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Self and Bardo
2022, December, Issue 21
My upcoming book, The Délok, has posed some real challenges. The main issue that stifled me at first was this idea of “Me”. In the death bardo, I completely disappeared into that amazing light, that condition referred to as Dharmakaya. I became fully integrated with that bright brilliant light, beyond belief, fully aware that I had always been fully integrated with that, aware of all, everywhere, all at once, beyond any sort of constraint. This idea of self became completely ludicrous.
In order to explain what had happened, I needed to get beyond the constraints inherent in a fabricated self. I didn’t want to talk about me. This experience is all of our experiences, me, we, them, beyond. We are not separate. My solution to this dilemma was to create another fabricated self, as a fictitious character in a novel. This seemed appropriate, because that is what we really are when we think of a separate self. We’re just a fictitious character, no different than someone we might discover in a novel. Once I had made this decision, the words really flowed.
The novel is based upon my own experiences; however, it is not constrained by what people perceive me to be in this life. This life I am living looks pretty ordinary on the surface. People recognize me and want me to be as I was before. This is possible if I don’t make any claims or create some other strange fabrication that coincides with what has happened. I can’t be here if I don’t meet certain basic expectations of who people think that I am. Writing about this as an autobiographical account of my NDE was too much. It was simply too confusing if I explained it that way. It was starting to depress me.
Thus far, how I had explained what had happened was very short and superficial. My book, Timeless Luminosity, was mainly about finding inspiration to awaken. My book, The Frog: A Spiritual Autobiography, Spanning Many Lifetimes, was about discovering great confidence on the Spiritual Path. Neither book spent much time delving into the death bardo. I meant to approach it this way. The death bardo is ordinary. We’ve all been there. We’ve all forgotten that this is our reality. What’s important is awakening to what is, as it is.
This new book, The Délok, explores the depths of the death experience in a way that could really shake a person up. Discovering that we’re really not what we think we are can be that way. It’s disturbing to think that everything we took for granted simply wasn’t so. It might be difficult, as well, for people to look at me, while thinking about what I had written. It’s more important, by far to realize the importance of awakening to what is, as it is.
This death experience is beyond our ordinary understanding of things. Even though we’ve all been in that condition an infinite number of times, it eludes us. We need to have a reason to contemplate our own immaterial existence, this empty essence of self, this dream we call life.
Well, that’s what is happening now with my latest project. I’m currently editing the entire work once more. I lose track; however, this is probably about the seventh edit. I haven’t set a date for publication yet. It is my plan to publish through Amazon once again. Self-publishing makes the most sense for me, simply because of the subject matter. I’m not aware of any publishing house that is qualified to edit my work. My writing needs to be extremely honest, from the heart, with nothing held back. I don’t want anything to stand in the way of me and the reader.
Traditional publishing can also be very frustrating, taking many years before the right publisher notices what they have among their unsolicited manuscripts. I’ve been down that road before, with books I have written prior to my Near Death Experience. It turns out that my books have been quite popular, often in the Top 100; so, I didn’t need a publishing brand to go with my books.
It is my intent with this newsletter to give people updates. I will also certainly let everyone know when the final edit is done and I am ready to publish.
Please keep in mind that understanding the death bardo is not nearly as important as awakening. Contemplate death and impermanence with sincere analytical and relaxed investigation, discovering what may be revealed. Keep in mind as you do this that it is our real condition that awaits your own personal discovery. You will awaken, if you have an unshakable intention to awaken.