it all depends on belief

… or on your rock steady faith.

Nobody knows what happens during and after death. The stories we get from Near Death Experiencers are clearly not after death experiences. They might be during death experiences. What they had been experiencing, becomes past experience. Something solid in brain memory. While memory does not really work at the moment of death.

uncertain is your origin, uncertain is your future ...

uncertain is your origin, uncertain is your future …

I must have read close to 1000 NDE-stories over time, starting at the very young age of 8, perhaps triggered by the early dead of my grandfather with whom I had a very special connection.
The most reliable stories do not carry many details, nor many pages, they talk about feelings of love and happiness.
Where does experiencing stop and interpretation begin? Those who re-chew the experience for many months before coming to terms with it, will clearly find what they want to see in it.


People hope that after death they will be their soul. The essence of self. They hope to go to heaven and/or merge with God. Many more think they will reincarnate. Their essence of self will hopefully find a new body and connect with it.

What is that essence of self?

It is nothing that we can carry with us.
It is not our body,
it is no possession.
It is obviously not our memorized past.

Memories are stored in the brain. Our essential self has nothing to do with physical brain. Concepts, Logic and Reasoning are in the brain. Skills and past Experiences are in the brain. Experience is in the brain. Methods and Memory are in the brain. Knowledge is in the brain.
The image I have of me, is just a concept, in my physical brain.

… and Nothing that is only in my physical brain will survive after death.

And unfortunately, whatever most people think of themselves, is just a concept, created by thought, opinion, interpretation, memory, residing in their physical brain, a far away blurred mirage of reality.

What is perhaps left?

I donโ€™t know yet about some desires. I do not know where desires, not related to our physical and emotional existence, originate. Perhaps there is a not-physical aspect to will.

And there are the interrupts. Perhaps a few of them belong to the receiver analogy that according to many connect soul and body. I have never seen this receiver in action, I only notice the interrupts. These interrupts can be very subtle, like addictions, they tickle the brain during boredom.

Perhaps our long distance connector will survive. Another very subtle interrupt we hardly ever listen to during rush hour brain activity.

Perhaps the main focus of our mind during life might be transferred as a habit into our essential self.

Tsem Tulku pretends that higher skills from the subtle mind remain intact.

Then What

I wouldn’t have liked to read this post about one year ago. I wanted to hold on to a metaphysical reality that my parents and society had transferred and ingrained a long time before, something that had later evolved over time into something different but still based on past and second hand experiences. I held on to it. My insurance policy for the next life.

Nowadays I donโ€™t know what is true any more,
but I clearly see that many after death beliefs
are built on sand.


25 thoughts on “it all depends on belief

  1. Hi Bert,I was trying to post a comment on your desire and expectations post but WP wouldn’t let me.
    I’m pretty sure I watched Daniel Kahneman give a great talk on desire- wish I could find it. Gave me plenty to think about. Thx for both these posts.

    • Thank You. I will try to find mentioned talk on desire, to get more inspiration on the subject. There are a lot of (and some diametrically opposed) opinions on the subject. I will have to find my own truth ๐Ÿ™‚
      [strange WP quirck — happens to me too sometimes. Looked at the settings, but they seem to allow nested comments up till 6 levels.]

  2. I had two near death experiences during my 13 month stay at the hospital. I was attacked and stabbed 21 times. The first was during surgery when I first arrived at the hospital. I was out of my body watching the surgeon and his assistants try and revive me. After I came out of the induced coma and saw and talked to the surgeon for the first time I said to him, ” You are the doctor that was telling the nurse to get an IV in my right foot.” he was shocked not only did I remember that but several other comments he made. He told me I had flatlined during that time and they brought me back. I was able to describe in detail what several of the nurses looked like. The second time was when I under went a surgery after 3 months in the hospital. My experience was very graphic. Since then I have always wonder what my purpose was in this lifetime. Obviously it wasn’t my time but I remember that I wished it was. I always had feared about dying prior to my attack but now I no longer have that fear. I have fear about everything else but death.

    • Thank you Becky for your courage to tell your story. I read your post on your blog, rendering me speechless.
      NDE’s are nearly the ultimate experience. Fear of death gets dealt with.
      Kindredspirit23 who mentioned his NDE in one of the replies was given the choice, and he chose to continue this life for some time.
      What comes after you pass the final door, nobody knows. It is this unknowing I wrote about.
      If you have overcome the fear of death, then why keeping your mind occupied with all these little fears – hidden desires not to feel any type of pain, and hidden desires for not having this or that pleasure. Seeing fears for what they are can stop them.

  3. Bert, I have never read anything as powerful as Sogyal Rinpoche’s The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. It’s also been made into film – The Tibetan Book of the Dead (Leonard Cohen). It resonates with me as nothing else does – the truth of it vibrates on a cellular level.

    • … I read that book a couple of times. The point is that if you arrive in the unknowing, it becomes less important, even not important at all. People fight wars over belief and unproven statements. If all would accept the ‘unknowing’, life would be a little bit easier. How right is right. Where do right and wrong meet?
      … the ‘clear light’ approach of tibetan buddhism seems to come close to what I posit. Not much remains. But they talk with a tone of certainty. Still they wrote it with words of the mind and while here on earth.
      … to see what is false is easier than to see what is true.

      • Exactly, Bert. Even Jesus said, “Ye shall be as little children to enter the kingdom.” So yes, that basis of unknowing and a sort of innocence allows us to continue learning, growing, moving into acceptance, awareness and compassion. I prefer it to getting trapped in illusion, whether in this bardo or the next (or the next … or …). Blessings.

  4. I had an NDE when at the hospital during my stroke. I had a choice to make and chose to stay. Do I believe in God and the afterlife? Yes, definitely, however, I do not try and make claims about what it is like other than we go to God. That is a journey and a destination, but I choose to believe it is not THE destination. If reincarnation to here happens, obviously most don’t know who they were. It makes almost as much sense to me to believe that we go to yet another place and live again there. I guess for me, the big thing is that it really doesn’t matter to me as long as I know we will return to a being who is infinitely more than we are and will be taking care of us.

    • Hi Scott, great to hear. So you have experienced. And that must be very assuring. I love your no claiming. My neighbour had an NDE, my wife, and when my mother died, she told me things that were happening to her already on the other side. These days it doesn’t matter any more to me – I would not live differently even if I knew 100% what was going to happen. I have to live this life to the fullest, and not count on another, even if it comes. I live now!

  5. If I wasn’t followed by any signs in this life, then I would give it a second thought, Bert, but for me it’s clear that there is more after death. But to be honest, if there’s not, it would be okay too ๐Ÿ™‚

    • The point is ‘the unknowing’,
      not so much the yes/no game.
      whatever is there,
      we can’t even scratch the surface,
      and we shouldn’t keep our mind occupied with it,
      for too long ๐Ÿ™‚
      That is the freedom of not knowing.

  6. Very interesting subject, Bert… In case it interests you, according to one channelled entity Adamus (by Geoffrey Hoppe), the book “What Dreams May Come” (not the movie of the same name) is the closest description of the post-death experience ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Love and Light, and thank you for your interesting comment. I will look up the book and read some.

      Your comment inspired me to write the following:

      How can the infinite channel into the finite? Any finite number divided by infinity is mathematically close to, if not equal to, nothing.
      How can the unknown be worded by known words?
      How can you talk about colours to someone who did never see?
      How can you express the difference between the eastern 24 tone system or the western 12 tone system in music to someone who has never heard?
      What is the worth of any analogy if there is no perception?
      We are only left with Love and Compassion.
      That grace is enough for me.

  7. Oh how stunning the view and immense the courage when one leaves the land of certainty.

    You bring to the table for open reflection and discussion such depth in life. My grandfather once said he had never seen a hearse with a luggage rack on it. That comment stuck with me prompting me to put my focus on things in life that possible go with me when “I” go.

    Thank you for creating the opportunity for me to contemplate and dive deeper today as I do some very overdue maintenance on my rental car as well (the loving metaphor my hubby and I often refer to the wonderful tools that our physical bodies are!)

    With each letter left in this brave and splendid post, I send back through their reading a thought of the healed presence that you are. -x.M

    • Thank you for this very encouraging comment.
      I wish you all the best, caring for your rental ‘vehicle’.
      Mine has some problems lately, but I’m trying to get it back onto the road.
      Gardening in all its slow and easy, fast and heavy aspects, usually has all the right ingredients to exercise it back to normal. And spring finally came. (only 3 daffodils and no tulips yet).
      If you don’t know anything about the country you are going to visit,
      going there eyes wide open and hands wide open will probably get you further than a knowledge of something that might not be there (anymore).
      Love and Light to you both

  8. Excellent post, Bert! And thanks so much for posting Tsem Tulku’s video. You are right, it is not what we know, but what we believe. I do believe the long distance communicator works because of experiences I or those close to me have had. But even those could be suspect. Whatever happens, living the way of Tsem Tulku makes sense, though not so easy. All very interesting and well laid out.

    • Thank you Ellen, for your encouraging comments. Tsem Tulku is a crazy teacher. I don’t know whether he knows the truth but he is captivating the audience not unlike Madonna or one or the other great stand up comedian.
      Whatever happens, we will see when time is there.
      Love and Light!

  9. This was a great post Bert. These questions posed here are the basis of loosening the grasp of our “control-desiring” mind. From an existential perspective these things and the misperceptions surrounding them drive us every which way until we can come to terms with them.

    It is great to hear you have found a taste of freedom in not knowing. I join you in that sentiment.
    Peace, Loren

    • Thank you for your encouraging comment.
      Freedom is a great thing. Mind however says, “now what”. Funny the way mind wants ‘projects’.

  10. I have no idea what, if anything, happens to us and I used to wonder and worry, too. As I grow older I grow more comfortable with not knowing, and being ok with it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s