There is no death

/There is no death
There is no death2018-04-16T13:11:50+00:00

There is no death

 

Birth and death are the two cornerstones in human life. The former gives the opportunity of experience and learning while the latter, death, gives the potentiality of life’s regenaration.

Death is the problem that imbues each and every reasonable being. Man is afraid of death and trying to ignore it or exorcise it , he hopes to manage to avoid it. Death, however, is a universal law born along with the universe putting an end to every species of life. With the only purpose of renewing it and reanimating it.

Birth and death is the double pole of manifested life. Each part of life, from universe down to the atom, is born and dies within time limits ordained by law , its unique reason being continuous revival and therefore evolution Periodicity’s eternal cycle manifested as manvantara and pralaya, as awakening and slumber, as sunrise and sunset, as youth and old age, is reiterated and reproduced on every cosmic level. Birth and death of each infinitesimal living part is the reprint of this very universal law.

Whatever is born, lives and dies to be reborn in another state wherein it follows a similar rotating cycle. Death, though destroyer, is a beneafactor because it offers repose for the assimilation of experience, revivification of forces and compulsory distance from what is already known and acquired. Death is the state wherein the old terminates its cycle and, while withdrawing, enters a new status. Each new situation provides new experience, a fact serving the purpose of life.

Not only physical bodies are vanished because of death; so, also, do thoughts, feelings, mentalities and defects. Were it not for death, in other words change and consequent revival , man would be for ever crystallized within his original experiences, views and habits, which would not permit him to get to know other aspects of manifested life and, therefore, he would not deduce other aspects of expression from his inner self.

Evolution is the process which progressively presents the potential “Deity’from within outwards, through each existing monad and through all universal planes. The law of periodicity, i.e. birth- life- death, is for each monad and plane the way in which the divine archetype unfolds from within outwards. Without periodicity there is no change, therefore no evolution and realization of the Divine Plan. Change is the renewal of atomic life, of personal point of view, of habit, of the old state within a new one. Without change there is no new experience, therefore no potentiality for a new expression of the inner potential. Each experience adds a step on the ascending arc to Spirit.

Manifested life is the aggregate of three states, where periodicity is etrernally reiterated and appears in all phenomena : Birth – life – death. Lightning – thunder – rain. Sowing – fructification – harvest. Awakening – activity –sleep.

In the Indian Trimourti, the three gods Brahma – Vishnou – Siva are the three forces creating, preserving and abolishing universe. Brahma, the creator, sustains his universe on Vishnou who maintains it, while the destruction is effected by the requisite Siva. Destruction is as needful as preservation of those created. Preservation offers the opportunity of knowledge through experience while destruction offers the potentiality of change and renewal. The law of change and periodicity provides the Creator, Brahma, with the potentiality for a new and revivified cosmic existence and, simultaneously, the Monads with the potentiality to both approach and accomplish His Thought.

In her “Key to Theosophy” H. P. Blavatsky mentions the following on death ; “Death is the last ecstasis on earth. Then the soul is freed from the constraint of the body, and its nobler part is united to higher nature and becomes partaker in the wisdom and foreknowledge of the higher beings.” [1]

The Monad, Atma – Buddhi, exists as a center of spiritual Force. Falling into the centrifugal direction of Force, it becomes Individuality or Higher Ego and is born as human soul within a physical body, henceforth living as man on earth. When, under ths law of polarity, the human soul enters the centripetal direction of the Force we say that man gets old and dies.

H. P. Blavatsky says that what is incarnated and becomes human being “ It is not Atma… for Atman is the Universal All and becomes the Higher Self of man only in conjunction with Buddhi, its vehicle, which links it to the individuality (or divine man). For it is the Buddhi-Manas which is called the Causal body…. that connects it with every personality it inhabits on earth.” [2]

Furthermore, the term soul is generic and in the thesophical terminology it usually defines the three states of consciousness or three aspects of Soul, “… the terrestrial, or animal; the Human Soul; and the Spiritual Soul; these, strictly speaking, are one Soul in three aspects. Now of the first aspect, nothing remains after death; of the second (nous or Manas) only its divine essence if left unsoiled survives, while the third in addition to being immortal becomes consciously divine, by the assimilation of the higher Manas.” [3]

In fact, with death the human soul gets rid of its physical, astral and kamic- mental shell i.e. of the personality using the astral and physical levels. “The apparent end of life is but the first step towards death, … we must find out what death is… A little reflection shows that what is seen and noted by physicians and spectators is but the withdrawal of the soul and energy from the outer envelope called ‘body’… But that is only the first step. It leaves his visible features calm and happy, perhaps, in expression; his relatives close his eyes, – they call it death. He, however, has only begun to die.” [4]

With death it enters the level of Spiritual Self, where from it is re-projected onto the next incarnation “…has to pass along the road by which it came (to earthly incarnation) [5]

There, rid of its lower and heavier elements, it reposes, regenerates and imprints rudiments from the spiritual planes. Even though the human soul is not self-concious, therefore does not recall anything when it reincarnates on earth, nevertheless the higher impressions remain, as so do the subjections and the intense thought-forms during physical sleep.

Thus, death is the human soul redeemer because it liberates it from its material bonds, giving it the chance to repose, permitting it to participate in spiritual life and this participation is what revives it for its next round in the world of illusion.

Death comes to our spiritual selves ever as a deliverer and friend.” [6]

In order to exist in the astral and physical world, the human soul has to use shell – bodies made of the respective elements. The bodies embracing and limiting human soul make up its personality. Personality is the vehicle the human soul uses to live in the physical world. Because according to the fundamental law of evolution for every single soul there is “…the obligatory pilgrimage…through the Cycle of Incarnation… in accordance with Cyclic and Karmic Law… no purely spiritual Buddhi (divine Soul) can have an independent (conscious) existence before the spark which issued from the pure Essence of …. the over-Soul: has (a) passed through every elemental form of the phenomenal world of that Manvantara, and (b) acquired individuality, first by natural impulse, and then by self-induced and self-devised efforts (checked by its Karma), thus ascending through all the degrees of intelligence, from the lowest to the highest Manas…” [7]

So, there exists the personality, the mask of the Spiritual Ego, which during each ephemeral life will play a part, mainly based on the karmic motives. These motives are to be found in the Causal Body, which is “The Spiritual thinking Ego, the permanent principle in man or that which is the seat of Manas.” [8]

This Ego is the Individualtity, in fact Buddhi – Manas, the fifth element in unison with the sixth one “For it is the Buddhi-Manas which is called the Causal body, (the United 5th and 6th Principles) and which is Consciousness, that connects it with every personality it inhabits on earth.” [9]

When the Ego, in other words the causal body, uses up all of its reasons for reincarnation, Ego is then united with Buddhi and becomes a self-conscious Spiritual Soul. Then and only then does the wheel of rebirths stop at the plane hosting evoluting humanity striving unaware of the very situation, for the acquisition of its spiritual self-consciousness.

Each rebirth is a new presence of the human soul on earth, a reincarnation in a new body revived after the completion of its previous cycle. Each reincarnation is a new state different from the previous ones and as it is going on everything is subject to change, except for the spiritual archetype. These changes are conducted by the Ego i.e Manas, which if inclined towards lower nature, kama, bad karma is given shape and there follows reiteration of the lesson through a new incarnation. On the contrary, if the changes are brought about by the higher Manas or Buddhi – Manas then follows perfection of the soul’s bodies (upadhis) according to the spiritual archetype.

Intimately, or rather indissolubly, connected with Karma, then, is the law of re-birth, or of the re-incarnation of the same spiritual individuality in a long, almost interminable, series of personalities. The latter are like the various costumes and characters played by the same actor, with each of which that actor identifies himself and is identified by the public, for the space of a few hours. The inner, or real man, who personates those characters, knows the whole time that he is Hamlet for the brief space of a few acts, which represent, however, on the plane of human illusion the whole life of Hamlet. And he knows that he was, the night before, King Lear, the transformation in his turn of the Othello of a still earlier preceding night; but the outer, visible character is supposed to be ignorant of the fact. In actual life that ignorance is, unfortunately, but too real. Nevertheless, the permanent individuality is fully aware of the fact, though, through the atrophy of the ‘spiritual’ eye in the physical body, that knowledge is unable to impress itself on the consciousness of the false personality.” [10]

Death is the great benefactor of form and soul. As our body renews itself through matter, likewise our soul revives through after death-states. Those who have known the secrets of death have also known the secrets of soul and spirit.

In the Mysteries of Elefsis death was deemed benefactor and the initiates were using the expression “there is no death, death is life and life is death”. As H.P.B. mentions: “For long ages, one generation of Adepts after another has studied the mysteries of being, of life, death, and re-birth, and all have taught in their turn some of the facts so learned.” [11]

One of the main purposes of initiation was to familiarize man with the idea of death and relieve him from its fear. When man gets to know what death is in reality and understands what goes on in the afterdeath period, he becomes aware of life’s mystery.

Efronios, the ancient artist, painted on a vase, now exhibited in an american museum, the scene of Sarpidon’s death , brother of Minos and Radamanthys. The painting shows Death personified in a man accompanied by his brother Sleep, carrying the semi-god, the former supporting him at the back and the latter at his feet. These two brothers, Sleep and Death, have also been represented on Kypselos’urn, with Night appearing with the features of a woman holding two childern : a white one symbolizing Death being held by her right hand while the other one black, symbolizing Sleep, is held by her left hand. (Pausanias V, 18,1). In Homer’s Iliad II 671, the poet describes Sarpidon collapsing before the walls of Troy as the two twin brothers, Sleep and Death, are rushing to his side.

Sleep resembles death because in both occasions we lose consciousness. When we sleep our memory skips whatever has happened while awake and on the contrary when we wake up we have no consciousness or reminiscence of what happened during our sleep. Same is the case with death as well as our rebirth. We remember absolutely nothing about our previous lives or about our afterdeath life.

We have not yet acquired consciousness continuity, that is our consciousness cannot simultaneously record events through multiple and different life planes. There are consciousness stages differing from one another , which for a Mahatma ,all the same, consist a common and thorough plane of perception and life, but for the everyday human being, limited by the senses of his personality, each level not corresponding to his physical senses composes a distinct plane not contained in his memory. “Some people do recollect their past incarnations during life; but these are Buddhas and Initiates. This is what the Yogis call Samma-Sambuddha, or the knowledge of the whole series of one’s past incarnations.” [12]

Man is conscious only of his physical plane and, at times, of his astral one. Even though his senses and wishes focus on his astral body, even though his thoughts are woven in his mental body, he has no perception, himself, of all this invisible process determining his physical attitude. “The Soul (collectively, as the upper Triad) lives on three planes, besides its fourth, the terrestrial sphere; and it exists eternally on the highest of the three.” [13]

After sleep, astral memory is not maintained by the memory of the physical brain. This ,also, occurs during death and follows birth within a new body. The difference between sleep and death is that, while sleeping, man reaches only the astral world whereas with death the human soul returns to its Augoeides, for as long as the after-death period lasts. “After the separation between the life-principle (astral spirit) and the body takes place, the liberated soul-Monad, exultingly rejoins the mother-and father-spirit, the radiant Augoeides.” [14]

Esoteric Science divides the cycle of human life into two stages: earthly life and after-death life. There is aslo a third stage, that of sleep,which is similarly divided into the stage of awakening, dream and sound sleep. Man has no consciousness continuity. If he ever acquires it, there will be neither sleep nor death for him. There will only be a continuous awakening extending onto all seven planes of objective creation and will render him a self-conscious spiritual being.

“…besides the attribute of divine omniscience in its own nature and sphere of action, there exists in Eternity for the individual immortal Ego neither Past not Future, but only one everlasting PRESENT.” [15]

The revelation of death’s mystery gives man not only knowledge of the forces composing his existence but also of the causes shaping his character as well as his fate on earth and in the after-death states. The knowledge of death’s mystery offers the key to the transcendence of physical life. “He who knows the secrets of Death, knows the secrets of Life”. [16]

The whole plan of Evolution is founded on birth, life and death. The law of change and transformation brings the law of the sevenfold into manifestation. The pilgrimage of the Monad under the guidance of manifested laws intends to identify it with the Universal Monad. Earthly life is but a moment in eternity and its experience is nothing but a drop in the ocean of eternal wisdom. Man’s identification with the earthly and therefore with matter is only interrupted by indispensable death. So, the soul’s return onto earth through a personality exists only because of this identification with the transient and its attachment to illusion.

We suffer because we are ignorant of the true purpose in life and the target of evolution which is our equivalence to our immortal spiritual model. Human life is just a transition through the lower planes of creation, a succession of transient experiences which aided by individual intelligence and choice, steel our will for our next flight to the higher world of wisdom and spirituality.

Our presence on planet- earth is a return trip to our spiritual cradle wherefrom we once started. It is a pilgrim’s voyage during which man undertakes the responsibility to distinguish good from evil, transient from eternal. With his presence and participation in the earthly matters he develops his will, wisdom and unselfishness. These are the attributes and gifts of our higher nature, our Spiritual Self. And it is these attributes that hand us the credentials to the eternal spiritual world.

Grief, poverty, war, separation from our loved ones, personal incapacity compose the resistance brought forward by Universal Law so we can keep our distance from being identified with the transient which, due to illusion, we consider eternal. There is no death, there is only Eternal Life and Evolution towards an uppermost divine peak which human consciousness is, for the moment, unable to grasp.

The spiritual Ego of man moves in eternity like a pendulum between the hours of birth and death. But if these hours, marking the periods of life terrestrial and life spiritual, are limited in their duration, and if the very number of such stages in Eternity between sleep and awakening, illusion and reality, has its beginning and its end, on the other hand, the spiritual pilgrim is eternal. Therefore are the hours of his post-mortem life, when, disembodied, he stands face to face with truth and not the mirages of his transitory earthly existences, during the period of that pilgrimage which we call “the cycle of re-births” – the only reality in our conception. Such intervals, their limitation notwithstanding, do not prevent the Ego, while ever perfecting itself, from following undeviatingly, though gradually and slowly, the path to its last transformation, when that Ego, having reached its goal, becomes a divine being…and without such limited intervals the divine Ego could never reach its ultimate goal.” [17]

[1] The Key to Theosophy, p.11

[2] Ibid., p.121

[3] Ibid., p.121

[4] Notes on the Bhagavat Gita, by William Judge, p.79-80

[5] Ibid.

[6] The Key to Theosophy, p.161

[7] The Secret Doctrine, I 17

[8] The Key to Theosophy, p.121

[9] Ibid.

[10] The Secret Doctrine, II 306

[11] The Key to Theosophy, p.217

[12] The Key to Theosophy, p.164

[13] The Secret Doctrine, I, 244

[14] Isis Unveiled, fn:80:Vol. I, p.303

[15] An Astral Prophet, article by H.P.B.

[16] Mahatma Letters, p.365

[17] The Key to Theosophy, p.167-8

The Key to Theosophy, by H.P.Blavatsky, The Theosophy Company, 1987

THE MAHATMA LETTERS To A. P. SINNETT from THE MAHATMAS M. & K. H. Transcribed, Compiled, and with an Introduction by A. T. BARKER , First published in 1923