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Soul and Death - Part 2 - the 'first death'

The 'first death', the death of the physical body - the lower part of the Soul - is, paradoxically, one of the most mysterious yet well studied areas of human life. Despite all the seeming contradictory views and beliefs (and serious gaps in our knowledge) concerning death, if one takes the time and effort to self-study, death becomes fascinating, worthy of serious pursuit.


Experientially, the process of 'sleeping/waking' and 'meditation' provide a window into the workings of death, let alone the plethora of focused spiritual disciplines, as the inward movement of energies and their structures are universal. This is not to suggest that we can know everything about the process - far from it - but the practical principles can be discerned with some confidence.


Leaving aside the medical physiology of the first death, and untimely and traumatic deaths, a life lived to a 'normal' old age with a normal death process presents a number of characteristics.

The approaching of death brings a gradual withdrawal of the bodily and psychic energies from 'outward' preoccupations (such as even taking care of one's own body) to an 'inward' concentration on one's own consciousness. The past can be 'relived', the present 'expanded', and the future 'full of possibilities' again.

The first death begins at the permanent cessation of the 'breath' (the second being food of the Soul). From here, the energies of the body begin to be liberated to support the final completion (to whatever potentiality that holds for the individual) of the sensitized body or the middle part of the Soul or the Astral Body or Higher Being Body Kesdjan (in Gurdjieff's terminology).

In a real sense, the sensitized body completes its coalescence at the 'expense' of the physical body. Much like a butterfly uses then dispenses with its cocoon, or a plasterer uses and then dispenses with the mold once the plaster has been cast.

Once this process has been completed, the sensitized body is on its own, without any further material support from the physical body. If there has been a long and conscious work on the Soul in life, the sensitized body may become a 'container', a 'vessel' a 'vehicle' in its own right. This is a critical point as the 'shock' of the first death is hazardous.

Without support, the sensitized body may lose its direction and coherency for a time (or forever). The Soul becomes unaware of what has happened and clings to habits formed over its lifetime as an island of security - often repeating a life just lived. 'Ghost' stories are reflections of those beings unable to 'transition' without support.

If voluntary attention has been developed sufficiently during life, and there has been an active integration with the structures of images and the life impressions supplied by sensations, the sensitized body, as a whole, can be 'carried-over' intentionally. This is because 'attention' is beyond life, where as images and sensations, while the raw ingredients of consciousness, nonetheless belong to the level of life.

Voluntary attention, then, has the ability to assist the mass of our 'fused' experiences - our identity - enter into another dimension, another world. Another life is possible until, that too, must also inevitably die.


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