The great in between, the realm of the dead, an astral passage, whatever you choose to call it, today we break down and understand what it was the Tibetan ancient texts were talking about,. We will also explore the aspects relating to the in-between passage of space and what you can do with it as you live in the here and now.
Before we understand what the collective "Bardo" is, we need to understand what Bardos are. We surf through them everyday, and just as the Vedics spoke of Yugas (cycles), the Bardos are what the Tibetans would say proceeds and even precedes any Yuga. The ancient Vedic texts refer to the ending of a cycle as a Kali Yuga, the death of one thing brings the beginning to something new, but before anything is born or after something dies it must go through a transition and that transition itself we will refer to as a Bardo. By noticing and paying attention to these Bardos we can then tap into places of potential transformation, manifest powerful magic, or dive into deeper states of consciousness. This is one of the secrets of mysticism, cultivating the in-between to insert intention and bring forth change as change naturally occurs. We who wield the keys to reality know that before one thing transitions if we impregnate that in-between transition with our own consciousness and will, then regardless what is born next it will bare the fruits and resonance of what we fed it.
There is a book that many people have at least heard of known as "The Tibetan Book Of The Dead", it was originally written in the fourteenth-century and then published in 1927, but the oral accounts that went into composing it date back thousands of years. Bardo Tödöl means “Liberation in the Intermediate State Through Hearing", this means exactly what I was speaking about in the above paragraph with the gap and space in-between anything. Mostly people think of the Bardo as in the realm of the dead, which we will get into, but it is also important to note the "Bardos of Dreaming", "Bardos of Meditating", and the "Bardos of Life".
Having had extensive training in Tibetan Bonpo under the tutelage of great Lamas and Rinpoches with a wealth of exposure to Mahayana traditions, I can give a decent breakdown on the topic at hand. Bardo in reference to one's mind is meant to describe that intermediate state after death, more so when the consciousness is separated from its physical body. Past life joining next life, a rebirth happens before reincarnation even begins. This is the birth of the "Bardo Mind", a mental dream-like body that has the ability to reach not only any place, but also any time and doesn't adhere to obstacles. This can work in favor or against the newly formed Bardo Mind. There is a duration for this state of being before it becomes locked into a more restricted ghost body that is sucked into the Astral Realm specifically. This duration lasts for 49 days, at any time in this period a Bardo Mind can achieve its new life in varying forms in the main six realms described in Buddhism,
This new birth, being a shedding of the ghost body and transcending, or crossing over, depends on the past lives collective built up karma of a person, and it heavily depends on the karma accrued in the most previous physical life. Life in the Bardo is composed of self imposed suffering from the non-acceptance of one’s death, attachment to ego identity, the friends a person had, their family ties, and even possessions they once owned. Bardo in this sense is all "Maya" (illusionary in nature), the hallucinations and experiences are meant to break the self as it identifies and bring awareness to one's true being.
Earthbound spirits that are trapped past the initial 49 day period of Bardo are considered to be swallowed into the ocean rather than floating down the river. An example to give you a stronger visual would be imagining yourself floating down "Styx" (a literal deity and river in Greek mythology, a passageway from Earth to the Underworld), only to find that you missed your exit and were swallowed by the vastness of an ocean. This ocean would be vast like "Brahma" (Vedic God of Creation) a sea of everything, all thoughts, all beings, all creations in the form of a shell. The beings here are in a dream-like state, waking as a whole and unconscious individually to the true nature of reality. A Bardo in-between the Bardo, we call this the Astral Realm. Spirits can remain here for thousands of years potentially, some warping and changing, evolving into lower vibrations, and yet evolving into vibrations that are higher would take them out of this place entirely. In this Astral Realm the beings here can experience infinite heavens, or hells, all of their own creation, or even fall or be lured through Nexion points into literal heavens or hells through the aid of other entities not native to the Astral Realm, but who know how to traverse it. The Astral Realm is more akin to what Catholics call Purgatory, where as the Bardo is more akin to the River Styx. One is a passageway and the other is a waystation, both lead to the same places ultimately.
It is best to just go through the court judgment of self in this initial 49 day period rather than slip past it and wind up in a bigger illusionary net where the spirit is more susceptible to remain lost, I will elaborate further, but think of it as skipping out on your court trial once you made bail, eventually you'll have to deal with all the court proceedings and you'll likely gather more baggage while "on the run". This makes your inevitable judgment of self a longer process, but a spirit doesn't know what it is not aware of, that's why the Tibetans had measures in place to prepare for death and the journey after.
In Tibetan medicine it is a general understanding that the human body is developed through the assemblage of the five elements. These five elements produce the tissues, organs, sensory organs, meridian channels and chakras, even the varying thousands of nadi points that coalesce together and develop the body systems that bridges the consciousness to the physical body. However, when the body decays and dies, the opposite process is seen. Tibetans refer to it as ’jig ltas (sign of destruction), which is to say that in imminent death the elements will dissolve one by one, as they do, the varying organs and other parts of physical nature associated with each element die with them until the consciousness slips away. What we call death isn't true death in a traditional since of the last heart beat and sign of brain activity disappearing, there's a subtle death that takes place over the course of three days in which the spirit will collect residual energies from the body.
“Lha”, simply put, is the third body of a person. The first two are body and ego, they are fed by life, or creationary force if you prefer that term. Lha arises from the combination of body-mind, but is not exclusive to the two. This explains localized hauntings and the ability of spirit to anchor in the physical world. Lha is also fed by the environment, it dwells within the space and structure of all things, Lha is life and everything is Lha. In many Eastern Traditions we are brought to understand that "Sadhana" (spiritual practices) and the practice of it is what transforms the three bodies into what Tibetans call the three Kayas of Buddha. Basically those Kayas are sleeping, dreaming, and awakening states transformed into what people may refer to as a form of "pre-enlightenment". It is a state of awareness and presence that unites these three different states into keys which transfer the soul into an evolved and boundless state that supersedes death itself and makes the transition a peaceful process because it is seamless, and one with this knowledge is beyond life and death itself already, which leaves them in a waking consciousness revealing the true nature beyond Maya.
Attaining Samadi brings union to Bardo and bares the power to manifest through the Quantum Field.
Meditation training on the dissolution of five elements, five consciousnesses and five aggregates (forms, feelings, perceptions, formations, consciousness) is something we will save for another day, but each part has outer and inner aspects to unlock as well as secret signs, illusionary appearances and hallucinations of deities. Specific Sadhanas can help us tackle these various aspects of self till it all disintegrates into space element, that which is formless and that which is emptiness. This is all just preparation for what the recently dead go through in the three day period before entering the Bardo and starting the 49 day period of the Bardo Kingdom. If dissolution in life doesn't occur or is not achieved, then a person will automatically have the chance to reach complete dissolution in the three day period, failure to do so puts a person in the Bardo Kingdom to search for a new life. It is worth mentioning that the 49 day period unfolds in a non-linear way due to the true nature of reality and not by what we perceive as our conventional reality and how we keep track of and view "time".
It is an illusionary body of the mind, containing everything of the previous body-mind, but it will gradually change with time.
The fourth day of a newly dead person breaks linear time and space, transporting one into the Bardo Kingdom and starting the first day of the 49 day period. Good karma that has been built up can give a better appearance of the Bardo environment, emotions also play into the reality that one experiences here. Everything here is illusion, the mind manifests what it sees inside itself, just like the Astral Realm as a whole. The Karmic Judge decides the future of a persons new life, carried out by presenting and weighing one's deeds in life against past lives and taking positive and negative spirits whispers into account.
Let us now take hold of the power of all potential between every thought in your mind, every step you take, the moment you finish reading this before you do anything else, the everything between everything. True magic occurs by unifying with the Quantum Mind, Universal Consciousness or Unified Field Theory, The All, Brahma, God, it doesn't matter what you call it. We achieve this merging our current state of mind with our conscious mind and then link it to the Universal Mind through the power of your subconscious.
How do we surf the Bardo and touch God within?
Meditation! This is the key, and we need to understand quantum physics and theory to logically break it down in a simple way absent of the riddles of mysticism. Quantum theory teaches us that it is all about the transfer of energy, it is the very behavior of everything in existence, trading, exchange, and movement.
That without form gives birth to form.
If a person shifts their energies or thoughts, how long will it take for the attached matter to shift with it? With "Quantum Leaping" it is instantaneous, decide you want something and then you become the next version of yourself that has that thing. Constant shifting, moment to moment, the law of attraction, like begets like. The you who decides he wants something doesn't ever attain it, in fact you actually become the version of you who already has it. Quantum Entanglement, your energy is always shifting around you, if you want something here in this reality you need to envision it from another reality as your current reality. You want to build on this reality till it bleeds through and blends with weight, bringing a full shift that makes it solid in the here and now where the version of you that you currently are can give birth to the manifestation within the next transition of birth. That birth is the next moment, this moment just happened as you read this sentence, this moment is now gone as you've finished this sentence.
As each moment passes we are hopping between every possibility and dimension of self in infinite expressions. If we don't actively choose the direction of which self we want to become the probable self, the probable self will be just more of the same with whatever you are currently aligned with. This isn't a universal bias, it is merely because we draw what we expect to see (the "observer effect"). Out of all potential options, the most likely to manifest is the version of ourselves that we hold as true to identity and representation of our place in the universe. Quantum manifesting follows any and all potential you can dream up, these imaginings and inner yearnings all exist as a possibility in the quantum field. The quantum field can be simply broken down as the energy field around you and every living being in existence, all connected, every possible version of you, past, present, and future.
The quantum field is composed of energy, it will always respond to your personal energy, but to willfully direct it requires consciousness of feeling as the secret key. Think of feelings like a human Wi-Fi signal, it is always on so long as your body draws breath, it connects you with any other compatible signal out there. If you always feel low and depressed, like you will always be stuck in a dead-end job, never going to be happy, having the worst luck, then this is all you will draw and manifest in your life. It isn't because you deserve this, it is because you are generating a feeling inside which just attracts more of the same feeling. Imagine a new way, this is the only way to break the habitual self, to create new patterns of energy and to feed the feelings you want more of and things related to those feelings. We can only draw new potential experiences to us if we align to that feeling state we are wanting.