Illusions carry only guilt and suffering, sickness and death to their believers. The form in which they are accepted is irrelevant. No form of misery in reason’s eyes can be confused with joy. Joy is eternal. You can be sure indeed that any seeming happiness that does not last is really fear. Joy does not turn to sorrow, for the eternal cannot change. But sorrow can be turned to joy, for time gives way to the eternal. Only the timeless must remain unchanged, but everything in time can change with time. Yet if the change be real and not imagined, illusions must give way to truth and not to other dreams that are but equally unreal. This is no difference
The body is the ego’s idol; the belief in sin made flesh and then projected outward. This produces what seems to be a wall of flesh around the mind, keeping it prisoner in a tiny spot of space and time, beholden unto death and given but an instant in which to sigh and grieve and die in honor of its master. And this unholy instant seems to be life; an instant of despair, a tiny island of dry sand, bereft of water and set uncertainly upon oblivion. Here does the Son of God stop briefly by to offer his devotion to death’s idols, and then pass on. And here he is more dead than living. Yet it is also here he makes his choice again between idolatry and love.
O nobly born, the time has now come for thee to seek the Path. Thy breathing is about to cease. In the past thy teacher hath set thee face to face with the Clear Light; and now thou art about to experience it in its Reality in the Bardo state (the* intermediate state* immediately following death, in which the soul is judged or rather judges itself by choosing, in accord with the character formed during its life on earth, what sort of an after-life it shall have). In this Bardo state all things are like the cloudless sky, and the naked, immaculate Intellect is like unto a translucent void without circumference or centre. At this moment know thou thyself and abide in that state. I, too, at this time, am setting thee face to face.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead
It seems to you the world will utterly abandon you if you but raise your eyes. Yet all that will occur is you will leave the world forever. This is the reestablishment of your will. Look upon it open-eyed and you will nevermore believe that you are at the mercy of things beyond you, forces you cannot control, and thoughts that come to you against your will. It is your will to look on this. No mad desire, no trivial impulse to forget again, no stab of fear, nor the cold sweat of seeming death can stand against your will. For what attracts you from beyond the veil is also deep within you, unseparated from it and completely one.
The arrogance of sin, the pride of guilt, the sepulcher of separation—all are part of your unrecognized dedication to death. The glitter of guilt you laid upon the body would kill it. For what the ego loves, it kills for its obedience. But what obeys it not, it cannot kill.