The yearning for Immortality is something of primary importance for men. Maybe it is connected to the instinct of self-preservation, or to a wish produced by the fear of death, or maybe a sign, a more or less clear intuition of an essential truth, a glorious reality?
This question has two different answers, in order to set ourselves and the others free from the materialistic denial and the doubt about Immortality.
By Roberto Assagioli, published 15.4 2011 in the “Psicosintesi” Magazine
1.The scientific proof of our survival.
The amount of the proofs coming from metaphysical studies all over the world appears so impressive that, if the purpose of anyone would be to read all the books concerning it in a free from prejudices mind, he would be certain to infer the survival and the working of human mind after the physical body’s death. Intelligent men, accustomed to contact the scientific method, such as the physicists William Crookes and Oliver Lodge, the philosopher Charles Richet and many others, after repeated experiments drew these conclusions.
My opinion is that their settlement could have so much weight as the significance attributed to other men of science engaged in different sectors of the scientific research. The evidence of human survival has a pregnancy because it destroys the bound of materialism and approaches to a set of levels or invisible realms where psychic human beings or of a different kind beings live and act. Anyway the evidence of the survival is not enough in order to wipe out the inner mystery of our psyche, so that we have to proceed more deeply and follow the second way.
2.The direct achievement of Immortality.
If we need to accomplish this achievement, we have to ask ourselves: ”What or who is Immortal?” The answer to this question involves the analysis or the knowledge of the different sides and levels of our psyche, differently described during the various historic periods. My opinion is that the following classification is the most in accordance both with esoteric teachings and the modern psychological discoveries.
- a) instinctual
- b) emotional
- c) mental
- d) spiritual
The instinctual level is almost entirely inconscious or subconscious; the second and the third are partly conscious and partly subconscious, the fourth is almost entirely superconscious. The achievement of Immortality can be realized only through, or inside, the spiritual psyche. So we can work out the problem only by lifting up our consciousness to that level or opening our mind to the resulting revelations.
It has been done by a minority of people in all times and in every place. Founders of religions, Initiates and Masters, Mystics and Prophets, philosophers and poets are the members of this big ”cloud of witnesses”. The Upanishad and the Bhagavad-Gita, the Old and New Testament, Plato, Plotinus, the Mystic of all religions and, in modern times, the testimony from intuitive men such a Walt Whitman and E. Carpenter, the ones gathered up by Buck, James, Winslow Hall, Ouspensky, can evidence and aggregate together.
It is possible for us to isolate all the elements in common with these proofs – just pushing out the differences and inequalities of temperaments and characters on the proposers. So we can point out the following factors of agreement:
- An inner perception of light, sometimes so intense to be described as a dazzling glory and a burst of flame. This peculiarity leads out to the noun ”enlightenment”, it describes the superconscious states. This kind of illumination often spreads out on the outside world, so that we can perceive it as if it could change its appearance and could be pervaded with a glittering light.
- A sense of release from the ordinary sub-conscious and the daily self-centeredness connected with a sense of expansion and elevation of the Consciousness.
- A sense of unity with the whole. This fulfilment is peculiar because, even though it is connected with the mentioned sense of loss and forgetfulness of one’s own personality, it is meanwhile possible to perceive the sense of a more fulfilled, wide-ranging, real life.
- A sensation of Beauty, both an inner and shapeless beauty, and the revelation, till then unknown, of the outside world in all its most common and ordinary aspects (on a certain way it looks like falling in love, when everything looks sparkling. N.D.R.)
- Feelings of Joy, Peace, Love mixed up in different measures
- The loss of the sense of time: to raise oneself over the flow of the becoming, over the past, the present, the future, the realization of the eternal now and the permanence, the indestructibility of the Transpersonal Self, the Centre of our being.
- A strong certainty and a solid inner security that the mentioned inner experience is real
- A push to voice, to communicate our experience of illumination, in order to share with people our precious treasure, and a sense of love and compassion towards people who grope in the dark. At this point a connected question comes out: “How may we experience this realization?”.
Sometimes it grows out spontaneously and suddenly, so that many of us perceive astonishment and wonder. Now and then it can spread out as a reward of an inner discipline, a practice settled with care, a studied Yoga program, or the unity with the Transpersonal Reality. Means and methods to realize that path can be detailed as follows:
- Prayer (emotional and devotional)
- Meditation (mental)
- Contemplation (intuitive)
- Assertion (Will)
- Invocation (the effort to put together and join all the other voices in a synthetic inner action of the whole psyche). Between the many invocations aiming to make easier the Transpersonal Realizations I chose the two most beautiful and forceful:
More radiant than the Sun,
Purer than the snow,
Subtler than the ether,
Is the Self,
The Spirit within my heart.
I am that Self,
That Self am I (Indian poetry)
- Never the spirit was born; the spirit shall cease to be never; Never was time it was not; End and Beginning are dreams! Birthless and deathless and changeless remained the spirit forever; Death hath not touched it at all, dead though the house of it seems!
 Translated from Italian to English http://www.psicosintesi.it/sites/default/files/magazine_015_aboutimmortality.pdf