After Death

09/03/2011 Comments Off on After Death

After Death defined: the end of life; the total and permanent cessation of all the vital functions of an organism. After following from: subsequent to and considering. Death end of being alive: the ending of all vital functions or processes in an organism or cell

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Tibetan Buddhism “O nobly-born… the body which you have now is called the thought-body of propensities. Since you do not have a material body of flesh and blood, whatever may come–sounds, lights, or rays–are, all three, unable to harm you; you are incapable of dying. It is quite sufficient for you to know that these apparitions are your own thought-forms. Recognize this to be the Bardo (the intermediate state after death).” Bardo Thodol Tibetan Book of the Dead

Tibetan Buddhism “When the expiration hath ceased, the vital-force will have sunk into the nerve-centre of Wisdom (1) and the Knower (2) will be experiencing the Clear Light of the natural condition (3). Then the vital force, being thrown backwards and flying downwards through the right and left nerves (4) the Intermediate State (Bardo) momentarily dawns. […] At this moment, the first glimpsing of the Bardo of the Clear Light of Reality, which is the Infallible Mind of the Dharma-Kaya, is experienced by all sentient beings. […] In this third stage of the Bardo, the karmic illusions come to shine. It is very important that this Great setting-face-to-face of the Chonyid Bardo be read: it hath much power and can do much good. About this time [the deceased] can see that the share of food is being set aside, that the body is being stripped of its garments, that the place of the sleeping-rug is being swept; (5) can hear all the weeping and wailing of his friends and relatives, and, although he can see them and can hear them calling upon him, they cannot hear him calling upon them, so he goeth away displeased. At that time, sounds, lights, and rays-all three-are experienced. 0 nobly-born, thou wilt experience three Bardos, the Bardo of the moment of death, the Bardo [during the experiencing] of Reality, and the Bardo while seeking rebirth. Of these three, up to yesterday, thou hadst experienced the Bardo of the moment of death. Although the Clear Light of Reality dawned upon thee, thou wert unable to hold on, and so thou hast to wander here. Now henceforth thou art going to experience the [other] two, the Chonyid Bardo and the Sidpa Bardo. (6) Thou wilt pay undistracted attention to that with which I am about to set thee face to face, and hold on; 0 nobly-born, that which is called death hath now come. Thou art departing from this world, but thou art not the only one; [death] cometh to all. Do not cling, in fondness and weakness, to this life. Even though thou clingest out of weakness, thou hast not the power to remain here. Thou wilt gain nothing more than wandering in this Samsara. (7) Be not attached [to this world]; be not weak. Remember the Precious Trinity.(8) […] 0 nobly-born, when thy body and mind were separating, thou must have experienced a glimpse Of the Pure Truth, subtle, sparkling, bright dazzling, glorious, and radiantly awesome, in appearance like a mirage moving across a landscape in spring-time in one continuous stream of vibrations. Be not daunted thereby, nor terrified, nor awed. That is the radiance of thine own true nature. Recognize it. From the midst of that radiance, the natural sound of Reality, reverberating like a thousand thunders simultaneously sounding, will come. That is the natural sound of thine own real self. Be not daunted thereby, nor terrified, nor awed. The body, which thou hast now is called the thought-body of propensities.(9) Since thou hast not a material body of flesh and blood, whatever may come,-sounds, lights, or rays,-are, all three, unable to harm thee: thou art incapable of dying. It is quite sufficient for thee to know that these apparitions are thine own thought-forms. Recognize this to be the Bardo.” Bardo Thodol Tibetan Book of the Dead

Christianity But someone may ask, How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come? How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendour of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendour of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendour, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendour.So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? (I Corinthians 15: 35 -55, New International Version, UK)

Taoism [1] To be heavenly is to be one with the Tao; to be one with the Tao is to abide forever. This one is safe even after the body dissolves. – Tao Te Ching Verse 16 [2] A living person is soft and flexible, but upon dying becomes stiff and rigid. Thus the soft belongs to the living, and the hard to the dead. – Tao Te Ching Verse 76 (Source for the above – Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Lao Tzu – The Parallel Sayings – The Common Teachings of Four Mystical Traditions edited by Richard Hooper) [3] The true men of old knew no lust for life, no dread of death. Their entrance was without gladness, their exit, yonder, without resistance. Easy come, easy go. They did not forget where from, nor ask where to, nor drive grimly forward fighting their way through life. They took life as it came, gladly; took death as it came, without care; and went away, yonder. Yonder! (Source – Quotations from Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton, Chuang Tzu. The Way of Chuang Tzu. Translator/Editor Thomas Merton 6:1, pp. 89-90) [4] His glory is in knowing that all things come together in One and life and death are equal. (Source – Quotations from Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton, Chuang Tzu. The Way of Chuang Tzu. Translator/Editor Thomas Merton 12:2, p. 107)

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