About LIFE AFTER DEATH - written 25 years before this was known in the west through the books on NEAR-DEATH-EXPERIENCE:
Same on nordic language on link here
From T.LOBSANG RAMPA's book:
"THE THIRD EYE"
As for all of his books - he claims they are absolutely true -
and the people who KNOWS IN THEMSELVES - can recognise the wisdom…
HERE extract from chapter 10/page 100 in one of the WISDOMSBOOKS from Rampa. Some headlines added.
IT may be of some interest to give here some details of our way of life. Our religion is a form of Buddhism, but there is no word which can be transliterated. We refer to it as "The Religion", and to those of our faith as "Insiders". Those of other beliefs are termed "Outsiders". The nearest word, already known in the West, is Lamaism. It departs from Buddhism in that ours is a religion of hope and a belief in the future. Buddhism, to us, seems negative, a religion of despair. We certainly do not think that an all-seeing father is watching and guarding everyone, everywhere.
Many learned people have passed erudite comment on our religion. Many of them have condemned us because they were blinded by their own faith, and could see no other point of view. Some have even called us "satanic" because our ways are alien to them. Most of these writers have based their opinions on hearsay or on the writings of others. Possibly a very few have studied our beliefs for a few days and have then felt competent to know all, to write books on the subject, and to interpret and make known that which it takes our cleverest sages a lifetime to discover.
Imagine the teachings of a Buddhist or Hindu who had flipped the pages of the Christian Bible for an hour or two and then tried to explain all the subtler points of Christianity! None of these writers on Lamaism has lived as a monk in a lamasery from early boyhood and studied the Sacred Books. These Books are secret; secret because they are not available to those who want quick, effortless and cheap salvation. Those who want the solace of some ritual, some form of self-hypnosis, can have it if it will help them.
It is not the Inner Reality, but childish self-deception. To some it may bevery comforting to think that sin after sin can be committed and then, when the conscience prods too much, a gift of some kind to the nearest temple will so overwhelm the gods with gratitude, that forgiveness will be immediate, all-embracing, and certain, and will enable one to indulge in a fresh set of sins. There is a God, a Supreme Being. What does it matter what we call Him? God is a fact.
Tibetans who have studied the true teachings of Buddha never pray for mercy or for favours, but only that they may receive justice from Man. A Supreme Being, as the essence of justice, cannot show mercy to one and not to another, because to do so would be a denial of justice. To pray for mercy or for favours, promising gold or incense if the prayer is answered, is to imply that salvation is available to the highest bidder, that God is short of money and can be "bought".
Man can show mercy to Man, but very rarely does; the Supreme Being can show only justice. We are immortal souls. Our prayer:
"Om! ma-ni pad-me Hum!"- which is written below - is often translated literally as "Hail to the Jewel of the Lotus!" We who have gone a little further know that the true meaning is "Hail to Man's Overself!"(the prayer Om-mani-padme-Hum, in tibetan)
There is no death. As one doffs one's clothes at the end of day, so does the soul doff the body when the latter sleeps. As a suit of clothes is discarded when worn out, so does the soul discard the body when the latter is worn or torn. Death is Birth. Dying is merely the act of being born in another plane of existence. Man, or the spirit of Man, is eternal. The body is but the temporary garment that clothes the spirit, to be chosen according to the task in hand upon earth. Outward appearance does not matter. The soul within does. A great prophet may come in the guise of a pauper-how better can one judge of Man's charity to Man ! - while one who has sinned in a past life when there is not poverty to drive him on.
"The Wheel of Life" is what we call the act of being born, living on some world, dying, going back to the spirit state, and in time being reborn in different circumstances and conditions. A man may suffer much in a life, it does not necessarily mean that he was evil in a past life; it may be the best and quickest way of learning certain things. Practical experience is a better teacher than hearsay! One who commits suicide may be reborn to live out the years cut short in the past life, but it does not follow that all who die young, or as babies, were suicides. The Wheel of Life applies to all, beggars and kings, men and women, coloured people and white. The Wheel is but a symbol of course, but one which makes matters clear to those who have no time to make a long study of the subject. One cannot explain Tibetan belief in a paragraph or two: the Kangyur, or Tibetan Scriptures, consist of over a hundred books on the subject, and even then it is not fully dealt with. There are many books hidden within remote lamaseries, which are seen by Initiates alone.
For centuries peoples of the East have known of the various occult forces and laws and that these were natural. Instead of trying to disprove such forces on the grounds that as they could not be weighed or tested with acids, they could not exist, Eastern scientists and researchers have striven to increase their command over these laws of nature. The mechanics of clairvoyance, for example, did not interest us, the results of clairvoyance did. Some people doubt clairvoyance; they are like the born blind who say that sight is impossible because they have not experienced it, because they cannot understand how an object some distance away can be seen when there is clearly no contact between it and the eyes!
People have auras, coloured outlines which surround the body, and by the intensity of those colours those experienced in the art can deduce a person's health, integrity, and general state of evolution. The aura is the radiation of the inner life force, the ego, or soul. Around the head is a halo, or nimbus, which also is part of the force. At death the light fades as the ego leaves the body on its journey to the next stage of existence. It becomes a "ghost". It drifts a little, perhaps dazed by the sudden shock of being free of the body. It may not be fully aware of what is happening. That is why lamas attend the dying that they may be informed of the stages through which they will pass. If this is neglected, the spirit may be earthbound by desires of the flesh. It is the duty of the priests to break these ties.
At frequent intervals we had a service for Guiding the "Ghosts". Death has no terror for Tibetans, but we believe that one can have an easier passage from this life to the next if certain precautions are taken. It is necessary to follow clearly defined paths, and to think along certain lines. The service would be conducted in atemple with about three hundred monks present. In the centre of the temple would be a group of perhaps five telepathic lamas sitting in a circle, face to face. As the monks, led by an abbot, chanted, the lamas would try to maintain telepathic contact with distressed souls. No translation from the Tibetan Prayers can do full justice to them, but this is an attempt:
"Hear the voices of our souls, all you who wander unguided in the Borderlands. The living and the dead live in worlds apart. Where can their faces be seen and their voices heard? The first stick of incense is lit to summon a wandering ghost that he may be guided.
"Hear the voices of our souls, all you who wander. This is the World of Illusion. Life is but a dream. All that are born must die. Only the Way of Buddha leads to eternal life. The third stick of incense is lit to summon a wandering ghost that he may be guided.
"Hear the voices of our souls all you of great power, you who have been enthroned with mountains and rivers under your rule. Your reigns have lasted but a moment, and the complaints of your peoples have never ceased. The earth runs with blood, and the leaves of the trees are swayed by the sighs of the oppressed. The fourth stick of incense is lit to summon the ghosts of kings and dictators that they may be guided.
"Hear the voices of our souls, all you warriors who have invaded, wounded and killed. Where are your armies now? The earth groans, and weeds grow over the battlefields. The fifth stick of incense is lit to summon lonely ghosts of generals and lords for guidance.
"Hear the voices of our souls, all artists and scholars, you who have worked at painting and writing. In vain you have strained your sight and worn down your ink-slabs. Nothing of you is remembered, and your souls must continue on. The sixth stick of incense is lit to summon the ghosts of artists and scholars for guidance.
"Hear the voices of our souls, beautiful virgins and ladies of high degree whose youth could be compared to a fresh spring morning. After the embrace of lovers comes the breaking of hearts. The autumn, then the winter, comes, trees and flowers fade, as do beauty, and become but skeletons. The seventh stick of incense is lit to summon the wandering ghosts of virgins and ladies of high degree that they may be guided away from the ties of the world.
"Hear the voices of our souls, all beggars and thieves and those who have committed crimes against others and who cannot now obtain rest. You soul wanders friendless in the world, and you have not justice within you. The eighth stick of incense is lit to summon all those ghosts who have sinned and who now wander alone.
"Hear the voices of our souls, prostitutes, women of the night, and all those that have been sinned against and who now wander alone in ghostly realms. The ninth stick of incense is lit to summon them for guidance that they may be freed from the bonds of the world."
In the incense-laden dusk of the temple the flickering butter-lamps would cause living shadows to dance behind the golden images. The air would grow tense with the concentration of the telepathic monks as they strove to maintain contact with those who had passed from the world, yet were still bound to it.
Russet-robed monks sitting in lines facing each other, would intone the Litany of the Dead, and hidden drums would beat out the rhythm of the human heart.
From other parts of the temple, as in the living body, would come the growling of internal organs, the rustling of body fluids, and the sighing of air in the lungs. As the ceremony continued, with directions to those who had passed over, the tempo of the body sounds would change, become slow, until at last would come the sounds of the spirit leaving the body. A rustling, quavering gasp, and-silence. The silence that comes with death. Into that silence would come an awareness, discernible to even the least psychic, that other things were around, waiting, listening. Gradually, as the telepathic instruction continued, the tension would lessen as the unquiet spirits moved on towards the next stage of their journey.
We believe, firmly, that we are reborn time after time. But not merely to this earth. There are millions of worlds, and we know that most of them are inhabited. Those inhabitants may be in very different forms to those we know, they may be superior to humans.
The UFO's and life in cosmos
We in Tibet have never subscribed to the view that Man is the highest and most noble form of evolution. We believe that much higher life forms are to be found elsewhere, and they do not drop atom bombs. In Tibet I have seen records of strange craft in the skies. "The chariots of the Gods" most people called them. The Lama Mingyar Dondup told me that a group of lamas had established telepathic communication with these "gods", who said that they were watching Earth, apparently in much the same way as humans watch wild and dangerous animals in a zoo.
Levitation and astral travelling - and so under sleep
Much has been written about levitation. It is possible, as I have often seen it, but it takes much practice. There is no real point in engaging in levitation as there is a far simpler system. Astral travelling is easier and surer. Most lamas do it, and anyone who is prepared to use some patience can indulge in the useful and pleasant art.
carcrashes may drive the person out of his body - lying on the stretcher - hurted near death - here the astral floating over..
During our waking hours on Earth our ego is confined to the physical body, and unless one is trained it is not possible to separate them. When we sleep it is only the physical body which needs rest, the spirit disengages itself and usually goes to the spirit realm in much the same way as a child returns home at the end of the school day. The ego and physical bodies maintain contact by means of the "silver cord", which is capable of unlimited extension. The body stays alive so long as the silver cord is intact; at death the cord is severed as the spirit is born into another life in the spirit world, just as a baby's umbilical cord is severed to part it from its mother. Birth, to a baby, is death to the sheltered life it led within the mother's body. Death, to the spirit, is birth again into the freer world of spirit. While the silver cord is intact, the ego is free to roam during sleep, or consciously in the case of those specially trained.
The roaming of the spirit produces dreams, which are impressions transmitted along the silver cord. As the physical mind receives them they are "rationalized" to fit in with one's earth belief. In the world of spirit there is no time-"time" is a purely physical concept - and so we have cases where long and involved dreams seem to occur in the fraction of a second.
Probably everyone has had a dream in which a person far away, perhaps across the oceans, has been met and spoken to. Some message may have been given, and on awakening there is usually a strong impression of something that should be remembered. Frequently there is the memory of meeting a distant friend or relative and it is no surprise to hear from that person within a very short time. In those who are untrained, the memory is often distorted and the result is an illogical dream or nightmare.
In Tibet we travel much by astral projection-not by levitation -and the whole process is within our control. The ego is made to leave the physical body, although still connected to it by the silver cord. One can travel where one wills, as quickly as one can think. Most people have the ability to engage in astral travel. Many have actually started out, and being untrained, have experienced a shock. Probably everyone has had the sensation of just drifting off to sleep and then, without apparent reason, being violently awakened by a sudden powerful jerk. This is caused by too rapid exteriorization of the ego, an ungentle parting of physical and astral bodies. It causes contraction of the silver cord, and the astral is snatched back into the physical vehicle. It is a much worse feeling when one has travelled and is returning. The astral is floating many feet above the body, like a balloon at the end of a string. Something, perhaps some external noise, causes the astral to return to the body with excessive rapidity. The body awakens suddenly, and there is the horrible feeling that one has fallen off a cliff and awakened just in time.
Astral travelling, under one's full control, and while fully conscious, can be accomplished by almost anyone. It needs practice, but above all, in the early stages, it demands privacy, where one can be alone without fear of interruption. This is not a textbook of metaphysics, so there is no point in giving instructions on astral travelling, but it should be emphasized that it can be a disturbing experience unless one has a suitable teacher. There is no actual danger, but there is a risk of shocks and emotional disturbances if the astral body is allowed to leave or return to the physical body out of phase or coincidence. People with heart weaknesses should never practise astral projection. While there is no danger in projection itself, there is grave danger to those with a weak heart-if another person enters the room and disturbs the body or cord. The resulting shock could prove fatal, and this would be very in-convenient indeed as the ego would have to be reborn to finish that particular span of life before it could progress to the next stage.
"Fall of Man"
We Tibetans believe that everyone before the Fall of Man had the ability to travel in the astral, see by clairvoyance, telepathize, and levitate. Our version of that Fall is that Man abused the occult powers and used them for self-interest instead of for the development of mankind as a whole. In the earliest days mankind could converse with mankind by telepathy. Local tribes had their own versions of vocal speech, which they used exclusively among themselves. The telepathic speech was, of course, by thought, and could be understood by all, regardless of local language. When the power of telepathy was lost, through abuse, there was-Babel!
Tibetan "Holy Days" and festivals
We do not have a "Sabbath" day as such: ours are "Holy Days" and are observed on the eighth and fifteenth of each month. Then there are special services and the days are regarded as sacred and no work is normally done. Our annual festivals, I have been told, correspond somewhat to the christian festivals, but my knowledge of the latter is quite insufficient for me to comment. Our festivals are:
First month, this corresponds roughly to February, from the first to the third day we celebrate Logsar. This, in the Western world, would be called the New Year. It is a great occasion for games as well as religious services. Our greatest ceremony of the whole year is held from the fourth to the fifteenth day, these are the "Days of Supplication". Our name for it is Mon-lam. This ceremony really is the highlight of the religious and secular year. On the fifteenth day of this same month we have the Anniversary of Buddha's Conception. This is not a time for games, but one of solemn thanksgiving. To complete the month, we have, on the twenty-seventh, a celebration which is partly religious, partly mythical. It is the Procession of the Holy Dagger. With that, the events of the first month are ended.
The second month, which approximates to March, is fairly free of ceremony. On the twenty-ninth day there is the Chase and Expulsion of the Demon of Ill-luck. The third month, April, also has very few public ceremonies. On the fifteenth day there is the Anniversary of Revelation.
With the arrival of the eighth day of the fourth month, May by the Western calendar, we celebrate the Anniversary of Buddha's Renunciation of the World. This, so far as I understand, is similar to the Christian Lent. We had to live even more austerely during the days of Renunciation. The fifteenth day was the Anniversary of Buddha's Death. We regarded it as the anniversary of all those who had left this life. "All Souls' Day" was another term for it. On that day we burned our sticks of incense to call the spirits of those who wandered earthbound.
It will be understood that these are merely the major festivals, there are many minor days which had to be marked, and ceremonies attended, but which are not of sufficient importance to enumerate here.
June was the month when, on the fifth day, we "medical lamas" had to attend special ceremonies at other lamaseries. The celebrations were of Thanks for the Ministrations of the Medical Monks, of which Buddha was the founder. On that day we could do no wrong, but on the day after we were certainly called to account for what our superiors imagined we had done!
The Anniversary of Buddha's Birth came on the fourth day of the sixth month, July. Then also we celebrated the First Preaching of the Law.
Harvest Festival was on the eighth day of the eighth month, October. Because Tibet is an arid country, very dry, we depended upon the rivers to a much greater extent than in other countries. Rainfall was slight in Tibet, so we combined Harvest Festival with a Water Festival, as without water from the rivers there would be no harvest from the land.
The twenty-second day of the ninth month, November, was the anniversary of Buddha's Miraculous Descent from Heaven. The next month, the tenth, we celebrated the Feast of the Lamps on the twenty-fifth day.
The final religious events of the year were on the twenty-ninth to thirtieth days of the twelfth month, which is the junction of January and February according to the Western calendar. At this time we had the Expulsion of the Old Year, and making ready for the new.
Our calendar is very different indeed from the Western: we use a sixty-year cycle and each year is indicated by twelve animals and five elements in various combinations. The New Year is in February. Here is the Year Calendar for the present Cycle which started in 1927:
1927 the Year of the Fire Hare;
1928 the Year of the Earth Dragon;
1929 the Year of the Earth Serpent;
1930 the Year of the Iron Horse;
1931 the Year of the Iron Sheep;
1932 the Year of the Water Ape;
1933 the Year of the Water Bird;
1934 the Year of the Wood Dog;
1935 the Year of the Wood Hog;
1936 the Year of the Fire Mouse;
1937 the Year of the Fire Ox;
1938 the Year of the Earth Tiger;
1939 the Year of the Earth Hare;
1940 the Year of the Iron Dragon;
1941 the Year of the Iron Serpent;
1942 the Year of the Water Horse;
1943 the Year of the Water Sheep;
1944 the Year of the Wood Ape;
1945 the Year of the Wood Bird;
1946 the Year of the Fire Dog;
1947 the Year of the Fire Hog;
1948 the Year of the Earth Mouse;
1949 the Year of the Earth Ox;
1950 the Year of the Iron Tiger;
1951 the Year of the Iron Hare;
1952 the Year of the Water Dragon;
1953 the Year of the Water Serpent;
1954 the Year of the Wood Horse;
1955 the Year of the Wood Sheep;
1956 the Year of the Fire Ape;
1957 the Year of the Fire Bird;
1958 the Year of the Earth Dog;
1959 the Year of the Earth Hog;
1960 the Year of the fron Mouse;
1961 the Year of the Iron Ox; and so on.
Astrology and foretelling future
It is part of our belief that the probabilities of the future can be foretold. To us, divination, by whatever means, is a science and is accurate. We believe in astrology. To us "astrological influences" are but cosmic rays which are "coloured" or altered by the nature of the body reflecting them to Earth. Anyone will agree that one can have a camera, and a white light and take a picture of something. By putting various filters over the camera lens - or over the light - we can arrange for certain effects on the finished photograph. We can get orthochromatic, panchromatic, or infra-red effects, to mention three out of a large number. People are affected in a similar way by the cosmic radiation impinging upon their own chemical and electrical personality.
Buddha says: "Stargazing and astrology, forecasting lucky or unfortunate events by signs, prognosticating good or evil, all these things are forbidden." But, a later Decree in one of our Sacred Books says: "That power which is given to the few by nature, and for which that individual endures pain and suffering, that may be used. No psychic power may be used for personal gain, for worldly ambition, or as proof of the reality of such powers. Only thus can those not so gifted be protected."
My Attaiument of the Third Eye had been painful, and it had increased the power with which I had been born. But in a later chapter we will return to the Opening of Third Eye. Here is a good place to mention more of astrology, and quote the names of three eminent Englishmen who have seen an astrological prophecy which came true.
Since 1027 all major decisions in Tibet have been taken with the aid of astrology. The invasion of my country by the British in 1904 was accurately foretold. On page 109 is a reproduction of the actual prophecy in the Tibetan language. (shown as a picture - not shown here)
It reads: "In the Year of the Wood Dragon. The first part of the year protects the Dalai Lama, after that fighting and quarrelling robbers come forward. There are many enemies, troublous grief by weapons will arise, and the people will fight. At the end of the year a conciliatory speaker will end the war." That was written before the year 1850, and concerns the year 1904, the "Wood-Dragon War". Colonel Younghusband was in charge of the British Forces. He saw the Prediction at Lhasa. A Mr. L. A. Waddell, also of the British Army, saw the printed Prediction in the year 1902. Mr. Charles Bell, who later went to Lhasa, also saw it. Some other events which were accurately forecast were: 1910, Chinese Invasion of Tibet; 1911, Chinese Revolution and formation of the Nationalist Government; late 1911, eviction of Chinese from Tibet; 1914, war between England and Germany; 1933, passing from this life of the Dalai Lama; 1935, return of a fresh Incarnation of the Dalai Lama; 1950, "Evil forces would invade Tibet". The Communists invaded Tibet in October 1950. Mr. Bell, later Sir Charles Bell, saw all those predictions in Lhasa. In my own case, everything foretold about me has come true. Especially the hardships. (see the book THE SAFFRON ROBE)
The Science - for science it is - of preparing a horoscope, is not one which can be dealt with in a few pages of a book of this nature. Briefly, it consists of preparing a map of the heavens as they were at the time of conception and at the time of birth. The exact hour of birth has to be known, and that time has to be translated into "star time", which is quite different from all the zone times of the world. As the speed of the Earth in its orbit is ninteeen miles a second, it will be seen that inaccuracy will make a tremendous difference. At the equator the rotational speed of the Earth is about one thousand and forty miles an hour. The world is tilted as it rolls, and the North Pole is about three thousand one hundred miles ahead of the South Pole in the autumn, but in spring the position is reversed. The longitude of the place of birth thus is of vital importance.
When the maps are prepared, those with the necessary training can interpret their meanings. The interrelationships of each and every planet has to be assessed, and the effect on the particular map calculated. We prepare a Conception Chart to know the influences in force during the very first moments of a person's existence. The Birth Map indicates the influences in force at the moment the individual enters upon an unsuspecting world. To know of the future - we prepare a map of the time for which it is desired to have the reading, and compare it with the Natal Chart. Some people say: "But can you really predict who is going to win the 2.30?" The answer is no! Not without casting the horoscope for every man, horse, and horse-owner concerned in the race. Closed eyes and a pin jabbing the starting list is the best method here. We can tell if a person will recover from an illness, or if Tom will marry Mary and live happily ever afterwards - but that deals with individuals. We can also say that if England and America do not check Communism, a war will start in the Year of the Wood Dragon, which in this cycle, is 1964. Then in that case, at the end of the century, there should be an attractive firework display to entertain any observers on Mars or Venus. Assuming that the Communists remain unchecked.
A further point which often seems to puzzle those of the Western world is the question of tracing one's past lives. People who have no skill in the matter say that it cannot be done, just as a totally deaf man might say: "I hear no sound, therefore there is no sound." It is possible to trace previous lives. It takes time, much working out of charts and calculations. A person may stand at an airport and wonder about the last calls of arriving aircraft. The onlookers perhaps can make a guess, but the control tower staff, with their specialized knowledge can say. If an ordinary sightseer has a list of aircraft registration letters and numbers, and a good timetable, he may be able to work out the ports of call himself. So can we with past lives. It would need a complete book at least to make the process clear and so it would be useless to delve more deeply now. It may be of interest to say what points Tibetan astrology covers.
More of Tibetan astrology
We use nineteen symbols in the twelve Houses of Astrology. Those symbols indicate:
- Personality and self-interest;
- Finances, how one can gain or lose money;
- Relations, short journeys, mental and writing ability;
- Property and the conditions at the close of life;
- Children, pleasures and speculations;
- Illness, work, and small animals;
- Partnerships, marriage, enemies and lawsuits;
- Long journeys and psychic matters;
- Profession and honours;
- Friendships and ambitions;
- Troubles, restraints, and occult sorrows.
- We can also tell the approximate time, or under what conditions, the following incidents will occur:
- Love, the type of person and the time of meeting;
- Marriage, when, and how it will work out;
- Passion, the "furious temper" kind;
- Catastrophe, and how it will occur, or if it will;
- Death, when and how;
- Prison, or other forms of restraint;
- Discord, usually family or business quarrels;
- Spirit, the stage of evolution reached.
Although I do astrology quite a lot, I find psychometry and "crystal gazing" much more rapid and no with less accurate. It is also easier when one is bad at figures! Psychometry is the art of picking up faint impressions of past events from an article. Everyone has this ability to some extent. People enter an old church or temple, hallowed by the passing years, and will say: "What a calm, soothing atmosphere!" But the same people will visit the site of a gruesome murder and exclaiin: "Oh! I don't like it here, it is eerie, let's get out."
Crystal gazing is somewhat different. The "glass"- as mentioned above - is mere a focus for the rays from the Third Eye in much the same way as X-rays are brought to focus on a screen, and show a fluorescent picture. There is no magic at all involved, it is merely a matter of utilizing natural laws.
In Tibet we have monuments to "natural laws". Our chortens, which range in size from five feet to fifty feet high, are symbols, which compare with a crucifix, or ikon. All over Tibet these chortens stand. On the sketch, map of Lhasa - five are shown, the Pargo Kaling is the largest, and is one of the gates of the city.
Chortens are always of the shape shown in the illustration below(not shown here). The square indicates the solid foundation of Earth. Upon it rests the Globe of Water, surmounted by a Cone of Fire. Above this is a Saucer of Air, and higher, the wavering Spirit (Ether) which is waiting to leave the world of materialism. Each element is reached by way of the Steps of Attainment. The whole symbolizes the Tibetan belief. We come to Earth when we are born. During our life we climb upwards, or try to, by way of the Steps of Attainment. Eventually, our breath fails, and we enter into the spirit. Then, after a varying interval, we are reborn, to learn another lesson.
The Wheel of Life symbolizes the endless round of birth-life-death-spirit-birth-life, and so on. Many ardent students make the serious mistake of thinking that we believe in those horrid hells sometimes pictured on the Wheel. A few illiterate savages may, but not those who have received enlightenment. Do Christians really believe that when they die Satan and Company get busy with the roasting and racking? Do they believe that if they go to the Other Place (being one of the minority!) they sit on a cloud in a nightshirt and take lessons in harp-playing? We believe that we learn on Earth, and that on Earth we get our roasting and racking". The Other Place, to us, is where we go when out of the body, where we can meet entities who also are out of the body. This is not spiritualism. It is instead a belief that during sleep, or after death, we are free to wander in astral planes. Our own term for the higher reaches of these planes is "The Land of the Golden Light". We are sure that when we are in the astral, after death, or when asleep, we can meet those we love, because we are in harmony with them. We cannot meet those we dislike, because that would be a state of disharmony, and such conditions cannot exist in the Land of the Golden Light.
All these things have been proved by time, and it does seem rather a pity that Western doubt and materialism have prevented the Science from being properly investigated. Too many things have been scoffed at in the past, and then proved right by the passage of the years. Telephones, radio, television, flying, and many more.
MORE ON LIFE AFTER DEATH FROM THE SAME BOOK
Also from page 173 he goes more into the theme on life after death:
Before going on to deal with the disposal of dead bodies, it may be advisable to write some more about the Tibetan views on death. Our attitude is quite different from that of Western peoples. To us a body is nothing more than a "shell", a material covering for the immortal spirit. To us a dead body is worth less than an old, worn-out suit of clothes. In the case of a person dying normally, that is, not by sudden unexpected violence, we consider the process to be like this: the body is diseased, faulty, and has become so uncomfortable for the spirit that no further lessons can be learned. So it is time to discard the body. Gradually the spirit withdraws and exteriorizes outside the flesh-body. The spirit form has exactly the same outline as the material version, and can very clearly be seen by a clairvoyant.
At the moment of death, the cord joining the physical and spirit bodies (the "Silver Cord" of the Christian Bible) thins and parts, and the spirit drifts off. Death has then taken place. But birth into a new life, for the "cord" is similar to the umbilical cord - which is severed to launch a new-born baby to a separate existence. At the moment of death the Glow of Life-force is extinguished from the head. This Glow also can be seen by a clairvoyant, and in the Christain Bible is referred to as "The Golden Bowl". Not being a Christian I am not familiar with the Book, but I believe there is a reference to "Lest the Silver Cord be severed, and the Golden Bowl be shattered".
Three days, we say, is the time it takes for a body to die, for all the physical activity to cease, and the spirit, soul, or ego, to become quite free of its fleshly envelope. We believe that there is an etheric double formed during the life of a body. This "double" can become a ghost. Probably everyone has looked at a strong light, and on turning away apparently saw the light still. We consider that life is electric, a field of force, and the etheric double remaining at death is similar to the light one sees after looking at a strong source, or, in electrical terms, it like a strong residual maguetic field. If the body had strong reasons for clinging to life, then there is a strong etheric, which forms a ghost and haunts the familiar scenes. A miser may have such an attachment for his money-bags that he has his whole focus upon them. At death probably his last thought will be of fright concerning the fate of his money, so in his dying moment he adds to the strength of his etheric. The lucky recipient of the money-bags may feel somewhat uncomfortable in the small hours of the night. He may feel that "Old So-and-so is after his money again". Yes, he is right, Old So-and-so's ghost is probably very cross that his (spirit) hands cannot get a grip on that money!
Three basic bodies
There are three basic bodies; the flesh body in which the spirit can learn the hard lessons of life; the etheric, or "magnetic" body which is made by each of us by our lusts, greeds, and strong passions of various kinds. The third body is the spirit body, the "Immortal Soul". That is our Lamaist belief and not necessarily the orthodox Buddhist belief. A person dying has to go through three stages: his physical body has to be disposed of, his etheric has to be dissolved, and his spirit has to be helped on the road to the World of Spirit. The ancient Egyptians also believe in the etheric double, in the Guides of the Dead, and in the World of Spirit. In Tibet we helped people before they were dead. The adept had no need of such help, but the ordinary man or woman, or trappa, had to be guided the whole way through. It may be of interest to describe what happens.
GUIDING THE DEAD - SOULGUIDING
One day the Honourable Master of Death sent for me. "It is time you studied the practical methods of Freeing the Soul, Lobsang. This day you shall accompany me."
We walked down long corridors, down slippery steps, and into the trappas' quarters. Here, in a "hospital room" an elderly monk was approaching that road we all must take. He had had a stroke and was very feeble His strength was failing and his auric colours were fading as I watched. At all costs he had to be kept conscious until there was no more life to maintain that state. The lama with me took the old monk's hands and gently held them. "You are approaching the release from toils of the flesh, Old Man. Heed my words that you may choose the easy path. Your feet grow cold. Your life is edging up, closer and closer to its final escape. Compose your mind, Old Man, there is naught to fear. Life is leaving your legs, and your sight grows dim. The cold is creeping upwards, in the wake of your waning life. Compose your mind, Old Man, for there is naught to fear in the escape of life to the Greater Reality. The shadows of eternal night creep upon your sight, and your breath is rasping in your throat. The time draws near for the release of your throat. The time draws near for the release of your spirit to enjoy the pleasures of the After World. Compose yourself, Old Man. Your time of release is near."
The lama all the time was stroking the dying man from the collar bone to the top of his head in away which has been proved to free the spirit painlessly. All the time he was being told of the pitfalls on the way, and how to avoid them. His route was exactly described, the route which has been mapped by those telepathic lamas who have passed over, and continued to talk by telepathy even from the next world.
"Your sight has gone, Old Man, and your breath is failing within you. Your body grows cold and the sounds of this life are no longer heard by your ears. Compose yourself in peace, Old Man, for your death is now upon you. Follow the route we say, and peace and joy will be yours."
The stroking continued as the old man's aura began to diminish even more, and finally faded away. A sudden sharp explosive sound was uttered by the lama in an age-old ritual to completely free the struggiing spirit. Above the still body the lifeforce gathered in a cloudlike mass, swirling and twisting as if in confusion, then forming into a smokelike duplicate of the body - to which it was still attached by the silver cord. Gradually the cord thinned, and as a baby is born when the umbilical cord is severed, so was the old man born into the next life. The cord thinned, became a mere wisp, and parted. Slowly, like a drifting cloud in the sky, or incense smoke in a temple, the form glided off. The lama continued giving instructions by telepathy to guide the spirit on the first stage of its journey. "You are dead. There is nothing more for you here. The ties of the flesh are severed. You are in Bardo. Go your way and we will go ours. Follow the route prescribed. Leave this, the World of Illusion, and enter into the Greater Reality. You are dead. Continue your way forward."
The clouds of incense rolled up, soothing the troubled air with its peaceful vibrations. In the distance drums were carrying out a rolling mutter. From some high point on the lamasery roof, a deeptoned trumpet sent its message crashing over the countryside. From the corridors outside came all the sounds of vigorous life, the "sussh sussh" of felt boots and, from somewhere, the grumbling roar of a yak. Here, in this little room, was silence. The silence of death. Only the telepathic instructions of the lama rippled the surface of the room's quiet. Death, another old man had gone on his long Round of Existences, profiting by his lessons in this life, maybe, but destined to continue until he reached Buddhahood by long, long effort.
We sat the body in the correct lotus posture and sent for those who prepare the bodies. Sent for others to continue the telepathic instruction of the departed spirit. For three days this continued, three days during which relays of lamas carried out their duties. On the morning of the fourth day, one of the Ragyab came. He was from the Disposers of the Dead colony where the Lingkhor road branches to Dechhen Dzong. With his arrival, the lamas ceased their instruction, and the body was given over to the Disposer. He doubled it up into a tight circle and wrapped it in white cloth. With an easy swing, he lifted the bundle on to his shoulders and strode off. Outside he had a yak. Without hesitation he lashed the white mass on to the beast's back, and together they marched off….
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