Re: Second death
May 12, 1998 07:35 PM
by Mark Kusek
Dr. A.M.Bain wrote:
> Pam Giese <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes
> >To borrow another Christian metaphor, the time spent in second
> >death is sometimes called "the dark night of the soul" --that time of
> >absence and abandonment where previous pleasure and contentment are
> >remembered as only illusionary and meaningless. One can spend a lifetime
> >in the bardo-like death state, clinging on the meaningless actions and
> >outer shells. Or one can let the final threads of the old self fall away
> >and allow a new birth to take place. With new birth comes the a new
> >awareness of love and oneness with the absolute.
> I was wondering if someone would offer this kind of perspective.
> Thanks Pam!
I've been watching this thread with interest, both for the topic and the
varied responses to your request for expressed personal opinion.
I've encountered the term "second death" several times over the years
and in various degrees of meaning. I think it is particularly
interesting to see how people relate the concept to similar ideas
associated with themes of death, rebirth, life passages, initiation and
transcendance. I agree with Eldon that this request stimulates a free
association around the central idea of death and dying. Its therapeutic
in that way. I find it valuable, although personally, I've tended to
keep a little distance in my mind between an understanding of "second
death" and these other related ideas.
In my experience I've heard of and employed the term to mean two
1) Most commonly, the dissolution of the lower desire and passional
psychic vehicles after a period spent in Kama-Loka following physical
death. I think of this as the extraction process, whereby the living
spiritually qualified essence and experience is distilled by Nature from
the previous personal life. It corresponds to a transition out of
"purgatory" into Paradise, to put it in Christian terms, whereby the
spiritual-soul is separated from its astral sheath as a pivotal event in
the normal course of it's afterlife journey. The important thing to
remember here is that it is every bit as natural and normal that this
occur as is the death of the physical body.
The soul that lives a sincere life of aspiration has little to fear from
this "second death." It can, in many cases, happen with little or no
consciousness on the part of the entity. If enough "spiritual momentum"
and qualification is engendered in the character of a person, it is
possible for that soul to rather quickly traverse the astral experience
in a state of quasi consciousness and pass relatively quickly into the
It only starts to become ominous when there is a preponderance of
misqualified energy accumulated in the personal character. Then, as a
consequence of the life lived and the momentum of this energy, a longer
period is required in Kama-Loka to dissolve the integrity of the kamic
vehicle and extricate the soul. This is the experience of "purgation" or
"suffering' spoken of in Christian terms. Imagine a strong desire
nature, quite vibrant during life, now unable to gratify itself through
the body it has recently lost. It yearns, but cannot satisfy. Hence the
post mortem "suffering" of those whose lives were lived predominantly in
the lower levels of the kamic nature.
2) Lifetime after lifetime so qualified, can result in little upward
progress. Supposedly, after repeated and willful refusal to acknowledge
Spirit, this can eventually lead to extreme and rare cases of pitiful
souls whose waywardness has caused their connection with Spirit to thin
through neglect and willful ignorance to the extent of ultimately
disconnecting from it. The fate of such an entity is that the "second
death" is, for the abandoned personality last lived; annihilation. The
Monad is unharmed, the Causal Ego is relatively intact, but taking a
loss, "drops" it's investment in the lower quartenary and waits for a
period in a minor pralaya until it can start a fresh evolutionary
The fate of the "lost," however is at "second death" a final and slow
That is the second, and more serious way that I've heard the term
employed. It is important to stress that it is said to be very rare and
the result of a sustained effort over many lifetimes to willfully rebel
against the inner Life and misuse most, if not all, of the allotment of
The Christian tradition uses the term in this fashion as a way to
describe the ultimate fate of devils and fallen angels, for example.
But Kama (and for that matter, the whole 'personality" question) is,
IMO, a very tricky thing. As I've tried to say many times on this list,
it is a two sided coin. I think it's just as wrong to fear your own
desire nature (how's that for a contradiction?) as it is to hate it or
want to get rid of it. In the long view, Kama, as well as the rest of
the lower quartenary, the "dreaded personality," is intended to be the
developing environment and progressively the growing reflection, in
action, of the indwelling spiritual soul while in the human kingdom. The
whole process of the life cycle is set up to facilitate just that. It's
not a punishment or a sin to be human. It is a nourishment of the seed
YOU ARE. It's OK to be human. It's OK to feel your feelings and to
think. It's OK to act and even be ignorant, messy and make mistakes.
That's how you'll learn. It's supposed to be this way. There's no need
to worry yourself sick about it.
It is paramount to remember, that in the higher subplanes of each of the
lower bodies, there is the capacity to consciously reflect what is
possible of the spiritual nature while being human.
Accept and understand.
Death and "Second Death", yes, but also Life and "First Life."
That's all I'm gonna say.
Once while traveling across the sky,
this lovely planet caught my eye.
Being curious, I flew close by,
now I'm trapped here 'till I die.
learning to live together,
learning to live together,
learning to live together.
Tell me how.
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