The Word Foundation


Harold W. Percival



Section 20

The process of dying. Cremation. To be conscious at the moment of death.

Death is the fifth class and is especially psychic destiny. It marks the end of the period during which the embodied doer works through the four senses in the physical world. The time of death had been determined at the end of the previous life. Usually the place and manner of death are also decided by the thoughts in the previous life.

Fear of death is caused by a feeling of the doer that it has not earned its conscious immortality, and it dreads its ignorance and the unknown. There are other causes for the fear of death. The doer has been through the experience of death so often that it fears the experience, because it means a break in the continuity of life, a parting from things it has held dear and uncertainty of the future. The doer feels that there is to be an accounting, something that it must pass through.

Dying is the withdrawal or rolling up of the three inner bodies or masses, (Fig. III), from the extremities toward the heart. As they recede, rigor mortis sets in; the regions which they leave become cold and there is no feeling in them. Then these masses hover or flutter over the heart and puff themselves out of the mouth with the last breath, causing a slight gurgle or rattle in the throat. With them go the breath-form and the doer, which is the cause of the rolling up of the inner bodies. They hover over the physical body like a bird, a cloud or a globe, or they may stand in human form beside or above the body for a while. Usually the doer does not see its body or anything else. If death has not yet taken place, there is a slight line or ray or cord that connects these finer inner bodies with the heart or some other part. While this connection remains it is possible for these finer bodies and the doer with the breath-form to reenter the body. There is no actual death until this connection is broken. The connection is broken when the breath-form leaves. It leaves when the doer desires, consents or wills to die. The doer that is attached to life at first refused to desire to die. But when it knows, by the Light of the Intelligence, that it is useless to cling to the body, it wills, and death is instantaneous. The time taken to reach the decision is not measured by the standard of external time. According to that, death is always instantaneous.

At death the four senses and the breath-form and the doer leave and are separated from the flesh body. The four senses remain with the breath-form which usually leaves the three inner bodies. These remain with the physical body and in none of them is there seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling or feeling. Nothing that may be done to the flesh body or to the finer bodies can be felt in any way by the doer, the only entity that can feel.

Cremation is the best disposition of the body after death. By burning, the material of the body is soon restored to the elements from which it came and the three inner bodies or masses are dissipated; and so the magnetic connection between them and the breath-form and the remains of the flesh body ceases. The physical atmosphere is also destroyed. Where a body is devoured by birds, fishes and animals, the three finer bodies are destroyed as soon as the flesh is digested. The radiant, airy and fluid bodies go with the solid fragments like smoke or a shadow. It is different in life, where the breath-form is present and holds the inner bodies intact. Burial and embalming are the worst methods. These customs, bad for the doer and for the community, hold the inner bodies with the flesh body for a long time, namely, until the flesh body has decayed. As the physical atmosphere is not destroyed by burial, it is possible for the doer with its breath-form to go back to its old haunts. It cannot find them without its physical atmosphere.

Death is a friend to the doer. Death frees it from the turmoil, changes and uncertainties of physical life, so that it may have a rest before it is drawn back for another life on earth.

During life it is well to set the thought upon being conscious at the time of death and to charge the breath-form to remind the doer to be conscious of the passing over and of its identity with its thinker and knower. The doer will not be conscious at the time of death, unless this has been impressed upon the breath-form by many repetitions during life. The doer ought to be conscious of the Light of the Intelligence, but unless it was conscious of the presence of the Light during life, it will not be conscious of it at death. If it has been conscious of the Light during life and if it is reminded by the breath-form of its passing, it will be conscious at the time of its death and will also be conscious of the Light of the Intelligence. Then it will understand what is before it and will go through it more easily.