It to Good Use (Audio)
January 8, 2010
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q: For me, the practice of attaining enlightenment (or
liberation, union with god, or whatever term we may use) must go beyond the
physical body and touch the non-physical existence of ours. The body is
impermanent. We have to leave it sooner or later.
However, in your
writings you also indicate that the "experience of god" depends on the
nervous system. To a certain degree I do agree that an agitated mind/emotion
is unlikely to see/experience truth clearly. But what about death? This is
an extremely important question in my opinion. Spiritual practice must have
connection/correlation with the beyond-bodily-existence, but certainly not
in a fanatical/dogmatic/merely belief way (as if mere belief is going to
I'm likely to believe that the spiritual path develops our
astral and mental body, as opposed to just physical body, which makes the
path possible after death, as the astral/mental body doesn't die.
Ultimately, as our practice progresses, we sheath those bodies and become
pure spirit/soul and "merge with Brahman."
This, of course is a
point of view of mine, and it's only recently I begin to consider adopting
it, as it is helpful in reconciling "before" with "after-death" spiritual
What are your thoughts?
A: Yes, the nervous system is the doorway to the divine,
but this one we are in right now has a time limit. Without it, we will
not be here at all, and the spiritual path
as we know it
will not be
not a minute to waste.
When we talk about the nervous system
and the neurobiology here, it goes all the way into stillness (pure bliss
consciousness), so includes the cultivation of awareness
beyond the subtle strata that survive the body
after death. That's why we say that what we gain in spiritual
practices in this body we take with us from this life. Hence there is a
logic for people being born in different stages of consciousness, with
different gifts and challenges. Not that anyone has to believe in life after
death or reincarnation to benefit from spiritual practices.
bigger question is whether there is life before death, as in right now. By
"life," I mean life free from fear and suffering, life
radiating in perpetual happiness, regardless of
the circumstances we find ourselves in. That can be lived through the
systematic application of spiritual practices. Then the rest of life
(and death) on the
material plane will take care of itself. Try and see.
We don't look
much beyond this life for specific things to do. It is a bridge we will
cross when we get to it. But there is much we can do in the here and now,
and that is the focus of yoga.
Looking at it from another point of
view, one we can cultivate as a direct experience in this lifetime, we have
always been pure bliss consciousness, and are only imagining we are this
body/mind and personality. From that point of view, we have never been born,
and therefore shall never die. Neither do we exist in the subtle planes
before birth or after death.
But that is "cheap logic," you know,
even though it sits at the center of advaita-vedanta and jnana yoga
philosophies, and is where we all are heading. I say "cheap logic," because
few can express this from beyond the realm of ideas
without substantial preparation in the form of spiritual practices. It
means little until we
come into direct experience of our self as
eternal unborn condition. Then we can say we are
That and easily
release what is not true in our life.
Practice daily, and it will happen. Not overnight, but in time with prudent
application of time-tested methods. This is the best preparation for death,
and will transcend it altogether during this life, because
we are That which is beyond
birth and death, here and now.
So there is no before or after. Only now.
It can be done. It
is being done, by many everywhere around the world today. Well begun is
The guru is in you.
Related Lessons Topic Path
Discuss this Lesson in the AYP Plus Support Forum
detailed discussion on the practical
utilization of self-inquiry, see the
and the Liberation book.
For detailed instructions on building a balanced practice
routine with self-pacing, see the Eight
Limbs of Yoga book. Also see