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Soul and Death - Part 1 - What 'survives'?

In a way, the process of death is the reverse to the entry of life. Conception and birth are literal 'explosions' of a creative process begun in a hidden dimension and continues as a panorama of manifestation, diversification and expansion. At some point, this explosion slows and begins to move in the opposite direction, eventually 'returning to its source'.

Through life's striving, particularly when this is conscious, the mixing and blending of energies can coalesce - crystallize - into a 'something' that can interface and move between the outer and inner worlds.

If this something is sufficiently formed from the raw ingredients of consciousness, then death represents a transformational opportunity - a death or cessation in one world and a birth or continuance in another.

The 'raw ingredients' of consciousness - Attention, Images and Sensations - require a little explanation.

Attention comes from beyond consciousness itself, at a very high level of cosmic function associated with the 'Will'. For most people, attention is automatic - attracted or repelled by something. When it is neither, the attention simply follows the inner contents of consciousness - the associations and thoughts of the mind - I am carried away by 'dreams'.

If the attention is trained, and one is able to voluntarily 'pay' attention, then 'real choice' becomes possible. This is the foundation of all spiritual disciplines. Any other authentic spiritual practices are just, in reality, the training of the attention.

As 'voluntary attention' is the only thing that can survive the shock of death consciously, and its application in life critical to our quality of living, then the science, art and practice of developing voluntary attention should be paramount.

Images, or all of the 'contents' of consciousness, such as thoughts, wishes, intentions and feelings, are given life by the energy of attention. If attention is left undeveloped during life, then the images are rarely enlivened enough to crystallize something more substantive. The Soul becomes, at best, only rudimentarily formed or, at worst, an abortion that is unable to live even within itself.

If voluntary attention is developed enough, the images can fuse or integrate with the attention which is the instrument of the higher part of the Soul. In plain English, my 'identity' (as represented in my inner world by the experience of images formed in life) has the potential to continue after death.

Bodily Sensations, contacted voluntarily by a trained attention (often experienced as warmth, tingling, or energy flow) represents the 'growth' of consciousness into the material (manifest) world through the creative energy of attention. The more I can 'sense' the body, the greater is my ability to voluntarily pay attention.

So, there is a reciprocal relationship between attention, images and sensations. The greater the voluntary attention, the greater the potential for image integration. The greater the contact of sensations, the greater the potential for growth and integration of attention and images with the 'impressions' of a life lived. Eventually, the mutual relationship between the development of all three can coalesce into a coherent whole - an individualized Soul.


In a very practical sense, the experience of the passive process of going to 'sleep' and 'awakening', and the active process of 'meditation' represents a unique 'slice' - a view - of the death process.



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