The Eternal Validity of the Soul
Session 534, June 8, 1970
We will resume dictation. Consciousness has many characteristics, some of course known to you. Many of the characteristics of consciousness, however, are not so apparent, since presently you largely use your own consciousness in such a way that its perceptions appear in quite other than “natural“ guises. You are aware of your own consciousness, in other words, through the medium of your own physical mechanism. You are not nearly as aware of your own consciousness when it is not operating primarily through the mediumship of the body, as it does in out-of-body states and some disassociated conditions.
The characteristics of consciousness are the same whether you are in a body or outside of one. The peaks and valleys of consciousness that I mentioned earlier exist to some degree in all consciousness despite the form adapted after death. The nature of your consciousness is no different basically than it is now, though you may not be aware of many of the characteristics.
Now your consciousness is telepathic and clairvoyant, for example, even though you may not realize it. In sleep when you often presume yourself to be unconscious you may be far more conscious than you are now, but simply using abilities of consciousness that you do not accept as real or valid in waking life. You therefore shut them out of your conscious experience. Consciousness, yours and mine, is quite independent of both time and space. And after death you are simply aware of the greater powers of consciousness that exists within you all of the time.
Since they do, of course, you can discover them now and learn to use them. This will directly assist you in after-death experience. You will not be nearly so startled by the nature of your own reactions if you understand beforehand for example that your consciousness not only is not imprisoned by your physical body, but can create other portions at will. Those who “over identify“ their consciousness with their body can suffer self-created torment for no reason, lingering about the body. Indeed quite the forlorn soul, thinking it has no other place to go.
You are, as I said earlier, a spirit now; and that spirit has a consciousness. The consciousness belongs to the spirit then, but the two are not the same. The spirit may turn its consciousness off and on. By its nature consciousness may flicker and fluctuate, but the Spirit does not.
I do not particularly like the word “spirit“ because of several implications attached to it, but it suits our purposes in that the word does imply an independence from physical form.
Consciousness does not refresh itself in sleep. It is merely turned in another direction. Consciousness does not sleep then in those terms and while it may be turned off it is not like a light.
Turning it off does not extinguish it in the way the light disappears when a switch is turned. Following the analogy, if consciousness were like a light that belonged to you, even when you switched it off, there would be a sort of twilight, but not darkness.
The Spirit, therefore, is never in the state of nothingness, with its consciousness extinguished. It is very important therefore that such be realized, for there …
It is very important to understand that consciousness is never extinguished…
Now: In the demonstration in which Joseph so kindly assisted us in this, several points were made to implement the material just given.
Earlier I had said that you are only familiar with those characteristics of your own consciousness that you use through the mediumship of the body. You rely upon the body to express the perceptions of your consciousness. You tend, again, to identify the expression of your consciousness with the body.
In our demonstration, to which of course Joseph gave his permission, he allowed his consciousness to retreat, and to some degree began to cut off its physical expression. He was not aware consciously of his permission, simply because this kind of demonstration cannot be held if the normal waking consciousness knew. It would automatically be frightened. As I spoke about the dimming of consciousness, Joseph then experienced it.
Give us a moment. This was an exercise, actually, in the manipulation of consciousness. Close to death, this same sort of thing happens in varying degrees when the consciousness realizes that it can no longer express itself through the mediumship of the body. If the dying person over identifies with the body then he can easily panic, thinking that all expression is therefore cut off, and for that matter that his consciousness is about to be extinguished.
Such a belief in extinction, such a certainly that identity is about to be blotted out in the next moment, is a severe psychological experience, that in a soft to bring about on for sure reactions. What happens instead is that you find consciousness quite intact, and expression far less limited than it was before. Joseph chosen subconsciously to interrupt those methods of expression he was using at the time simply so that their interference would claim due notice.
We will be dealing now, after what I hope is suitable background material, with some chapters on the nature of existence after physical death, at the point of death, and involved in the final physical death at the end of the reincarnational cycle. It was important that you understand something about the nature and behavior of your own consciousness before we could begin.
Now: You also drew upon some knowledge, Joseph, from past experience in our demonstration, when in your final illness motor function was impaired. This was in Denmark. The last note is an side, rather than strict dictation.
Now I am ending this chapter and with it I am ending part one of my book. Give us a moment now—and end of the dictation.
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