There are some things which I would like a better definition of:
1. Little death, as in those 7 days bardo states. Death in the physical is that the physical body stops working, metabolism stops and it decays. But what is this bardo little death? Why is it a death and just not a transformation? What proof is there that it is a "death" and not something else? How is it defined? It's not overly important, so if there is no clear answer, this question can be left unanswered.
2. Hungry ghosts. How are they defined? Could it just be a mental state rather than a specific kind of being (the "hungry ghost"). I've seen very few hungry ghosts who fit the description of a Preta
. But I've seen other kinds of persons in the non-physical, who have passed away. I would like a better definition if possible and also something which covers those stuck in other kinds of non-physical environments. A lot (most?) of them are not even hungry or thirsty.
Aura wrote:The bardo/astral/other side surrounds all of us continuously and is another dimension of reality. Your perception of it is simply inhibited by your desire, fear, and your attachment to the earth plane. Attachment to the earth plane gets significantly weakened if you have ever almost died (near death experience.) The bardo/astral/other side plane is nothing out of the ordinary, is readily observable reality, and is no big deal.
If you with attachment mean, physical coupling to the physical body, well.. then ok, yes.
But why do you think desire & fear, and not, say, some kind of (physical?) non-physical inability prevents perception?
Aura wrote:2. Observations of human beings who are "dead" and having their existence on the bardo/astral/other side:
The "dead" who are on the bardo/astral/other side manifest a physical form reflecting their own thoughts. They do not "occupy" a physical form that they would ever subsequently vacate and leave lifeless and abandoned behind them as they leave a dead body behind on the earth plane. They manifest their physical form according to their thoughts, and most seem to wish to manifest their form as looking to be age 20 or so. The dead are no big deal and not really any different than the living. I have never heard one use the words "bardo" nor "astral;" they simply call it "the other side" and never refer to anyone as "dead." (And if you ask if they are dead they pretty much indignantly and universally say something to the effect of "I could just as well ask the same thing about you!" ) The dead (those manifesting on the bardo/astral/other side after abandoning a lifeless body on the earth plane) are observable if one has no desire, fear, or attachment. They always show up at their funerals and may readily be observed mingling among their grieving loved ones (who generally appear to be completely oblivious to them), and they sometimes tease or make rude comments, just as the living do. Don't ever laugh at the jokes/antics of the dead or they'll bother you to deliver messages for them to the living. If you are bothered by them, simply come up with some desire, fear, or big attachment to the earth plane and your own priorities there and your problem will be solved. The dead are not alone nor are they stuck anywhere or to anything but to their own thoughts which they do not wish to release.
I agree with most of what you write, except for two things, the problem with delivering messages from the dead to the living. I don't see it as a problem and many dead people don't bother me at all. Why should I see the deliverance of a message as a problem?
I don't agree with the statement that "the dead are not ... stuck". I would rather say that most of them are not stuck
, but some dead persons seem to end up in a kind of stuck state where they have great problems moving on, if they don't get help.
Aura wrote:3. Observation of the migration of a human being on the bardo/astral/other side to another and separate plane of existence:
I have observed the extreme contraction of the visible light of a human being manifesting a human form on the Bardo such that said individual is reduced in form to a tiny point of light which subsequently vanishes, apparently passes through the barrier between the worlds, then manifests and expands outward onto another plane. It is readily observable. All you need do is observe a human being on the bardo/astral/other side (standing around waiting for the conception of an (apparently) assigned body on the earth plane).and then subsequently observe the conception of that individual onto this plane and into that body. Conception is an extremely interesting phenomenon of light. Unlike death, which is observable as an upward and outward movement of the light of a human being vacating its physical body on this plane and subsequently manifesting its thought form on the bardo/astral/other side, conception is observable as an extreme downward and inward contraction of the light/thought form of a human being on the bardo/astral/other side, followed by its expansion and manifestation on the earth plane into a physical body. If that phenomenon is what they call a "little" death on the bardo, it would make sense. It is not the "death" part that is "little." The full-sized adult human thoughtform/lightform observable on the bardo/astral/other side is what "becomes little" or "completely inwardly collapses," apparently in order to somehow transcend the barrier between the planes of existence and subsequently expand and manifest as light occupying a body on another plane (the earth plane).
Thanks for describing it, as I've been unable to observe this phenomena. But it doesn't fully capture the original question and the description by DL that a dead person in the bardo goes through a little death and rebirth in-the-bardo. It's in the bardo these 6 repeated rebirths may take place according to DLs words
. Or, well... Those 6 "little deaths" are not that important to me. Instead I would say that it's the absolute limit of 49 days
that is the problem for me.
Aura wrote:4. Observation and experience of post-death phenomena:
My death in 1943 was a great physical release and relief from the agony of living in the hell of that time and place. I refused to leave my bombed city, but spent some time walking all over the city because I wanted to see how much of it was left standing and if my children would survive or not. It is easy to see what is going on all around a bombed city when you can freely walk through walls and mountains of broken brick bombing rubble without disturbing yourself nor any of it. The living cannot do that, the mountains of broken brick rubble come down on top of them like an avalanche that traps and kills them in a very ugly manner. That time and place was truly hell. I did not see the end of the war nor the rebuilding of anything at all. The history books of the present day say the war ended in 1945 and the rebuilding began shortly thereafter, and so my time wandering the bombed city was certainly less than those 2 years of earthplane time, and less than all the fires burning out and the smoke clearing from the sky.
This is most interesting. Could I ask you, the time you walked around, was that longer than 49 days? Because that's one of my first and perhaps most important question, if the bardo period really is a maximum of only 49 days?
Aura wrote:I suppose I fit the description of a "hungry ghost" after I died. I flatly refused to leave that hell of a ruin that was my bombed city and was terribly concerned about the fate of my children. It took me a long time to finally let go of and leave that place. When I finally left that place, I would describe the subsequent experience as myself dissolving into light. If I looked like a collapsing star or a "little death on the bardo" to anyone else observing, I don't know. After that I have no memories until my earliest memory in this life after my birth a little over 10 years later by the calendar here. It was amazing to see flowers and greenery and life and nature again as a child after having lived and died in that hell as an adult.
Hmm. Are you sure you fit into the description of a "hungry ghost"? Perhaps in a very broad sense, then? The description of a "hungry ghost"/Preta is kind of limited in my opinion, and doesn't quite fit the majority of dead persons/"ghosts" I've encountered, some seem to be stuck, other "ghosts" are apparently not having any trouble at all, and may even appear as some kind of non-physical helpers to others, both living and dead.
And also, did you observe any transition between the bardo state and becoming a "hungry ghost"?
Ok, it seems that you dissolved into light, which could have been some other state, perhaps happening in 1943-1944 after the "hungry ghost" state? Then you spent about 10 years in that other "dissolved-into-light" state? Do you remember anything of that time, after you managed to leave/dissolve into light from the bombed out city? Do you think the expression "little death" is appropriate for this dissolving into light event, instead of say; "transformation"?
Aura wrote:It was a unique form of "bardo hell" to be born as a child into this world remembering dying as an adult in front of her children in this same world in 1943. It is a unique form of "bardo hell" to desperately try to communicate and find out 10+ years later (as a helpless toddler oneself) if one's own former children are still alive somewhere on the face of the earth with one's current parents towering over and demanding that one shut up about it. I resented having to be a child and not be listened to and treated as an adult, (as I had certainly been older than those adults when I had died), and I resented the name they had given me because it was not my former name... and so at age 4 they laughingly referred to me as "the old lady." When I was 7 years old a kindly Christian minister told me to ask him absolutely anything about life, death, and God because he was a minister who (supposedly) knew it all and would help me to understand it all. I told him about my experiences and memories of life and death and being reborn as a child and sought his help to find out what had happened to my own children from my former life (had they survived the war?)..... and he went running away from me down a hallway in terror, shaking his head, his hands planted firmly over his ears, and literally repeating loudly over and over again "No, no, NO, we do NOT believe any of this! This is NOT in accordance with our faith!"
.... demonstrating to me at age 7, yet again, that all adults were no better than terrified 2 year olds. Sigh.
It seemed that I had ended up in a unique bardo hell here on earth where adults behaved like frightened children, endlessly screaming, whining, running away from, refusing to listen, and demanding that a child shut up and quit recounting memories and facts of a war they didn't want to hear about. Sigh.
How many deaths can one experience and how many hells are on the bardo? From what I have experienced and observed, you, I, and everybody else on this planet might just as well be described as presently living in the various hells of the bardo right here, right now, on the earth plane of our daily lives...
and I wish you best of luck with yours!
Well, physical life takes its toll, its hard to be among the living.
Thanks very much for your very detailed answer. It was most appreciated. I haven't had experiences in such a deep manner., but I've observed and helped several dead persons move from their stuck state.
Problem for me is that I'm wondering if I make it all up? Is this help I give, just some kind of mind-illusion. I would like to get some more proofs, even if they are only "proofs" in the sense that I get other peoples life-stories or experiences in the non-physical/astral/bardo/something.
And yes, I've tried to ask the dead persons about details of their lives, to get verifications, but with very limited success, and I would say that even the most skilled mediums seem to fail when scrutinized by scientists. So I've abandoned the idea to get hard proofs. Instead I try to find similar experiences, descriptions from other sources, which may contain some kind of validation.
That's one of the reasons I've turned to a Buddhist forum. If my own experiences makes sense, others, and specially Buddhist nuns/monks who interact with the non-physical, should be able to validate some parts of what I've observed. If I go to a medium, that person will not provide me with more proofs, sometimes that person knows less than I or just want me to believe in anything by mere faith. And faith alone is not proof good enough to me.
Just wanted to give some background, because the bardo limit of max 49 days is such a hard and almost scientific limit (like -> the Moon orbits Earth in 28 days), that it has created much doubt and questions in me.
Thanks for your very interesting answer.