A reader sent me the following
Something I have never quite understood is
that after we come to this realization of the
one self that we are not our [the] body or the
mind or the thoughts, then we see the body die
what then? And what is the difference in the
death of a realized one and a unrealized person?
What happens when the body dies? That is a
question that has plagued mortal man from the
earliest days. So much of religion is basically
an attempt to answer that question, with enough
theories of heavens and hells to keep us debating
for the rest of our lives.
So let me start by saying what seems obvious
to me: I don’t know what happens after
the body dies. And neither does anyone else.
If you say, “well, we go to _________ after
death,” or tell me about other dimensions,
etc., I’m going to ask you a very simple
question: How do you know? Have you died and
then experienced these things? No, of course
you haven’t. So death is as yet a mystery
to you. (As for past lives, let me write a follow-up
article to deal with them.)
Even if you’ve had a near death experience,
all you can do is tell me about that particular
experience, but not the full experience
of death (notice they are called near death
experiences). There is absolutely no way to know
what happens after the body dies until it actually
dies and you find out.
Observations about death and consciousness
That said, we can make a few interesting observations,
though, about what might happen after death if
you have realized the truth about what you are,
namely the One.
1. When you realize that you
are not the mind, the body, thoughts, the ego,
etc., you realize that the awareness (or consciousness)
that you are, the “you” that is looking
out of your body’s eyes, is the same awareness
looking out of everyone else’s eyes. And
the same fundamental beingness that is the house
you live in, the Earth you are standing on, the
sky, the stars, your thoughts, others’ thoughts,
the very fabric of reality. All One, all the
same, all conscious, all aware.
2. When the body dies, and
the thoughts in it die, and when the energy contained
in it dissipates, and everything ceases, what happens
to the awareness contained within it? Ah, trick
question, for the awareness/consciousness is not
contained within it! We are so used to feeling “trapped” in
the body that we think we are actually trapped
in a body. But we are not. What I am is the
beingness that is Everything. And this beingness,
this conscious awareness contains the
Look-up from your computer right now and look
around the room. Is not your body contained in
the room you are in? Isn’t it a part of
the room? And the room, isn’t it a part
of the building? And the city or town in which
the building exists? And planet Earth? And so
on until we get that this body is contained in
the Universe as a whole? And you are the
Universe. The awake, aware, conscious, alive
Wholeness of existence, the totality of the Universe
(and so much more), that is what you are. So,
the body is actually contained in you. You realize
this fact, too, upon awakening.
3. So, when the body dies,
the conscious awareness that appeared to
be within it doesn’t go anywhere, for nothing
at all has been lost to the Universe. It has
merely started to change form. But the consciousness
itself is still right where it was before: everywhere!
Nothing leaves, dissipates, disappears, or goes
anywhere. The One is still ever present Oneness.
4. As for what awareness/consciousness
that formerly identified as Tom experiences at
death, I have no idea, and as mentioned before,
neither does anyone else. This is still true
whether you are “realized” or not.
What’s the difference between
the death of the realized and unrealized?
And finally, let me answer the last question: “And
what is the difference in the death of a realized
one and a unrealized person?” I believe
it was Sailor Bob Adamson who said, “The
only difference between someone who has realized
the truth and someone who hasn’t is that
the realized one knows that there is no difference.” Once
you realize the truth, you don’t know any
While other people will still look different
to you, have different color hair, wear different
clothes, etc., you will have no awareness that
any of that matters. They will still be what
you are. So at death, how can there be any difference?
To the realized one, whatever is experienced
at death is experienced by every aspect of consciousness.
He knows himself to be that consciousness, so
nothing to him has changed. The form has changed,
but nothing else. Everything is still everything.
Oneness is still One.
And for the unrealized one? Again, it is impossible
to say. You will simply have to die to find out
what happens. I know this answer won’t
make a lot of people happy, and it would ruin
sales of lots of books if it were widely accepted
as the truth that it is. But it is still the
truth. We can argue until the cows come home,
but it won’t matter. You can’t know
death of the body until it dies. And then you
will discover what happens next.
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