In this level we examine the mysteries surrounding the process of transcendence and the crossing of interdimensional gates at the moment of death. The training for transcendence begins during life when we are still capable of taking charge of our lives.
In modern western society the greatest taboo subject is the topic of death. It is socially considered a morbid subject. Within the medical profession, death is treated as a form of illness to be fought by all means possible, even to the point of stripping the person of all dignity. In the modern circle of Daoist practitioners there is a huge blind spot concerning death. Practically all the energy practices are focused on vitality, health, physical and mental power, with no knowledge on how to guide one’s own consciousness at the moment of dying or that of a dying relative.
The process of dying is the most important moment in our lives. It is the culmination of everything we have attained in terms of consciousness, emotional balance and mental clarity. It is the space where we face who we truly are with total nakedness. Ancient practitioners in all the great traditions have focused the totality of their energy work on “crossing the great water”, as the I Ching calls it. Paradoxically, the modern blind spot in this most important phase of existence, is due to the subconscious belief that we are the physical body and that the end of the physical body is the end of everything.
It is necessary to become familiar with the signs of approaching separation of consciousness from the physical, through the actual phases of dying and the orientation of consciousness toward a dimension of transcendence or reincarnation. The subject is extremely vast and the choices open are, literally, infinite.
One characteristic of the intermediate state, after the consciousness separates from the physical, is its intense clarity. This is when truly valuable teachings we have come across, even as a passing comment, come to the forefront as true resources for generating stability and continuity of consciousness. An important aspect of this training is how to help others transcend toward the dimensions of light. In the words of one of my Tibetan teachers, “Death is a potent reminder to use life well.”