Learning to Understand the Nature of Life, Death and the Soul
Posted On March 25, 2019
/ Written by Dr. Linda Gadbois
Death is still one of the greatest mysteries there are. Some people feel terrified at the mere thought of it because they have no idea what to expect, or what will actually happen and “where they’ll go”. Whatever we imagine death to be like is largely dependent on our beliefs and what we’ve been conditioned to believe in terms of our faith. In order to gain a practical understanding of this idea, we’d also have to define what it is we’re referring to as “death”, because like all words and ideas, it means something different to everyone contemplating it, and if we approach it as a generalized idea that means the same thing to everyone alike, we can be on completely different pages and not even know it.
What most people are referring to when they talk about dying is when our physical body stops working for some reason and we cease to exist within our body, personality, and the identity we formed out of our body and life circumstances. Most consider themselves to be their body and personality and can’t imagine what it would be like to exist without a physical body. Our tendency to build our identity out our our material existence is what’s commonly referred to as our ego, which is portrayed as being a fundamental form of “false identity” that renders us “mortal” in the most basic sense, because our “sense of self” is obtained purely through our physical existence and personality, which also dies with the body. This is what gives people the idea that death means “lights out”, where when our body dies we no longer exist as a soul.
What we refer to as our “soul” however, is universal and eternal in nature because it consists of pure energy. We know for a fact scientifically that energy can’t be destroyed in terms of being killed or disappearing and no longer “existing”, but is merely transformed from one state to another. This means that it transcends the body at physical death and continues to exist in what we can think of as a parallel dimension that’s invisible to the physical senses, just as the mind and soul are invisible while inhabiting the body. So the first thing we have to really get clear on is that the soul-mind is not the body itself, but what constructs and maintains and operates the body, giving it “life”. When the soul leaves the body it no longer has life, is no longer “held together” and animated, and begins the process of disintegration and returning to the raw elements that were used to form it.
Mind and Soul
Many people continue to perceive everything in dualistic, separative terms even when they embrace the idea of reality being formed out of multiple dimensions or states of consciousness that combine to form a unified field as a “greater whole” we call “reality”. We know for a fact, scientifically speaking, that energy (invisible forces of consciousness) and matter are different aspects or densities of the same thing and are interchangeable at the fundamental level. We know that all material bodies are accompanied by an energy field (field of organized information), while many fields of energy exist without a physical counterpart. We also know that a form of electromagnetic field (phantom) accompanies DNA and is what performs the task we call “natural selection” that determines what sequences are formed in order to construct the body giving it specific characteristics and traits, and serves to “activate and conduct” the process of regeneration and cellular formation that ultimately organizes and structures the body using a form of etheric blueprint (energetic body) as a means of spatial organization.
What we refer to as the etheric body (in esoteric science) is what science now refers to as the “phantom effect”, and is what has traditionally been called the “Holy Ghost” of the trinity, which is a symbolic idea describing the 3-fold nature of the mind and soul. This etheric double is the essence of the soul formed out of accumulated and integrated memory that’s used to construct the physical house or temple of the soul, and remains within the material plane with the body at the time of death as a form of remnant that disintegrates in a more gradual manner than the body over a longer period of time. This “echo” or lingering memory of the soul is what we occasionally experience as ghosts or apparitions of departed souls. Whenever someone claims to be in contact with people who are deceased, they’re actually referring to this lingering consciousness and not the soul itself, which sheds it as a form of garment that’s soiled and worn out.
Many can have a tendency to think of the mind and soul as different ideas, with the mind typically being attributed to the brain, heart, and body, and the soul some other mysterious force we’re not quite sure of. In reality however, the mind “is” the soul and is the means through which all material matter is constructed and used as a vehicle for the soul to self-express and create experiences of itself. The soul is what utilizes the body as the means of “creating itself” in order to experience itself through it’s own creation as a unique individual. The only way the soul can “know itself” is through it’s ability to perceive and experience itself. The mind and the soul are synonymous ideas and can be used interchangeably to describe different aspects as functions of the same thing.
The mind and soul have what we call a 3-fold nature, which means there are three distinct parts that perform different functions in creating the same unified reality. On the higher planes of pure energy and essence the mind is unified or androgynous, as is reality itself, and becomes “dual” as polar opposites when descending into the lower plane of “experience”. This is because in order to create experiences of itself, it needs to create the illusion of an inner and outer, and a self and another that all appear to be separate from each other. It’s not only the physical body that’s organized, constructed, and used by the soul as the means of expressing, but the outer reality in which the body lives and is an integral part of. All reality as we’re capable of “knowing it” through our “perception” of it is formed as a mental construct or larger pattern that’s of the same nature as the body and is what serves to set the stage necessary for the soul to live out a certain type of story as the means of creating itself “through” the experiences of itself it provides.
What we commonly refer to as the higher mind or soul exists on the plane “above” the lower plane and is the aspect that organizes and orchestrates the entire lower plane of physical reality in order to produce specialized types of experience. When descending into the lower plane to “be in” the reality of its creation as a direct experience of it, it divides into feminine and masculine aspects as what we call the subconscious and self-conscious mind, also referred to as the “material mind”. These two aspects of the material mind are complementary opposites that work together through a form of dynamic paradox to produce an inner and outer self as an inner and outer awareness that are intimate aspects of each other.
Matter, the subconscious, and the lower soul (etheric double) are considered feminine in nature because they act as a form of passive receptor for the active, masculine aspect which serves to impregnate it with an idea as a form of “seed” that it then formulates and births as a corresponding physical reality. Matter is passive and lifeless in its fundamental state and only acts as a form of “empty shell” that’s magnetic in nature for consciousness to enter into through “sympathetic resonance”, and is used as the means of expressing and creating on the material plane. The only way the soul can transform itself to new and more diverse states as a vibratory frequency (pattern as a story and character) is through its ability to create new experiences of itself. Once it leaves or sheds a body, whatever nature and character it created of itself while in the body remains eternally the same on the energetic level. All growth and transformation of the soul only takes place while in a body through an experience of itself “as” specific qualities and characteristics (all of which it creates).
The subconscious is the aspect of the self that’s “unconscious” in nature, which means it operates constantly within the material plane to organize it and operate it as a “living body”, as well as produce the phenomenon of what we perceive as the reality “out there” that creates the appearance as a form of “illusion” of being outside of and separate from us. This entire mental construct takes place without our direct awareness of how it’s all being produced. All reality is experienced as being both “in here” and “out there” as a dynamic living matrix produced as a mental construct by the soul at different levels simultaneously. All of this takes place without our direct awareness of it as our own creation.
This paradoxical fact is self-evident through the realization that even though we all seem to share what we call an “objective reality” (Nature) that’s fundamentally the same for everyone (we all share the same subconscious mind), we all form our own perspective and way of perceiving the same reality that allow us to experience it in unique ways. Ten people who are a part of the same event, when separated and asked to give an account of their experience of it will all tell a different story about what happened. This is because all experience of reality is subjective in nature and is produced as a mental construct formed out of our own paradigm. All of what we call reality is actually only evident and therefore “knowable” through our perception of it. We’re always taking what we can think of as a universal idea (archetype) and using it as the means of creating a unique and personalized version of the same idea. On the material plane we’re a part of the “group mind” of the collective consensus where we’re given an idea and taught what to think in order to be like everyone else, whereas on the higher plane of the soul, we’re individuals who always create in a unique way as a form of self-expression based on our vibratory frequency as our mental constitution.
When our soul becomes fully identified with our material body, and creates an illusion of itself as a specific personality and identity (we fashion our ego), it fears death of the body because it means annihilation of the ego. When the soul realizes its true origins as the creator of the body and material reality that it uses to experience itself, it maintains a detachment to the body and cultivates its proper identity as a universal being that traverses through many ego’s throughout it’s evolutionary journey through time. The soul takes on three perspectives simultaneously as the means of experiencing itself – it’s in the first person as being “in the experience” or from the inside looking out and having an experience; in the second person that’s dissociated and “witnessing the experience” as if another person; and in the third person watching itself watch the experience from a higher perspective of the “whole story” being played out in this lifetime. These three aspects and different perspectives are always engaged in a form of dialogue with each other as thoughts, self-reflecting on thoughts, and self-guidance through a subtle awareness of the greater story playing out as our life.
The Accumulation and Absorption of
The idea of what’s commonly called a “life review” as key memories that “flash before our eyes” as we’re dying is what we can think of as the soul absorbing the experiences obtained while in the body from a dual perspective of “cause and effect”. We review key memories that were of an emotionally intense nature where whatever we did that hurt or caused another pain and suffering, we experience from the receiving end. We become the “effect” of whatever it is we caused, and this forms what we can think of as our “karmic seed”. When we shed our body, which is what “locates us at a specific point and time within the material plane” in order to form a specific perspective, we then return to our universal nature (Ego) and experience everything in a holistic manner that’s no longer separate in terms of cause and effect, as both the giving and receiving end of our own actions (creations).
Anything that we perceive as “doing to another”, we’re actually doing to ourselves through the same act, because in the ultimate sense, there’s actually only one of us that “appears” as two. We are responsible and held accountable for our own actions in the most direct and basic sense of the idea. All of what we call “judgment” after we die isn’t conducted by an outside force that acting to evaluate our deeds, but is something we experience from a holistic plane as what we could think of as a “whole and fully integrated pattern”. In this way we experience all aspects of our own creation by how we actively used our will to create our experiences in relation with others, which is really a relationship we form with “unknown aspects of ourselves” that we perceive in others.
In the ultimate sense of the idea there’s really no such thing as “another” that we experience as being apart from us and either doing something to us, or we’re doing something to them, and once we leave and transcend this plane of duality (polarity), we realize that what we perceive as being another was actually the embodiment of aspects of ourselves that we were unconscious of. At death of the body and transcendence back into wholeness, we realize through direct experience that there was really only one of us creating our own experience of ourselves as someone specific having a certain “type of experience” from a specific location in time. All memories obtained while in a dual state on the material plane, are returned to their holistic state as a complete pattern on the higher, universal plane, and form what we call karma as living different lives where we’re on the receiving end of our actions from a previous life.
The Death Experience
While many look for answers as to what to “expect” when they die as a kind of generalization or regimented, dogmatic idea that’s similar for everyone, it’s actually the mind and soul that produces all of our experiences in life as well as in death. The mind stays fully intact at death of the body and continues creating its own experiences in what we call the afterlife, which simply means without a physical body. Whatever belief system we form and maintain in life as the means of creating our self through creating our experiences, is the same one that produces our experience of dying and transcending to a different plane. This is why nearly all spiritual traditions emphasize the importance of our “beliefs and faith”. Whatever ideas we form as beliefs form our mental construct and associations, and not only tune us energetically to correlating planes of existence, but also shape how we experience things.
The fact of the mind and soul always creating in a unique and diverse fashion has a tendency to drive science and religion crazy, because they both look for consistency and repetition as the means of attempting to determine and validate truth from fiction. The group mind of the material plane that creates based on what we’ve been taught to believe is always working to try and conform us to the same idea that’s “labeled” true because it’s experienced equally by numerous people. The group mind is formed through various forms of conditioning as “suggestions” that are given to a person who then turns it into a reality. When we embody someone else’s idea about something, imagining it as real, and therefore accept it as true, forming a belief out of it, we act naturally to create the reality of that belief, making it real as an actual experience.
We can read numerous books and listen to the accounts of others who are reported to have had a “near death experience”, all of which can seem somewhat correlated, while further investigation with an open mind will nearly always reveal many different accounts of the same basic process as an event. What we realize is that everyone who takes up a general study and investigation into the death experience starts off with their own mental paradigm and belief system, which acts as a “filtering system” for what they’re open to (can readily see) and can logically accept as being real, and therefore include, and what they reject as false and therefore leave out. Some even take an attitude of forming a “streamline idea” of what happens out of a kind of “majority rules” type of mentality (group mind) where we only look at the accounts that agree with our preliminary beliefs, only considering those that at least somewhat agree with us as being “true”. After carefully filtering out and actively selecting only what agrees with our belief-system and what we deem possible, we form them into what we consider a generalized idea that we then view as the most “accurate account” of what is in reality a diverse and unique experience. Whenever we view what originates and takes place on a higher plane from the perspective and mindset of the lower plane of material reality, we’re always working from the mentality of the group mind (that lacks creativity) rather than the “individual” mind, which is self-creative.
Many people are controlled by an intense need to be right or to have the most accurate idea about something that they then use as the means of proving others wrong who disagree with them. Very few people truly comprehend the fact that we create reality out of our values and beliefs and so we’re convinced that they’re true, and make them real as a result. When we believe in something, which means we experience it through our ability to perceive it as a correlating outer reality, we don’t consider anything that contradicts it or that would serve to show us that it’s a belief and not an objective fact, because we “literally can’t see it”. One of the most basic paradoxes we all face is that in order to change our reality we have to change our perception of it which is formed by our beliefs, yet we often can’t conceive of anything outside of our beliefs, because “reality” as we’re capable of knowing it is subjective in nature and formed “out of our beliefs”.
The Experience of Past Life
I naturally drew most of my ideas about death through my experiences with people who died, and became a bit obsessed with the idea when my husband was violently killed at a rather young age. As I went through the experience with him and listened to what he was trying to express, a shift took place in my awareness, and when he actually died I could almost sense what was happening through a form of gestalt (intuition) that changed the course of my life and marked the beginning of an intense investigation into the nature of the soul and what actually happens when we die.
After his death I bought and read every book I could find on the subject, which allowed me to begin touching on deep seated memories within my own soul. When I began my education and training in Clinical Hypnotherapy and began forming a radically new awareness around myself from a detached and more universal perspective, I realized in very direct terms that there was a part of me that was directing and instructing other parts of me as the means of producing my experience of myself and my perception of reality. Through an innate communication between what I sensed as different parts of my “self”, I realized that all of what I considered “guidance” from a form of “higher power” came as the result of a part of me that was helping another part of me to maneuver reality as a greater story being acted out from a higher plane of self-awareness.
Through my educational experience in Clinical Hypnotherapy I came upon the hypnotic process of what we call “past life regression”, which I entered into with a very skeptical attitude because I was conflicted as to how I felt about it. In doing a bit of soul searching around the idea I realized my skepticism was really a foreboding feeling of deep seated fear, so I decided to step into it with an open mind to see what it was about. Having practiced hypnosis for quite some time I was very good at it and went into deep trance states easily where I experienced myself through my subconscious without the “editing factor” of my self-conscious mind. This is where there’s no decision involved as to what I accept or don’t accept, and everything comes instead as a direct experience of a heightened and intensely real nature. No actual thinking or storytelling is involved, just pure experience.
For those of you who aren’t aware of the process involved, all regressions are set into motion as an inquiry about a current life situation that you want more information around. You set an intention that acts to “tune you” to the life where you willfully created the same type of pattern as a life theme. This intention as a form of wondering about something determines what past life you access and experience. One of the interesting things about this type of experience is that I seemed to be aware of experiencing the life both from “within it” (in a body) as a direct experience within the personality, and as “witnessing it” by observing it from a distance simultaneously. I had a kind of expanded awareness of both the inner and outer experience at once. As I was experiencing the drama of that life through impactful experiences as they unfolded, I was simultaneously aware of the larger story playing out as the theme of that life. I was aware that I was both the participant in an unknown drama that was unfolding moment by moment, and the creator, much like being the author of a book written by imagining the experience of it.
As it went along I immediately became aware of how the same idea as a pattern was influencing my feelings and awareness in this life. Tendencies I was experiencing in this life that created a kind of inner conflict as a constant debate, I suddenly became completely aware of what they were about and how I acquired them. I also realized my attraction as well as extreme dislike for certain ideas and people that formed my intuition around things in this lifetime. It was like a massive opening of self-awareness took place that showed me things I didn’t even know to ask, because they only existed in me as feelings and impulses that had no explanation in reference to this life. All of the sudden everything seemed to make perfect sense, and I not only knew the reason, but what I needed to do in order to resolve it.
At the end of every regression you go through the “death experience” while completely detached from any kind of physical pain. What I experienced each time only had a few similarities with the popular accounts. A couple of times I realized I was dying and formed whole experiences around it that were similar to what I experienced after I was already dead. At the time of death, I suddenly found myself outside of and above my body looking down at the whole scene and realized I was dead. As I realized I was dead, I felt a kind of grief around leaving my body as a form of love for it. Along with this realization came a deep and profound sense of what the “meaning” that life experience was about. As certain scenes passed through my mind I realized how they were all a part of a bigger story playing out without my awareness. I experienced it as a form of single experience that was a kind of theme born out of a predominant state of mind. The single events themselves were only significant in terms of how they were being played out as a much larger story. This larger story, which produced a certain type of experience, played out in several lifetimes in different ways, drawing different conclusions each time around the same type of experience from different perspectives.
In a couple of transitions I watched my own funeral, which also created different realizations as a kind of summary. In other lifetimes, I transcended without watching it. Not once did I have the experience of going through a tunnel, but I did experience the sensation of rising up into the sky as if I was being drawn up and eventually vanishing. On a couple of occasions I had an intense experience around the “blue” of the sky as I then merged into it and disappeared from the reality I had lived in and was an active part of. On one occasion, I was what I referred to as being a “great storyteller ”, or Shaman, and as I was drawn up into the deep blue, I had the experience of turning into a white dove and flying away. All duality as an inner or outer perception disappeared and I felt at one with a benevolent force that I perceived as being my Higher Self. I recognized it as being the part of me that always remained outside of reality acting as a kind of Choreographer for orchestrating the drama of my life and intuitively guiding me along the way. I was no longer separate from “myself”. At that point nothing seemed to exist outside of me and I felt an expansion that was very euphoric and all resistance vanished. I felt like I was everywhere at once. I had no awareness of time and I completely filled space as space itself.
Through the years having done many past life regressions with numerous people, they all experienced dying in different and unique ways, with only a few common denominators. What I seemed to realize is that just as our mind and soul create all of our experiences of what we perceive as physical reality in a universal, yet unique way, also acts to create our experience of transitioning to other planes and as being on other planes as a different mental state. The only ones that seemed to create what I call the “text book version” had read about the experiences of others which may have served to form a belief about what happens as a preconceived idea. Others interpreted their experience according to their religious or spiritual beliefs, and still others described experiencing what we would probably think of as hell.
Those who fear death tend to create a fearful experience, whereas those who have come to terms with it tend to produce a pleasant or even beautiful experience. Our mind continues on after shedding the body and seems to continue creating the same “type of experiences”, regardless of “where” they’re at or what plane they gravitate into. In my experience, what we tend to refer to as “heaven or hell” are not places or planes as we tend to think about them in the material sense, but are “states of mind” out of which we produce matching realities.
The sensation of moving through a tunnel and into another plane of reality seemed to be more about the experience of departing from the body itself. The soul itself doesn’t seem to be moving into another plane as an actual transition, but rather what’s acting to create that plane as an experience of itself. The only real difference seems to be that instead of experiencing it from within a particular body and point in time, it seemed to be “all there is”. The soul is the entire reality rather than a minute part of a greater reality. I didn’t experience myself as playing a role in a “group reality”, but rather as being the reality itself in all its aspects simultaneously. There’s no sense whatsoever of time and space.
So when you ask yourself or others what death is like, allow yourself to notice what your beliefs are about it, and in realizing this, know that it’s going to greatly influence how you (soul) create your experience of dying. If you perceive yourself as being a bad person who deserves to be punished, you’re probably going to create the experience of being punished. If you believe someone you know comes to meet you, that’s more than likely what you’ll experience. If you have a belief in God as a human-like figure or Jesus, that’s how you’ll interpret the events as the means of creating your experience. On the higher planes of the mind, soul, and spirit, we’re creative beings with the ability to choose and willfully produce whatever experience our paradigm (organized memory) naturally acts to create. In the invisible realm of pure spirit we blend back into wholeness where we realize we’re our only creator.
Linda is a scholar in Esoteric Sciences and holds a doctorate in Spiritual Sciences, and a BS in Clinical Hypnotherapy, along with numerous specialty certifications in various healing methods. She's professional writer, artist, educator and Mentor, and offers a wide variety of Mentoring and Consulting Services, along with professional training programs. Her specialties include Personal Transformation, Self-Mastery, Spiritual Sciences, Transpersonal Psychology, and Integrative Mind-Body Medicine. For more info visit our Personal and Professional Services pages in the top menu bar of this site, or email us at: [email protected]