REQUIREMENTS, LAWS, MODES
DEATH AND THE ART OF DYING
Study Set 2
The Death Process:
The Role of the Personality
Keynote, A Quote from The Tibetan 4
Seed Thought 4
Study Questions 5
Staff Letter 6
Textual Extracts 7-9
READING ASSIGNMENT: Esoteric Healing: 424-486
SUPPLEMENTAL READING: A Treatise On White Magic, "Salvation
From Death": 492-507
KEYNOTE: An incarnation is a definitely determined period (from
the angle of the soul) wherein Experiment, Experience and
Expression are the keynotes in each incarnation. The Rays and
The Initiations: 337
[Death] concerns the art of wisely, correctly and with due timing,
giving back the body to the source of its constituent elements and restoring
the soul to the source of its essential being.
Esoteric Healing: 390
1. What is your definition of a personality? Is there a difference between
individual purpose and group purpose in your definition?
2. As the consciousness evolves, the ability to discriminate becomes
more refined. Eventually the coordinated personality is transmuted into
the instrument of the soul and begins to work in group service. As this
gradual progress takes place, how should the personality manifestation
be included in your concept of soul service? Should discrimination be naturally
developed or should knowledge be imposed on someone to ac- celerate his
or her progress?
3. Upon death, the personality is lost; it remains in the memory of
loved ones. These memories seem to undergo a process of gradual release,
from the specific circumstances surrounding the death of the personality
to highlighted accomplishments of its life. The various group affiliations
that such a personality belongs to may respond to its death in various
ways: anger, revenge, sadness, loss, inevitability, acceptance, happiness,
etc. What is the role of a healing group in this personality to soul transition?
4. Everyday to the consciously detached observer, a living/dying process
is deliberately taking place on a smaller scale. That which needs to be
released dies out. That which needs to carry on does so with clarity of
purpose and fuller life. In your own three personality vehicles, make a
list of what could be discarded and what should remain of yourself. Do
this, as if you knew that you had only a few days to live! You might leave
your property in a will; what would you do emotionally and mentally?
It has been said that you are born alone and you will die alone, but
this is not true from the soul's view point. The art of dying involves
the group. The group that the dying individual belongs to not only includes
his family and friends or co-workers, but also his soul group. The role
of the personality is the same in the art of dying as it is in the art
of living--both can be an act of group service.
The candle is like the personality. When it is all used up it is replaced
with another candle. While it is being used it is viewed and admired as
it serves itself to the flame. All the candles stored in the drawer are
like those personalities that have not activated their potential and have
not yet realized the life of service. Unlike the candle, we have the self
determination to create the quality of the self--the directional line,
the shape, the coloring, and the form of our life from the opportunities
and resources given to us. The physical circumstance, emotional condition,
and mental situation are lit by experience. When this is in group service
the light unites with others to illuminate problems of common experience.
The role of the personality in the death process is to make preparation
for sacrifice. The personality, as it gives up its vehicles in the death
process, sacrifices the mental, emotional, and physical bodies as a basis
for continued life. The experience gained in one life can help shape the
life of another. It is the work of the group to select out of each member's
experience the seeds of the future--the conditioning values. When the best
one has to offer is selflessly given to the life of service, that personality
is not just melted away but it is recognized. To be recognized for good
or bad is what the personality really wanted in the first place. Those
that insulate themselves in containers of protection are like the candles
in the drawer, prepared but not in use. The greatest personalities are
those in use.
In the spirit of service,
In teaching we are taught,
In healing we are healed,
In loving we are loved, and
In serving we are served.
Esoteric Astrology: 81, Dr. Douglas Baker
....The problem of the disciple is to reach a point where he is not
hindered or held back by any human being and yet so to handle himself as
far as attitude is concerned that he hurts no one in the process of withdrawal.
The outer personality claims of attachment are oft so powerful that their
clatter and their rattle prevent awareness of the golden thread which links
us with another soul. Likewise, overestimation of another person can act
as a real hindrance. The chains must break, leaving only a golden thread
between each soul--a golden thread which cannot break.
Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I: 312
One of the ideas which disciples would find it helpful to grasp is that
the process of passing over to the other side involves no discontinuance
of the three processes of Contact, Impression and Relationship. These being
the three words with which I earlier impressed you and which seem to me
today to be of major importance in your life. I would have you grasp, if
possible, somewhat the permanence of their importance. With the mass of
ordinary humanity, focussed in all their activities and their thinking
upon the physical plane, the period after death is one of semi-consciousness,
of a failure to recognize location, and of emotional and mental bewilderment.
With disciples there is still contact with people (usually those with whom
they have been associated) in the hours of sleep; there is still the reception
of impression from environment and associates, and there is the recognition
of relation with (as on earth) the assumption of responsibility.
Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. II: 487-488
One who does not give the fruits of his work achieves three kinds of
results after death; auspicious, inauspicious and mixed. But those who
are in the renounced order of life have no such results to suffer or enjoy.
For the average good citizen, death is a continuance of the living process
in his consciousness and a carrying forward of the interests and tendencies
of the life. His consciousness and his sense of awareness are the same
and unaltered. He does not sense much difference, is well taken care of,
and oft is unaware that he passed through the episode of death.
A Treatise On White Magic: 300
The worker in white magic must hold himself free as much as he can from
identifying himself with that which he has created or has attempted to
create. The secret for all aspirants is to cultivate the attitude of the
onlooker and of the silent watcher, and, may I emphasise the word silent.
Much true magical work comes to naught because of the failure of the worker
and builder in matter to keep silent. By premature speech and too much
talk, he slays that which he has attempted to create, the child of his
thought is still born. All workers in the field of the world should recognise
the need for silent detachment, and the work before every student who reads
these instructions must consist in cultivating a detached attitude. It
is a mental detachment which enables the thinker to dwell ever in the high
and secret place, and from that centre of peace calmly and powerfully to
carry out the work he has set before himself. He works in the world of
men; he loves and comforts and serves; he pays no attention to his personality
likes and dislikes, or to his prejudices and attachments; he stands as
a rock of strength, and as a strong hand in the dark to all whom he contacts.
The cultivation of a detached attitude personally, with the attached attitude
spiritually, will cut at the very roots of a man's life; but it will render
back a thousandfold for all that it cuts away.
Much has been written anent attachment and the need to develop detachment.
May I beg all students in the urgency of the present situation, to leave
off reading and thinking about it aspirationally, and to begin to practice
it and to demonstrate it.
A Treatise On White Magic: 559-560
....There is a connection with the first ray aspect which is will, and
that of death. Death is now the result of the will of the soul. Eventually
it has to be the result of the united will of the soul and the personality
and when that happens there will be no fear of death. Ponder on this also.
Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I: 669
....I ask you to stand together--no matter what eventuates or what forces
may seek to separate you. I ask my disciples to love each other in spite
of character and ray differences and to work loyally together for group
coherence and integrity--no matter what diverse opinions you may hold or
what may occur as time elapses. If you can hold together down the years
and throughout this life cycle, then the group can carry forward into the
future and work together on other planes, thus conserving energy. Can you
persist and carry on? Can such a telepathic interplay be set up that the
barrier of death will eventually prove no barrier at all and continuity
of consciousness persist?
Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I: 16