The  Path

by William J. Cozzolino


Part One:  Life after ‘Death’

Basic Premise: Life has no beginning and no end; life is eternal.

The question, "What happens to us after we ‘die?" is a universal question.  The fear of this ‘unknown’ is the foundation on which all religious belief is based.  But the future is not unknown, it is simply beyond our personal experience.

Many have traveled into this transpersonal realm and returned to tell of it.  Some have learned to expand their awareness and access the layers of energy beyond the physical. Others have actually ‘died’ a physical ‘death’ and returned to relate their experiences.  For the most part, these reports are shaped by the individual’s paradigm so they fit within their belief and reality structure.   For the most part, the experiences fit the expectations of the reporter.

There are commonalties in all the reported experiences, and these commonalties lead us to an understanding that death is a process, not an ending. It is a process of leaving our world of physical reality and entering into another. We learn that we do not die at all, we simply go through a transition from the physical world to the nonphysical world. We also learn that, as our physical reality is limited by our paradigm, so is our nonphysical reality. We will enter a nonphysical world that, like our physical world, meets our expectations.

What follows is a brief description of the process of transition taken from The Path.

Student: What happens to us when we die?
Master: When you die?
Student: When our physical life ends?
Master: What happens to you depends on you. What you call death is not an ending, but a beginning. It is a birth, and you must decide now if it is to be a birth of experience or a birth of awareness.

Even though death is a daily occurrence, we often hold physical death in a special place. It should not be so.  The death of the physical body involves the same process as its birth.  It contains the confusion, the tunnel, the light, and the same restructuring of our paradigm.  We experienced this process, this death, when we entered the physical world. The only difference is, at the time of physical death the body ceases to function, and the physical view screen on which reality has been presented begins to fade.  This is a process that almost everyone will experience, but it is not a new experience.

Although transition is one complete process, it is easier to understand if it is presented as individual experiences. Again, there are reports of physical death from NDE’s (near death experiences) around the world, and as always, the interpretation of the process is reported through the paradigm of the person experiencing it. What we are concerned with is the archetype itself -- the common aspects of transition that arise regardless of the reporting individual.

The first archetypal experience in transition is the tunnel. The tunnel is the reflection of the birth canal. As with birth, it may be preceded by a period of disorientation and confusion. It is sometimes experienced as a dark hallway, a deep valley between two high cliffs, or even a dark field with misty edges; the descriptions vary with the paradigm of the individual reporting it. Some individuals experience an open field, a pleasant lake, a bridge, or a misty environment with a light in the background. Again, the presentation of experience is the result of our paradigm so, throughout the world, there are reports of many different experiences of the process. Most reporters tell of being aware of a distant light beyond the tunnel and a noise of some kind. The noise is often a buzzing sound, or the sound of rustling wind. This can be compared to transition at the time of birth when our senses are flooded with the awareness of our new reality.

The next experience that is encountered in transition is the approaching of the Light of Mind. This arises as the experience of the tunnel fades into the background. As mentioned, the Light first appears far in the distance. As the individual travels through the tunnel, they feel drawn to this Light. Most who have experienced it report that there are no words to describe the Light. It is said to be brighter than any earthly light, yet will not harm the eyes of those that look directly into it. Individuals report that as they are drawn to the Light, they experience total Love and acceptance.

Most say they felt the Light was familiar, as if they were in some way a part of it. This Light often appears to those who have led a "good" life as well as those who have not. It may appear to those who have held a belief in a god, as well as to many that have not. Once again, all experience is a projection of the mind. The process is archetypal, but within the process, many experiences are available. Individual experiences within the process are a product of our mind in response to our paradigm, just as is the case in consensus reality. The Light often appears as a figure. The personage is always a product of the observer’s belief and reality structure. A Christian will usually see Christ or an angel. A Buddhist will likely see a Buddha, or one of the saints. A generic believer may see an angel, and some are just aware of the Light. Here is evidence that the mind is already beginning to fill in our view screen with information that fits our expectations. There is something out there, limited, and with meaning. The fact that the Light appears differently to different observers means only that the illusion of separation, limitation, and meaning is beginning again.

With the end of the tunnel and in the presence of the Light, comes judgment. Again, our awareness at this point is a result of the presentation of the Light of Mind while our mind still interprets the experience according to its paradigm. As you know, all judgment is self-judgment. At this moment, our Path arises fully before us and we have another opportunity to gain Balance. We view our entire Path in a holographic instant. If we have not taken time to gain Balance before this moment, judgment is immediate. Our Path contains our Ego program. The programs of limiting thought that are our paradigm immediately interpret the presentation of Mind as it arises. We are not able to consider our paradigm. It was created in response to sensory information from consensus reality, and that reality is no longer available to us. There is no time. It no longer exists.

The tunnel and the Light may be accompanied by the presence of departed loved ones. Here, again, the response of our mind to the arising of Mind is following the same patterns it has in our movie of consensus reality. The vibrations of our attention are responded to, and common beliefs in realities draw entities together. Another illusion that supports our expectations is presented by our mind. The loved ones may very well reside in a "place" in which we share a common belief in, and we may have longed to be with them.

The tunnel and the Light, and the potential for judgment, are the first experiences of transition. Remember, the mind is not in the brain, it is the energy that we are, and it is still active and running programs. We are all One, and our experience is a projection of our mind. We must look into the camera of our mind and return to the center. Acknowledge the source of the illusion, gently return it, and merge with it -- just as in meditation. When the Light comes close to us and we feel the Love and know, in some way, that we are a part of the Light, we must hold to the Knowledge that we are the Light. We are not separate from what we are experiencing. The Light is the awareness of Mind arising in the transition process. It is not out there. It arises just as the presentations of the mind and Mind do in meditation. If our belief system contains a strong paradigm of an external creator, it will not allow us to gain the awareness that this Knowledge is arising within us; it appears external and contains meaning. There is a god archetype, and an archetype is, by its nature, unlimited. The presentation of any archetype naturally assumes the form that we hold in the paradigm of our mind. If we believe in a god of judgment and wrath, that program appears in our mind and becomes our experience. If we believe in a god of Love and forgiveness, we experience the same.

When we have merged with the holographic awareness of Mind and the archetypal presentation of the gods, we may have gained our freedom from the illusion. But again, it can happen in degrees. We are not fully free until we totally accept that awareness as ourselves and fully accepted that we are The One. There may still be a little Ego left. Even the archetypes of the gods possess it in some form. They are, after all, a projection of our mind. The Mind must now present us with the last experience in transition. This is the fullness of The One, The One within.

Up till this point we have been experiencing holographic awareness related to our experience, filtered and refined by our still active mind, and not the full awareness of The One. Because our paradigm is still with us, we may still feel a sense of separation, almost like an observer. When full awareness of The One arises, it may appear as a vast emptiness, but we are aware that the emptiness is full of potential. In the quantum energy state of The One, there is only potential. Remember, we are experiencing holographically now, and our mind is still active. We still hold the memory and the paradigm of our last movie -- and still have a sense of self. It is at this point that our Ego may surface again. Confronting the sense of our personal "I" is the last step in transition. Our Ego may lead us to believe that we will have to give up our "identity" in order to merge with The One. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our identity is of The One. It is the final sense of separation that we are confronting. The sense of separation is the last stronghold for the Ego and the paradigm. The One is not a place of separation in any form. In The One, total intimate awareness of each and every entity is available to us at all times. The Ego program presented by our mind may try to hold on to our separation, telling us that we will lose our sense of self. The mind knows that our consciousness will gradually become aware of every thought of every entity that is, as well as all potential floating in the vast reaches of The One. We are confronted with the awareness that each and every entity that is will become totally and intimately aware of us. Our Ego may tell us they will know everything about us. We must not be deceived, they already do. And we, in Mind, already know them.

Awareness of the transpersonal realm is not something new to us. It is where we came from, and we hold in Mind and the mind in Balance, the intrinsic knowledge and ability to move about freely in it. The only freedom comes in Balance. The idea that we are not worthy or are unprepared must be set aside. We were, shall we say, born ready. Our practice of Knowledge and Integration while maintaining Balance awakens that intrinsic nature in us. We find ourselves expanding into the limitless potential of The One, still maintaining Balance -- free once again from the illusion.

And we also find that our paradigm has not vanished and our Ego has not disappeared. They have both been fully Integrated into The One. We know ourselves, yet we know The One as ourselves. Our paradigm allows us to create and express ourselves, but our Balance allows us to enter into awareness and experience without becoming immersed in either. We have now come full circle, from our birth into the physical world to our birth into The One in Balance. We have not left our mind behind, for it is a part of our nature. Rather, we have learned to Balance our attention between experience and awareness. We have discovered that The One is always with us, and that it is available to us through our attention. We walk the earth, or any experience we choose, with a lighter step. We are of The One.

William J. Cozzolino, author of The Path, Epistemologist and Hypnotherapist has devoted his entire life to the study of the human mind and spirit.  Over thirty five years of research has gone into The Path.
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