- Religion and Philosophy
Who am I? What am I? - Our Phase as a Human Being
So we ask, "Do I have a purpose?"
I spend a quite lot of my time concerned with the bigger questions of life such as "What am I?" "Who am I?" "Do I have a purpose? " "Am I am an immortal being?" and the like. I'm convinced that I am the last, that is - an immortal being. However I continue to ask questions via my gift of Automatic Writing or, more accurately, Automatic Typing. I've been a practitioner of this method of Spiritual Dialogue since 1968 - getting on towards fifty years now, and have moved ahead in what I'm able to take down - my Spiritual Guides being willing, of course. So a couple of evenings ago when I wrote: "I am a divine co-creator of the universe, so what am I creating?" the immediate response was as follows:
"Self awareness. Real self-awareness, Tom. You are in the process of your own God realization, and that is the most critical and important part of your phase as a human being."
Is our present incarnation "just one phase?"
Now, scepticism aside by you my reader. I draw you to the word which really sparked my desire to write this particular essay. That word is, phase. For the word phase seems to imply that we are life itself and that we move through various stages of manifestation. That is, we inhabit and create or vice versa. It implies that being in a human body is only one phase, perhaps one phase of many. This, in turn smacks of Reincarnation, but not only Reincarnation in another human body but that of other types of body.
A general consensus is that we advance 'upwards.'
My readings have lead me to believe that we do not regress in our own individual spark of life - that which we manifest forms less advanced, such as that of a rabbit, toad or spider, but that of higher, more advanced forms which are, at present, beyond our ken to imagine. In other words we evolve into something more complex even than a human. We evolve 'upwards.'
The Divine Dichtomy: We are all separate and we are all one
Earlier reading of mine has led me to believe that when we 'die,' that is, when we leave our physical bodies because they can no longer contain our life force. (once again, that life force being what we actually are) that we move on to a subtler dimension. That is our soul, which comprises everything except our physical body, goes to the dimension for which we have readied it by the way we've lived our present life. You could call it heaven, or hell, or whatever, but it does seem that we do go on. After all, we are the life, not the form. It is the life which builds and holds together the form until that form is worn out, damaged or can, for one reason or another, no longer be sustained by the spark of life which we individually are. The Divine Dichotomy being: we are all separate and we are all one.
Stay with it. And remember whatever I'm saying here is being created by a human mind - whatever that is.
Where are you - me? Just exactly whereabouts?
I am a pretty firm believer now in Reincarnation. Not adamant, but feel it to be more than just a loose-working hypothesis. In my earlier experiences in Vipassana Meditation, something I've pursued now for twenty-nine years, I had some very strange experiences which lead me to think that, "Yes, I have lived before as a human being." Certain vivid scenes, along with attendant emotions came up whilst I was deep within my own psyche. These scenes came from within. Some of these I detailed in a book I wrote on the subject after I'd been meditating regularly for twelve years.
Try nine days of Noble Silence a few times
The inference is that if this is true for me then it would be true for everyone. Ah! I can see the hands going up in protest. Fine. This is all opinion on my part. However, it is opinion based on a lot of experience. To detail just a little of this: 25,000 to 26,000 hours of Vipassana Meditation, including fourteen nine and ten-day retreats at a Vipassana Meditation Centre adhering to 'Noble Silence' - and that does take you deep. Millions of words taken down via Automatic Writing and Typing covering forty-seven years. And as far a reading goes, well, it would not be unreasonable to say that I've read and studied hundreds of books on what I broadly term Metaphysics
What happens to us when we die? Keep an open mind
and Spirituality, so I guess I'd qualify as a 'very experienced' layman in the subject.
What do we take with us into the next world when we leave this one? Well, according to one researcher, George Meek, who's book, What Happens To Us When We Die? is that just about everything none material survives. Our physical body falls to pieces once the etheric, or what the Russian researchers termed, the bio-plasmic body, which holds it together can no longer do so. Both of these go, the latter being made up of magnetic-type force fields which hold the physical together. But our Astral Body goes on. That Astral being made up of several levels: an emotional level, lower mind, upper mind and soul. One gets into semantics here, because some people refer to the Astral Body overall as 'The Soul.' However, what is important is not so much the terminology as what the words represent.
The material us is left behind, the rest continues on.
When we leave Planet Earth and our material body behind, we take with us our personal minds. We take also our gifts and talents and interests. We take our qualities and values. You could say we take our whole person - except the physical. But because of the experience - and in many of us the incredible realization that we have 'died' and yet still are extant, that is conscious - we're swept away by the incredulity of it. My own experience with recently departed spirits who I have personally known on Earth, has always been one of great surprise - pleasant surprise - followed by all manner of statements about how happy they now are.
Check out Barbara Ann Brennan and her book, 'Light Emerging.'
Probably the one person I've read who explains in the finest detail as to just what and who we are from the spiritual aspect, is Barbara Ann Brennan. I've been fascinated by the detail this very gifted woman has been able to present in the one book I have read written by her. "Light Emerging - A Journey of Personal Healing." It is a masterpiece! If you can get a copy, you'll find it fascinating.
Once you choose to know yourself the whole universe conspires to help you in your quest.
All that aside, I'd like to close by quoting the late Mr. S. N. Goenka, the man who taught me the rudiments of Vipassana Meditation. "You are to work out your own salvation." That is, no one is going to bring us to an understanding of what and who we are except ourselves. We can get a lot of help along the way. Indeed, once we determine we really do want to know the answers to the big questions of life, then "The whole Universe conspires to help you." - another of Goenka's throw away lines.
A good way to start: Figure out what you are not.
So if you do want to know what you are, my advice to you would be to start off by determining what you are not. e.g. you are not any of the roles you play. You are not your verbal thoughts or imaginings. You are not your physical body. Of course, you have a physical body. It is yours. You have thoughts. You have emotions. But you are not any of these. Most of all you are not the self-image you have of yourself. But I've left you a lot to get on with.