This is a Buddhist perspective and yet there are strong parallels with other schools of thought, especially regarding the existence of a “soul” as a part of being a person. For Buddhists, this notion of soul is merely another aspect of the inextricably joined elements of body and mind. However, all of the generalized terms of after life, karma, and rebirth are seriously reviewed and explained. This is not light reading; in fact, in re-reading it I am reminded that I perhaps didn’t absorb as much as I thought the first time around!
The other fascinating aspect of this book is the extremely detailed explanation of what happens before and during actual death. The stages of the end of life are laid out in such detail that it reminds one that death has been observed and chronicled for a very long time. His Holiness the Dalai Lama says that “death is the point at which both the physical and mental fields dissolve into inner radiance and where both consciousness and energy exist at their most subtle non-dual level, as in deep sleep.” I find that comforting, especially since I have lost two family members in the last two months.
I find that if I make friends with the end of life process I will be less afraid of it and hopefully a more useful companion to those who are moving through it. The experience of death can be understood and accepted (with conscious effort) and although spring is linked to new life and a fresh start, death can signal the same phase in a life.
This complete English translation is the work of many years of scholarship and includes one of most compelling descriptions of the after death state in world literature. It is a book to add to your library because becoming familiar with this phase of life can alleviate anxiety as you or those you love pass into it.
This book is profound and inspiring…and more than a little surprising. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could imagine feeling a bit more prepared for death when it appears in our lives? Even if just a little bit, since I even find writing about it here to be difficult.