According to the myth of “death”, being born is a death sentence. The myth goes something like this. From the time of conception onward, we are at risk of death from an unfriendly universe. Death earlier in a life cycle is seen as more tragic than a later death, say as an old person surrounded by family after having lived a full life.
Death is usually defined as the absence of life of the body. When a body dies, it becomes toxic and must be disposed of as quickly as possible, usually through burial or burning. No one wants a dead body around.
Once the body is disposed of, the living often meet to celebrate the good times when the now dead body was alive and then move on with their own life cycles.
However, what if the whole mythology of death was just that: a myth. Many universal teachings speak to the myth of death.
In my eight years with don Miguel Ruiz, author of the international best seller, The Four Agreements, we studied the Toltec Silent Knowledge, basically a powerful journey of human transformation. Toltec means person of knowledge, but I always thought of it more as “person of wisdom”.
Universal Teachings Don’t Recognize Death
As with many eastern and naïve teachings, “death” does not exist for the Toltecs. In fact, we can say that we will never be more “dead” than when constrained by a living body and mind. Instead, because energy can never be created or destroyed, which includes “life” energy, what we experience in a life cycle from body verses no body is simply a transformation of energy.
With a living body and mind, we have physical energy of the body and emotional energy of the mind in the form of thoughts, beliefs, and memories. When the body dies, that physical energy is returned to the earth. When the mind has no body to maintain it, the emotional energy returns to where it came from, mostly the collective fear-based mind-set of humanity.
Body and Mind Are Gone. What’s Left?
We now find ourselves without a body or mind. What’s left? What is left is what’s always here, the eternal soul that animates every life, both physical and etheric. When we “die”, we are left in the most vibrant love and light that is soul energy.
Don Miguel shared with us many times about the journey of the soul and the many incarnations that would allow humans to re-member and expand consciousness. He spoke of experiences of being in one’s light body where we could experience ourselves as soul. After about six years working with don Miguel, I began having moments where I briefly experienced these energetic states.
Experiencing What We Really Are
In 1998, my eighth and final year as don Miguel’s student, he asked me to take his then teenage son through the pyramids of Teotihuacan, which means where one becomes enlightened. Like many teens, including my own, his son had his challenges and wouldn’t listen to his father. I was honored he trusted me with his son.
At the end of a long and powerful day in the pyramids for both Miguel’s son and me, I decided to make a solo journey to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun and end the day in meditation on the setting sun. While in meditation, I was transcended into my light body, communing with the light of the sun that had powerful information for me. To say this was a glorious, consciousness expanding experience, is a gross understatement.
One thing that stood out for me during this experience was that there was still a David. There was still duality. This showed me that the energy was the energy of the soul. This is where we are returning to when body and mind die.
Returning to my body, I seemed to be carrying more light. The physical world looked more illuminated.
“I’m No Longer Your Teacher.”
When I left the pyramids to meet don Miguel and our group for dinner, he immediately got up from the table to greet me and thank me for taking his son through the pyramids. He seemed to know of my soul experience without me telling him much about it.
Later, walking back to the hotel, don Miguel pulled me aside and said, “David, I am no longer your teacher. It’s time for you to teach.”
It’s said that that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. I think it can also be said that the experience only comes when the student is ready. Good or bad, old or young, tragic or surrounded by loved ones after a long and fruitful life, when we “die”, we are simply going home to the love, light and communion that we are and have always been.