Death Life After

death – is there life afterwards?

It is a task that is impossible to answer if viewed from the viewpoint that everything is tangible to the physical senses. Yet nobody has been able to see a thought or a feeling. Such thing might be described by words, but cannot be proved by the science of the day. Even if we can show the influence of a thought or a feeling on a screen connected to a scanner, it does not show it as it is. If you feel love or hate it is not provable as physical evidence is. How could any biography, however detailed actually portray a life?

I had an experience some years ago that was very real to me. I was talking to a friend and listening to a recorded talk, when suddenly a huge sense of seeing my whole life at once hit me. It was such an experience that I broke into heavy sobs. A wonderful feeling of seeing all that I had been and done was breathtaking and moving me to my very depths. And even though deeply felt my friend had no idea of what I was trying to convey.

In the film Contact, Ellie, a scientist played by Jodie Foster, is being questioned about her disbelief in God by Palmer Joss, played by Matthew McConaughey. Ellie says to Palmer that there is no evidence for God scientifically, and that he cannot therefore prove his belief. She tells him she is looking for something tangible and provable. So Palmer very gently asks her if she loved her father who is now dead. Ellie, who in fact loved her father very deeply, says that yes, of course she did. Palmer then, again gently, asks her to prove it to him. She is silent because she cannot prove it with her scientific trainng.  In a similar way we cannot prove life after death, even though it is a real to us as our own feelings and thoughts.

Considering that we all have a very real and unique inner life or world we live in, the world of our feelings, our ideas, fears and even nightmares, an inner world which contains our experiences of deep hurts, of wonderful moments of insight, none of which can be proved externally in the depth it is real to the person, it is an indicator of a life not known. In the end that inner life exists even in the depths of sleep, and is the kernel of life after death, when our body has gone.

  • The easiest one for us to confront is the death of the body. This occurs when the body is badly injured, has suffered a bad illness or is dying from old age and so cannot support the intricacies of consciousness, then consciousness can longer function in the body.
  • Another one that many people are not aware of is ‘ego death’. There are many descriptions of ego death, in fact the term Ego Death is misleading, because nothing dies in this  process of enormous process of growth, instead it is a huge enlargement, a massive shift of our ideas and experience of who and what we are. The history of those who obviously have experienced this enlightened state, does not show that their experience of themselves has disappeared, it has been transformed. It occurs when we have stopped living in our thinking, beliefs and opinions – or what is sometimes thought of as our personality.

A man, Anthony, describes the experience of it by saying, ‘I was sitting opposite someone during an enlightenment intensive workshop. We had been posing the question for days – “Who are you?” Suddenly I realised that it was a silly question, because I was the answer. All thought stopped and I existed as the answer. My being had always been this. In this state there was an awareness of being connected with everything around me, in the beginning of creation. This was the first day.While in the state of simple existence I was able to observe many things I am usually not aware of. For instance while I simply existed, my usual pattern of behaviour and thought went through contortions to be the centre of attention again. I could see them almost like habits, systems, that have life, like a body does, and they were dying and twitching in their death throes. Also I saw that I knew that all thought is like a mimic, so all our thinking is like photocopies, without any real life. Also as I saw this I had an image of a monkey that was actually my normal thinking self running alongside my every motion and trying to mimic it. It was almost as if as I as a person walked along, another mechanical person ran alongside trying to keep up and mimicking everything I did in an attempt to be alive and real. Yet thought can never be life. If you think of dog, the thought can never be a living creature, just a word.’

Another person says, ‘Unexpectedly everything changed and my fundamental self was something that existed throughout all time. It didn’t have a beginning or end. There was no goal to achieve. I am.

I am a wave on a shoreless sea.
From no beginning
I travel to no goal,
Making my movements stillness.
Constantly I am arriving
And departing,
Being born and dying.
I am always with you
And yet have never been.’

Slightly different but still the same enlightenment. ‘Everything seemed to slip away and I felt as if I melted back into the primal being of the universe. It didn’t seem as if my ego was gone, just melted into everything else. It was blissful.’

It is our thoughts that are the means of knowing a person can survive after death:

Example: I know from personal experience what it is like to talk as the apparently dead to the living. This is because I had an extraordinary out of body experience. I had suddenly felt as if I were shooting upwards and experienced a feeling of coming out of pressure and was now free – like a cork out of a bottle. Then I was awake and looking down at my sleeping body and suddenly felt terrified (I realised afterwards it was terror that I was dying). Then I remembered reading about experiences such as this and was laughing uncontrollably through release from terror. Then I was travelling across the German countryside where I was living, curled up with my knees to my chest, and found myself standing in our sitting room at home in London.

It was such an astonishing experience I stood in shock looking down at my body, feeling it and trying to understand.

My body felt solid and real and I was dressed in outdoor clothes not my pyjamas. Then with great enthusiasm I looked up and saw my mother sitting alone knitting, our Alsatian dog lying asleep in front of the gas fire. I felt sure my mother would see me because I felt physically present and absolutely and vitally awake in a way I had never experienced before. So I called out to her, “Mum, look what has happened.” She stopped knitting for a moment but obviously didn’t see me or hear me. So I felt if I shouted this would reach her. “Mum” I shouted, “look it’s me Tony”.

There was no obvious sign that she had heard me, but two things did happen. One was that I saw or realised that she had an upstairs side of her and a downstairs side. Her upstairs (conscious) side had no awareness of me, but her downstairs side (unconscious) gave me a wonderful welcome and I had the awareness of us knowing each other in a formless love. Then at the same time my dog must have heard me shout because he woke and came rushing to me and was so full of love for me he rushed around where I stood barking and showing his joy. I later heard from my mother saying she had had been alone that night as my father was out, and she had seen the dog get up and bark and jump around for no apparent reason.

I learned enormous and important lessons from that. I saw that because I was present without a physical body my mother couldn’t hear me. She needed physical sound to know I was present, but yet another part of her knew and responded. So I saw that if she had thought of me and spoken to me I would know, even though she might not be able to hear my reply – unless she was a medium or learned to listen to thoughts. The reason being that in the body most people cannot communicate via thoughts.

Since then I have learned more and see that whenever we think of the dead with warm feelings we are immediately in their presence. So all you need to do is to imagine them and talk to them, as if you would if they were there physically. Talk to them saying whatever it is you want to communicate. In dreams you will be able to receive their answers. I learned also that my dog could hear and see me, and that he loved me.

I know it sounds simple but it is. Communication with the dead is easy, but we make such a big thing of it. Remember that at death we have no physical organs to speak through, so it all has to be done through thoughts. Also that at the level of thoughts we create huge difficulties by what we think. So a thought such as, “I am not a medium so I cannot talk with my dead son” is like a brick wall that we have created and cannot get through. Thoughts and imagination are incredible powerful and are real at the level of dreams and the dead – and of course our own inner world. See Near Death Experiences

Carl Jung, in writing about the death experience says:

Example: Naturally, if you identify the psyche with consciousness, you can easily fall into the erroneous idea that man comes into the world with a psyche that is empty, and that in later years it contains nothing more than what it has learned by individual experience. But the psyche is more than consciousness. Animals have little consciousness, but many impulses and reactions that denote the existence of a psyche; and primitives do a lot of things whose meaning is unknown to them.

We have a life of which an enormous amount is unknown to us. We spend most of our lives in an unconscious state – sleep. Yet many people have explored ‘unconsciousness’ and find it is an immense world. Disciplines of mind, and the use of certain drugs, enables people to explore areas of experience that do not occur “naturally”. Through these it enables the practitioner to enter the condition of sleep while maintaining a certain amount of critical awareness, as happens in lucid dreaming. This really is a voyage of exploration, and is different to what happens when a person explores a dream. Exploring a dream brings contents of the unconscious into waking experience.

Most people who explore their uncosnciious say that they have entered the inner world of death, and that dreams and death are very similar. This part of us is not limited in awareness by  our physical senses, but has a more global awareness. As one person who experienced it regularly describes it, in our body awareness it is like looking through a crack in a wall at a big river. So all that we can see is what ships are passing in front of us now. But in the other level of us it is like looking over the top of the wall and seeing the whole river, what has passed us and what is coming.

A man experiencing death:

“Because I had died I could identify with people close to me in life. In this condition it seemed that I knew what they were feeling. I was feeling it just as I had with D. loss of her youthful womanhood, the losing of her ability to have a child. I’m feeling this deeply and at the same time, although moved by those feelings, I am standing in a place of wonder and know there is so much beyond what life of the body offers us. I feel myself saying to D., “I’ts okay my love. You too are passing through an enormous change into this wider life.”

Then my awareness seemed to become more general looking at people as a whole. I was seeing that, as already suggested, many people see the process of ageing like the end of their life. It is like death in the sense of a descent into non-existence, into darkness and extinction. It is like they say to themselves, “This is the end of my life. The end of my existence.”

A man – Jesse Watkins – stressed out of his normal awareness said – ““I was more than I had ever imagined myself. Not only was I living my life now, but I had existed from the very beginning of time, from the lowest form of life up to the present. The real me was all that experience. Then at times I could see ahead beyond even the awareness I now had, to where we become aware of it all.” Jesse felt that the new ‘world’  he was experiencing was something humans were moving toward, but most people couldn’t reach at the moment. In that world were beings Jesse called gods, beings who could live and move in that world easily, beings who were not afraid of the enormity of the experience. From this he felt that all the things that happen to us in our life are helping us evolve toward becoming like the gods Jesse met.

See Journeying Beyond Dreams and Death

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved