Turn off your mind, relax
and float down stream
It is not dying
It is not dying

Sang the Beatles, inspired by the Bardo Thodol or the The Tibetan Book of the Dead.

Every religion has it base in death and the question of death and rebirth. It’s man’s, or woman’s, anguish about the unknowability of death, and its mystery, its suddenness and of course, its inevitability, which raised questions about the greater mystery of death and rebirth.

After all, if you remove the issue of the death and rebirth from theology, what is left?

Religions that flourished in the plains of the Sindhu (Indus to the anglicized) and Ganga (Ganges to the anglicized), believed that what perished at death was merely the body mind system. They believed that an inner energy stayed behind, leaving the spirit or inner energy of the mind body spirit system to continue eternally.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says, ‘It (this inner energy) moves from body to body the same way you move from one garment to another. It is imperishable. Fire cannot burn it. Water cannot wet it. Wind cannot dry it. No weapon can destroy it.’

Buddha does not explicitly talk about this inner energy as the soul or spirit, but allows the possibility of rebirth, which is the subject of the The Tibetan Book of the Dead and the Beatles’ number in Revolver.

Judaism accepts the concept of rebirth. So does Jesus, though the Church seems equivocal on this issue.

Why is this belief relevant?

If we believe that life continues as inner energy after death we don’t live only once. We live again and gain. We may not remember always what happened before, but if we believe, then there is no pressure to compress so many things into this one life.

We can lead our lives without stress. After all, we can continue where we left off!

If this sounds silly, how silly is it to accumulate wealth that you cannot carry with you into the grave? Or name, fame, power or relationships? What use is it to strive so hard, sacrificing so much, for something that is so temporary? Does this make sense?

Those who think it makes sense, stand on one side. Those who don’t, relax on the other!

Or play the game
existence to the end
Of the beginning

Tomorrow Never Knows: The Beatles