In your workshop Meeting Death Wisely [1/16/93], you said the spirit and the physical self require three days after death to complete the separation process. What is the effect on that separation in countries such as ours where the embalming and preparation for the funeral take place during those three days?

You are walking through a dark room and walk into a piece of furniture that got moved without your knowing it. It startles you. The natural response is just to stand there for a moment and shake your head and think about it. You stop where you’re going because something unexpected got in your way. It’s a very natural reaction, isn’t it?

In an ideal situation, in a fully prepared being who is ready for death and aware of the process, the release of the spiritual essence from the personality essence and the physical essence is immediate. But the reality of it is, in this day and age in this society, you don’t have that. Individuals in their physical essence are so tied up in their personality that they think that’s what they are, that personality. As a result, they tend to deny death. Are they able to deny death really? No. But what they can do is hang on to that experience in form.

Now, suppose you die, and the first thing that happens is your body gets drained and fluid pumped into it so that it will last a bit longer without smelling too bad, and there is the opportunity for forty of the nearest and dearest friends to come and screech and wail and moan over it.

Two things are happening. The first one is, you’ve run smack into the couch that got moved. That body that you have resided in—and in fact think you are, in the confusion of an unprepared death—is being invaded, and things are happening to it. That alone causes you to just stop the process.

And the second thing is that your whole world is saying, “Don’t go. Give me. Give me. Stay here. Wail. Mourn. Gnash. How I loved that being!” And so while you’re standing there trying to figure out what the heck just happened in that proverbial darkened living room, all of a sudden you get stroked into not going anywhere at all, which really slows things down. And what it slows down is the soul’s recognition of the completion, its realization that it’s not that personality, that the personality is only a piece of it.

So, in this society, where a period of three or more days, sometimes months, before burial is accepted, it’s easy for the personality to remain attached to the unburied body when there is a strong emotional attachment from the living to the dead. As long as those who were a part of that being’s life are unable to let go emotionally, there is a piece of that soul, expressed as personality, that is very strongly drawn to remain a part of that body.

In that workshop, you also said that the best thing is for the body either to be left alone for three days or disposed of immediately. What do you mean by ‘disposed of immediately,’ and how does that help if the personality essence still needs time to dissolve?

The first thing you need is a little bit of background as to why this is so, and as I give it I’ll try very hard not to get on a soapbox about this society’s versions of death.

The personality is drawn to the physical experience. The personality is an expression of that soul. The soul that you are had a personality that was Paula, and at another time a personality that was Abigail and a personality that was Josiah. Each one of those pieces is not what the soul really is.

But the personality’s existence at death is only fed by those who remain. Therefore, whatever goes on with those who remain has an effect on the personality’s need or lack of need to maintain itself within the aspect of soul.

Paula dies, and David cannot bear it, and in his incredible love for her he talks to her constantly and cannot get over her death and get on with his life. It slows her down in her progression because there is a part of her, the personality, that is drawn to that energy, that was that energy, that is enlivened by that energy. Death practices in this society ask for that. That’s what they’re after: keeping the dead alive, so to speak.

With a three-day period of doing nothing to the body, there’s no running into the couch, no stopping and having the opportunity to get drawn in by the outward magnetism of the world to the personality. Those three days allow for adjustment, just as immediate change does. If you are in an explosion or if there is a car crash with immediate death, or if the body is immediately cremated—although a three-day wait is preferable—what the personality sees when it wakes up is so radically different that it recognizes death, rather than a slow period of gentle degeneration, getting used to the body in totally different circumstances, fading in and out of reality until there is imprinted on the brain two worlds so that you wake up and you could just as well be in bed dreaming.

So there is a benefit to having a recognizable line between life and death.

A three-day wait is better, but without that, an immediate, immediate, release, with no physical essence to touch in to. This society likes to say that that’s horrible on those who are left. [Sighs] It’s too bad, because it slows down the process.

What about when there is a more positive attitude on the part of those left behind, such as being fed by the memories and drawing comfort without feeling the overpowering loss?

That’s healthy, but a lot rarer. That’s the sort of case in which that soul, in the process of reintegrating, reabsorbing, and reviewing its experience on the planet, is able to touch in to that personality in a very positive, loving, good way and gain and learn from it, rather than having to relive it and seek it out because the connection that’s here would so totally suck them in they’d have a hard time getting out.

What happens when someone who is widely loved, such as Gandhi or Mother Theresa or Princess Diana, dies? Doesn’t that huge emotional outpouring of grief hold them back?

Those to whom such people had personal connections could have that effect. The millions for whom there was not a personal connection would not. So it’s a personal connection on the part of the deceased that makes a difference.

It occurs to me that the story in Genesis of the Tower of Babel might be referring to how Atlantis met its end, with humans using their egos wrongly to glorify themselves. I would like to know two things about the story. What does it actually refer to, and what was the purpose of including it in the Bible?

As is the case with all good textbooks, when what you are trying to do is encourage change in massive societal structures, teaching by example works best. Storytelling—teaching by parable and using metaphor to make things pleasant for the group that is being touched—has been the favored method since long before there was ever a written word. It still is, and that’s why it is used so very much. And although, within the Bible, the stories themselves can really be taken literally in their basic outlines, the purpose of a story is its greater meaning.

There was a society in which an edifice—I hesitate to call it a tower—was built with the desire of creating a meeting place for all societies. It was an equivalent of the modern-day UN. And there was, as a result of this, a lot of power-mongering that went on, and it eventually became an abomination and was destroyed. That’s the bare bones there. But that’s not the point. You can take it as a historically accurate account and more or less stay on firm ground and be all right, yet get nothing out of what’s being given. It’s by taking it to the next level and realizing what it means that you gain from it.

Having said that, I’m going to tell you that the story of Babel, as the questioner is recognizing, actually makes reference to a much earlier civilization and what happened there, and it is indeed a story of the coming together of many and trying to work out a common mode of understanding. And it concerns a misuse of power and the blueprint being destroyed. But it’s not referring to Atlantis. So the story of the Tower of Babel is included in the Bible for two reasons: to give a historical account, but to also give information about a higher path to those who could see beyond the basic account. That there actually was a Tower of Babel is nice, but the story is metaphorical and is making reference to seeding.