A Western Book of the Dead
May 16, 2013 By davidjones
By ROBERT MOSS—
I have known since I was a very small boy in Australia that there are worlds beyond physical reality, and that we can journey to those worlds and gain first-hand knowledge of the multidimensional universe and about what actually happens after death.
When I was nine years old, I was woken up to these possibilities during a crisis of illness. I was rushed to hospital in Melbourne after complaining of a pain in my lower right abdomen. The medical staff found that my appendix was about to burst and I was wheeled into an operating room in short order for an emergency appendectomy.
Under anesthesia on the operating table, I found myself hovering above my body, somewhere up near the ceiling. I decided I didn’t want to watch the bloody work with the scalpel and flowed through the door and along the corridor to where my mother sat hunched and weeping. I couldn’t stand her pain, so I drifted off to a window, to the brightness outside, to the colours of spring and the laughter of young lovers seated at a sidewalk table, drinking each other’s smiles. I felt the pull of the ocean. I could not see the beach from the hospital window, so I floated through the glass and out onto a ledge where a blackbird squalled at me and shot straight up into the air. I followed the bird and sailed over the rooftops.
I saw a huge moon-round face, its mouth opened wide to form the gateway to Luna Park. I swooped down through the moon-gate – and plunged into darkness. I tried to reverse direction, but something sucked me downwards. It was like tumbling down a mineshaft, mile after mile beneath the surface of the earth.
I fell into a different world. It was hard to make out anything clearly in the smoke of a huge fire pit. A giant with skin the colour of fine white ash lifted me high above the ground, singing. The people of this world welcomed me. They were tall and elongated and very pale, and did not look like anyone I had seen in my nine years in the surface world. They told me they had dreamed my coming, and raised me as their own. For the greater part of my schooling, I was required to dream – to dream alone, in an incubation cave, or to dream with others, lying in a cartwheel around the banked ashes of the fire in the council house.
Years passed. As I grew older, my recollection of my life in the surface world faded and flickered out. I became a father and grandfather, a teacher and elder. When my body was played out, the people placed it on a funeral pyre. As the smoke rose from the pyre, I travelled with it, looking for the path among the stars where the fires of the galaxies flow together like milk.
As I spiralled upward, I seemed to burst through the Earth’s crust into a world of hot asphalt and cars and trams – and found myself shooting back into the body of a nine-year-old boy in a Melbourne hospital bed.
It was a little hard to discuss these experiences with the adults around me at that time, and we did not yet have Raymond Moody’s useful phrase “near-death experience” to describe an episode of this kind. One of the doctors said simply, “Robert died and came back” – with memories that made me quite certain of the existence of worlds beyond the obvious one, and of the fact that consciousness survives physical death.
There is great contemporary interest in the NDE in Western society, and this is a very healthy thing, because to know about the afterlife, we require first-hand experience, and need to be ready to update our geographies and itineraries frequently in the light of the latest reliable travel reports. In ancient and traditional cultures where there is a real practice of dying, near-death experiencers – who may be called shamans or initiates – have always been heard with the deepest attention and respect.
There is a Tibetan name for such a person, delog, pronounced “day-loak”. It means someone who has gone beyond death and returned. The famous Tibetan Book of the Dead, with its detailed account of the possible transits of spirit after death, emerged from the experiences of such travellers.
But to have first-hand knowledge of what lies beyond death, we do not have to go through the physical extremity of an NDE. We can learn through our dreams, the dreams in which we receive visitations from departed loved ones and others who are at home on the Other Side, and the dreams in which we travel beyond the body and into their realms.
Our dreams open portals into the multidimensional universe, including the places we may travel after physical death. As we become active dreamers, we come to realise that dreaming is not so much about sleeping as about waking up – to a deeper reality and a deeper meaning in life, and death.
The Departed are Dreaming with Us
One of my driving purposes in writing The Dreamer’s Book of the Dead was to help some of the many people in our society who are hungry for confirmation that communication with the departed is not “weird” or “unnatural”, let alone impossible, and that it is possible to extend love and forgiveness and healing across the apparent barrier of death. We encounter our departed, especially in dreams, because they are still around (sometimes because they have unfinished business or are not actually aware they are dead); or because they come visiting; or because we travel, in dreams or visions, into astral realms where the departed are entirely at home.
It’s not just that we dream of the dead; our departed are dreaming of us, and trying to reach us through dreams. Sometimes our departed return as counsellors or “family angels”, as my father returned to me, many times, in the year after his death in Australia in 1987, with loving messages and practical guidance for the family. Sometimes our departed need us to play guides, because they are confused or stuck between the worlds, clinging to old appetites and attachments – which can be extremely unhealthy for the living, who may pick up the feelings and addictions and even the past physical symptoms of the dead.
One of the cruelest things that mainstream Western culture has done is to suggest that communication with the departed is either impossible or unnatural. There is nothing spooky or “supernatural” involved, though these experiences take us into realms beyond physical reality. It is especially easy to meet our departed in dreams (if we are willing to listen to our dreams) for three reasons:
Our Departed are Still With Us
Quite frequently dreams reveal that the departed are present because, quite simply, they never left. The departed may linger because they have unfinished business, or wish to act as guide and protector to the family, or are attached to people and places they loved in waking life, and this may be a perfectly happy situation for a year or two.
But there comes a time when our departed need to move on, for their own growth, and so they do not become a psychic burden to the living. Because our society does a poor job in preparing people for the afterlife, many people who have passed on do not know they are dead, and hover in a limbo close to familiar people and places on this Earth. After death, we continue to be driven by our ruling interests, appetites and addictions. Some of those who have died but not truly “passed on” continue to try to feed their cravings via the living. When the departed remain earthbound, the effects are unhealthy both for those who have died and those among the living to whom they are connected. When the dead are enmeshed with the living, the result is mutual confusion, loss of energy, and the transfer of addictions, obsessions and even physical ailments from the departed to the person whose energy field he or she is sharing.
Helping the departed may involve a loving dialogue, a simple ritual of honouring and farewell, and invoking spiritual helpers. As we become active dreamers, familiar with the geography of the afterlife, we may find we are called on to provide personal escort services and help to instruct some of our departed on their options on the other side. William Butler Yeats noted, with a poet’s insight, that “the living can assist the imaginations of the dead.”
Our Departed Come Calling
Most people who remember dreams can recall one in which someone on the other side made a phone call, sent a letter, or simply turned up at the door or the bedside. Our departed return to us in dreams for all the reasons they might have called on us in physical life – including the simple desire to tell us how they are doing and see how we are coping – and for larger reasons: to bring emotional healing, to bring us helpful information, to instruct us on life beyond death and the reality of worlds beyond the physical.
Our departed may come visiting to offer or receive forgiveness. They may come to show us how they are doing on the other side.
Our departed can be excellent psychic advisers when they achieve clarity on the other side and are aware that they are not confined to the rules of space and time.
Our departed may come as health advisors and family counsellors. My friend Wanda Burch had received many dreams containing possible health advisories, but was finally driven to seek medical attention when her deceased father turned up in her dreams in a doctor’s white coat and yelled at her, “You have breast cancer!” Her father’s dream intervention helped put her on the path of healing and recovery.
Our departed may visit us in dreams to help us prepare for our own deaths and reassure us that we have friends on the other side.
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