Travel in the Spiritual Worlds
The Trap of Materialism at the Time of Death
We have already spoken briefly about materialism and the certainty that there is no afterlife, and the problems it engenders in the Bardo.
The principal problem is pride. The diehard materialist's feelings of superiority to others who have religious world views can turn into a very pronounced kind of blindness following death.
When people insist that there is no afterlife, they assume that whatever happens to them must be happening to a living person. They may go through a long illness and be told they are dying or undergo a dangerous operation that has little chance of success. There is ample evidence that the experience they may be having following such events is in the afterlife. However, when they find themselves in the Bardo of transmigration, instead of assuming they are dead, they believe instead that they are dreaming or that they are in a temporary coma. They expect to wake up any minute.
Since there is no afterlife, being conscious (in whatever form) makes them certain they are alive. If they are approached by helpers, told they are dead, or given opportunities to move to a higher state of consciousness, they will often just assume it is their imagination, especially if afterlife or religion is mentioned. They become unapproachable by guides and helpers.
To admit they are dead is to admit they were terribly wrong throughout their life about the way the universe works. They would rather stay in a coma-like state of confusion awaiting an event that will never occur (waking up in their old body) in the Bardo than admit they were wrong. They are destined for confusion followed by reincarnation without learning about the spiritual possibilities inherent in the Bardo.
On the whole, it is a wasted opportunity. People are much better off being agnostics and accepting the possibility of an afterlife, even if they doubt the validity of particular religions and their descriptions of the geography of death and afterlife.
Some people are naturally competitive and seek superiority as their goal. However, as a rule, it is healthier spiritually to seek moral superiority which involves doing good deeds or refusing to do bad ones. Assumed intellectual superiority based on believing one is more intelligent than others is not a good longterm strategy for creating happiness or wisdom.
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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