On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Son » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:20 am

bardoq wrote:-
Here is my second part. I've trimmed (marked with dots . . .) the text to narrow down what I'm commenting about.



We seem to have several concepts here, could we try to clarify these concepts?

1. Pretas - they are beings of their own. Pretas are somehow born (?) and they don't seem to be emotionally stuck in any way, and are living in a world of their own. In a non-physical Preta world or just a world different from our physical world?

They are emotionally stuck indeed, just as most human beings are emotionally stuck. Yes, they are living in a world of their own but it overlaps with our world, just as the animal world does. Hence my example. According to your very own definition of "physical," the preta's live in their own physical world.

2. "Thought-bodies" - they are the consciousnesses residing in the max 49 days Bardo, right? Once physically living, but now they have transitioned to the Bardo after death.

Into the bardo of becoming, yes.

3. Spirits - hmmm... You made things very difficult for me to understand. Spirits are conscious beings. They are beings similar to Pretas or physical humans, right? But Spirits are very different from Pretas? At the same time a Spirit is also equivalent to the physical (dead?) body, which a once living human left behind when the physically living human died and had its consciousness enter the Bardo?

You're confusing yourself with your own words, here. The term "spirits" is really not useful when discussing the bardo, thought-bodies in the bardo, or living pretas.

4. "Ghosts" - the same as Spirits?

These are two different words each with about a dozen different meanings.


So what you say is that I am seeing Spirits, because they act and look exactly as their once physically living counterparts? Most non-physical dead persons I've met in some kind of non-physical appearance have been dead for several decades. Are those (for decades) "dead persons", the same as Spirits?

They're definitely not people passing through the bardo. And if they don't look remotely like pretas they're probably not pretas either.

Some mediums claim that "dead persons" which the medium can see, sometimes looks younger (similar to the once living person, but younger) than they were when they died. Are these younger looking entities also to be regarded as Spirits?

In my communications with "spirits" yes many of them look younger and are wearing certain clothings and so forth. Pretas don't look that way. I think it's likely that you don't normally see pretas, just like most people. Most people don't see asuras or nature devas either, but they're here.

So when I help someone non-physically experienced (by me) to move into "the light", I'm in fact interacting with a Spirit, and not the consciousness of the former physically living person?


In all likelihood, yes. If you're talking about helping someone "move on" after many years after they've died... the fact is they have already passed through the bardo and become someone else. Maybe even you're referring to helping pretas move on, but since you don't seem to understand what pretas look like, I very highly doubt this. Sometimes people really prefer to "blur the line" between spirits or ghosts and pretas. On the other hand, many lamas have it in writing that they are distinct concepts and oughtn't be confused or mixed up--even associated with one another. Pretas don't look like, act, or sound like the descriptions of "the spirits of the dead". On the other hand, many cultures throughout this world's history talk of two sorts of "ghosts," the ghosts of loved ones or haunting ghosts who were involved in something tragic, and then there's the atrocious awful ghosts of the dead, which are rather just generally unpleasant and miserable seeming. American paranormal subculture in no way helps this confusion.

You keep saying you don't see this yellow hue and these various lights of the bardo. Why would you expect to see someone else while they're in the bardo? Almost no humans in the entire world witness other people while they're in the bardo. Moreover, the yellow hue, or whatever color that is perceived, is based on what the bardo-being's consciousness is going through, not your own. Do I have recollections of passing through the bardo? Yes, of course. Do I witness other people passing through the bardo and say, "look, there's that yellow light." No, of course not. We're not even supposed to.
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby bardoq » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:14 pm

I have follow-up questions. I hope it's not too much, but my questions seem to increase in numbers, the more I think about the matter of the Bardo.

Son wrote:
2. "Thought-bodies" - they are the consciousnesses residing in the max 49 days Bardo, right? Once physically living, but now they have transitioned to the Bardo after death.

Into the bardo of becoming, yes.

Why exactly are you using the word "thought-bodies"? Who is the one doing the "thought", or is the thought-body a non-physical creation by the Bardo consciousness?

Son wrote:
3. Spirits - hmmm... You made things very difficult for me to understand. Spirits are conscious beings. They are beings similar to Pretas or physical humans, right? But Spirits are very different from Pretas? At the same time a Spirit is also equivalent to the physical (dead?) body, which a once living human left behind when the physically living human died and had its consciousness enter the Bardo?

You're confusing yourself with your own words, here. The term "spirits" is really not useful when discussing the bardo, thought-bodies in the bardo, or living pretas.

Perhaps you could elaborate a little more on the subject of Spirits, because it's not clear to me what Spirits are, and the subject is important to me. Am I correct when I assume that a spirit is never reborn? Does the spirit eventually die, and when in such a case?

Son wrote:
So what you say is that I am seeing Spirits, because they act and look exactly as their once physically living counterparts? Most non-physical dead persons I've met in some kind of non-physical appearance have been dead for several decades. Are those (for decades) "dead persons", the same as Spirits?

They're definitely not people passing through the bardo. And if they don't look remotely like pretas they're probably not pretas either.


(Just as a note, I've seen very unusual non-physical creatures, like horror movie monsters, but I think those non-physical monsters were not really beings in the ordinary sense. Perhaps the monsters were parts of me, like my own fears being manifested in the non-physical. I don't think those monsters were Pretas. Just wanted to mention it so you know I've seen other entities than deceased persons.)

Ok. These non-physical persons I see, they look like regular humans, sometimes quite healthy and properly dressed (for the time period when they lived) in their non-physical appearance.

What I now would like to know is, if those non-physical entities are not consciousnesses, but are some kind of dropped-off shadow (similar to the dead physical body of the deceased), and you call these shadows for Spirits, then: Who are those non-physical persons who sometimes stand and wait for the deceased (non-physical) person to move into the light.

(Also note that those "stuck dead people" I encounter, certainly seem to have been dead for several years as the time period I can sense is quite far back in time, so these "persons" are not within the 49 days Bardo time period.)

More than a third of those times when I've helped deceased persons to move on, there have been guides or helpers present in the form of the deceased person's relatives/friends/wife/husband/adult child/etc. My impression is also that those helpers are deceased themselves, sometimes these helpers passed away at a point in time, after the "stuck person" died.

I would also like to point out that mediums more skilled than I, tend to report the presence of such helpers in greater number than I've experienced, perhaps as much as 70-80 % of the times when the "stuck dead person" gets help to move on.

So who or what are those helpers? Are there any reference to such entities within Buddhism?

Son wrote:On the other hand, many cultures throughout this world's history talk of two sorts of "ghosts," the ghosts of loved ones or haunting ghosts who were involved in something tragic, and then there's the atrocious awful ghosts of the dead, which are rather just generally unpleasant and miserable seeming.

Just as a minor detail, I haven't personally noticed any difference between different deceased persons, haunting or not, or between deceased non-physical persons in more or less poor emotional state. They all seem to me, to appear about the same.

Son wrote:You keep saying you don't see this yellow hue and these various lights of the bardo. Why would you expect to see someone else while they're in the bardo? Almost no humans in the entire world witness other people while they're in the bardo.

I expect to see persons in the Bardo, based on two facts:

1. I can sense non-physical "dead people" (whatever that is, it could also be my mind tricking me).
2. Apparently prayers are supposed to be noticed by the person in the Bardo, right? So if prayers can reach a Bardo person, I would have a chance too?

I'm a little puzzled that you say that very few people see anyone in the Bardo, if it's so difficult, how has it then been possible to discover the max limit of 49 days and the "small deaths"? Someone must have been able to verify their existence over an extended period of time, right? And I would like to ask such a lama/tulku some follow-up questions, too.


Son wrote:Do I have recollections of passing through the bardo? Yes, of course. Do I witness other people passing through the bardo and say, "look, there's that yellow light." No, of course not. We're not even supposed to.


Not supposed by _whom_? Who are preventing us?

When passing through the Bardo, do you remember for how long a time period you stayed there? did you experience any "small death", and at what time (after 7 days or some other period)? Were you guided by prayers from the living to make you tick along with a physical clock (following the passage of our physical world's time)?

I hope my questions are ok, I want to know because -> A. exactly what I'm doing/experiencing and B. I want to know if I'm tricking myself with an illusion of my mind. Thanks for your answer.
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:06 pm

More than a third of those times when I've helped deceased persons to move on,...
Move on to what? You see the bardo teachings are not about getting the consciousness to move on, but to move to. So what exactly are you doing to these beings? Without proper training you will definitely be causing more harm than good and this harm will come back to roost. You can be 100% sure of that!
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Malcolm » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:08 pm

bardoq wrote:
I'm a little puzzled that you say that very few people see anyone in the Bardo, if it's so difficult, how has it then been possible to discover the max limit of 49 days and the "small deaths"? Someone must have been able to verify their existence over an extended period of time, right? And I would like to ask such a lama/tulku some follow-up questions, too.



49 days is symbolic number, not a fixed number.
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Son » Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:42 am

bardoq wrote:I have follow-up questions. I hope it's not too much, but my questions seem to increase in numbers, the more I think about the matter of the Bardo.

That's only natural.

Why exactly are you using the word "thought-bodies"? Who is the one doing the "thought", or is the thought-body a non-physical creation by the Bardo consciousness?

They're referred to as thought-bodies commonly amongst Buddhists. When you are dreaming, you have a sort of body as well. One of our such bardos is the intermediate state of dreaming. The body we "occupy" in the bardo of becoming is a body comprised of thought, based on habitual tendencies from when we were alive. The thought-body, as described in the Bardo Thodol and in general, is much like the body from the living state, except it is relieved of cumbersomeness and handicaps, and it can travel anywhere instantaneously--at the speed of thought.

3. Spirits - hmmm... You made things very difficult for me to understand. Spirits are conscious beings. They are beings similar to Pretas or physical humans, right? But Spirits are very different from Pretas? At the same time a Spirit is also equivalent to the physical (dead?) body, which a once living human left behind when the physically living human died and had its consciousness enter the Bardo?
Consciousness phases from one bardo to another, yes. Spirits are not conscious.

Am I correct when I assume that a spirit is never reborn? Does the spirit eventually die, and when in such a case?

Sort of. Secondly, not really.
Don't get too off topic now, it will confuse you about the bardo.

Ok. These non-physical persons I see, they look like regular humans, sometimes quite healthy and properly dressed (for the time period when they lived) in their non-physical appearance.

Not pretas.

What I now would like to know is, if those non-physical entities are not consciousnesses, but are some kind of dropped-off shadow (similar to the dead physical body of the deceased), and you call these shadows for Spirits, then: Who are those non-physical persons who sometimes stand and wait for the deceased (non-physical) person to move into the light.

(Also note that those "stuck dead people" I encounter, certainly seem to have been dead for several years as the time period I can sense is quite far back in time, so these "persons" are not within the 49 days Bardo time period.)

More than a third of those times when I've helped deceased persons to move on, there have been guides or helpers present in the form of the deceased person's relatives/friends/wife/husband/adult child/etc. My impression is also that those helpers are deceased themselves, sometimes these helpers passed away at a point in time, after the "stuck person" died.

I would also like to point out that mediums more skilled than I, tend to report the presence of such helpers in greater number than I've experienced, perhaps as much as 70-80 % of the times when the "stuck dead person" gets help to move on.

They don't relate to the bardo of dying or becoming.


So who or what are those helpers? Are there any reference to such entities within Buddhism?

Definitely not. And when there are, they aren't relevant.

Just as a minor detail, I haven't personally noticed any difference between different deceased persons, haunting or not, or between deceased non-physical persons in more or less poor emotional state. They all seem to me, to appear about the same.

Not pretas, or beings in the bardo of becoming.

2. Apparently prayers are supposed to be noticed by the person in the Bardo, right? So if prayers can reach a Bardo person, I would have a chance too?

A sleeping person may hear or feel a waking person talking to them or communicating with them while they are asleep, but in no way does the waking person perceive or have any way of knowing what the sleeping person is dreaming. The bardo of becoming is similarly in this case.

I'm a little puzzled that you say that very few people see anyone in the Bardo, if it's so difficult, how has it then been possible to discover the max limit of 49 days and the "small deaths"? Someone must have been able to verify their existence over an extended period of time, right?

You've been in the bardo of becoming too, you just don't remember it.

Not supposed by _whom_? Who are preventing us?

According to normal circumstances of our state of mind. And ourselves.



When passing through the Bardo, do you remember for how long a time period you stayed there? did you experience any "small death", and at what time (after 7 days or some other period)? Were you guided by prayers from the living to make you tick along with a physical clock (following the passage of our physical world's time)?


I don't remember how long, now. I imagine that would be the most difficult aspect to recall.
I don't know if I experienced "small deaths," during my previous passing through the bardo. From my previous human birth, yes I was guided somewhat by humans. The bardo of becoming is much more vast than I imagine you've been thinking it is.
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Re: On the Bardo and more - Stuck souls?

Postby bardoq » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:16 pm

Son wrote:
Am I correct when I assume that a spirit is never reborn? Does the spirit eventually die, and when in such a case?

Sort of. Secondly, not really.
Don't get too off topic now, it will confuse you about the bardo.

Well, the original subject is Stuck Souls, and things related to that, so the existence of spirits are most important to me.

The Dalai Lama relies on oracles, and oracles being possessed by spirits. And yes, I ask from a wider perspective, not only out of the Bardo, but in more general Buddhistic terms, as these Possession-Spirits seem to have characteristics in common with those entities I perceive as "stuck spirits".

Are these oracle Possession-Spirits, the same kind of spirits which I encounter (looking like the deceased person) in the non-physical? If not, what are these Possession-Spirits? Are they former humans, or are these Possession-Spirits totally different entities? I also get the impression that these Possession-Spirits somehow are given (physical?) food? Why is that being given to the Possession-Spirits and how can physical food be utilized by these Possession-Spirits?

Son wrote:
So who or what are those helpers? Are there any reference to such entities within Buddhism?

Definitely not. And when there are, they aren't relevant.

Ok, you say these non-physical helpers are not part of the Bardo.

These Helpers, if they are Spirits, they are without consciousness (like the dead physical body of the deceased person). So I've noticed some characteristics about them, which I can sense on an emotional level, and I certainly wonder what's going on. It's like I have a non-physical emotional sensing organ. So here are some of my observations and a few more questions:

1. The non-physical "helpers" seem to have difficulties to reach emotionally to the "stuck" (?) non-physical Spirit, probably because that entity is too focused towards the physical world. That's one of my impressions (and some skilled mediums also make this claim, based on their own observations in the non-physical).

2. The "helpers" seem to emanate the feeling of love and concern. Is that really possible for a Spirit in the Buddhistic sense to do? Can a Spirit send the feeling of love and concern, in such a way that I can pick it up and sense it?

3. I'm wondering if I do anything good at all. By being on the more physical side of the "stuck" Spirit's attention, I've sometimes been able to direct the Spirit away from the physical and in the emotional direction of the "helpers" and the "stuck Spirit's" mood has quite dramatically improved. This improvement of the low/poor emotional state of the Spirit, is that possible or a confirmed event in terms of Buddhism? Even if that Spirit doesn't have a consciousness and can't be reborn?

Thanks for your responses. :)
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Re: Stuck souls?

Postby bardoq » Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:41 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Go here http://www.scribd.com/doc/80948194/Padm ... f-the-Dead
sign up, download the book, READ IT and then come back with some more valid questions.

Having talked to someone a little more knowledgeable in Buddhism, I was told that your recommendation was a poor choice of book, without deep knowledge. I've also noticed myself that almost everything in it is impossible to understand for me. Instead I was recommended this much easier book [The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, 2nd Ed, by Sogyal Rinpoche], which I've now ordered. So to anyone knowing as little as I do, here is the amazon link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Tibetan-Boo ... 169&sr=8-5 and it can be bought as "used" for as little as £ 0.01

I would also like to point out to you that I think all questions are valid.

Recommending a book which is impossible to understand without years of study, is not really of any help.
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Re: Stuck souls?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:03 pm

bardoq wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:Go here http://www.scribd.com/doc/80948194/Padm ... f-the-Dead
sign up, download the book, READ IT and then come back with some more valid questions.

Having talked to someone a little more knowledgeable in Buddhism, I was told that your recommendation was a poor choice of book, without deep knowledge. I've also noticed myself that almost everything in it is impossible to understand for me. Instead I was recommended this much easier book [The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, 2nd Ed, by Sogyal Rinpoche], which I've now ordered. So to anyone knowing as little as I do, here is the amazon link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Tibetan-Boo ... 169&sr=8-5 and it can be bought as "used" for as little as £ 0.01

I would also like to point out to you that I think all questions are valid.

Recommending a book which is impossible to understand without years of study, is not really of any help.
The book which they recommended to you is fantastic BUT it won't answer the type of questions you ask AND, anyway, it's methodology is based on the book I originally advised you to read.

Now, if you think that you can grasp the workings of the bardo by reading a nice, short, simple book, without years of study of Buddhist basics then you are seriously deluded. If you took notice of any of my rantings, you may have noticed that on a number of occasions I also reccomended you find yourself a Buddhist teacher if you want to understand what Buddhists belive happens during the process of death and subsequent rebirth. Especially for an issue as complex as bardo experieneces AND especially if you want to be of any real assistance to the dead, ie lead them to liberation and not just another miserable rebirth in samsara.

In closing, all questions are valid if you actually listen to the answers and don't endlessly repeat the same questions in various permutations.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Son » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:31 pm

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying will help you for the knowledge you're seeking. But will that sort of book, and your lack of background study, you may very easily misunderstand some things in it and even misinterpret some key concepts. Please, do read it, and carefully. But also be aware that it is based on the Bardo Thodol, and in spite of the fact that it is impossible for you yourself to comprehend currently, that's what your new book is referring to. Keep that in mind during your personal inquisition.

As for your other matters: I am a Medicine man of sorts, and as such have a special understanding of spirits, and my knowledge is based on that understanding. But the way you're asking about spirits is very, very, incredibly unrelated to the Dharma. Just so it's known. There are not "different kinds" of spirits; spirits are spirits or they're not, and they're not separable by labeling. Spirits are not living beings, they are "alive" but certainly not in a conscious, mental, or physical way. They are not sentient. They aren't concrete entities at all. Devas are not spirits. Pretas are not spirits. Asuras are not spirits. Bardoas are not spirits, either, they're humans passing through the bardo of becoming. Every ancient culture observed devas and asuras, sometimes worshiping them, sometimes referring to them with words that we have translated into the modern word, "spirit," but it stands to the reason of Dharma that they aren't spirits. Therefore, you aren't seeing pretas or bardoas, gathering from what you've said here. Perceiving pretas, devas, asuras and what not is a product of mental cultivation and meditation. Spiritual awareness is another horse entirely.
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Aura » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:13 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:I asked you to please explain to me what this third eye is and how it sees.

Also called "the buddha eye." How does it see? It opens. It opens and it responds to a given frequency range of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Any frequency range of the electromagnetic spectrum detected by an organ referred to as an "eye" is commonly referred to as "light."

If the OP truly wishes to discern what is "real" no text and no explanation and no beliefs on the part of others are valid.
He/she must endeavor to open his/her buddha eye in order to be able to discern what is "real."
There is no other way.

The 48 days (or 40 days or 49 days or 4 weeks) refers to the natural limit in the natural world of what in the modern world is called "coma." It is an easily observable state encountered in the natural world that constitutes neither life nor death.

As for the bottom line of wanting to know if one has "done good".....
As a Buddhist, one does one's best to abide by the precepts and the 8 fold path no matter what.
That means one treats all sentient beings with respect and compassion in accordance with the precepts and the 8 fold path and whatever additional vows one has taken.
It doesn't matter a hoot if those sentient beings are alive, dead, or somewhere in-between, physical or non-physical.
It doesn't matter a hoot if one can walk through a field in the present day and see written on the earth the screaming crying widows and orphans overturning the dead bodies of a battle that once happened on that same piece of earth 150 years ago.
It doesn't matter a hoot if one can see and hear the recently dead out of their bodies... still worried about their spouses and children and wanting a message delivered to them.
It doesn't matter a hoot if a spouse is greatly comforted by that message delivered and thanks the messenger.
It doesn't matter a hoot if a grown child, still hanging onto unresolved pain and anger with the deceased parent, rages out that pain and anger on the unfortunate messenger in place of the deceased parent.
It doesn't matter if an out-of-body apparently dead person explains that he is not dead but merely left his body on autopilot across town in a hospital room and is wandering through time and space to revisit and resolve his issues from this lifetime before he dies so that he will not take those issues, those attachments, on with him when he does die.
It doesn't matter.
As a Buddhist, one does one's best to abide by the precepts and the 8 fold path no matter what, exemplify the path, and bless and encourage others along the path....
and to the exact extent that one manages to do that through all time and all space...
one does indeed "do good"
....and rest assured that it is no figment of anyone's imagination.
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:27 pm

Aura wrote:Also called "the heavenly eye." How does it see? It opens. It opens and it responds to a given frequency range of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Any frequency range of the electromagnetic spectrum detected by an organ referred to as an "eye" is commonly referred to as "light."
So it is aphysical organ?
The 48 days (or 40 days or 49 days or 4 weeks) refers to the natural limit in the natural world of what in the modern world is called "coma." It is an easily observable state encountered in the natural world that constitutes neither life nor death.
This is wrong. The bardo of death, is as the name states, a state of death. Death until the bardo of rebirth and then the bardo of birth and life. It is not a comatose state. Once consciouness enters the bardo of death it cannot return to the previous body. The previous body is history, gone, kaput!
As for the bottom line of wanting to know if one has "done good"... and rest assured that it is no figment of anyone's imagination.
Well put! You forgot one small detail though: to be a Buddhist is strive towards ultimate liberation (for self and others if you are a Mahayanist). ;)
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Aura » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:51 pm

I have observed rebirth at a little over 10 years post death in myself.
I have observed rebirth at a little less than 10 years post death in someone who buried me in the last life.
I have observed rebirth at about 75 years in someone who killed the neighbors in the war in the last life.
I have observed rebirth at 86 years post death in someone who was an adult when I was a child in the last life.
I have solid real-world evidence for all of it.
I have observed that for the last 2,000 years all societies have observed that the natural state of coma, (without modern medical intervention), lasts about 4 weeks, at which point that interim condition generally terminates in death and dissolution of the body.
I have observed that in a comatose state the consciousness is not entirely dis-attached from the body, and is generally working on resolving its issues in time and space and may be observed doing so.

I have observed that reality is not a matter of semantics involving the words "bardo" nor "death."
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Re: On the Bardo - Stuck souls?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:03 pm

Well then, like I said to bardoq, I sincrely wish that through these observations you reach ultimate enlightenment.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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