There is something that I have wanted to write
about for a while, but my state of mind (or plainly being busy with
other things) prevented me from doing so.
But I thought I'd give it a shot now.
This is about life and death or rather about life after death. Not so much in the traditional way of going to heaven or hell, but from a spiritual perspective for which you need to realise the basic foundation that I am thinking from. Note that this is all pretty experimental thinking, but that's what I am doing in this blog anyway...
In a blog entry from a couple of years ago (http://www.vanderhaven.net/blog/20080129.html) I have described my vision of the non-dual based on a few authors. Particularly A.H. Almaas's definition of the Soul as a "Field of Consciousness" stuck with me profoundly. I concluded that the core of humans beings, the core of Life itself is simply that field of consciousness. Noting more, nothing less. Everything around us pops up in our consciousness, is part of it and generated by it. So are we ourselves: we observe the field of consciousness that we are part of ourselves, hence consciousness is the ultimate expression of non-dual reality.
I realise that the preceding description may be pretty brief, so do read that other blog entry or rather, do read Almaas's "The Inner Journey Home" for a far more extensive view.
In any case, this model of consciousness as the ultimate non-dual core of life can now be extended to life-after-death as well.
What I started to realise (from the moment my mother died in December 2008) is that, given the continuity of consciousness across life and death (consciousness really doesn't care about whether something is alive or not, it just *is*), there is really no way to distinguish between a person's being alive or dead apart from his/her body stopping functioning. All we can observe when someone dies is that "life" disappears from the body, which, having been very close, has been clearly visible. For people who look beyond a definition of life that is purely mechanical or based on biological functioning, what happens at the point of biological death is consciousness escaping the body. Given her situation, my mother was literally *released* from her body at that point.
So where does that consciousness go to? Well, I'd say, nowhere. The person's consciousness has always been part of the universal consciousness, so upon being separated from the physical body, the individual consciousness just remains part of the universal consciousness. It is as if the big ocean is added to with a small drop of water. Individuality is lost, the person has gone back to the state that it originated from in the first place.
So what is life after death then? Why is there this belief in many cultures that people who die will survive in one way or the other after death? I belief that life after death for an individual is only possible when the people that are left behind keep that person's memory alive. Whenever I think of my mother, it is nowadays mostly with a smile and not always with the pain of loss anymore. I believe that by doing so, I keep her alive after death, for she pops up in my consciousness, which is part of the universal consciousness that my mother is also part of. Heaven must be when people remember you after death with a loving smile. Hell must be when they only remember you with hate.
I wish that most people who are alive right now manage to be remembered with love by those that they leave behind.