Saturday, October 18, 2014

As If Your Hair Were On Fire

One of the basic tenets of Buddhism is that the consciousness separates from the physical body at death, shedding it like a suit of worn clothes. Continuing on with its journey, the experience of mind/awareness minus familiar trappings such as the former body, its given name, place(s) of residence, family or lack thereof - all those anchors with which we used to identify ourselves are now gone. Gone, human being, gone.

That, according to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, is where the rubber meets the road. Stripped of all external props and illusions, what will a being do, feel, react to? Did that charitable guy who gave to his church every Sunday do it out of pure compassion or to look good - and even perhaps assuage his guilt for some trespass? Did the walking wounded of damaged egos, assaulted dignity, blinding ignorance see the Light? Did they become liberated from all wrong-doing, or is that consciousness still traveling with a nightmare of karmic baggage (minus the illusory body which veiled the truth)?

If all the proponents of "life after death" and "karma" agree, then it would be wise to heed the words of an ancient seer:

"Go to the dharma (truth) with the speed at which you would if your hair were on fire and you needed to stamp out the flames."

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