By Stanislav Grof
The "art of loss of life" and the posthumous trip of the soul were the topic of in depth literature and visualization in lots of cultures. "Dying sooner than dying", or perform in loss of life, has been sought all through human historical past, not only to beat worry and provides aid for the time being of dying, yet really to transfigure the standard of lifestyles. Stanislav Grof considers the most impressive and significant of the works recognized jointly because the "books of the dead": the traditional Egyptian funerary texts; the Tibetan Bardo Thodol; Maya and Aztec myths of loss of life and rebirth. And from medieval Europe come the Christian visions of the soul's trips, the danses macabres and dialogues with demise, and meditational imagery of mortal decay that remembers Tibetan practices.
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Extra resources for Books of the Dead
Skeletal death t u m bled bodies i n van Eyck's e m b races contact with the d ivine is forever with h u man s k u l l s, heads and the Ch ristian Hell, above, a rea l m of painti ng. (Tanka painti ng, flayed skins. In his right hand he eternal torments from w h i c h no Det a i l of the Last J u dgment, by holds the sword symbol i c of escape i s possible, and where H u bert van Eyck, c. 1 426) c. 1 800. V i s i o n s of celesti al, w rathf u l a n d the heavens, a m o n g sai nts a n d d e m o n i c b e i n g s are co m m o n to a l l angels, with S atan i n H e l l b e l o w .
Wi l l i a m Bla ke, i l l u stration for the Paradiso, Dante's Divine Comedy, 1 824-7. Vessel of the Maya cera m i c codex. Bro nze mandi;lla, East India, 1 2th cent u ry) A triu mphant scene from the papyrus of Ani depicts the i nstant The mes of the emergence of the sun god after his noctu rnal jou rney t h rough ' the u n derworld. At the same t i me, it represents the rebirth of the deceased person, and the m o ment of i l l u m i nation of the i n it i ate i n the mysteries. Beside the djed, the vertebral co l u m n of Osi ris, kneel his sisters Isis and Nephthys, worsh ipping the solar d i sc su pported by the ankh, symbol of eternal life.
From i nfancy to old age and reb i rth: pig (ignoran ce), rooster real m s of the gods, titans, h u ngry death, the wheel turns (desire) and serpent (aggression). In ghosts, hell, animals and human remorselessly fu l l ci rcle, w h i l e the next c i rcle are the dark, beings. (Anonymous woodcut, Death towers o v e r t h e g l o b e as descending, and l ight, ascen d i ng 1 5 58. Tanka pai nti ng, 1 8th-1 9th absol u te ru ler. The Ti betan 'Wheel paths travelled by souls between centu ry) 38 In t h e C h ristian trad i t i o n of the A rs moriendi the grueso m e a n d repu lsive fate of the body after d eath has often been e m p h asized i n o rd e r to turn peo p l e' s m i n d s f r o m w o r l d l y a n d u lti mately futi le concerns to s p i ritual a n d transcendental rea l ities.