Number 55.- SHAPES OF DEATH
These days, two persons died moving the world public opinion to the utmost about certain causes of an unusual human phenomenon that exceeded the meaning of life and death: for instance, on the one hand Terri Schiavo, in Miami, an unknown woman, who was in coma for 15 years in vegetative state, and on the other hand John Paul II, on the highest international level in the world as the Pope of the Catholic Church, who after being overwhelmed by several diseases, found his vital functions entirely deteriorated. Both cases were attended by outstanding medical resources, but eventually the two faced death after the removal of their intensive care. Everywhere, day and night, millions people are dying, who protect through silence and privacy the solemn moment of death. In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, its images depict the soul of a dead person in front of a balance; one scale with a feather on it –symbol of spiritual flight– and the other, with the heart of the dead person on it –symbol of his past actions–; in front, presiding over the ceremony, the God of Death (Osiris), who is waiting. The heart should be as light and free of attachments and desires as to be able to fly toward the Great Mother of Heaven (Isis).
Man remains both as species and as individual. Through reproduction from parents to children, man perpetuates the species, and through reincarnation, man perpetuates himself passing along several vibratory states: material, ethereal, astral, mental, et cetera. Although diverse bodies vibrate synchronically, we have both full consciousness and full action only on the physical state that is familiar to us. The average of an individual in his physical body is 77 years, from birth to death. We call death the transition of the physical means to a new dimension of life. Through his senses, an ordinary man only knows the material dimension and is unable to accede to other dimensions investigated by beings in possession of unusual powers –clairvoyants. Something like that happens in modern sciences and their research tools; certain skilled scientists are able to know mysteries of cell biology, quantum physics and pure mathematics. Most people only are able to believe by means of faith.
At death, the physical body decays and becomes elementary substances, so material life disappears. The rest –the psyche and several parts of it– passes to other dimensions, gradually loses any memory of its actions, and eventually only the seed remains; this process is called the gift of oblivion. As a being goes along multiple and more and more subtle states, he is disintegrating different compounds of his soul –feelings, attachments, ideas, everything– and eventually his attention is focused on an essential point –the seed-atom. From this center with pure, dimensionless consciousness, the individual returns to a new destination. During his return, he is collecting the essence of his past experiences on a diverse and quantified scale, and eventually he reaches the doors of a new birth in flesh. In ordinary individuals, this round-trip process lasts about 700 terrestrial years –he reincarnates seven times as a man and seven times as a woman. But the individual never disappears –he remains right through his experiences. Is this a fatal bondage? Not at all. The final destiny of man becomes freedom –as his attachments and ties are defeated, he unites with the mystical body of the Great Initiates and, through the mystical path, becomes Ihes –the Son of God.
Religious institutions assist in traveling through paths to the whole liberation, but those institutions do not give liberation. One gets freedom by means of Renunciation in Holocaust, that is to say, through mystique, as Master Santiago explains on his Teachings. Jesus Christ taught liberation through passion in the Cross, and all Great Solar Initiates also have demonstrated it differently. Santiago Bovisio suggests that the present Savior Maitreya shall teach every individual, through inner Renunciation work, Mystique in Holocaust, total detachment, complete surrender, redemption, freedom; as desires or karma do not exist any more, the individual that renounces shall not be reborn –he will be free.
Life renews itself perpetually; death and birth follow one another, and never stop, both in nature and in men. Animals and plants die and disappear such as individual forms do, returning to an undifferentiated natural order. Men also die, but do not disappear –they transform themselves, transmute their energies into a higher or lower existential order according to their meritorious, liberating experiences. Heaven and hell are present in every tradition, but do not belong to religions, but to the very soul as soon as the exact moment –death– arrives. Both states can be experienced even on this Earth as an advance of what shall come. Master Santiago would refer to the social world as “this permanent hell”, and the Pope Paul VI would state, “Satan is the king in this world”. Beyond the authoritative voice of thinkers, we ourselves –millions men– covering the planet these last moments of the old civilization, are experiencing the Apocalypse's hell: through terrible experiences daily projected by TV on the streets of the city, through hard drugs and diseases, for instance, AIDS, through disabled people, through frenetic business. Deadly affairs have grown because our protective defenses have been defeated, and monsters from the abyss are everywhere, even at home.
Man endures; death is an appearance, a change, a chance to start again, by mending mistakes and perfecting ideals. Whatever shape of death, from the impressive unconsciousness of the poor Terri Schiavo to that golden, triumphal pomp in the Roman Basilica, full of Cardinals, Presidents and devotees, death is ever equal to itself; as the time fixed by the Providence strikes, however science may be used, however anyone may weep, one has to abandon everything, body, dear ones, possessions, and leave toward the unknown, without companions and wealth, naked and alone in the dark. At the hour of the truth, every one is what has been able to do, and is not what he never could be. Two modern views of death: Terri Schiavo lost in the dark of the unconsciousness on the one hand, without eyes and ears, and on the other hand the triumphal, splendid agony of the Pope at Saint Peter's Piazza covered by purple and incense: both deaths are different outside, but the same inside; just death recognizes itself in each being, knowing that this very death is the winner.
How many shapes does death have? Infinite; every one of us has one shape, with the face and voice of the protagonist. In fact, death is the alter ego of a being, a synthesis of what he did or did not as his own. In the hour of death, a being recognizes himself. Is not this a symbol of Christ in his death agony on the cross? Death in vegetative state is an image of the modern man –void, banal, android. John Paul II's death, in his resplendent agony through TV screens is pomp and circumstance in power institutions. Hundreds of thousands missing people by the tsunami, nameless individuals buried in common pits, mark the end of the old civilization. Familiar living forms should disappear, each one in its own way for the new man to grow on a rebuilt planet. It is what we are constantly seeing everywhere. Ceremonies at Saint Peter's Piazza globally extended like a net enveloping the planet. We all have taken part from our places and conditions, and the name never was more proper, Catholic Church –it means universal.
So we experience the law of life: everything disappears and re-creates itself through familiar forms, individuals, corporations, and times. The old Christian civilization reached the end of its cycle, and statesmen, in main nations of the world, said goodbye to this cycle in Rome –cradle of the ancient empire and center of the modern society. Humanity said good-bye with magnificence and splendor to a time that is leaving; a long silence extended through sown fields keeps ideas to get rid men from meshes of oppression, from thirst for material possession to dogmas tyrannizing souls.
Ceremonies are over. Tourists and buyers cover the movable Miami . The Saint Peter's Piazza is empty, except some slow visitors and curious people lazing around. In open spaces, municipal sweepers are cleaning paving stones and picking up garbage. Silence.
In Florida , at evening, a young woman walks through a lonely beach by the sea. Enveloped by the soft rhythm of waves calmed down on the sand, in the water extended until the horizon, on the blue sky, a pensive Terri is dreaming. She remembers nothing at all, she has forgotten her past, her name, she does not know with whom she has stayed; she does not know where is going either. She is in peace and smiles, because nothing matters now. She likes to walk, feels happy, not wetting her feet. Freely, she is carried away where her heart wants to do. And she gets into the sea.
Elsewhere, the young Karol Wojtyla walks up and down through a pine grove on the plains of Poland . She does not know his own name either; he does not remember cities, persons, studies, or projects. The scent of those pines is wonderful; that morning, sunbeams, projected through branches, are illuminating flowers on the ground. Water flows from a spring through the rocks, but he is not thirsty, hungry, or cold. He feels quite well, as he never did. Climbing the hills, he reaches an open, sunny space, above forests. And almost inadvertently he soars over pines, sliding toward white, snowy mountains on the horizon.
José González Muñoz