What do you really think happens after death?

Witchyone

Well-known member
What do you really think/believe/feel happens to people after they die? I'm not asking what a particular faith, astrological sect, or scientific community thinks, but what you, personally, really think. Are you at all conflicted about it? I think the underpinnings of astrology rest on the idea that we all reincarnate until we reach enlightenment, but I know there are a lot of practitioners with other beliefs.

I don't know what I believe. It's not that I haven't considered it. I've considered this question ad nauseam and then left it alone when I found it unanswerable. I'm usually okay with that ambivalence, but I recently lost an old, close friend, someone I used to stay up all night talking to for hours, someone who really had a hand in shaping the person I am, someone who died far too soon, and I'm preoccupied now with where her spirit, if one actually exists separate from the body, has gone. I had the strangest sensation for about a week after her death that she was still around, checking in, being a bit bossy and nosy, honestly. And now I feel she has truly left...but to where I don't know. It's possible that what I've felt is real, and I could be in tune to her, but I'd just as easily believe that I wanted to experience her again, so I it was simply wishful/magical thinking as part of the grief process.

I doubt anyone could convince me to be certain, so I'm not really asking for that, but I'm curious about your musings and convictions.

If people could just share and not fight about religion, that would be swell.
 

Sagcap88

Well-known member
I’m so sorry for your loss! Sending you good vibes. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. ❤️❤️❤️

I think that what happens after death is dependent on the individual’s consciousness. If a Christian believes they’ll be in heaven with Jesus, they will. If a Jew believes they’ll be in the World to Come, they will. If someone believes they’ll be reincarnated, they will. That’s all assuming they were a decent person.

However, for people who hurt others with no remorse and did horrific things, I believe their soul ceases to exist or maybe they get reincarnated into a lowly life form like a rock that everyone steps on. I think atheists just cease to exist since they believe nothing exists on the other side. What you think has a lot to do with your reality.

I believe in heaven (and that decent people and all animals go there.) I also believe in reincarnation (til we get it right.)
 

JUPITERASC

Well-known member
At present you find it hard to bear the minor discomfort of a prickly thorn or the heat of the sun.
But what about the anguish you will have to face at the time of death?
Dying is not like a fire going out, or like water soaking away into the earth.
Consciousness continues; when you die, your consciousness has to abandon your body
accompanied only by the karmic impressions left by your previous positive and negative actions.
It is then forced to wander in the different pathways of the bardo, the transitory state
between death and a new existence.
The bardo is a frightening, unknown place, sometimes incredibly dark and opaque
without an instant of peace.
During your time in the bardo you will sometimes hear terrifying noises
or see horrific things.
Like a criminal taken to the execution ground, you may be pushed and pulled by messengers of Yama
the lord of death, shouting, "Kill him!" and "Bring him here!" It is not a place of comfort and ease.
The terrible sufferings of the bardo
are followed by the sufferings of the next life, whatever that may be.
The suffering you will have to undergo
is the unfailing result of negative actions committed in the past.
Neglecting the Dharma, you have indulged in negativity over countless lifetimes.
As the Buddha pointed out in the Sutra of the Sublime Dharma of Clear Recollection :smile:
if you were to heap up all the limbs from the innumerable lifetimes you have lived
even just those in which you were reborn as an ant
the pile would be higher than the highest mountain on earth.
If you were to collect all the tears you have shed in past lives
when your aims were not realized
they would form an ocean bigger than all the oceans of the earth put together.
Once a Khampa came to see Drubthop Choyung, one of Lord Gampopa's foremost disciples
and, offering him a length of cloth, requested teachings.
Several times, despite his insistent pleas, Drupthop Choyung put him off.
But again the Khampa insisted, and finally the master took the man's hands in his
and said, three times, "I will die, you will die."
And then he added, "That's all my guru taught me; that's all I practice.
Just meditate on that.
I promise there is nothing greater."
Gyalwa Gotsangpa said:
Meditate on death and impermanence
And you will sever ties to your homeland,
Entangling attachments to your relatives,
And craving for food and wealth.

The thought of death turns your mind toward the Dharma
it inspires your endeavor, and finally, it helps you
to recognize the radiant clarity of the dharmakaya.
It should always remain a major subject of your meditations.
- Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
- The Heart of Compassion - Shambhala Publications


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JUPITERASC

Well-known member
Have you read THE TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD?
A book well worth reading more than once :smile:
available on amazon



294193.jpg



The most graceful English translation of this masterpiece of world literature
- prepared with the participation of the Dalai Lama
and eminent contemporary masters of this tradition
appointed by the Dalai Lama
One of the greatest works created by any culture

and one of the most influential of all Tibetan Buddhist texts in the West
THE TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD
has had a number of distinguished translations
but strangely all of these have been partial abridgements.
Now the entire text has not only been made available in English
but in a translation of quite remarkable clarity and beauty.

A comprehensive guide to living and dying
THE TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD
contains exquisitely written guidance and practices
related to transforming our experience in daily life
on the processes of dying and the after-death state
and on how to help those who are dying.
As originally intended
this is as much a work for the living
as it is for those who wish to think beyond
a mere conventional lifetime
to a vastly greater and grander cycle.

'Extraordinary ... this work will be a source of inspiration and support to many'
His Holiness the Dalai Lama

About the authors:
Commentary by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Thupten Jinpa is the senior translator to the Dalai Lama
and President of the Institute of Tibetan Classics.
Graham Coleman is founder of the Orient Foundation for Arts and Culture
a major Tibetan cultural conservancy organization
and writer-director of the acclaimed feature documentary
Tibet: A Buddhist Trilogy.
Gyurme Dorje is a leading scholar of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism
from which the Tibetan Book of the Dead literature derives.
 

Witchyone

Well-known member
Many thanks, everyone. I wasn't sure what I was looking for when I posted this, but I think the reading suggestions are exactly what I need, something ancient, philosophical but practical, and large-minded. I have not yet read The Book of the Dead.
 

greybeard

Well-known member
The worms eat me. I am happy and unafraid.

Human beings seem to have an innate fear of their mortality. We think we are some sort of special creation, above the animals (are we not an animal?), and therefore going to live forever and ever. We speak of "our immortal soul". I find that such a hard pill to swallow.

Yet I know, beyond any doubt, that I am the Never born and the Never dying. I am that which was, and is, and will be, and that which is not.

I hope the worms enjoy the banquet and grow fat and sassy.
 
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JUPITERASC

Well-known member
The worms eat me. I am happy and unafraid.

Human beings seem to have an innate fear of their mortality. We think we are some sort of special creation, above the animals (are we not an animal?), and therefore going to live forever and ever. We speak of "our immortal soul". I find that such a hard pill to swallow.

Yet I know, beyond any doubt, that I am the Never born and the Never dying. I am that which was, and is, and will be, and that which is not.

I hope the worms enjoy the banquet and grow fat and sassy.
quote-there-is-no-way-to-escape-death-it-is-just-like-trying-to-escape-by-four-great-mountains-dalai-lama-59-42-34.jpg





dalailama-daily-practice.jpg
 

IleneK

Premium Member
No one know what really happens after death. No one.

So best to live your life to the fullest, be kind to yourself and others, appreciate all the beauty and bounty, genuinely sympathize with all suffering and mourn the continuous flow of loss.
Get on with this life, this moment!
It is all we can really know.
 

waybread

Well-known member
You might enjoy reading these books by Prof. Jim Tucker, MD: Life Before Life and Return to Life. He's a medical school professor of child psychiatry at the University of Virginia who specializes in interviewing young children who recall past lives. Then he and his team go out and try to verify that the recalled person actually existed, with life details matching the child's recollections.

He's got pages on methodology, designed to show his critics how his studies are carefully controlled to prevent bias. This makes the second book a little more interesting, but they're both good.

Basically Tucker doesn't claim that everyone reincarnates, as this would lie beyond the bounds of his research; but he does say that the children display no sense of being punished or rewarded for their past life.

I know the feeling that a deceased loved one is near you during the days after death. I had this when my brother died. Interesting, because although our relationship was cordial, there wasn't a close emotional bond and we lived a long ways away from each other. It's not like his personality, more like just a consistent presence.
 

Witchyone

Well-known member
The worms eat me. I am happy and unafraid.

Human beings seem to have an innate fear of their mortality. We think we are some sort of special creation, above the animals (are we not an animal?), and therefore going to live forever and ever. We speak of "our immortal soul". I find that such a hard pill to swallow.

Yet I know, beyond any doubt, that I am the Never born and the Never dying. I am that which was, and is, and will be, and that which is not.

I hope the worms enjoy the banquet and grow fat and sassy.

This is poetic, but how can you both _know_ that you are an immortal soul and also find it a hard pill to swallow?

And yes, of course we have a fear of death and survival instinct, just as all animals do. We're just the only ones who can contemplate it far in advance.

I'm not looking for general life advice. I am grieving an important person who I will never see again in this lifetime if ever. It's not abstract and philosophical for me at this moment.


Edit: Reading over this comment, it appears harsher than intended. I'm having one of those crying days over my friend, so please excuse.
 
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IleneK

Premium Member
Dear WitchyOne.
I am sorry for your loss and your grief. Truly.
Very kind regards,
Ilene

This is poetic, but how can you both _know_ that you are an immortal soul and also find it a hard pill to swallow?

And yes, of course we have a fear of death and survival instinct, just as all animals do. We're just the only ones who can contemplate it far in advance.

I'm not looking for general life advice. I am grieving an important person who I will never see again in this lifetime if ever. It's not abstract and philosophical for me at this moment.


Edit: Reading over this comment, it appears harsher than intended. I'm having one of those crying days over my friend, so please excuse.
 

petosiris

Banned
What is the top painting? I think I've seen it before, maybe in a philosophy or art history class or in random reading.

Bhavacakra - http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Wheel_of_Life.

Offtopic - I've always wondered about the archetypal connections of the twelve nidanas and the twelve houses in the Hellenistic tradition according to Hermes.

http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Twelve_Links_of_Dependent_Origination

You have the I house of self embodying ignorance.
The II succeeds the first - formation, karma, it connects to action via trine.
The XII precedes the I and is called ''metacosmic'' - between worlds in the Hellenistic tradition - it signifies the time before birth, but also the opposite of life.

The IV represents the five skandhas, and is the ''Foundation'' of the chart.
The V arises from joy and has affiliation with Venus and the senses.
The III precedes the IV and represents consciousness.

And again the VII represents every kind of sensation, and in the Hellenistic tradition it signifies both danger and marriage (yeah).
The VIII signifies craving because of its connection to property and livelihood.
The VI has to do with touch which can be likened to Mars

And finally the X represents ''action'' or karma in both systems.
The XI signifies that which succeds the action - rebirth.
The IX precedes as fuel for karma and samsara.
 
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waybread

Well-known member
Witchyone, I'm sorry for your loss, as well. It's especially heartbreaking to lose a young person like this.

I hope you don't feel your thread is being hijacked.
 
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