A part of the Tantric tradition is The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Written
possibly in the 8th century a.d., it was intended as a guidebook for the
recently deceased and describes the experience of individuals in the in-between
(i.e. 'bardo') state that follows death and precedes rebirth.
"Jung has written a psychological comment to "The Tibetan book of death". He
considers the text being a process of initiation" if you read the book from the
end to the
"...it is one of the oldest and
most universal practices for the initiate to go through the experience of death
before he can be spiritually
reborn. Symbolically he must die to his past, and to his old ego, before he can
take his place in the new
spiritual life into which he has been initiated.
Here then is the key to a mystery which has been passed down for over 2,500
years - the
consciousness-expansion experience - the pre-mortem death and rebirth rite. The
Vedic sages knew the
secret; the Eleusinian initiates knew it; the Tantrics knew it. In all their
esoteric writings they whisper the
message: it is possible to cut beyond ego-consciousness, to tune in on
neurological processes which flash by
at the speed of light, and to become aware of the enormous treasury of ancient
racial knowledge welded into
the nucleus of every cell in your body."
The Psychedelic Experience, a westernized version of The Tibetan Book of the
Dead was published in 1968.
"Former Harvard psychology
professors Timothy Leary and Richard
Alpert (aka Ram Dass), enthusiasts of
the new counter-culture, took the
Tibetan Book of the Dead and
presented it as a guidebook for the
LSD experience, complete with
descriptions of the psychedelic
psychodrama of ego-death, involving
a 'trip' through a kaleidoscopic limbo
(bardo) and a sobering return (rebirth)
to the everyday world."
" This bardo is a place where True Reality is presented to a person through
It is like an acid trip where one hears colors and sees sounds. The very fabric
of the universe is torn
apart and reduced to universal elements while one moves through the bardo in a
mental bardo body.
One experiences this bardo for 14 days.
During the first 7 days one is
approached by the Peaceful Deities,"
(The Peacock's Tale)
"...during the next 7 days one is approached by the
(The Battle of Glass Tears)
"...The object is to recognize that these deities emanate from oneself
and not to fear. "