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Some would argue that nothing happens. Others might say, "we won't know until we die". Then there are people who say there is an invisible world that cannot yet be detected by scientific instruments, where we travel in our subtle or prephysical or astral body. Spiritual science has long taught about this world. Some people travel there consciously in their subtle body. Near-death experiences (NDEs) have provided some glimpses of this world. And now there is very strong scientific proof for it.
First, there is the story of Dr Eben Alexander in his book Proof of Heaven. He is a neurosurgeon and scientist with 150 academic papers in peer-reviewed journals. Previously he considered that NDEs were fantasy, until he went into a coma due to a rare brain illness and his entire neocortex was shut down. His brain was not working at all. So, that part of him that science says is the seat of consciousness was inoperative - and yet he was experiencing being conscious. He moves through what he calls the Gateway to the heavenly Core. Now he has a story to tell. He gives a short version of his story here.
As he says, his experience is of huge importance for the world. I am happy that science in the past few centuries has broken the stranglehold of religious dogma and manipulation, but now the doctrine of reductionist science must be challenged by the truth. The refusal of reductionist science to accept a world beyond the physical Universe must surely be overcome. The central mystery of life and the Universe is this spiritual world and our spirits. Technology and exploration of the physical universe is less important than this inner journey to Spirit. It doesn't matter if the Sun dies in five billion years or if our Galaxy collides with the Andromeda Galaxy. Finally, in the scientific language of today, we have proof for life beyond death!
Second, scientists have announced some form of life after death (posted 29 August 2014, accessed 17 September 2014), based on clinical experimentation on 944 volunteers over four years. The research was conducted by a team of psychologists and medical doctors from the prestigious German research university Technical University of Berlin. All the subjects - including Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and atheists - had memories of clinical death. These memories were similar. The most common memories reported by most participants were: detachment from the body, levitation, serenity, security, warmth, dissolution, the presence of an overwhelming light.
When is death?
"All who seem to have resuscitated were never really dead, even though their heart stopped beating temporarily: to be truly dead, the heart must lose its heat. As long as you are warm, you can be brought back to life with massage or other methods, or by means of Divine Magic. But once the heat has left and the silver cord that connects the physical body to the etheric [subtle physical] and astral [desire or feeling] bodies is cut, nothing can be done for that person."
(O.M. Aїvanhov in Christmas and Easter in the initiatic tradition, pages 134-135)
Examples and related: Brian Miller; Jamie Ogg; BBC; BBC.
"...why is there a long period of distress during the process of mourning the death of a loved one? Emotion researchers such as Oatley and Johnson-Laird (1987) have tried to make sense of this aspect of the function of emotions. In their thinking, based on earlier ideas by Simon (1967), one important role of emotion may be to signal to the organism that ongoing behaviour should be interrupted to take account of a conflicting goal... Sadness during bereavement... can be seen as having the function of initiating readjustment of the life goals that included the lost one. If the association was a close one, this period of reassessing or reforming goals could be lengthy."
(Mackintosh, B. (2006) 'Emotion' in SD226 Book 6: Emotions and Mind, 2nd edn, Milton Keynes, The Open University, p.72)
"Let the dead live in peace. Don't cling to your family and friends, don't let your sorrow at their departure hold them down and, above all, don't try to communicate with them by calling them back. This only troubles them and prevents them from breaking free. Pray for them, send them your love, think of them becoming freer and freer and rising higher and higher towards the light. If you really love them, be sure that you will be with them again one day. That is the truth. How many times have I already told you this: where your heart is, there you will be one day."
(Omraam Mikhaёl Aïvanhov, in Death and the Life Beyond, p.27 & back cover)
"It is important to remember that once somebody dies, the room should be emptied of thought forms, and one should not think about them as still around. One should tune in to their higher bodies and feel that they are on a higher level of existence, and that they no longer need their old body anymore, that probably they are looking much younger, and also that they have a job to do. That does not mean that we cannot link by telepathy occasionally."
(Lilla Bek, in '18 - What are Thought Forms?' audio tape, side two, 19m3s)
*******These quotes by Aïvanhov and Bek perhaps show why living on after death as a digital avatar is surely not recommended? A digital memorial may be appropriate, but your dead interacting on social media??... After I'm dead, I want people to imagine me living in the sun or with the angels.
Resuscitation in A&E (Accident & Emergency)
This doesn't have a very high success rate, and is a very violent act, which can result in bone fractures (especially with the elderly). You have to ask who would want to die that way? Would they have quality of life after? The evidence is that often people who are resuscitated only live a few days. So, frequently it's something that doesn't work. So, often, surely the decision must be not to do it? (Notes from Open University module K260 'Death and dying', Block 4 Unit 2 p.21 Activity 2.1, audio 2.1a and especially audio 2.1b, Professor of Health and Social Policy Martin Johnson)
You can request a DNR (Don Not Resuscitate) or DNAR (Do Not Attempt Resuscitation) order. You could discuss this with your family and friends, or legal and medical professionals, and add it to your advance directive (but see what the situation is in your country), or specify it in your living will.
When the history of life on this planet is considered, it seems amazing that from an aquatic microrganism man has evolved. It seems impossible that life transformed from microrganism to fish to amphibian to reptile to bird and mammal and human. In the light of these magical transmutations, it seems reasonable to propose that man could become a being of light and love energy, a living sun. It seems that man could possibly adapt to the forces of nature so that physical death could be overcome. Simply put, immortality is achieved by transforming the physical body into subtler prephysical or light energy.
There are people in history for which this alchemy has been claimed. Essentially, this process of alchemy seems to involve contemplation of the Light. Evolutionary history has happened over millions, even billions, of years. The emerging solar culture is people who are aspiring to this state of immortal life. The process may take millions or billions of years - but surely it cannot be disproved until at least this time has elapsed, and maybe not even then!
Indeed, O.M. Aїvanhov in Christmas and Easter in the initiatic tradition (pages 113-139), talks of there being a seed within the etheric body - the subtle part of the physical body, essential for life - as having the ability to become an immortal Body of Glory. This is slowly nurtured by the likes of feeling intense joy, contemplating great beauty, by unselfish giving and luminous thoughts. It is an acorn that needs to be nurtured into a great oak. He says (p.133):
"People have been able to see the Body of Glory of certain Initiates when they were in a state of ecstasy and rapture: their faces shone, light emanated from them. In this Body an Initiate is able to voyage through space, cross mountains, even penetrate into the centre of the earth, because no material obstacle can stop him. He can even act from a distance on people in order to help them. Yes, if your own physical body is broken down you can send it help, for the physical body and the Body of Glory are two different things. You can be dying, but your Body of Glory is there alive and radiant, able to reach all creatures in space. It is possible for man to be separated from his physical body and live in his Body of Glory... and live eternally. Whereas with the physical body, nothing can be done: it cannot be strong and permanent, it must grow old and weak, and die. Only the Body of Glory is immortal, because the elements of which it is made are incorruptible, there is no disintegration."
From a different viewpoint, it is true that we are already immortal.
The spirit within is our true nature.
We need to rediscover our immortality.
"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)