From an existential point of view, there are seven kinds of deaths. The death of the fetus, the death of innocence, the death of the body, the death of the personality, the death of the individuality, the death of the outside world, and the death of identity. They follow in this order, but sometimes consciousness jumps more levels at once.
You cannot imagine how the next level will be from your current level. You cannot even imagine that another level of consciousness exists beyond your current one. You are on the spiritual path of deaths and rebirths until finally there is no more rebirth, only eternal life. All these levels can be achieved in just one physical lifetime.
Birth is the first death. For the outside world, your birth seems to be a birth. However, from your perspective, your birth was a death. The world you had known so far ended abruptly. You had to leave behind all the comfort, safety, tenderness and warmth of the womb.
Before your birth, your whole world consisted solely of the womb. This forgotten world was Paradise itself for you, you were living in complete happiness. Your birth was the biggest shock in your life from which you still have not recovered.
The consciousness of the fetus is followed by the consciousness of the baby. Even though you are not in the womb anymore, your consciousness is still rooted in oneness. You are a fresh, authentic and innocent human being without any inner divisions. You don’t know your name, you don’t have an idea about your body, you don’t have a concept of yourself. You are in a state of unconscious enlightenment.
Between the age of 3 and 5, you start to develop an ego, and the inner division starts. The idea of “I” begins, and you separate this “I” from the world in your mind. You try to define yourself and find out who you are and who you are not. With the death of innocence comes the birth of the personality. With it, the fear of death is also born because only the ego is afraid of death. Unconscious oneness shifts to conscious separation.
This process is like the fall from the Garden of Eden. You lose unconsciousness, but with it, you also lose oneness. The forbidden fruit is the knowledge of the “I”, the idea of yourself. You are searching for this lost Paradise all your life.
You remember the feeling, but you don’t have any conscious memories of it. You were once enlightened, and you want to be enlightened again. The secret is that you are still enlightened, you just have to remember it.
The challenge is to move from unconscious oneness through conscious separation to conscious oneness. Thus the ego is needed for this process because consciousness cannot jump directly to its final destination. The problem is that most people get stuck in their personalities in-between. This is the whole struggle of human nature.
The death of the body can function as a forced enlightenment if you are prepared enough. If you get too scared, you will become unconscious just before your physical death, and won’t learn anything from the experience. If you are able to stay conscious, you can experience as you get separated from the body and from the personality all at once. The moment of physical death can be turned into ego death. Physical death can become the gate to immortality.
But why wait until your physical death, when you can transform yourself in this life? You don’t know in advance how you will react at the moment of death. There is a high risk that you won’t be able to use the situation to your advantage. Start separating yourself from your body and from your personality until it is not too late.
Spiritual practice can bring about the death of the personality. The ego contains many things, including the idea of the body, your emotional life, your belief systems and all the ideas about yourself. Your mind has been conditioned all of your life, and now you have to decondition yourself.
So this process is usually the longest and the most complex. Besides the above difficulties, the problem is that you have to start the process from the ego. And the last thing the ego wants is its own death.
When the personality is finally dead, your consciousness automatically shifts to your individuality. Now, your task is much easier because the voice of individuality is intuition. Intuition will automatically guide you to even higher levels of consciousness. Just let it function, and follow its guidance.
In the first phase, a Master can help tremendously to kill your ego. The task of a Master is not creation, but destruction. He needs to destroy all your illusions and wake you up from the sleep. But when your intuition starts functioning, your own inner Master wakes up inside you and takes the place of the outer Master.
Living naturally according to your intuition and based on your individuality is beautiful. Not many people reach this stage, but you need to move even beyond this. The nature of your intuition is to lift you up even higher and move your consciousness above the level of individuality.
This shift happens with the separation of the observed and the observer. You usually put all your attention on the object of observation, and you forget about the subject. You observe the world, but you forget that it is you, who observes the world.
By putting your attention to the observer instead of the observed, you will finally find yourself. When the death of individuality happens, you realize that you are not a person, not even a human, only the observer of your life. Your life is happening here in the marketplace, but you are there, the watcher on the hill.
This is when definitions really start to melt away, and you step into the field of the unknown and the unknowable. You know that you are, but you don’t know anymore who you are. You cannot define it, you cannot understand it, and you cannot describe it. You are a mystery. This is the death of death, and the birth of immortality.
With the death of the individuality, consciousness shifts to awareness. There is you as awareness, and there is the outside world that you are aware of. The next step is when the observed and the observer melt into one. First, you only observed the world, but you were unconscious of yourself. Then, you became conscious of yourself, and now the world becomes part of your consciousness.
In this step, the world dies, and only awareness remains. You start to see the world as part of your own consciousness, as a creation of your own mind. This is the shift from duality to oneness, this is the experience of becoming one with everything.
On the level of oneness, you say: I am everything. Only I exist, the world is an illusion. You identify yourself with awareness, but the identity, the identification itself still remains. Now there is only one process left: to delete the “I” from the phrase “I am”.
When you succeed, only “amness” persists, only existence survives, and you finally completely disappear. Consciousness shifts to nothingness. Awareness becomes aware of awareness. The ocean melts back into itself. You will never be reborn again, but you will always be.
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