tibetan book of the death

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  • bardo thödol is the book telling what happens after you die. western cultures know it as 'tibetan book of the death'. its also a guide to teach us how to live.

    'you will encounter a powerful white light when you die, dont be afraid, its home'

    'be a servant of all sential beings'.

  • Maybe I went there, after a bad accident in this lifetime, when I was much younger.

    Lovely, almost godlike people, compassionate, I didn't want to leave...

    Woke up with the ambulance medics slapping my face trying to bring me round before they took me to hospital.

  • As a natural philosopher, I don't take the Bardo Thodol very seriously:).

    It is a useful and interesting book about Buddhist ideas, meditations, mantras and religious philosophy, and some of what it tells may well have been garnered from a study of near-death experiences, added to over the years.

    It is however as vastly overdone in its own way as any of our Celtic accounts of life and death and heroes and sages. I have only read the Evans-Wentz version, years ago now, and that was somewhat flavoured by the translator's own ideas on Theosophy, which was a religious philosophical cult that still had quite a following over here at the time the book was introduced into the UK in 1927.

    I have read that some of the ideas in the Evans-Wentz version were actually Vedantist rather than Buddhist, so were Hindu rather than Tibetan in origin.

    However, an interesting read if you are interested in the ways that religious thoughts have been written down over the short recorded span of our history here on Earth, written history which very oddly goes back only a few thousand years or less, when science tells us we have lived here for several millions of years.

  • Yes, I have always got on well with Buddhists. Partly because they never try to thrust their ideas upon you.

    They also discourse on matters of religion without getting excited or angry or evangelical about beliefs, which makes a change from many of the religious people I have met.

  • We are 18% carbon, around 65% oxygen, 10% hydrogen, 3% nitrogen, and the other 4% a mixture of calcium, phosphorus, and trace elements, by mass. These, combined in a skeletal form, and surrounded by a bag of skin, walk the planet from birth to death, and we know not why.

    But as you say, the miracle is that these forms have a sentient life, and can stand and wonder at the world around them, and perhaps even wonder why they are here. Is it all chance?