Tibetan Buddhist Book of the Dead
The first period after death is called
the "first bardo." At the very moment of death, there dawns the
Light of Ultimate Reality" which is the soul's own mind and self. This is the first
stage. If the soul recognizes this fact and acts in a way to remain in this state,
it has been liberated from the cycle of birth and rebirth on Earth
and can stay in this
condition in the highest dimension for eternity. If the soul does not recognize this fact,
it is pulled down by the weight of its karma into the second stage of the first
bardo, called the "Secondary Clear Light". If the soul is not liberated at this stage, it
will descend to the second bardo.
The second bardo is divided into two stages. In the first stage,
the soul encounters seven great peaceful light beings one at a time along with lights from
the six dimensions of the Buddhist universe. When the soul encounters one of these light
beings, if the soul is attracted to the light of one of these beings, it will inhabit the dimension
associated with that light being. If at any time, the soul realizes the light is from the
soul's own mind and self, it will be liberated.
In the final stage, if
the soul has
not attained liberation, it encounters seven great angry light beings. If the soul
realizes these lights stem from the soul's own mind and self, it will be
liberated. If not, it will descend to the third bardo.
In the third bardo, the soul is judged by the "Lord of
Death" who holds up to the soul "the Mirror of Karma" which reflects all
the soul's deeds. The soul can attain liberation here, as well, if it recognizes its oneness
with the light. If not, the lights of the six dimensions of the universe appear again and
into one of these dimensions the soul is reborn into the world.
Timothy Leary's psychedelic pattern was based
on the use of LSD to reach these higher states of consciousness and was based on the
Tibetan Book of the Dead. Leary divides the psychedelic experience into three
periods as does the Book of the Dead. For the initiated, the first period lasts
longer. For most persons the second period is the longest. For the unprepared, the heavy
role players, those who anxiously cling to their egos, the struggle to regain reality
begins early and usually lasts all the way to the end.
During the first period, the soul undergoes
complete transcendence beyond words, beyond space-time, beyond self. There are no
visions, no sense of self, no thoughts. There are only pure awareness and ecstatic freedom
from all role playing and biological involvements.
During the second period, the soul
engages in external role playing in sharp exquisite clarity or in the form of karmic
During the third period the soul returns to
routine role playing.
In general, immediately following death,
there is a period of self-discovery in which the social masks worn on Earth
and the true self is revealed. Each person then shapes their own eternity to correspond
with their real inner nature. Some become irrational, driven by fear and
greed and they are
in the state called "hell."
Hell is a psychological condition which corresponds
to the suffering we experience on Earth when we allow ourselves to be driven by the blind
greed of our own egos. In hell, each person acts out of their own malice by tormenting
Others find themselves in "heaven", a joyous condition and a state of
expanded awareness, of perceiving more and more of the grand plan of creation.
The first stage after death involves a
soul's more outward aspects: face, speech, manner, and personality. Here the soul meets
family and friends, and is instructed about the afterlife state, and then it
may be taken around to
different locations, such as cities, gardens, parks, etc. Then, the soul is
connected either with a particular community in heaven or a particular community in hell.
The second stage after death involves a
soul's more inward aspects: mind, intent and resultant thought. Here,
with higher beings.
A separation of evil souls from good souls occurs here in various
ways. Generally, it happens by taking the evil soul around to those communities
it was in touch with through its good thoughts and affections during the first stage. In this
way, it is taken to those communities which were persuaded by the soul's outward appearance
that it is not evil. Normally, it is taken on an extensive circuit, and everywhere
it is exposed as it really is to good souls. Good souls turn away from evil souls upon
seeing them and as they turn away, the evil souls go toward the hellish dimension that
better suits them.
The final stage after death is a state of
preparation by means of instruction. Afterward, the souls are taken to higher spiritual
dimensions and are committed to guardians.
According to Frederick Myers, stage one is
the Earth dimension. As soon as the Earth
experience has been thoroughly comprehended
either through reincarnation, or through the exchange of experiences with others in
other dimensions the soul may proceed to dimensions beyond the reach of the
Stage two is called the Intermediate Realm
or Hades. This
is the spiritual condition which is referred to in the ancient religious traditions as
"hell." This is the realm where all must go upon experiencing
the Earth realm. Here, memories of our entire past lives flash before us. Whether or not
this experience is "hellish" depends upon the memory of the particular person.
If it contains sinister episodes and terrifying experiences, these will drift by the
person's vision along with the more joyful happenings.
Some persons begin at this
stage to feel what is called "the Earth pull, the birth pull" and the person may
decide to return to stage one, the Earth realm. For others, stage two is brief and is
followed by entry into a more stable world which is stage three, the Realm
of Illusion is a dimension where things may be
created with the mind and shaped by the direct action of the imagination. Though a person
may linger in this stage for undeterminable period of
time, an eventual decision must be made. The soul
either returns to Earth or progresses to stage four. Before leaving, however, the more
enterprising souls may have an opportunity to experience one of the great wonders of this
dimension of consciousness a tour through some section of "The Great
Memory." Just as on Earth, one may go to a library and see newsreels of important
Earth events of history, so, in stage three, one may witness any event that occurred from
the beginning of human experience. Everything that has ever happened has been recorded by
the Cosmic Memory.
Stage four is the Realm
of Color. This dimension is an
indescribably lovely existence. Here one must leave behind all rigid intellectual
structures and dogmas, be they scientific, religious, or philosophical. An infinite
variety of new sounds, colors and feelings are experienced here and souls find a much
wider freedom to function with highly energized intellect and spirit. If, in this dimension,
the soul becomes free from the Earth pull, it is qualified to experience cosmic
ranges beyond Earth's confines, such as the next dimension.
is the Realm of Flame. In this dimension, the soul acquires a body of flame, enabling
it to tour the stellar universe without being harmed by its temperatures and turbulence and
to return with a fuller experience of these cosmic reaches.
Stage six is the Realm
of Light. Souls in this dimension are matured spirits, having lived through,
with conscious comprehension, all the aspects of the created universe. They are capable of
living now without form, of existing as white light in the pure thought of the Creator.
They have joined the immortals, thus fulfilling their final purpose of the evolution of
Stage seven is the Realm
of Timelessness. In this dimension,
souls enter full partnership with God. This dimension is of an advanced spiritual
nature, so close to the ultimate essence of creativity that no adequate vocabulary has yet
been evolved to describe it, and hence it is difficult to communicate to Earth-level
The Kabbalah are books of
Jewish mysticism that have been around for many centuries and has been
revered by Jew and Gentile alike. According to the Kabbalah, the first
dimension is the Earth.
The second dimension is the moon.
The third dimension
The fourth dimension is Venus.
The fifth dimension is the Sun.
The sixth dimension is Mars.
The seventh dimension is Jupiter.
eighth dimension is Saturn.
The ninth dimension is the dimension represented by the
The tenth dimension is the dimension represented by
According to spiritualists, the first realm
after death is called the first heaven or the lower astral realm. This is a
hell-like realm of purgatory and self-recrimination from which escape is very slow and
difficult. It may take hundreds of years of Earth
time for its inhabitants to accept their
misdeeds, put them right and move upward. Here you would certainly find criminals and
materially-obsessed individuals. We are told that the demons and poltergeists, which
readily interfere with life on Earth, originate here. The "bad" parts of heaven
are the closest to Earth, which explains why religion wrongly equates the occult as a pact
with the devil. Messages on Ouija boards, for instance, often come from troubled souls in
these near-Earth realms.
The next dimension, according to spiritualists, is called the
second heaven. Most people who die initially find themselves in the second heaven or
intermediate astral dimensions. Viewed as a sort of resting point on the way from
the more rarified upper dimensions, it is a thought-created universe that closely
resembles an idealized Earth. It's inhabitants seem to live in physical bodies, wear
clothes and so forth but of an etheric kind that would be invisible to those living
on Earth. Most attempts to communicate from heaven stem from here; but because the
inhabitants of Earth are as yet unfamiliar with the afterlife these communications can be
confusing or wrong.
The next dimension is called by many names, such as the third
heaven, Summerland, or Marduk. This dimension is the closest thing to the Christian
concept of paradise. The most inspired and pure souls from Earth
pass directly here after
death; most people, however, must strive to reach it after a sojourn in the second heaven,
where they assess their life on Earth and try to understand what they did wrong. It is
from the third heaven that rebirth back on Earth
supposedly occurs although the
decision to go back and try again is allegedly an individual one, and some may opt to
forsake material life altogether and move into the higher spiritual dimensions. Some of
the most accurate and most inspirational messages received via mediums are said to
The fourth heaven is the mental and causal realms. Here, most
of the trappings of materialism have gone. It is here that selfless individuals work
together to bring spiritual enlightenment to the lower dimensions and Earth. Supposedly
all great inventions, religious and moral progressions, spiritual leadership and so on
come from here, inspired by beings who were once on Earth
but have had the opportunity to
increase their talents in the afterlife. A few rebirths to Earth
do take place from this
higher place: great teachers are sent back for special reasons. Spirit guides who talk
through mediums are often in this dimension as well, bringing their enhanced knowledge to
The fifth heaven is the next dimension. Reaching this dimension is
difficult, for it is devoid of a physical state and aspired to by great religious figures,
from Jesus to Buddha. Even those in lower dimensions view it as most of us still on
Earth imagine heaven a distant, magical, unknown place.
The sixth heaven is the
next dimension. This dimension is cosmic consciousness, where the unity of souls is
perfected and a kind of universal being exists. This may be close to what we think of as
God, but it is even less understood by those in the lower dimensions.
The seventh heaven
is the next dimension. To reach the seventh heaven one has to step not only beyond
material and physical reality but beyond mental and individual reality as well. It is
simply not possible to define what this ultimate level may be, but it is supposedly the
goal of all individual souls. Everything we do, on Earth
and in the higher dimensions, is
directed toward that final transformation. For there is evolution of the soul in just the
same way as there is evolution of the body, or indeed of all life, back on Earth.
In essence, after death, Steiner said we
expand into the planetary spheres. The moral disposition we carry over with us allows or
prevents us from moving on in a conscious manner. After this experience, we fall asleep
and the cosmic forces act directly upon us preparing us for the next
Our cosmic sleep regenerates us. There comes a time when the desire to reincarnate starts
to work on us. When that happens, we begin the process of going back through the planetary
spheres picking up what we will need from each in order to fulfill our purpose in the next
Earth life. The soul "germ" is carried in to the embryo, forgets the whole trip
and is born again on Earth.
The first stage after death is the dimension
represented by the moon. Here the soul reflects upon the life just lived on Earth.
The second stage is the dimension represented by the planet Mercury.
Here the soul reflects upon moral issues.
The third stage is the dimension
represented by the planet Venus. Here the soul reflects upon religious beliefs.
The fourth stage is the dimension represented by the Sun. Here
the soul is
given the opportunity to reconcile the "true and false" aspects of the
The fifth stage is the dimension represented by the planet Mars. Here the soul experiences cosmic reality.
The sixth stage after death is the
dimension represented by the planet Jupiter. Here the harmony of the spheres
increases in volume.
The seventh stage after death is the dimension represented by
the planet Saturn. Here the soul is shown the sum total of the last incarnation as
it formed itself karmically during that life. We behold our last earthly
life from a
cosmic viewpoint. As mentioned earlier, as the soul travels through these realms,
the soul sheds karma. After the soul expands into the planetary spheres, it begins
to contract. The soul then moves through these planetary spheres again only this
time picking up the karma it left behind. The soul then enters the Earth realm again
for another soul experience.
According to Cayce's revelations, our
experience relates more to the entire solar system and not just three-dimensional
life on Earth. Cayce stated that each solar system is like a university with many dimensions
of learning available and through which we must travel. Our solar system has
nine planets which are physical representations of nine afterlife realms of
which Earth represents the third.
The afterlife realms are associated with the planets of our solar system. This does
not mean souls actually live on the surface of planets as we do on Earth, but rather, souls
live in fourth and fifth level afterlife realms represented physically by
These afterlife realms that are
associated with the planets are realms that souls can experience when not active in the physical body on
Earth (such as deep sleep, meditation, or other altered states that free the subconscious
from its normal physical constraints).
Reincarnation takes place not
only in the Earth realm,
but souls also reincarnate to other realms between Earth
incarnations. If a soul
incarnates to Earth from one of afterlife
realms associated with our solar system, the soul will
manifest a personality based on the influence of the afterlife realm they
came from. These influences are defined in astrological terms and are related to the
afterlife realm represented by the
planet. Each planet in our solar
system exerts a particular influence on us which certain lessons can be learned and for which
we are tested on Earth.
The first afterlife realm is
physically represented by the planet Saturn. This is a realm that is equivalent to the
Catholic concept of purgatory, a
place for the purification of souls that have not kept their ways clean on Earth.
It is the realm for starting over. Cayce called this realm to be of "earthly woes"
and a place where "all
inadequate flesh goes to be redone." This realm is the "Great Changer", the
great force for starting over. It is a realm where "the Lord loves those who are willing to start
The second afterlife realm is
physically represented by the planet Mercury, the astrological realm
of the mind.
This realm gives us the ability to consider problems as a whole and has the influence
to develop a keenness of perception in mental things. From this realm comes mental insight into the operative elements of ennobling, of virtues, of good, of
beautiful, with the mysteries of the universal forces, given understanding, brings the
development to the soul's forces.
The third afterlife realm is
physically represented by the planet Earth,
the astrological realm of testing of the flesh. If souls believe something and they really
want to test it out, they can come to Earth to be tested and apply themselves. By actually
going through the experience themselves on Earth
souls can realize if what they believe is
true or not for themselves. Earth is a place for souls to overcome certain weaknesses
by applying themselves to see that those weaknesses are truly overcome. Here
they can learn
for certain whether they have really changed.
The fourth afterlife realm is
physically represented by the planet Venus, the astrological realm
of love. In
this realm is the beauty, the joy, and the
ability to write. This afterlife realm is where love is dominant and where
souls find the expressions in activities
in which there is the beauty seen in love, in companionship, in association, in music, in
art, in all the things that bespeak of the loveliness even of nature and material things,
rather than the expression of same in the earthly
form or manner.
not identify which planet is the physical representation of the fifth
afterlife realm but it is probably
Mars, the astrological realm of anger. This is are realm where souls learn how to control the warrior-like
power, aggressions and urges that each soul has the ability to project. This
realm is were we learn to control our ability to hate as well as to love.
Cayce did not identify which planet
is the physical representation of the sixth afterlife realm, but it is probably Neptune, the
astrological realm of mysticism. This realm is where souls have the ability to have direct experience with the Creator and
perceive the Creator. It is the realm were souls find mystical, mysterious, and spiritual insight.
The seventh afterlife realm is
physically represented by the planet Jupiter, the astrological realm
This realm brings the bigness of vision, the nobleness of purpose, the patience with self as well as
with others. Here, souls find the Universal Consciousness, that longing for the knowledge of
something outside of self, the universal desire or the desire to be of help to many
irrespective of the cost to self. This realm is where souls find abilities in a
helpful, universal way and manner. This realm strengths the souls ability to depict situations, to analyze people and places, things and conditions.
Here, the soul may become gifted in writing, lecturing, and in group direction.
The eighth afterlife realm is
physically represented by the planet Uranus, the astrological
realm of the psyche.
This realm is where
the soul develops psychic ability. This realm can develop extremes and
extremism within a soul. Also, a soul can develop an interest in the occult and the mystic forces; as visions, hearings, seeing and knowing without having
the physical contact with experiences in the mental body. This realm influences
an interest in the spiritual things. All
Earth had a sojourn within this afterlife realm before incarnating to the
The ninth afterlife realm is physically represented by the planet Pluto, the
of the subconscious. Here, souls can attain the final development of full consciousness.
This realm has spiritual-minded influences outside of self. It influences demonstrative
activity in the future affairs or developments of humanity.
The final afterlife realm is
physically represented not by a planet but by the star
astrological realm of developing. This afterlife realm is a kind of weigh station, a transient place where souls choose to
travel to other realms and other solar systems. It is the door in and out of our solar system.
This realm is the junction between the spheres of activity as related to the
cosmic force. This is both a usual and an unusual step in soul evolution.
The first realm
is the Earth realm.
Here a person exists in a physical, etheric and astral body. It is the astral body that
survives death and travels to other realms.
is called the Lowest
realm is the equivalent of emotional excesses, demonic
possession, and hell.
is called the Intermediate Astral
Realm. Rest and rehabilitation await the soul here. This
realm is similar to
lovelier, with many opportunities to learn. On this realm, the soul decides to progress to
or to reincarnate to Earth.
The fourth realm
is called the Highest
Astral Realm or "Summerland." Here the soul finds angelic assistance and
unconditional love. Wider perspectives about life are gained and greater vistas to
creation are revealed. Here the astral body can be shed (the "second death") and
the spirit can be reborn into a higher
realm for which it has become qualified.
fifth and sixth
realms are the Mental and Causal
realms offer the
realms for the development of the mind and soul. Access to all
accumulated wisdom is here and one can have a final opportunity for rebirth into the
Earth before ascending to higher realms. Most of man's inventions and inspirations
are passed down to Earth from this realm.
The seventh realm
is called the Celestial Realm or the "Third Heaven." On this
realm, one can have contact with the
Godhead and learn the secrets of miracles and of all creation.
The eighth realm
called the First Cosmic Realm. This is the last
realm of our solar system and the
one where the soul can reach "at-one-ment" with the Godhead.
The ninth realm
is called the Second Cosmic Realm. This realm
is the end of manifest,
The tenth realm
is called the Third Cosmic Realm. This realm
is the so-called "Void", a realm of non-vibratory, pure consciousness.
The eleventh and final realm
is the Fourth Cosmic Realm. This is the realm
full "at-one-ment" with the Godhead and the entry into states of consciousness
beyond human comprehension.
Dr. Michael Newton
According to Newton, the hypnotherapist and
author of Journey of Souls, the first
realm after death is the so-called
"earthbound dimension." Those who do not accept the fact their physical
body is dead and fight returning to the spirit world for reasons of personal anguish go to
this dimension. These souls are often called "ghosts" or falsely called
"demons." These souls refuse to go to the spirit home after physical death and
often have unpleasant influences on those of us who would like to finish out our human
lives in peace.
Another dimension might be called seclusion. Those who have been subverted by, or had complicity with, criminal abnormalities in
a human body go to this dimension. After death, they are separated from others in the
spirit world. This happens at the time of their orientation with their guides. They are
not activated along the same travel routes as other souls and will go into seclusion upon
reentering the spirit world.
All souls, regardless of experience,
eventually arrive at a central port in the spirit world that is like a staging area. A
large number of souls are conveyed in a spiritual form of mass transit. Souls are brought
in, collected, and then projected out to their proper final destinations similar to a
central terminal of a metropolitan airport that has the capacity to fly people out in any
direction. The most outstanding characteristic of this world is a continuous feeling of a
powerful mental force directing everything in uncanny harmony. People say this is a place
of pure thought.
Souls travel to the soul group level which
depends upon the souls' development.
After souls arrive into their soul groups,
they are summoned to appear before a "Council of Elders." While the Council is
not prosecutorial, they do engage in direct examination of each soul's activities before
returning them to the groups. Should they decide to reincarnate to Earth, they must meet
again with this "Council of Elders" to aid in their reincarnation.
Upon death, most people go
through a heavenly process before entering into heaven. Evil
people, instead of experiencing the tunnel and bright light upon
death, are sent through the "left door"
and enter into an abyss of empty, joyless, nothingness for a brief
period of time. After they have reflected upon their actions,
they are reincarnated back to Earth.
People who commit suicide are sent to a
"holding place" which is purgatory. Here they must make a choice to
either proceed through the "left door" or embrace God and
move on to the light. People in purgatory shuffle slowly
around in despair in a gray fog with their heads down until they make
Most people, who go
through the heavenly process, go through a tunnel and towards the
light of God. They return home to the place they came from on
the other side. Here, they have a reunion with family and
friends who have departed before them. After the reunion, most
of us are lead by our spirit guide to a building on the other side
called the "Hall of Wisdom." In a sacred room, we see
our lives flash before us on a "scanning machine." This device is a domed screen where our lives are
placed out in three-dimensional holographic form. Once we have
fully evaluated our lives, we are debriefed in an orientation process. This is when we discuss the
lifetime previously lived and reviewed in the scanning machine.
We meet with guides who are trained orientators who discuss ways of
amending for previous mistakes. We receive help if we were
unprepared for our crossing over into the spirit realm.
whose transition is especially difficult, the orientation process is
preceded by another process called "cocooning." This
is when the person is put into a restful, healing sleep for as long as
it takes for them to feel healthy. In extreme cases, people are
taken to a structure called the "Towers" where extremely
confused people undergo a "deprogramming" process.
Once a person has adjusted
to the transition, they can visit a place called the "Hall of
Records" where historical data is stored such as the records of
everyone's past lives. Another beautiful structure is the
"Hall of Justice" where people go before a "Council of
Elders" who are highly advanced spokespersons of God who help us
decide how we are to progress further into the spirit realm.
At some point, people
recognize the need for even further advancement and therefore choose to
return to Earth to gain this spiritual advancement. With the help of a spirit
guide, they decide on an incarnation which will meet their goals. They
then proceed to the Hall of Justice where they meet once again with the
Council of Elders. Here, the Council prepares people for their next
incarnation. When they are ready to incarnate, their family and friends
are gathered together to bid farewell. Once they have said their goodbyes,
they can meet with a Spiritual Teacher, such as Buddha or Jesus, to
embrace them in their divine light. People are then taken to the Towers
and are eased into a deep sleep. The descent into the womb begins and a
new life is born on Earth.
"Only those who have dared to let go can dare to reenter." -
Copyright 2007 Near-Death
Experiences & the Afterlife