Even without being killed a man can experience death, he can conquer, he can realize the culmination characteristic of a “super-life”. From a higher point of view, Paradise, the Kingdom of Heaven, Valhalla, the Island of the Heroes, etc., are only symbolic figurations forged for the masses, figurations that in reality designate transcendent states of consciousness, beyond life and death. The ancient Aryan tradition used the term jivan-mukti to indicate such a realization while still in the mortal body. ~ Julius Evola, The Aryan Conception of Combat
A couple of weeks ago I had a dream in one scene of which I placed a book under my seat. When I reached down to pick it up, I noticed it had disappeared. Still in that dream state, I thought, “This must be a dream, since in real life books don’t disappear just like that.” That is when I awoke. Similarly, the waking state of consciousness is itself revealed to be a dream from the higher state of Samadhi. Does anyone pay attention to the clues like the missing book to realize that?
If you believe your life to be a random accident, of no significance, there is nothing to notice. However, most men look for their purpose horizontally, as some goal to achieve within that dream. Have you noticed how your dreams are mostly incoherent, that there seems to be relationships from scene to scene, but turn out to be tenuous, that one’s intention fails and morphs into another? Is that the description of a dream or life as you know it? If the latter, how do you know when it is time to wake up? When do you choose to wake up?
So, if you don’t believe your life is random, and you see that your purpose is not found within life itself, and that your real life is your super-life, then how much effort are you putting into living your real life? Shouldn’t you be obsessed with it?
Don’t think you hide from it or evade this task, for you will reach that state at the moment of death. However, at that point, it will not happen consciously and freely, but rather will be determined and automatic. This man dies in the first or second state of consciousness. That is, in the first, he lives his life in a passive sense, thoughts flow through him. In the second, his mind is full of theories, opinions, philosophies that maintain him in the illusions of ordinary life. The jivan-mukti dies to eternal life, beyond life and death, in a transcendent state. The other man just dies in the state he found himself in.
The Last Thought
That is why a man’s final thoughts have been considered so important. Tibetan Buddhism has an elaborate ritual to guide a man toward his approaching death. The Greek and Roman Churches offer the sacrament of extreme unction to improve the quality of a man’s final thought.
Observe your breath. Notice that every exhalation may be your last; you cannot be certain that you will inhale another. What are you thinking at that moment? Is it a thought you want to be remembered by? Or, better said, is it a thought you want to die remembering?
Some may think they are superior because they don’t believe the sensual understanding of the post-mortem state in folk religion. However, Evola changes nothing in his esoteric interpretation. Even the popes have called Heaven a state of being, not a place, so the goal of a happy death remains.
The Samurai’s Servant
In Japanese legends, the last thoughts of a dying man were believed to have irresistible powers. Lafcadio Hearn tells the story of a samurai who condemned one of his slaves to death by beheading. The slave, convinced of the injustice of the sentence, bitterly told his master, at his execution, that he would take revenge. The samurai’s family were terrified, because they understood the power of a dying man’s final thoughts.
The clever samurai told the slave he didn’t believe his threats unless the slave could prove it to him. The slave offered to prove it. So the samurai told him to bite the step as his head was rolling down; he would take that as proof of the slave’s threat. The slave exulted, “I will do so!” The samurai then chops off the slave’s head, which then latches onto the step with its teeth as it is rolling down.
The samurai’s family and retinue were horrified to witness that proof of the slave’s threat of vengeance. The samurai himself was unperturbed and gloated: “The slave’s final thought was to bite the step, which he did, so his earlier threat is ineffective!”