The act of dying is the great universal ritual which governs our entire planetary life. The great Law of Death as it governs substance in the three worlds is a beneficent and corrective process; it is a reflection of a cosmic purpose, which governs the cosmic etheric planes of our solar system, the cosmic astral plane and the cosmic mental plane. This process emanates from and is an expression of the life principle of that greater Life, which enfolds all the seven planetary systems, which in Themselves express the Life of our solar system. Death, the esoteric wisdom points out, is governed by the Principle of Liberation, and not by that of Limitation. It is the great Liberator and the Great Releaser. It shatters the forms which are bringing death to that which is embodied:
“When the consciousness is focussed in form and identified entirely with the principle of limitation, it regards freedom from form life as death; but, as evolution proceeds, the consciousness shifts increasingly into awareness of that which is not form and into the realm of that which is transcendent or into the world of the abstract, i.e., into that which is abstracted from form and focussed in itself.2
Everything that is of true spiritual value is persistent, ageless, immortal and eternal. Only that dies which is ephemeral and temporary, including those transitory forms fleetingly used for the purpose of the indwelling Soul. Those values which are based on principle and not upon the detail of appearance have in them that undying principle which leads the individual eventually, to the gates of the Great Eternity.
With so-called death, the consciousness remains the same; individuality is not lost and the same person is still present on the planet. Only that has disappeared which was an integral part of the tangible appearance:
That which has been loved or hated, which has been useful to humanity or a liability, which has served the race or been an ineffectual member of it, still persists, is still in touch with the qualitative and mental processes of existence, and will forever remain — individual, qualified by ray type, part of the kingdom of souls, and a high initiate in his [and her] own right.3
The individual is now a free agent as far as the physical plane is concerned and more fully responsive to the quality of his/her astral-emotional equipment; the mental condition in which he/she habitually lives and the voice of his/her own soul, often unfamiliar but sometimes well-known and loved.
Whether consciously or unconsciously, death is the withdrawal of the inner living entity from its outer shell; it is the relinquishing of the subtle body or bodies, according to the point in evolution of the person, with the additional benefit of having garnered for that soul and the substance of the form that he and she inhabited, increased vitality, sensitivities and understandings.
Qualified by one’s experience, the part returns to the whole from whence it came and the individual then comprehends the true meaning of the words of Lord Krishna: “Having pervaded this whole universe with a fragment of myself, I remain.” The conscious experiencing fragment which has pervaded the little universe of the form in the three worlds, still remains and knows him/herself to be part of the whole—the Great Eternity.
There is no death, only entrance into a fuller life. Death, the esoteric wisdom teaches, is a part of the great illusion and only exists because of the veils which we have gathered around ourselves. Intense desire for sentient existence or attachment is inherent in every form and is self-perpetuating. When the life of the living spiritual essence withdraws itself, the form dies, occultly. When the thought of the Soul or Higher Self is absorbed and occupied on its own plane, there is no outgoing energy towards the matter of the three worlds, and thus, no form-building or form-attachment is then possible.
The Agni Yoga wisdom provides these beneficial and comforting ideas: “If those who remain would consider the departed as having been sent to light and for enlightenment, then the communion would be more sound.” (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 100) And, “Love that impels forward is not impeded by distances or considerations of death.” (Heart, 242)