Book: Beyond Death: What happens when we die and how to prepare now to take advantage of it
Author: Samuel Aun Weor
Critic: Glenville Ashby, PhD
Humankind has yearned longevity, if only to delay the inevitable. No doubt, the dissolution of the physical body can be a terrifying thought. Death provokes a collision of sentiments ranging from austerity and apprehension, to hope and dread. Of the afterlife, no one knows with certitude. We choose to believe sadhus and avatars that, through their tapas (austerities), have glimpsed the great beyond. One such sadu is Samuel Aum Weor, an author and spiritual teacher who singlehandedly revived the teachings of the Gnostics, a first century Christian sect that challenged the Church Fathers; and for such, they paid a heavy price. Terrorized and driven underground, their teachings vanished only to resurface with the 1946 discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea.
Weor offers much more than a disquisition on death. His work is eclectic, a brew of Tantra, Western Magic and Esoteric Christianity, no doubt a complex read for the neophyte. His arguments are discursive and didactic, and at times redundant. The reader might struggle to make sense of Weor’s labyrinth of spiritual worlds, his opaque spiritual exercises, and his efforts to bridge faith and science.
Still, ‘Beyond Death’ is an intriguing read.
For Weor, death, as defined in the West, does not exist. We merely transition to other realms, reliving our past as if it were a movie. We are rewarded and punished, but we return we must, towards perfection of self. That’s the destiny of humankind.
He beckons us to seek Enlightenment that we might escape from the law of return. We must don spiritual lens and discard biblical literalism. Eastern teachings are embodied in the Bible, he argues. The human body is an energetic template wherein are seven wheels of energy – chakras – that are really the seven churches as inscribed in Revelation 2:3. And the fire of Pentecost is akin to the Serpent’s fire, or Shakti, also called Kundalini in Yog. He writes, “The serpent in the Garden of Eden is the fire of the Pentecost, the fire of the Holy Spirit. This is the igneous serpent of our magical powers. In India, this serpent is called the Kundalini. The serpent is at the base of the spinal column, the coccyx; in this bone there is an ethereal center, the Muladhara, and within this center there’s an inlaid serpent of fire.”
Surely, then, in gnostic terms, the Serpent is not man’s nemesis.
And there are more provocative interpretations by Weor.
And why are such teachings relevant to death? Wisdom, Weor posits, rescues us from the drudgery of reincarnation.
Of the hour of death, he is dramatic evoking much of Islamic eschatology. He writes, “The angel of death is accompanied by the choir of angels, each angel carrying a book wherein are the names of all the souls who must depart from the flesh. No one dies before his appointed time.”
Death can be disconcerting. Weor speaks of souls oblivious of their demise, and later offers help in communing with loved ones, careful to define his counsel as practical magic and not spiritism. Of the difference he does not explain. “What is important is that you are able to fall asleep in the moments in which you are meditating on the life of the deceased. So in the moment of slumber the conversation will happen.”
In many ways, Weor concurs with the Christian depiction of heaven and hell. But neither place offers permanent abode. Perfection of the atman (soul) is foremost. Further, inconceivable it is for a loving God to condemn us to hellfire in perpetuity.
Of hell, he pens, “The infernal worlds are regions of bitterness within the interior of the planet Earth. The lost souls live in this infra dimensional abyss.”
Conversely, Heaven is a divine meed, “recompense for our good actions,” [but] “when the recompense is exhausted, it is clear that we must return to this world.”
Weor labours on reincarnation and metempsychosis (the transmigration of the soul after death).
“A genius is a genius because in millions of lives he has struggled to achieve perfection,” he avers. “We are the result of previous reincarnations.”
He explains the importance of a “retrospective exercise” that will help us recall past lives.
Instructively, he writes, “Remember everything that happened one hour before going to bed, two hours going to bed, from yesterday as the day before, to one month, three months, one year, ten years, twenty years back. The disciple must make the effort to remember the first five years of life…the first five years are very difficult to remember, however there is a secret to remember this…”
He chides disbelievers of reincarnation. “Some people do not believe that they had previous lives simply because they do not remember them, and indeed they do not remember because their consciousness is totally asleep.”
According to Weor, there are three likely paths upon death: “Vacations in the superior worlds (this path is for those that really deserve it) – it is great season of happiness; to return in immediate or mediate form to a new womb; to descend into the infernal worlds – these people devolve among the entrails of the Earth.”
He classifies distinctive regions of existence. Firstly, the mineral world called Hell or Avitchi that exists within the mineral crust of the earth. Then there is the cellular world where human existence begins – conception, gestation and birth. “Life in the cellular world,” he writes, “is a tremendous repetition of events, a tragic wheel of fate, a vicious cycle – a repetition of events to make us aware of our own errors. We free ourselves from this cycle by dissolving the ego on the basis of supreme understanding and sanctity, and by the forming of soul and Spirit.”
And of the molecular region or paradise, he notes, “Those beings who suffered greatly in life and who were relatively good become submerged in the happiness of the Molecular World before taking a new physical body….The egos of the Essence remain in the doorway of mystery, awaiting the new reincarnation. In the absence of the ego, the essences develop happily in Paradise.”
He elaborates, “As Paradise is molecular, it enters and penetrates all Earth’s atmosphere and is especially related to the ionosphere, which is found sixty miles above the Earth’s surface. Even when the astronauts travel through this area, they can never discover Paradise with their physical sense. We can only see Paradise with spatial sense.”
‘Beyond Death’ will provoke discussion. Impugned by Christian orthodoxy, it will appeal to theosophists and New Agers.
But for all the certainty promulgated by the wise (Weor included), we can only rely on faith.
Indeed, how can we be sure that their truths are not purely imaginative?
Arguably, the hereafter is purely illusory, a desperate attempt to salvage fading identities and egos. Riddled by fear and ignorance, we create fantastical worlds to inhabit. Exist we must at all cost.
Still, we pray for redemption in death.
In the words of Martin Luther, “Every man must do his own believing and his own dying.”
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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Copyright © 2020 Glorian Publishing
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