Travel in the Spiritual Worlds
Death, the Bardo, and the Weight of Karma
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In the past, we have made references to heavy or dark karma and how it limits the soul during spiritual travel. However the weight of karma has a special meaning for the person following death. This is because such weight affects the individual in the Bardo state in a specific way. We can use a swimmer in water as an analogy when talking about the Bardo world. Heavy karma and its obligations are like weights tied to the swimmer which result in being pulled under the water in the Bardo state. Being pulled under can mean that the individual loses consciousness and the ability to direct his or her attention. This makes souls helpless as they are buffeted by the winds or currents of karma.

As the Buddhist Dharmapada states in the chapter on karma:

10. The fool while sinning thinks and hopes, "This will never catch up with me".
Wait until you are in the other world [following death], and then the fate of sinners learn!

11. The fool while sinning thinks and hopes, "This will never catch up with me".
But later on there is bitterness, when punishment must be endured.

Bad deeds increase the weight of one's karma and create added problems for the soul in the afterlife.

The soul with lighter karma can float and look up into the sky at stars and planets which represent deities, heavens, and worlds with spiritual dimensions. The soul on the surface has some vision and can do spiritual travel to reach these distance states, or request a guide to take him or her to one of these distant lights.

However, a soul with weighty karma is pulled under the water and, as with a swimmer under water, its vision is limited. The confusion and limited awareness results in fewer opportunities to seek help and less ability to concentrate. The under water currents are often too strong to resist and the person is swept along by his or her karma.

Introduction | The Geography of Spiritual Travel | The "Travel" Analogy | Leaving the Body in Spiritual Travel | Spiritual Travel Versus Dreams | Sacred Light | Sacred Sound | Psychic States | Spiritual Travel in Western Religious Scripture | The Self in Spiritual Travel | Returning to the Physical Body | Near-Death Experience | Navigation During Spiritual Travel | Spiritual Matter | Method and Techniques To Induce Spiritual Travel | Shamanism and Spiritual Travel | After-Death Experience | Spiritual Travel as a Rehearsal for Physical Death | Beyond Spiritual Travel | Conclusion


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