What Happens When We Die?

Links to main sections: Memory of Past Life – What Happens When I Die? – People’s Experience of Dying – It Isn’t So Difficult To Be in Touch With Our Dead

What do you think happens after our bodies die? Do we become unconscious and non-existent any more? Do we go to “heaven”? Do we reincarnate?

I personally think we reincarnate and learn new things in each new life, but am wondering what you all think and if any of your OBEs or lucid dreams have altered your original view of what you think occurs after our bodies die? – Mithokey

Mithokey – Yes I know we do reincarnate – but I think my thoughts on this are seen better in http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/reincarnation-and-dreams/ And in http://dreamhawk.com/interesting-people/rudolph-steiners-philosophy-of-life-and-death/ and also in http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/near-death-experiences/

 You asked whether my recent experiences have altered my views. Well yes, they have been deepened. Here is something I experienced, not in a dream but while awake.

I started by imagining myself standing in the shadows of The House of the Ancestors – a great dream I experienced.  Then we walked together into the darkness.  The subjective images took on a life of their own and I saw we were walking in a large underground space like great catacombs.  The light was dim but we could see our surroundings, and not very far into the cave like space was a tomb on our right.  It had the form of a low wall about a foot high in an oblong, and the wall surrounded a long stone in the centre, which was roughly body shaped.

As we drew level with the tomb an enormous change occurred in me.  Suddenly I became a woman.  It was no longer imagination.  I was now completely experiencing myself as a woman whose tomb we had approached.  As such I was torn by an immense pain of loss.  As my complete identification deepened my body curled up with the pain as I was torn by wretched crying.  Suzanne told me my voice changed as I cried out again and again for release from the pain of losing all my children, my husband, even my parents.  My hands were clawing my legs in an effort to express the misery, and I was screaming that I could not bear to live any longer with such pain.  I cried out to God to take me, for there was nothing left for me to live for.  “Why?  Why did this happen to me?  Why has everything I loved been taken from me?”

There was no response to these awful cries and tearing sobs.  But slowly a shift began.  It seemed to me as an observer witnessing this awful pain that by entering this place the spirit of that woman had woken in me.  But as she had died in such unresolved agony of loss, that is what was met when she awoke.  But gradually she realised she was alive again in a new way.  She began to recognise that I was holding her within me.  Because I was not frightened of pain and emotions, the misery could play itself out in me.  And because my understanding of what was happening flowed into her awareness, she slowly saw and felt her loss in a different way.  In fact, we were both realising she was experiencing resurrection, and that in turn meant there was no final death as believed by many.  Therefore, there was no loss as she had originally felt it.

At this point, something truly incredible occurred.  She and I both realised she was one of my past dwelling places.  But for her the viewpoint was slightly different; for she saw me as a continuation of a life that she had failed to be a part of because of the awful pain of loss. It had kept her from flowing into what was her future as part of my life.

From my perspective, she was one of the past dwelling places the spirit that was at the core of my present personality had lived in and as her.  She was not one of my lives, because the personality that I am was unique and had not lived that woman’s life, but my spirit had. Because she was now part of me and me of her I asked her what she had brought into my life. Her reply was, “A woman’s love”.

But it is worth remembering that a single cell, which is a seed from which all life forms evolved from, doesn’t become old or die because it is immortal, for it keeps dividing and doesn’t die. In dividing it constantly creates copies of itself, but as it does  so it gathers new experience, it changes what is copied, so becomes the ‘seed’ for multi-cellular organism. We all started from the original one cell, and we, you and I,  are the result of gathered experience.

So no plant or creature grows from a dead seed, and each living seed carries within it all the past gathered from all its forebears. So, the seed in your mother’s womb was as old as and even older than human kind, and you carry that wisdom or memories in you. But in this life you developed a new brain, and the memories, education and programming you gathered this time are what you built your personality from, but beneath that is a very ancient self. To explore it see https://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/opening-to-life/

 What Happens When I Die?

Death of the body 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. Consciousness, from what I now understand it to be, was never fully in the body so never left it. That because consciousness exists at another dimension and so simply uses the body, acts through the brain and nervous system to gain experience of the three dimensional world and its joys, pains and difficulties. And because we see life and death mostly through our three dimension view we believe we ‘leave’ our body in so called ‘out of body experiences’. As I say, simply a three dimensional view.

To quote the recent view of quantum physics, “This suggests that the fundamental particles of our body exist beyond time and space, and if a dream touches this level then it expresses a very different experience of time. Yet we still hear scientists talking about the boundary of  the speed of light. This difficulty in crossing the boundary of knowing into the unknown is a sort of general blindness most of us suffer. The implications of the theorem are enormous. Something can be in two places or conditions at once. Apparently distant objects, or people, are intricately linked in an immediate way. There is no separate existence as we previously thought.”

After the death of the body you are now fully in the dimension of the dream. As such you experience, as in dreams, surroundings and people and animals that appear as external and solid. You will usually see yourself in the body you experienced in the last life, but it may be younger without any illness, and you may feel as if you have woken for the first time because your mind, your awareness, is super alert. Also, sometimes, people who had never known that you survive after your body has died feel as if they are still alive in a body, and create dreams in which those people they know that are still alive in their body are visible to them, but because the living people cannot see or respond to them,which slowly leads the dead person to gradually realises a huge change has happened to them.

We are in the dream world because our physical life is now gone and so we are left with our consciousness – no body. When we lose awareness of our body in sleep we dream. because dreams are the next level of consciousness we have developed apart from our body senses, unless we have done so in other ways. We actually have a huge range of levels of awareness, the swing between waking and sleeping can be seen as the extremes within the possibilities of our experience. For in waking awareness we have the sense of being in a body with only  a small range of perception, and feel we exist as an individual. But in sleep, apart from dreams we now longer are aware of being an individual with a body, but are  a bodiless consciousness. See Dimensions of Human Experience – Bodiless

Are you a stranger in a strange world or an experienced traveller?

But usually just after death we often go to the next level we have developed – dream imagery. In this dimension we are in a wider awareness, in this wider awareness you leave the limited view of the three dimensional world most of us are trapped in, and enter a world beyond time and space, but being unused to it we mostly continue as in dreams creating a world we knew in the body. But we are capable of experiencing many other wonders than being trapped either in bodily limitations or bodiless consciousness.

You are a shapeshifter in this realm, and can be any of the characters you know or dreamt of. That is how you get their power and wisdom. The femaleness or maleness we usually feel ourselves to be must not be confused with personality. The conscious personality is a very flexible and shape shifting thing. It can be male, female, animals or any thing, a tree or just Life itself – for here in shapeshifting we can get to know our whole range of experience. See Archetype of the Shapeshifter

But maturing into a real shapeshifter is not done by acting it out by trying to be the opposite sex. Integrating our opposite does not mean dressing up in male or female clothes, or even having an operation. That is further developing an unbalanced self. Integration means having both the female and the male self equally developed. That is wholeness. So, being firmly male, female or homosexual are all unbalanced. It takes courage and hard work to achieve being the being without form.

Example: The top of the tree was like a massive bell of a flower, like a crocus shape. And it was light and colourful. Suddenly I saw a spirit, a beautiful female. It was the spirit of the tree. At this point I wanted to hold the beautiful spirit, but realised that the tree was a representation of my life, and so was the spirit of the tree. The spirit sat on me in a sexual position, but there was no movement as in sex, so I was lying on my back and she was upright. She slowly took me into her, I mean the whole me, as if she was sucking my whole body into her. I realised that I had to let it happen because she wanted to take all my experience of life and endeavour into her and fertilise herself to form a baby. So, I was ready to do that and watched her form a new baby, a mixture of her and me.

At this stage many people see themselves going through  a tunnel to the light. I see this as the difficulty many dying people have with bodiless consciousness, so they see themselves still with a body struggling to the light because that is all they have known. They often then see an image of God or a holy figure of light, for they are still in the level of dreams. If the had moved beyond bodily awareness they would know their journey beyond death directly and not in images.

In quite a real sense we can say there is nothing beyond what is included in those polarities. For without consciousness there is nothing.

So, what we are not capable of being personally aware of does not exist for us. In a very real way nothing exists for us unless we can be aware of it in some way. There is nothing outside of consciousness. Or to put it another way, without personal awareness nothing exists for us. If you have no consciousness the world, other people do not exist for you; so death is an exploration of consciousness. If you are still stuck at the physical awareness level of what you are aware of, have never explored the dream world or have broken through to the inner world, then you are missing the amazing depth of your consciousness. For a view of these levels see https://dreamhawk.com/interesting-people/rudolph-steiners-genius-life-after-death/and https://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/dimensions-of-human-experience/

But you might be awake in a nightmare world – often called Hell. The reason for this is the same reason people live a hell of a tortured life –  they have not managed to deal with their hate, jealousies, traumas, terrors, fears and anxieties. Or some people who died suddenly do not realise they are dead, and need help to meet the change. See https://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/masters-of-nightmares/

But a huge change has occurred at death – because you are living in a world that is created by your own habitual fears or wonder, you carry nightmares or wonder with you. But because your body is now gone and you are in the dream world full time, you have left the physical body behind and are faced by an enormous change. You have entered the universal – in other words you are a creature created by the universal laws or processes of the universe.

It is a matter of survival, because to survive the switching from your three dimensional life in a physical body to the full time infinite, universal life of the dream, you could not survive with all the viewpoints many people carry with them. So a form of harvesting takes place – often straight after the experience of dying. It is experienced as a full life review.

An Example

In her book Coming Back to Life, P. H. Atwater gives the following account of her own experience during an NDE. “For me it was a total reliving of every thought I had ever thought, every word I had ever spoken, and every deed I had ever done; plus, the effect of each thought, word and deed on everyone and anyone who had ever come within my environment or sphere of influence, whether I knew them or not (including unknown passers-by on the street).”

Example: My husbands 21 year old son died in a car wreck 5 weeks ago. He came to see him in a dream last night. Complaining that he wrecked his truck and he had to call the insurance company. My husband said he looked at him a told him that he died in the wreck. He said he seemed very confused by that. He said sitting at the kitchen table with several people he didn’t know and they told him he could only see them for 30 minutes at a time. He asked them if this was an intervention and they said yes. He sat down with them, he then awoke went into the kitchen and prayed that he could see him again. When he went to sleep his son appeared to him again, told him he loved him gave him a hug and disappeared again. Can you make light of this for me. Thank you

Anna – Tony’s Assistant
Dear Carla – The experience of death is to swing over into the dream state fully, which means there is no waking up physically anymore to realise that it was all “only” a dream.

Because your husband’s son died a sudden death, he had no time to prepare for this and it becomes clear that he thinks he is still alive; “Complaining that he wrecked his truck and he had to call the insurance company.”
Your husband’s part of the intervention consisted of telling his son that he died in the wreck and the second dream may express that his son is grateful for his father’s openness and honesty, which must have brought understanding and acceptance; “his son appeared to him again, told him he loved him gave him a hug and disappeared again.”

It reflects a wonderful and touching way of a father guiding his son.
Anna 🙂

In this dimension of the universal we are in a wider awareness, in this wider awareness you leave the limited view of the three dimensional world most of us are trapped in, and enter a world beyond time and space. Some people remain so stuck in the view of themselves as they were in the three dimensional world of the body that the remain in the limitations of it. But many will begin to explore the life beyond limitations and see that they can know the lives of all their loved ones and share them, because if we do not identify with our body as US, we can go beyond our three dimensional world in death. When we realise this aspect of death, the way ahead of us is infinite in scope. See https://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/secrets-power-dreaming/

Example: There was part of the music here that left a wonderful image in my mind of a great central flash of light radiating like crystals in patterns like a great cross with spokes. At the centre was the transcendent reality of life. As a transcendent reality life simply exists and shines out its being. It is forever beyond definition, yet is ever being enshrined or embodied in some form by the various religions of the world. They point to something beyond them shining forever. They collect around the central radiance like spokes or shapes that are not the reality of life, but which do take form from it.

 People’s Experience of Dying

A full account quoted from her book Coming Back to Life, by P. H. Atwater. But as everybody’s experience is slightly different these are nevertheless good examples.

Any pain to be suffered comes first. Instinctively you may fight to stay alive. That is automatic.

It is inconceivable to the conscious mind that any other reality could possible exist beside the earth-world of matter bounded by time and space. We are used to it. We have been trained since birth to live and thrive in it. We know ourselves to be ourselves by the external stimuli we receive. Life tells who we are and we accept its telling. That too is automatic.

Your body goes limp. Your heart stops. No more air flows in and out.

You lose sight, feeling and movement – although the ability to hear goes last.

Identity ceases. The “you” that you once were becomes only memory.

There is no pain at the moment of death; only peaceful silence. Calm. Quiet. But you still exist.

It is easy not to breathe. In fact it is easier, more comfortable, in infinitely more natural not to breathe than to breathe. The biggest surprise for most people in dying is the realisation that dying does not end life. Whether darkness or light comes next, or some kind of event, be it positive or negative, or somewhere in between, expected or unexpected, the biggest surprise of all is to realise you are still you. You can still think, you can still remember, you can still see, hear, move, reason, wonder, feel question and tell jokes – if you wish.

You are still alive, very much alive. In fact, more alive when since you were last born. The only way all this is different, different because you no longer wear a dense body to filter and amplify the various sensations you regarded as the only valid indicators of what constitutes life. You had always been taught that one has to wear a body to live. If you expect to die when you die you will be disappointed.

The only thing dying does is to help you release, slough off and discard the “jacket” you once wore (more commonly referred to as a “body”).

When you die you lose your body. That is all there is to it. Nothing else is lost.

You are not your body. It is something you wear for a while , because living in the earthplane is infinitely more meaningful and more involved if you are encased in its trappings and subject to its rules.

Another example. Although people think of death as a huge, scary and often life threatening experience I found how it can be provoked by normal life experiences. For example anaesthetic can often lead to a ‘near death experience’. Also the lives of some of the people who have extended their awareness proves tha our mind can sometimes reach completely beyond the body senses, and so are aware in the after death state.  Children too are often misinterpreted as being over imaginative or fanciful because they often have already gone beyond normal awareness without any unusual experiences being the cause. So, we should never criticise our children for telling us such things. Even if they do not come about, children’s imagination is a powerful and useful thing to have. But any experience that uplifts us can lead to what is often know as NDE.

Another Example

The following was told me by an ordinary but who was also an unusual woman Jane Armitage.

‘I was desperately ill at the time, dying in fact, and I heard a voice counting, (the woman was having an anaesthetic) and knew that when it reached five there would be sweet oblivion, release from the pain and confusion.

The voice reached five. For a time there was a great noise and flashing lights, as if every cell in my body was exploding. For a few moments I knew nothing, and then there was awareness, but no pain, no confusion.

It was very dark, very quiet, very still. I could not speak, nor hear, nor see, nor move. At first I thought I must be asleep, and I made a great effort to wake up, but I could not. Why doesn’t someone wake me? I wondered; Perhaps I was dreaming, but no, I knew I was not because I was conscious of my thoughts. I became aware that I was not breathing, nor did I feel any need to breathe. I could feel no part of my body.

I’m Dead!

Suddenly, the truth hit me. I was dead! Can you possibly understand how I felt? It was such a huge unacceptable truth. DEAD! DEAD! DEAD! The word pounded on my consciousness. No – No, I cannot be dead. I cannot accept it. How can I think if I am dead? I put the thought away from me.

Then I thought of my family. I felt a deep regret that I hadn’t told them more often how very much I loved them, and I felt a deep sorrow that I would not see them again. I thought about my life, about the things I had done and seen; about the people I had known, and the places I had been. I thought about everything that was worth giving a thought to. How long had I been ‘dead’? Time seemed to have ceased to exist. Was it hours, days, years, or even centuries?

So far all my thoughts had been outwards. I had not dared to dwell on the thought that I was dead. But now I knew I must search deep into my mind, to find help for the panic which threatened to submerge me.

Who am I? What am I? Where am I? Have I always been like this? Perhaps this is my natural state, and if so, my life must have been a dream. But if it was – and suddenly the full implication hit me – neither the world nor mankind, really existed. I thought again of my ‘life’. Had it only been a dream, not real? But surely that was impossible!

It took ages for this possibility to sink in. It seemed an eternity before I came to the next inevitable thought. I must be God. But no, God and any kind of philosophy was of man’s creation; therefore, if mankind was only a large figment of my imagination, God would not exist.

I was alone. So utterly and absolutely alone. There was no space, no time, no anything. Even I myself did not exist except as a mind, a lonely consciousness, a still quiet awareness. I had come to the very beginning of thought, the birthplace of the soul. My mind had gone round and round in ever decreasing circles and had at last come to this void where there were no more thoughts, only awareness.

My soul cried out in utter despair and loneliness. “Is there no other consciousness, no love, no comfort? Please God, help me. ”Then I heard the words from another Being, another Mind. “I am the Creator. The world was my Dream; Come!”

I was lifted up into the arms of God, a God whom I had thought could not exist. I knew then the “Peace that passeth all understanding”: that supreme joy, that Knowledge of the Ultimate Truth, that Absolute Ecstasy which I cannot begin to describe. There are no words for the complete Love and Light which enveloped me. I was a thought in the beautiful mind of God. I was in Heaven. It would be like this for eternity. But then I heard the words – “Go back now and tell them all about it.”

Slowly, very, very slowly, my senses returned. I was very dazed for a while. The doctors thought I would never come out of the anaesthetic. This happened three years ago, but I have never told anyone before because I suspected they would think me mad.

 It Isn’t So Difficult To Be in Touch With Our Dead

Although the dead can be in touch with us easily, it is not so the other way around, for we the living are almost blind and deaf compared with animals, so cannot see our dead or easily communicate with them, except sometimes in  dreams. Tony explains an experience of his projection of himself from Germany to his mother in London.

“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. 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.”

To be able to communicate with the dead we need to be able to enter their world. When a body experiences death, and I have watched many deaths, something leaves them immediately. It is their consciousness and motivations that are gone. So to enter their realm of bodiless consciousness we must be able to allow ourselves to become little children, naked of our adult thoughts and emotions, especially those we have within us to do with the person who has passed.

“Then I entered the realm of death and so had to face and go beyond the fears and images people have of death, and I was shown my father. ‘I have fathered you my son”, he said. “but you have led thousands of us to new understandings through your exploration and findings.’

From this I saw my father in quite a different way than when he was in the body. He looked as if he was now a person of importance because of the knowledge he was communicating.

Then I asked to see my mother. It was an amazing experience. I saw her face, young full, but as I looked at it a change happened, for the image of her face became the faces of countless women. As this happened I realised that the personality of my mother was produced or had a background of countless women. And in the end, is connected deeply within herself with a synthesise of all women – The Great Mother

She is Mother – the Holy Mother. In this realm of death, she is all females. And every woman I have sex with I am having sex with Mother. “Thank you so much” – I said – in a whisper.

I had the experience of finding myself sinking deep beyond my personality, my conscious self, and facing enormous forces or beings I had never been aware of. It started with a feeling of experiencing the presence of my dead mother. I saw her face as a young mother, my mother. But then with fascination I saw her face was one face amongst countless others. I began to realise that I was confronting something difficult to explain, something that was a reality at a level or a dimension I had not met or experienced before. It was a huge being which I began to see was capable of taking in and holding every mother’s experience and person, and was itself a complete synthesis of all mothers, in fact She was The Mother of Everything. See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/archetype-of-the-great-mother/

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved