A young Frenchman, one of our WWOOFers,* approached me after meditation recently in the Temple and exclaimed joyfully that he had had a wonderful experience during the meditation. He described feeling suspended from his body, very still, beyond time and beyond thought. He put his hands together as if in prayer to show the sense of unity or completeness that he had experienced.
For me this was a serendipitous moment. This young man’s experience in meditation illustrates a phenomenon which I wanted to write about in this article. Meditators strive to achieve this state, an aspect of “Samadhi”, a Sanskrit word connoting a state of spiritual being and knowing. I have known this state briefly over fifteen years of my own meditation practice. On return from this state I am less attached to my earthly persona and its concerns and view life, having contacted a higher counterpart of myself, the soul, existing beyond time, linear thought and physical existence.
The raja yoga or meditation practised in the Alice Bailey teachings focuses on building mental “ladders” in meditation using imagination and visualisation. The soul is located on the mental plane and therefore is of mental substance. The “ladders” allow the gradual ascent to higher mental realms and then descent to the everyday mind, bringing back intuitive insights and symbols from these realms. We learn the importance of registering these insights and exploring what they mean in our spiritual journey and how they can be applied in everyday life.
Meditation takes the mind away from the outer senses and focuses on concentrated inner awareness. In the raja yoga tradition of meditation the process opens the meditator to soul illumination. The individual then realizes that he is different from the body he inhabits and is “actually in a condition of disembodiedness. His consciousness is that of the man out of incarnation..…the real discarnate thinker”. It was edifying to find this description of the meditative experience in The Light of the Soul by Alice A Bailey as it is also reported by people who return from a Near Death Experience. They too have an out-of-body experience and have a sense of peace and well-being.
I imagine that when I pass over at death I will recognise this state from my meditation practice and thus re-orient in the higher realms more easily. There are accounts by people who have continuity of consciousness, on this side of the veil of death, and on the other. Some are aware of their nightly astral travel on the astral plane, adjacent to our physical plane. Others can receive telepathic communication from the deceased. It seems that the realms of the dead are but a different frequency away and that meditation helps us “turn the dial” and tune into these realms. I know that my dreams have offered symbolic signposts on the way my life should or will proceed, as though a messenger from those night realms is watching with interest. Indeed, in a meditation that we often conduct the Angel of the Presence (the angel of our soul) states that, after it has put down a fragment of itself into the body at incarnation it remains “overshadowing all our daily living.”
The Ageless Wisdom teachings foretell a time when the incoming Seventh Ray associated with the Aquarian Age will bring changes that will more closely relate the realms of the living and the dead, souls in incarnation and those who are not, the physical and the subtler planes. In those days, perhaps several lifetimes from now, death will be celebrated as we now celebrate birth or marriage, as we cast off a persona that has served to teach lessons on Earth.
In association with the Seventh Ray, other incoming cosmic rays will “destroy the veil or web which separates the world of the seen and tangible from the world of the unseen and the intangible, the astral world.” The light from the astral plane will “profoundly affect the human eye” and etheric vision will become universal. The etheric nature of the scaffolding of life, the auric field around the body, will be seen and the soul’s presence will be recognised.
As humanity moves towards the Aquarian Age, spirituality is moving away from a religion primarily based on faith in a transcendent God. Spirituality will become a science of energy and consciousness. We as humans will understand that we are the energy of spirit qualified by matter and soul consciousness. As souls we cycle in and out of life on Earth as living learning laboratories for the evolution of the planet. Life and death will be reframed in human consciousness as two hemispheres of our full humanness. It is then that humanity will enter the new paradigm or consensus reality regarding death. Death will no longer be feared as “the last enemy” of humanity.
*Willing Workers on Organic Farms is a global organisation through which work on the land is exchanged for food and accommodation.
 Page 341.
 Wikipedia entry on the Near Death Experience. See also the personal accounts of NDE’s in the books of Anita Moorjani and Eben Alexander.
 See Through the Curtain by Shafica Karagula and Viola Petit Neal; Memories, Dreams, Reflections by Carl Jung; Testimony of Light by Helen Greaves.
 Meditation on the Path of the Inner Light in Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, Alice A. Bailey, p. 546.
 Esoteric Psychology, Vol. I Alice A Bailey, p. 370, pp. 102, 103; The Light of the Soul, p. 397. The etheric vehicle is the invisible aura around the body. Increasing numbers of people are able to see this aura and more children are being born with this capacity.
 The Bible, 1 Corinthians 15:26.