Monday, 21 January 2008

The First and Second Bardo


The Tibetan Book of the Dead, or Bardo Thodol (literal translation "liberation through hearing in the intermediary stage") was, according to legend, written by the 8th century Buddhist sage Padma Sambhava.

This book is a guide for the 'dead' during the intermediate stages between death and rebirth. The Tibetan Buddhists believe that as soon as physical death takes place the spirit goes into a 'trance state' during which time it is disorientated and the person is not aware that they have died. This period is called 'The First Bardo'. Toward the end of this period the person sees a bright light and if they can embrace this light without fear, they will be freed from the cycle of rebirth. Most people fear this light and in doing so enter a state called the Second Bardo. in this state they experience a past-life review whereby they are shown the things that they may have done wrong giving them an opportunity to put this things right in their next incarnation.

Now this is is very interesting when viewed in the light of CTF. CTF suggests that there is a period between apparent death and real death. According to CTF this period is filled with a virtual-reality re-run of the person's life, something that I term The Bohmian IMAX. This is identical to that described in the Second Bardo. Now here is where CTF and The Thodol are amazingly similar; I suggest that the first and second Bardos happen consecutively in that the First Bardo (being in a state of trance and unknowing) is experienced by the Eidolon and the simultaneous Second Bardo is experienced by the Daemon (the aware part of consciousness that takes on board the events being experienced by the blissfully unaware Eidolon)

At the end of the past-life review, according to the Thodol, the Daemon is given the choice of entering the light and dying a second time (and in doing so move on into the Spirit World) or to again turn away from the light and return to another re-run of the Bohmian IMAX. Now an interesting question. Clearly this decision is made by the 'aware' part of consciousness (The Daemon) not the unaware part (the Eidolon). The Daemon will carry the memories of all the past re-runs and will know if it is ready to move on or not. This decision may be made many times, and many times the Daemon may consider that it's Eidolon is not yet ready and has more learning experiences needed.

Could this be the answer to the previous posting? If the realm of Spirit is timeless then those who have passed on through the Light may communicate through mediums given the right circumstances. In their universe, and timelessness, they may have lived a thousand lives in the twinkling of an eye. As such, and in our time perception, they may have only recently died.

10 comments:

Rasputin said...

Hello Anthony.

I got to know your book through a reference in the wikipedia article on solipsism. I haven't read it yet, but I just wanted to say:
Did you see the movie Waking Life?
There's an instant there when a woman is talking to her boyfriend and she says that sometimes she feels that she is an old woman who's watching her own past life. The boyfriend says that Timothy Leary once said that when a person dies, he has 6-12 minutes of "virtual reality", a solipsistic state (like the group who took Chew-Z in Philip Dick's "3 Stigmata..."). And if you think about it, you know how it is when you wake up, go to sleep and have this amazing long dream and when you wake up you realize that it laster for like 5 minutes? It makes me wonder.

Are you interested in the Out of body experience phenomenon? There's a good book on-line by Bob Peterson. He recalled a similar experience, i.e he was unconscious for a few minutes, but he saw visions that lasted many years. You can find the book here: http://www.robertpeterson.org/


I also recommand you to watch this documentary, it's really interesting.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3903149546644823412&q=MAGICAL+EGYPT+duration%3Along&total=24&start=0&num=100&so=0&type=search&plindex=3

johar said...

Thank you for this posting Tony, it is elegant and beautifully brings the 2 concepts together. I was getting a bit stressed trying to figure out how to blend the 2 beliefs together and this seems to answer the previous questions I was asking.
Just for clarification, in the past life review are you hypothesizing that once the daemon realises that actual death has occurred and presses play on the IMAX does that past life review then become the new existence (or rebirth) or does the past life review occur then the person is reborn to do it all again, hence why babies dream in the womb and why the daemon already knows our history? I have read your book, honest, I just need to read it again once the brain swelling from reading it the first time has gone down!!!!!

susan marie said...

Anthony; Thank you so very much for this post, and for your lengthy and eloquent responses on the "dual beliefs" one. . . I quite agree with Johar that this post on the Tibetan Bardos is a beautiful blending and fusion of the 2 beliefs. For my part, it resolves everything. And as I adhere to Nietzsche's view of earth-loyalty, I think it is most fitting that the daemon can return to a rerun of this life rather than "evolve", if it finds that evolution to be suspect, and neither likely nor desirable. Again, thank you.

susan marie said...

I also wanted to add that in many ways the CTF thesis with it's ability to justify eternal recurrence rather than reincarnation makes the Bardos interesting to me for the first time.

susan marie said...

Also, the "daemon realm" is surely the source of all communication from spirits, which explains both after-death communications and telepathy. I was receiving "messages" from my deceased husband even months before he died. . .

susan marie said...

I also wanted to add that the "daemon realm" is surely the source of all communications, whether they be after-death ones or telepathy between living persons. I for instance was receiving "messages" from my husband before he died, while he was still in the hospital. . .

johar said...

Susan Marie, I just wanted to say that it is wonderful that you received messages from your husband before he died. My husband died in September that's why this blog and the desire to know more and confirm my beliefs a bit more scientifically is so strong.
I truly believe that science and spirituality and getting closer all the time and at some point the 2 will converge and what many have believed for thousands of years will be scientifically provable - let's keep hoping eh! XX

susan marie said...

Johar; Then your grief is still quite recent. My husband died in March 2006, so I will be at the 2 year point soon. It is still very hard. That is why I am so grateful to Anthony for having woven these pre-existing ideas together into so formidable a theory. And I agree that science and religion are destined to stay intertwined.

Anthony Peake said...

I would like to welcome Rasputin to our merry band. Thanks for the movie reference. It is not a film I have heard of but I will check it out. With regard to CTF and its links to movies do check out some earlier postings - particularly those by Hurly Burly and A Dark Philosopher. I am also fascinated by your reference to Philip K Dick and 'Chew Z'. Again you may or may not have noiticed but the life and writings of PKD are of great importance with regard to my writing. I suggest you particularly take a look at the really early postings when a great deal of discussion took place with regard to PKD's UBIL, VALIS and particularly COUNTER CLOCK WORLD (specifically in relationship to the PKD character Anarch Peak).

With respect to OOB's you may be interested to know that one member of this group is a highly advanced OOB practitioner and has studied under Robert Monroe in the USA. I am hoping that he may make a contribution or observation with regard to this fascinating topic.

Karen said...

Phew... I was having serious problems coming to terms with living this life over and over for all eternity!. I kept saying to myself what about the people who have had terrible lives what about the third world etc etc.
We just need to get our heads around this time thing then it will all makes sense. Thanks for that Tony I've been trying to combine spiritualism with your theory and it's all coming together. I'm also working on the theory that we are all part of an advanced interactive virtual reality game?. It came to me when I was watching my hubby play on the PS 3 I got him for Xmas. I bought him a game based on the D-Day landings and when he began playing he was immediately killed so he started the game again this time he managed to get off the beach then was killed by a sniper so he started the game again so on and so on until he survived throughout the game to complete it. It seems that in order to win the game he needed to remember - a bit like Deja Vue.