Travel in the Spiritual Worlds
Trancendent or heavenly worlds and states of consciousness
We use the terms bliss and spiritual light to describe afterdeath spiritual states but all terms used to describe spiritual states are symbolic and can never capture or reflect the actual experience. Each religion has their own terminology for describing their ideal transcendent state.
We could also use concepts from Hindu Vedanta such as infinite awareness, infinite being, and infinite bliss to allude to heavenly states.
In Western Christianity, we might use terms and phrases such as approaching the majestic throne of God or the direct experience of God's divine love and glory to describe heaven.
In Orthodox Christianity, we have the term Theosis where the soul becomes so identified with God that it experiences his various divine qualities such as omnipotence, omnipotence, and omnipresence directly in the afterlife.
In some Islamic Sufi orders, we have the state of fana where the self disappears entirely and merges with God.
In Buddhism, we have the experience of the Void where all qualities disappear and even the most basic distinctions between qualities like being and non-being or life and death are gone.
A more earth-like and less distant paradise may take the form of a garden where the plants and fountains are composed of spiritual light instead of matter. This example shows a layered approach to heaven where there is a subtle realm and a less subtle area. These allow people with different degrees of purity and attachment to live at their level of comfort by providing areas that are more material and less material depending on the level of consciousness of the individual.
The less subtle area also allows individuals to correct the mistakes of the past and choose a future destiny thus emphasizing the importance of freedom and liberation in Buddhism.
All of these symbolic statements can allude to various spiritual after-death states but they have two things in common. They do not involve the physical body or senses. They are therefore necessarily out-of-body experience since the physical body is dead. They also represent states of awareness beyond the limits of embodied identity. In other words they involve spiritual travel - the type of spiritual travel that can occur following death.
Introduction | The Geography of Spiritual Travel | The "Travel" Analogy | Leaving the Body in Spiritual Travel | Spiritual Travel Versus Dreams | Sacred Light | Sacred Sound | Psychic States | Spiritual Travel in Western Religious Scripture | The Self in Spiritual Travel | Returning to the Physical Body | Near-Death Experience | Navigation During Spiritual Travel | Spiritual Matter | Method and Techniques To Induce Spiritual Travel | Shamanism and Spiritual Travel | After-Death Experience | Spiritual Travel as a Rehearsal for Physical Death | Beyond Spiritual Travel | Conclusion
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