The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

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The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

348 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYING

back into that dimension; we awaken, frantic and distracted,

in the bardo of becoming in the mental body, taking illusory

experiences for solid and real just as we have in lives before,

and stumbling helplessly, propelled by past karma, toward

rebirth.

Highly realized beings, however, have awakened in themselves

a perception completely different from our own, one

that is purified, evolved, and refined to such an extent that,

while they still dwell in a human body, they actually perceive

reality in a totally purified form, transparent to them in all its

limitless dimension. And for them, as we have seen, the experience

of death holds no fear or surprises; it is embraced, in

fact, as an opportunity for final liberation.

THE PROCESS IN SLEEP

The three phases of the process we see unfolding in the

bardo states in death can be perceived in other levels of consciousness

in life also. Consider them in the light of what

occurs in sleep and dream:

1. When we fall asleep, the senses and grosser layers of

consciousness dissolve, and gradually the absolute nature of

mind, we could say the Ground Luminosity, is briefly laid

bare.

2. Next there is a dimension of consciousness, comparable

to the bardo of dharmata, that is so subtle that we are normally

completely unaware of its very existence. How many of

us, after all, are aware of the moment of sleep before dreams

begin?

3. For most of us, all that we are aware of is the next

stage, when the mind becomes yet again active, and we find

ourselves in a dream-world similar to the bardo of becoming.

Here we take on a dream-body and go through different

dream-experiences to a great extent influenced and shaped by

the habits and activities of our waking state, all of which we

believe to be solid and real, without ever realizing that we are

dreaming.

THE PROCESS IN THOUGHTS AND EMOTIONS

Exactly the same process can be recognized in the workings

of thoughts and emotions, and the manner in which they

arise:

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