This book is an introduction to the Soul and Spirit.
Our soul and spirit combine in our physical bodies to make us who we are. This is a book about living but when we talk about the soul and our spirit there also needs to be a conversation around what they mean at the time of our death. Some of this book refers to an ancient Tibetan book written in 8th century, The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Before the 8th century information in it was an oral tradition passed down by shaman and from which its heritage stems. But its tradition and information go much further back and is based on prehistoric shamanic intelligence. The ancient knowledge became part of the Bon religion which is still practiced today. When Buddhism entered Tibet, Bon, and the Tibetan Book of the Dead became part of Buddhist discipline helping to make Tibetan Buddhism unique.
In the Tibetan world view, there is no destructive death at the end of life as is in the west. Instead, there is reincarnation, rebirth, and transition into a new life. What we do in this life, the good and bad deeds, or Karma influence the rebirth of our soul and how it will continue to seek enlightenment.
According to Tibetan tradition, after death and before one’s next birth, when one’s consciousness or soul is not connected to a physical body it passes through a number of different states. Some are similar to those reported by people who have had a Near-Death Experience. Soon after the Buddha’s passing it was recognised that we experience different states of existence each day of our lives as well as after we die. These intermediate, transitional, or liminal states are called Bardos. Our waking life is a Bardo state, our dreaming at night is a Bardo state, if / when we meditate, that is another Bardo state.
This book is part of The Practical Shaman series, which includes broad introductions to shamans and shamanism and concentrates on the Soul, and the Spirit, together with the beliefs and rituals that surround both and why they differ.
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