“The inspiring sources of…spiritual agencies are, first of all, the Spirit of Resurrection (an extra-planetary Being), then the Lord of the World, working through the Buddha, and finally the Christ Himself. These Three will work through the Hierarchy, the New Group of World Servers, and the men and women of goodwill. Such is the general plan proposed by Those Who stand—with enlightened spiritual purpose—ready at this time to lead humanity out of darkness into light, from the unreal to the real, and from death to immortality. That most ancient of prayers comes today to have its deepest spiritual significance. Let me repeat it in the order on which today it gains meaning:
us, O Lord, from death to Immortality;
From darkness to Light;
From the unreal to the Real”1
Scientists, philosophers and spiritual leaders from a vast array of differing perspectives are finding common ground in the understanding that death is but a new beginning. A growing movement known as the “Art of Dying” includes pioneers who envision a new view and understanding of death that will enhance living. These visionary leaders are expressing changing attitudes about our relationship to death as well as questions of quality with regards to the final stages of life. Plato said it well, “No one knows whether death, which people fear to be the greatest evil, may not be the greatest good.” The Tibetan Master Djwhal Khul affirms Plato’s thesis when he states, “Our ideas about death have been erroneous; we have looked upon it as the great and ultimate terror, whereas in reality it is the great escape, the entrance into a fuller measure of activity.”2
This brief essay attempts to approach the mystery of death in a more meaningful and spiritual way. We are told through the Ageless Wisdom Teachings that the Masters of Wisdom conquered death at the 5th initiation; the Masters perfected this initiation demonstrating how to achieve a new identification with the higher realms of consciousness. And it was the World Teacher, the Christ (Truth), who embodied this premise, “from death to immortality.” The causal body (the soul) was destroyed and rebuilt in the Monad (Spirit). The Christ then prepared humanity for the next step, which was the complete identification with the Monad and the idea of Oneness, a birth onto a higher plane of consciousness.
The conscious act of death, resurrection, and return as a world savior suggests an inauguration of humankind into the Aquarian Age, as it is through Aquarius that humanity identifies as a whole, and the concept of Oneness is instilled. Evolution is a process of expanding, changing our substance, and vibrating at a higher rate to transcend the physical plane. This evolutionary process is also demonstrated through the teachings of the Buddha embodied within meditation, study and service to the group, which expands our conscious relationship with the whole. Thich Nhat Hanh in No Death No Fear expounds on Buddha’s ideas of birth and death through the concept of impermanence. Via metaphors, allegory and guided meditations, he illuminates the concept of impermanence in order to melt the traditional perceptual boundaries of death.
There are many teachings that explore what to expect after death. The Ageless Wisdom teaching recognizes the fact that we are in reality a Soul, and that the soul exists on the higher levels of the mental plane; it also maintains that the soul has continuity through many lifetimes. While the Teaching suggests we are getting closer to proving the fact of the soul, this does not yet equate with immortality, which goes beyond the life of the soul. If humanity can consider the “soul’s view” of the life cycle, might we also gain a fuller understanding of what it means (as in the opening prayer) to move “From the unreal to the Real?”
Education in the new age may be one of the vehicles through which we approach a more illumined perspective of death. Could it be that dispelling the fears of the past and the unknown is one function education may serve in bringing in the light of understanding? Eckhart Tolle from A New Earth says, “The underlying emotion that governs all the activity of the ego is fear. The fear of being nobody. The fear of non-existence, the fear of death.” Distancing ourselves from these past fixed attachments, through a growing intellectual awareness of how our past fears have limited and separated us from the soul’s illumination and our at-one-ment with the whole of humanity may pave the way for increasingly direct and experiential means of learning through processes of meditation, contemplation, inspiration, and expression and implementation (service), the tools that usher us into a new consciousness: “From darkness to Light; From death to Immortality.”