Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD. PhD
24th February 2010
The existence of life after death is an intriguing topic to the layman because it ignites inquisitiveness and allows hope for a better life - a solace from the present one. The topic also grips man in fear with the prospect of facing life yet again, which might be far worse than the present one.
Life after death whips up propaganda for alliance to religion and anyone known to have experienced life after death is elevated to the higher strata of spirituality automatically. Every man wishes for an experience of life after death and so is eager to hear every detail of such a story.
Doctors and scientists view life after death with scepticism, yet some have well-documented experience about life after death from patients. The documents make interesting reading, to say the least.
Life after death makes it to the radio-waves, print media and the television media. This magnifies the popularity of radio channels, increases the sales of print media and sends television rankings sky high when it airs interviews about life after death.
The life-after-death topic is bread and butter for spiritualists who make hay while the sun shines with their concepts. All in all, the topic is not alien to man of any religion, culture or nationality.
But why is man interested in life after death? That man is interested is proof that he is dissatisfied with life as it is. If not, why would he be interested? Has he ever met another who is living a life after death, which is separate from the life that man lives? No one has and no one can because life after death is not separate from life before death.
Is man sure that a separate life exists away from the present life in which he lives? No, he is not certain and cannot be either because, after death, the mind is no more. It is the same mind present in this life, which recalls stories about life after death. Two minds do not exist, one for this life and one for a different one after death. If two different minds existed, one for the present life and the other for after death, man could switch between lives that exist before and after death or decide to choose in which to live.
What would man do about his friends and family? He would certainly face a dilemma of transporting them or leaving them behind, in which case he would certainly be lonely in life after death.
If life after death is the same as before death, what point is there in knowing life after death when it is the same that any man lives? If life after death were different from the life man lives, then it would be worthwhile knowing what it could be.
Experiences about life after death are many, but what could an experience be? The nature of experience is a thought, and nothing besides this, which means that any experience, be it during life or after death, occurs only in the mind and remains in thought-form.
The body organs remain viable after clinical death and, therefore, organ transplantation takes place. The mind too can remain viable and experiences of life after death are similar to a dream. Since such dreams do not occur on a bed they are not taken as a dream, but are mistaken for a life-after-death experience
Similar life-after-death experiences sometimes occur during sleep, which are classified as dreams because they occur on the bed. Death is usually permanent, but it could be temporary too, and stories of life after death are proof of the possibility of death being temporary. Death is a form of life too which man has not understood. Mysterious are the ways of life that keep man alive or dead.
Life is required to keep death as dead. Death cannot and does not keep the death as dead; it is life that keeps death as dead. Without life anything that is dead, including man, cannot exist. In life only life exists and death is a form of life that transforms from one state to another. Life is energy and so too is death, which makes death life too.
It is more important to realise what life could be than be interested in knowing what life could be after death or, in other words, life after death. Life to man is full of experiences spread between the events of birth and death, the experience of either of which he is not aware.
The experiences in between birth and death, which man knows, are his life. He knows about them, but is not aware of them: knowing and being aware of experiences are not the same, but are mistaken to be similar. If man were aware, he would realise that life is a singular, spontaneous, uncontrollable and unpredictable movement and not action-filled due to cause and effect occurring in time.
Man knows experiences as thoughts in his mind and not as actuality in life, for time is absent in life. Even time is a thought in man’s mind, which makes time relative and illusory, but not absolute or real.
Therefore, experiences are thoughts and thoughts are an auditory illusion of sound, and it is mind that man takes to be life and not life as such. Life cannot be known, for to know, time and mind would be required, both of which are absent in life.
Life after or before death is merely thoughts in the mind, and mind is not life: it is just an auditory illusion of sound. In life only life exists, while death is illusory, for death is a form of life too. To know life after death is just an ego-trip, as is life before death, an ego-trip. Life is the timeless ‘now’ and nameless ‘here’.
If you think that you know what your daily life is, understand that you know mind, which is the same as death but not life. The real reason why man is interested in living life after death is because he believes that life after death is blissful.
Realise that life is timeless and thoughtless every moment and is, therefore, blissful. Realise that life is blissful before and after death, because the mind is not life. The realisation that life is timeless and thoughtless is enlightenment.
© Copyright V. S. Shankar 2010