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Death and the Beyond

A GATE OPENS - Part I, Chapter 10

   THE ETHEREAL-NON-PHYSICAL body and the gross-material-physical body are connected with each other as by a navel cord, which in its natural state is said to be of a silvery sheen. Hence this cord is also called “the silver cord.” Even the author of Ecclesiastes; or, The Preacher in the Old Testament (12, 1-6) used this expression when in his figurative speech he described the last days of a dying man:

“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth,

while the evil days come not,

nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say,

I have no pleasure in them;

While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars

be not darkened, nor

the clouds return after the rain;

In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble
(the arms),

and the strong men shall bow themselves (the legs),

and the grinders cease,

because they are few (the teeth),

and those that look out of the windows be darkened
(the eyes),

and the doors shall be shut in the streets (the ears),

when the sound of the grinding is low (the mouth),

and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird,

and all the daughters of music shall be brought low
(the songs) . . .;

and the almond tree shall flourish (the white hair) . . .,

or ever the silver cord be loosed,

or the golden bowl be broken . . . .”

The Preacher exhorts man to think of the Creator in good time, before death comes, and the silver cord is taken away. The golden bowl has been interpreted as the aura, which radiates round the head of earthman, and which is extinguished at death.

Clairvoyants are able to observe the process of dying. In Shaw Desmond’s book How you Live when you Die (Rider & Co., London), he says on pages 20/21:

"To come more nearly to the consideration of what happens immediately after death, it should be stated that death does not ensue instantly upon the heart ceasing to beat. From what we have been told by the astral physicians and, indeed, to a certain extent by actual observations in the sick room on this side of death, the silver cord is not severed for a day to four or five days after apparent death.

"The actual separation takes only a few seconds. In that instant of severance, the ‘dead’ person finds himself or herself looking down upon his or her own body! It is an extraordinary moment. It is so, if only because for the first time the man or woman has found out that the body was not himself or herself. That it was no more than a suit of clothes or a dress with which one had finished and so was thrown aside."

The severing of the silver cord is not always easy.

Only man himself is responsible for its condition, thus for its density and detachability. The more he chains himself to earthly things, the denser and heavier it becomes, and with it also the ethereal body; hence in certain cases such a man must feel not only the last earthly-physical pains, but also the disintegration of his physical cloak.

But for those who bear within them the conviction of survival after death, physical death is birth into the Ethereal Realm. Just as at birth into the gross-material, the earthly, the navel cord is severed, so the silver cord is severed at birth into the ethereal, the beyond. Death need not be feared by anyone who bears within him the living firm volition for good, even if the resolution for it has arisen only just before his physical death. It will help him safely over the threshold, and on the other side helping hands will carefully guide him on to that recognition, which is still needed in order to ascend towards the Light.

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Excerpts are translated after the original German "Ein Tor öffnet sich" (A Gate Opens).
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