If you’ve been following the series from the beginning and wondering how each instalment relates to Death, then this summary should start to paint a picture.
The series started with an experience and progressively focused towards a more granular understanding of Life. I intend to pass on to you in the simplest way possible, how my understanding of “reality” has prepared me to no longer fear death. Although I touch upon mystical and scientific concepts, I’ve tried to avoid specific jargon. Jargon has the unfortunate effect of making the sceptical and ignorant switch off, while making those familiar with it dig deeper into their own beliefs.
Words are like that.
Words are not the objective symbols of ideas we’d like them to be. To the listener, words are entities which either belong or don’t, within the paradigm they’ve constructed in their mind.
Ultimately, however, what we should believe should rest on three questions:
- Is the foundation sound?
- Is there some scientific evidence, logic, and experiential verification underpinning the claim?
- Is the result possible and probable?
- Considering the evidence, logic and verification, does it build a solid case and follow through to support a probable conclusion?
- Does it make your life better?
- Considering the conclusion, does it soothe my fears, and consequently lead me to live a more fulfilling, fearless and compassionate life?
I’ve sequentially written to give you a firm foundation based on basic science. You don’t need to take my word for it; study, learn and connect the dots yourself. However, don’t follow the religion of Scientism and believe you’re just a body going through biological processes.
The following is a summary with a bracketed number referencing its instalment number for your reference.
 The series started with what I thought was a heart-attack and inevitable immediate death. However, while going through the decline and alarming symptoms, my mind was not only surprisingly rational, but also experiencing no existential fear. My centre was calm while witnessing the physical turmoil unfold.
My calm in the storm boils down to three reasons (often not considered comforting).
 First, I’ve had ALS for close to 14 years. In that period, I’ve had time to accept my mortality, prepare for death, and live accordingly. A terminal illness is often misconsidered a curse; however, examining the horrific alternative ways one can die, a terminal disease is an excellent way to go. You can take solace in the love, support, encouragement and insight you’ll receive while undergoing the process.
Secondly, the symptoms of pain, suffering, adrenalin or sedation occupy our minds so effectively, that the moment of death is never actually known by us. We’re either awake and not dead, or unconscious and not perceiving the passing. Either way, rest assured, you’ll never actually be aware of your own death.
Thirdly, I have a solid scientific, logical, intuitive and experiential foundation for what may happen after physical identity death. My focus is directed at the only unchanging constant in my existence and what underlies all perceived phenomena: Consciousness.
If you’ve paid attention, you’ve seen this word across the series. Consciousness is the one immutable constant among an ocean of ever-changing variables. Consciousness is the calm within the turmoil. And there’s a lot of turmoil.
 Turmoil is inevitable within an environment that’s destructive by design. On Earth, Life means the consumption of other life. Life survives through death. Life is essentially suffering. I proved this level of reality by placing you within a thought-experiment.
You were asked to imagine yourself in the wilderness, naked and alone. You quickly discovered your naked body is ill-suited to Earth’s nature. While every other species can survive as they are, we need tools, weapons and accessories. Despite all that, you’ll still need to eat a different life (plant or animal) to sustain your own. You’ll need to create death to postpone yours.
But no matter what you do, Nature requires your inevitable sacrifice as the price of Life’s admission. Your only respite is the solace from your community of fellow humans. Together, we help and support each other with our ingenuity and compassion. Together, we form complex infrastructure within societies that provide for our basic needs so abundantly, that we can choose to contribute further or do nothing at all and still survive. It’s that ingenuity borne out of advanced abstract intelligence that allows us to dominate Nature.
Human ingenuity and abstract intelligence is what sets us apart from every species on Earth. We’re so far ahead of our closest evolutionary cousins (supposedly chimpanzees) that one has to question evolutionary theory altogether. Couple that with recent archeological findings of human civilisations pre-dating dinosaurs and our place in the Cosmos starts to take on a different definition. If you want to believe you are a result of evolution from a bacterium–the same kind of unevolved bacteria that still lives today–then you’re welcome to believe that story. And it is a story; and a faulty one at that.
It’s faulty because its foundation bases all biological assumptions on two premises: all of reality, including Life, is just matter; and, we’re alone in the entire universe. However, even a cursory glance at the Universe and you know that’s not true. While the scientific method is a phenomenal system to test physical, repeatable hypotheses (chemistry and physics), it’s utterly useless in explaining qualitative abstractions: like our consciousness, life, existence, etc.
Remember also, scientists are people like you and me doing a job. They get things wrong (a lot!) and make erroneous assumptions based on faulty presuppositions and peer-pressure. That is, if they want to keep their reputation, then they have to tow the party line; in this case, that we’re just matter floating in a lonely planet in vast empty space.
The story of you and me just being bodies is an easy one to convince the gullible of. After all, our senses show us that we’re just bodies—I’m here, and you’re there; what else is there to think about?
This is the cursed domain of the myopic and the melancholy. What they can sense is all there is. They’re prisoners of perception, buying the sensory illusion, hook, line and sinker. They’re all alone in a material world with their trust solidly reserved for their sense’s perception.
 But you now know your senses can’t be trusted. Not only are they severely restricted in what they can perceive, but a faulty brain further distorts the already limited perception. Not only is the brain constructing subjective impressions of what’s “out there,” but it’s relegated to only seeing three dimensions within its possible ten. That’s like asking a 2-dimensional square if it can see a 3-dimensional cube. It can’t and it won’t, because its reality is the 2-dimensional plane.
Another reality exists superimposed on ours, but we can’t see it because our brain is wired to see 3-dimensionally. It’s like our eyes only being capable of seeing 0.0035% of the Electromagnetic spectrum. We don’t see gamma radiation, infra-red, x-rays, or ultraviolet radiation, yet, we can feel their effects if exposed long enough.
I wonder what people thought was happening when exposed to these fields before they were discovered? Likewise, I wonder how much of what we believe as random (ALS, strokes, cancer), is a result of imperceptible higher dimensional phenomena. What if some of our theories are entirely wrong and the explanations we fabricate for the results we see, are nothing but convenient sensory-limited stories? What if you’re not just a 3D body manifesting a mind? What if You, are not that at all?
You found out through some simple thought-experiments that You may indeed be beyond the body and the mind. You were once half your weight, half your size, half your age. If you were You then, who’s the You now? Who were You, when you were two cells in your mother’s womb?
Who were You before those two cells even existed?
 No matter how many cells you carry, you found out that if the technology were available to transfer your mind to another container, then you’d still feel You. That’s because the mind transfer assumes the transfer of your identity (your memories). While your memories remind you of your character, that can’t be the fundamental You. Your identity is a fluid caricature of a self. It changes and morphs over time, just like your body does.
In a new body, I would continue with my old mental identity, but I would still feel a Self fundamentally. In fact, we can visualise my current paralysed body as another container altogether. Technically, it certainly is. Every cell has been replaced since my diagnosis many times over.
Where did the ‘I’ in those cells go?
If my previous body is gone and I’m still here, then I’m still here despite my current cells too.
Perhaps my mind is me. But that can’t be so because my mind has changed just as much as my body. Besides, we found out if our memories were replaced with others, then we’d still feel a sense of Self. We’d believe a different identity according to new memories (because that’s all we could remember of our selves), but the intrinsic sense of I would be unchanged.
 Remove all the memories, reason and thoughts, and the original awareness of existence remains. You’ve been like this before as a newborn, as a fetus, as two cells in your mother’s womb. But then, where did you stop and your mother begin?
At a cellular level? At the chromosomal level? At the atomic level?
At some point, it becomes challenging to determine where I begin and end. If we keep looking deeper into what I’m made of (what appears to be me), it’s no more than 7 Octillion atoms constantly changing and popping in and out of existence. After all, molecules are not the solid particles science once believed. All atoms are essentially concentrations of energy fluctuating through phases of probability.
So, am I that energy? No, because that changes too.
So, what am I then?
The only thing left: Consciousness.
 Consciousness was what guided those energy packets to vibrate into DNA, then cells, organs, systems, and eventually a self-aware organism as clear as a shiny mirror. But that mirror didn’t remain the same. It grew in size and collected a lot of dirt along the way. So much so, you can’t see through the glass anymore. All you can see is the accumulated dirt over years of being a mirror. Eventually, you forget you are the mirror and believe you are the cloudy dirt on the glass. Yet, you’re not the glass, nor the dirt, you’re the pristine reflective material.
Like the mirror, it’s difficult to know we’re the reflective, observing Consciousness. We’re blinded, distracted, identified with the years of memories, thoughts, values, judgements, tastes and identities. It’s an understandable position. You’ve had other dirty mirrors sharing their dirt with you, and your dirt with them.
But deep down, you know you’re not that. You know you’re not your mental identity.
You know, because you feel like a fake. None of your mental gymnastics helps you when you’re lying awake on a random Tuesday at 2 am. You’re scared, but you don’t know why. You feel fragile, weak and impotent considering everything you’re meant to be. The dirt is haunting you. The dirt is pulling your attention from who you really are beyond the flesh, cells and atoms: pure, untarnishable Consciousness.
Consciousness is what you were, are, and will always be.
What am I?
I received a question/answer when I asked what would happen when I died.
If you didn’t have senses, how would you know you were alive?
The answer from Consciousness is: I AM!
Consciousness is the Alpha and the Omega. The infinite and the finite.
Life and death: illusions of sensory perception in a 3D reality.
You don’t die any more than you’re born. How can you die, when you’re the very Consciousness that organises the atoms you claim as you? That would be like saying I am the car that I build. No. You create a car, you drive and clean the car, but you’re not the car. The vehicle is an expression of your imagination. It’s a fancy.
Consciousness guides the atomic energy to form molecules into cells, and your fluxing physical construct. It drives and observes through you but it isn’t You. You are its imagination. It’s fancy.
That silent Consciousness you feel if you sit still long enough to notice is who you really are.
It’s the observer of the observed.
It’s the awareness that simultaneously guides the quintillions of cellular processes in your body, while you automatically drive, have a conversation and daydream during that conversation.
What will I be?
Do you want to know what I suspect will happen at our physical death?
It’s my belief considering my (our) true nature of Consciousness, and continuing to feel Self without a body or mind, that I’ll “wake up” as something or someone, somewhere else.
The experience (I assume) will be similar to anesthesia. If you’ve ever been anesthetised for a medical procedure, you’ll know what I’m talking about. You’re awake one moment in one room, the next, you’re waking in another room altogether. It’s one of the most surreal experiences.
I’m unsure what, where or who I’ll awake as, but just as certain as I woke up as me 48 years ago and every morning since, I’ll awake as some thing else somewhere. That somewhere could be here, another dimension, another planet; it won’t matter nor will it bother me.
Where you bothered when you awoke as you in this 3D reality? No? Then extrapolate that sensation forward 🙂
You don’t have to be afraid and doubt any more. Follow the science, the logic, the anecdotal evidence and the revelations of every mystical practice throughout history.
Every moment, you die.
You’re not the same person you were at the beginning of this post. Your body’s different, your thoughts are different, yet, your Consciousness remains unchanged.
You’ll die tonight, when you fall asleep, and awaken in a completely different realm, unaware of your previous waking life.
You’ll die again from your dream and awaken in this dimension, with ease and lack of fanfare.
But when you next go to sleep and wake back up, there’s two states I’d like you to remember: the period of pure consciousness between wakeful and dreaming, and those few seconds when you wake up and don’t yet remember who you are.
That moment before your memories and thoughts come flooding in, is the pristine mirror.
Does my conclusion equate to reincarnation? Sure, but not in the religious judgemental context. Religion has added concepts of punishment and reward to the mix to appease and control a sensory-addicted populace. I don’t blame them. Consequences are necessary to manage those solely driven by their bestial biological instincts. They know, only a tiny percentage will have the interest to personally investigate past their sensory reality, and an even smaller percentage of those capable of understanding it.
Most of us, as you know, are quite content with the distraction of our ideological fervour. We’re eager to memorise facts, scriptures and quotes. This way, when we regurgitate words from memory, we can appear wiser; masking our experiential poverty. This experiential poverty arises out of our inability to question and experience what we “know.” We know words; but we don’t experientially know what those words stand for.
If this is you, you’re not stupid; but you are asleep—comfortable in your sensory mirage, you slumber anesthesised by the hypnotic trance of your mind.
It’s okay, I’ve been there too most of my life.
It’s okay, you don’t have to know anything for “salvation.” Both the enlightened and the ignorant meet the same fate: physical identity death.
The difference mainly lies in how we live the rest of our very short lives. The “how” means an internal shift of understanding and consequently, how we comprehend the interconnectedness between all sentient beings; and necessarily, all matter.
Consciousness continuation/survival not only makes logical, intuitive and physical sense, but there are mountains of evidence verifying its validity. But I’ll leave that for the next post.
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Also published on Medium.