“When We Die, We May Continue to Dream…”

“When we die, we may continue to dream, but because we’re dead we can’t wake up.” So suggests the brilliant thinker and scientist, Rupert Sheldrake.

Here are a few key points explaining why and how you can take steps now to design your own afterlife.

  • In near-death experiences (NDEs), Christians may meet Grandma, while Hindus may find themselves dealing with a bureaucrat.
  • Why the difference?
  • “People’s near-death experiences reveal what their expectations are concerning what death will be like, even when these expectations are held subconsciously.”
  • “The kind of after-death experience we might have depends on what kind of person we are, what kind of fears we have, what kind of beliefs we have, what kinds of things we expect, and what our religious faith is.”
  • It seems likely that your experience during an NDE is a taste of your actual afterlife, as it exists at that moment. Let’s say you’re having a near-death experience (while clinically dead), but then you stay dead — so you’re actually having a real-death experience (while clinically dead) — there’s no reason to think that the two situations would be any different. Dead is dead. If you’re talking to St. Peter, and he doesn’t send you back to life, you’ll probably keep talking to St. Peter, and things will proceed from there.
  • If our consciousness survives our death — and there is much evidence that it does — it seems to reside in our dream body, the same “body” present in NDEs — and the same “body” we’re all familiar with occupying in our nightly dreams (also familiar to some people from out-of-body experiences).
  • Scientist Rupert Sheldrake suggests, “When we die we may continue to dream, but because we’re dead we can’t wake up.”
  • Tibetan Buddhists suggest that “what we experience as ‘dreams’ when we are alive and in our physical bodies is exactly what the discarnate entity experiences after death.”
  • This dreamworld state may be like the Catholic concept of purgatory or the Hindu concept of bardo, an intermediate state where we have experiences and change.
  • We control our dream and our dream body to a greater or lesser extent, depending on our consciousness and our ability to manage our minds.
  • Tibetans practice dream yoga — lucid dreaming. Sheldrake says they consider it “like practicing for when you’re dead”.
  • You may be able to meet your ancestors or other dead people or archetypal beings. If Grandma believed she was going to meet Jesus, maybe she did. And if you believe you’ll see Jesus and Grandma, maybe you’ll all be there together.
  • And, just as in dream telepathy, maybe (some of the) dead can make themselves felt in our lives on Earth.
  • You dream your own afterlife according to your beliefs and expectations.
  • What if you’re an atheist and truly believe the death of the body is the final end? One answer is that perhaps for atheists there’s nothing after death… at least for a while.
  • The classic advice is good: Think about where you want to go after you die! But don’t just choose from a couple of options people told you about…. think of something that seems right and awesome to you. Choose something you can really get behind, and believe in.
  • Carl Jung’s NDE is an example of the kind of afterlife you can create.
  • The power of belief is awesome. You can design a fascinating afterlife for yourself. Make it great, believe it, expect it, invite your friends — and develop the skills and habits on Earth that will be useful not only now but especially after you’re dead!

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