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In 'The Mystery of the Conjunctio', Edinger calls Death an "experience". I love this! That most mysterious something, that quintessential essence which we call consciousness, remains.

To believe in Death as the end of the ride is to fall foul of what the mystery traditions - and Psychology, if one can make it to the relatively safe harbour that is the Jungian realm - have taught: that only by seeing through Maya, through the (necessary) illusion of the opposites (this/that/ black/ white thinking) and the Law of Polarity, only there can one find wholeness (sameness) in what at first appears as separate and distinct.

So then, we can see Death as the polar opposite of "born". It is not set against consciousness or experience as some kind of enemy; in fact it is in these moments of grief that we find the most consciousness available to us. There will remain, throughout whichever phase of the alchemical process is currently transmuting us toward Self/ Source/ Centre, an awareness of experience.

Let's briefly consider it tarotscopically and astrologically. The Death card is not the final rite of passage in the major arcana; nor is Scorpio (nor Pluto, both of which correspond to the aforementioned card) the end of the Sky Wheel's procession. Consider that we experience Death throughout our life: the (from our perspective at least) literal deaths of loved ones; the loss of relationships; jobs; passions; becoming a mother/ wife/ husband. All of these are death experiences, because they indicate a kind of finality; that "thing" has passed and the experiencer will never have that again. A page has been turned.

Why then, if we die continuously throughout our lives and especially if these mortificatio and putrificatio experiences are approached from a state of non-resistance, would we not also have a consciousness to experience the death of the physical body and whatever lies beyond the veil?

Would it not follow that if our relationships, our beliefs, our masks in life can die and yet the witnessing presence is not destroyed (though the bruised, battered and dethroned ego may well wish it to be), so too an awareness, the essence of you, remains?

Death is an experience.

A harbinger of change, but change that is experienced by The Changeless.

What might Lao Tzu say? "The Tao that is killed by Death, is not the eternal Tao"?

~ A.J. Dunbar


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