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The topic of death and dying is one of those many topics that people prefer to ignore and seem to talk themselves sideways away from. The fear of death is multi-faceted. On one side someone may not have a fear of being dead, but the process of it, the pain that may arise, the fear of loneliness at the end, of being lost in a dimension that we know nothing about. Therefore, we try to find out about it. But how can we know for sure what death and the process are like? Do we listen to the people who have faced the long tunnel with the formidable light of peace at the end, but were brought back before reaching it because they had to continue in life? Do we read material after material about the process? Do we consult the ancient texts of the Tibetans, the Shamans, the Kabbalists, the Egyptians? Do we merely resort to the concepts of Heaven and Hell and just see what happens when the time comes? So many questions, and so many more.

The following is merely my understanding of death and dying from the research I have done over the past few years. My own research has not been extensive, but it has been enough for me to reach a personal conclusion that I am happy with. Maybe in the future these concepts will change and be molded into something else. That I am allowed, I am not dead yet.

So, what happens when this inevitable life step comes along? The problem I face here is that there are so many different paths to be considered. Paths in the sense of the path taken during the dying process. Consider the difference between someone dying of old age and someone dying of a life threatening dis-ease, and then again, someone who dies suddenly through accidental circumstances or murder as opposed to a suicide. Apart from that, there is the particular individual and his or her own knowledge and understanding, their own religious beliefs and convictions. So, to avoid filling a book the size of the Pantheon, I will narrow it to some specifics.

After death itself, we have individuals who may remain in this realm for various purposes. These purposes involve such things as a task that needs to be completed, an emotional attachment either developed and not disconnected by the new spirit or someone still on this plane. There are also those that are trapped or in limbo because they underwent a sudden death and don’t actually realize that they are dead. In these cases they either inhabit places where they have an energetic connection to, or they attach themselves to certain people who they have a similar energetic connection and often inhabit that person’s aura and attach themselves to the persons chakras and central nervous system. They are those that create a haunting presence in a place or a period of depression and dependency in a person.

Needless to say, there are those who detach from their bodies without a problem and make the journey without any problems. Mostly, in the normal cases, people in our own societies don’t detach in time to make the journey through the portal before it closes, and then they have the long and hard journey through all of the realms until they reach that final place in the cosmos.

If we detach from our physical bodies before that portal closes, which is said to be, by the Native American Shamans, a period of forty hours after death, then we can make that journey easily. The portal is a dimensional gateway that opens up at the moment of death between the two worlds. The spirit can only make it through the portal if the luminous body of the person is completely detached from the physical body. It detaches from the body by disconnecting from the chakras. If this is not done in the forty hour period, which it often isn’t in people of the Western culture, then the luminous body remains attached to the body and the chakras until the body is completely dead and the chakras become non-existent. People in our Western culture fail to see what happens at that moment of death and therefore the journey and the process have to take the harder path. I’m not saying I know better, because I really don’t, I just think that we are raised and taught to ignore death. We know and consider that one day we will die. We are afraid of growing old because that takes us closer to that point. We are taught not to think beyond the point of death. We go to Heaven or Hell, so we must be good in this life in order to go to Heaven, but what about the journey that needs to be taken to Heaven? Do we just die and “kaboom” we are instantly transported to a fluffy white cloud in the sky? A little naïve for me, but we all have our own decisions to make.

When the spirit or luminous body disconnects we journey to a place that is exactly what we believe it would be like. Heaven with pearly gates, or the Summerlands, or even a tropical island with naked people, it will appear before you as you enter. You take some time to look around, happy that you were right, and then you notice some oddities, things don’t look quite right, things don’t seems to fit. As you begin to realize that it is all a farce, the scene falls apart to reveal the reality. This process is there to prevent us from getting a shock as we enter a new land. If we see what we expected in that instant, then it makes it easier to assimilate and understand as it slowly forms into a new world, the true vision. What is this ‘true vision’? I don’t know, never been there. Does that make my conclusions less valid? I don’t think so if you consider that this is ancient knowledge as described by the Tibetans and the Native American Shamans, specifically the Hopi and Inka, and more than likely the Mayans. In both cultures, of which are completely separated by half the physical earth, they describe such an action of events. After that process you are met by loved ones and spirit workers, and taken to review your entire life, all of your happiness and sadness, your accomplishments and failures, whether or not you did the necessary things to accomplish the task or tasks you were here for. This is often referred to as the Hall of Memories. This period of review is not painful, in fact it is rather unemotional. It is merely reviewing the events that took place in the lifetime that your evolving spirit experienced. After that phase we are cleansed and counseled. We are given the choice of what incarnation would best fit the circumstances that are needed to get closer to accomplishing our tasks. This of course is a very simplified look at the entire process. Unfortunately I don’t have the opportunity to go through the entire death experience as some Shamans are required to go through, or those undergoing their last training phase at a Tibetan Lamasary. I have however reached the point of nothingness, of the void, but I came back to experience another day or two.

Speaking of the void, this particular piece of work has taken on a format that has become reversed. We have to die before we experience the afterlife, but here, we are looking at the afterlife before we are dead. Why not? After all, we need to consider the points beyond death before we consider death. If we don’t study death before we are dead, it would be too late to consider what happens after we are dead. And now that I have digressed, we shall now return.

Before the moments of death the dying person may worry about their life. Were they a good person? Were they accepted by all? Did they wrong anyone who may need to forgive them? Do they need to forgive themselves? A lot of questions will be asked in private. A period of forgiveness, also called recapitulation at this point should be taken. Basically, if the person hasn’t performed the contemporary Shamanic practice of recapitulation through their life, then they should look at their life. As they begin to consider things that happened in the near past, the rest will begin to unravel itself. Events that happened when the person was a child and beyond will present themselves. They will need to be looked at and dealt with. Forgiveness can be given even if the person that needs the forgiveness is not available. The immediate family should all receive the forgiveness in person as this allows for true compassion and love to flow between the people.

Before death the individual should be allowed permission to die. How many people have we heard of who have been on their death beds for extended periods of time, suffering unbelievably to the point where they should be martyred for their efforts. Why do they do this? Because a family member or a close friend won’t let go. The dying person thinks that they will need them and so they cannot die, or things will go haywire in the person’s life. All people close to the individual should thank the person and say their good-byes, giving the dying person permission to go ahead with their own death.

Then we share our love with the person until their death. One thing that people are afraid of, and this is all a part of that fear of growing old because of our uncertainty and ignorance to the topic, is holding a dying person’s hand, or even standing close to them. This is also apparent with elderly people. Old age and death are subconsciously seen as a contagious disease. Think how happy and peaceful a dying person would feel if you just sat next to them, held their hand, gave them a warm smile and told them that all would be okay, you will be their to hold their hand through it. They are no longer alone, and they have someone who is willing to help them, to be with them, to not ignore them as a finished commodity. Dying should be a pleasant passing, even if there is some pain at the end. It is a new phase of life, not a mistake of human nature. We should allow the dying person to feel proud of the life they had, not forgotten for who they were because they are no longer going to be here to contribute to our fast world.

At the point when that last breath is taken, the process of disconnecting the luminous body from the physical one and then sending it on its journey should take place. Apart from a simple prayer and ceremony of acknowledgment for the person and his or her spirit, the concept of the actual separation should be considered. It’s no good saying goodbye to someone and then burying them and forgetting or not even considering that their luminous body is still attached and is having a problem with the separation process. This is mostly due to the fact that the person themselves have no idea what is supposed to happen at this time and so they can’t even help themselves.

If we consider time periods that are available to us, it becomes a little difficult to comply with them in our world today. Firstly there is the window or portal that opens between the worlds of forty hours. This is the period the person has to separate from their body in order to make their journey easier. It is the time frame a healer has to perform the rites of passing. Then we have a period of three days in which the Tibetans believe the body needs to die completely. It is only when the body has completely died that the spirit can disconnect from the body if the rites are not performed by either a healer or the person themselves. Science has found that it does indeed take approximately three days for the body to completely die. The nails and hair die last. With this taken into consideration, we cannot comply with these processes as the body need to be moved, embalmed or buried , not allowing these natural processes. Therefore, a little intervention needs to be allowed for. As soon as the last breath is taken, the healer should disconnect the luminous body and perform the rites. Am I repeating myself now?

So, consider what death is and what it will mean to the person about to embark on that great adventure, and give a loved one the greatest gift you could ever give someone, the gift of a loving death.

These words were purely of my own understanding and belief, and they only hit on a miniscule area of the entire topic. A lot of it is extremely brief in explanation. Why? Consider the volumes that would be filled if someone wrote about life and all and every aspect that could be considered. Death is just as important as life and so the volumes should be the same.