Realizations The Autobiography
of Julian Lee / COPYRIGHT
2009 JULIAN LEE
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One of the things I care to do, in this autobiography, is to pass on what I have learned about death. Perhaps one of the most fortunate blessings of my life is that I have been put through the death experience a number of times, in a number of ways. One result of that is that I ponder about death daily, inwardly preparing myself for it. Because one thing I learned from those experiences is that we are not prepared for it. One of the primal purposes of spiritual life, techniques, and dharma is in fact to prepare us for that strange moment.
At death we face surprises. But there is one Big Surprise that is above all, and that is that you are presented suddenly with the real and vital possibility of all-fulfillment and all-satisfaction. Then because of our conditioning, we normally react badly to this opportunity. We are not used to even the idea of all-fulfillment and all satisfaction. Suddenly it is presented to us. We have a number of different reactions. One basic one is fear of it, because of the fact that it involves a complete transformation of your identity. We are not used to an identity that is all-satisfied, all-fulfilled, and all powerful. So we shirk away from it as foreign. This is a basic reaction that I had when God (who was coming to me as his very own, like I was his child and a lost fragment of himself) first met me and presented Himself to me, during these death experiences. It taught me a lot. Now I think of those moments -- because there were several, in different forms -- every day. I Plan for it. I rehearse it in my mind. I plan now what I'm going to do and how I'm going to react. I have it all straight now, to be fearless, to go for it, plunge in, trust. God does not give you hours or even moments to decide. He responds to your real instinctive reaction. At death, we have one big chance, then it's over and we are offered lesser chances.
The best way to prepare, I found, is to contemplate God's true nature as all-fulfilling, all pure, all giving, all power, all light, and all good. This is hard to contemplate. It is because most people seldom contemplate God's nature that they are not ready for Him when he presents himself. So a basic sadhana to prepare for death is to contemplate God this way. A good place to start, if this is difficult, is to read some of the great Psalms praising God in the Bible, those Psalms of a God-devotee. Also, read the chapter in the Bhagavad-Gita where Krishna (one of the forms of God) describes his nature, and elaborate from that with your finest imagination! I was greatly aided by actually seeing it, so my faith in His qualities is now natural and strong.
The World Actually Is a Slow Dream, Self-Projected
I have also experienced the death process through a state called savikalpa samadhi. There are a number of features to this state, which I won't discuss here. But one is that you get to play with separations from your body. I went through a phase of being fascinated by this, by the leaving of the body. Truly, that world is more fascinating than this one. But I learned one very important thing during those explorations, that I wish to share here. That is, this world does not survive our death. When we die, we take the world with us. In like manner, after a dream is finished and you wake in your bed, that world is still inside you and exists nowhere but in yourself, the dreamer, as samskaras or astral body karmas. We are only reborn to "a world that we left behind," because we are so used to believing that's what happened. This is our conditioning. If we die believing "I am leaving behind a world that I want to come back to," that's what we'll do. At least for a time, until we figure out what's really going on.
From this I also realized a more astounding thing, and that is that the world actually goes away each night when you sleep. It isn't there. So, we actually die nightly and dissolve the world -- in truth -- nightly. Through our conditioning, built up over so many lifetimes, we have come to believe in "a world," a continuous world that is "still there" whenever we wake. If you ask Joe to stay up and watch, saying, "Joe, check something for me. I'm gonna go to sleep and I want you to stay up and report to me whether the world stays here while I sleep," Joe will of course be there upon waking and report to you that the world didn't go anywhere. But this is actually only because of your conditioning. You have been believing in "Joe" or "others" in a populated world for a very long time, going back to inchoate lifetimes where this scenario started long ago. You have been firming up "Joe" and the 'contiguous world' idea for a very long time. But it is all just conditioning. You actually "resurrect" the whole mess -- the world and it's "others" saying the things you expect them to say, each time you wake.
The scriptures, and other adepts like Muktananda, speak of this. They say that we resurrect the world upon waking in the twinkling of an eye as the life force changes direction. If you remember "sleeping in a bed" and being partially aware of "sheets and covers" and your body, what's happening is that the direction is fluctuating a bit. Your life force is coming back toward the world/karma, but not fully. In these brief moments of partial wakefulness, you are only partially re-manifesting the world (enough to feel body and bed).
One of the ways I realized this was by getting outside my body and into my room. The out-of-body experience has unique features that distinguish it from ordinary dream. I found that once in my room, in my astral body, the room would start to mutate and morph. A window would appear were there had been none. A creature might be sitting outside the door. A door knob would become a portal to another dimension through simply looking at it. I realized that I myself was "holding together" the room through my inner "impressions" of it. But if I was not really interested in that room, I would not hold together the old room very long. I would let it morph, used to more interesting things when in astral consciousness. Once in the astral state, one has little or no interest in this world. It seems an utterly worthless, boring, non-thing. For this reason one has no desire, from the astral state, to hold together astral duplicates of the world, one's room, etc. Too boring! Whenever one tries to hold together parts of this world from the astral state, so that he can function in this lower world, he awakes extremely tired and unrested.This is because of the huge energy required to do it from that state. In the astral state, it takes tremendous energy to "hold together" the material world we have just abandoned. The world is held together more naturally and easily when in the waking state, with the full life force directed through our body, naturally erecting the physical world-dream.
So, in the same way we "hold together" the outer world when in the physical body, but it is very easy to do because the "schematics" are embedded in our body; the karmas/impressions that resurrect it in it's present form.
It's as though your body is a lens with markings in it. It shines a particular picture on the wall due to the nature of those markings (impurities, experiences, impressions). The "wall" is prakriti or God's screen of "nature." The "picture" the world that you experience. If you can change the markings in the lens-body through purification, the picture (world) changes. If you purify yourself, the world purifies. The world-purification process, going on along with your body-purification, comes out as an upgrade of the world, or reduction of outer world problems. I later learned that sexual lust is the greatest form of impurity, and creates the ugliest and most dire features out in a polluted world-dream.
These experiences with the death moment, bodilessness, and the great light of God have taught me that it is wise to think of God as all-beautiful, all-powerful, and all-fulfilling daily. It is wise to constantly ponder what you would do if God suddenly offered you all that, and offered to let you merge with Him. One practice then, which helps greatly, is to practice merging with Him here and now, while in your present body. There are a number of ways you can do this. A good guru can teach you how.
Think of death daily. And don't worry about leaving anything or anybody here. Because you take it all with you, just as a movie projectionist, after showing a movie to friends, rolls up the film and takes it with him.