Afterlife Central (Upper Mental Plane, Causal Body)AC 229: November 4, 2003 (Boston)
I awoke from this adventure in consciousness at 2:20 A.M. In thinking about it I heard a voice in my head say, "Allegory of Identity," which I guess should be the title of the experience. It appears to answer a question that my friend Alan posed to me when we had dinner together about ten days ago. He was wondering whether there was some level of consciousness or identity between the ego and the purely nonphysical soul. He was struggling with the idea that the soul was learning while incarnated in a physical body, yet seemed to know more than the ego--enough actually to guide the latter. His question had to do with whether we become the soul after death or maintain an ego-based identity.
I've been reading a lot about Gnosticism and Buddhist cosmology lately, and that too seems to play a role in the following adventure. In particular, I've been intrigued by an idea that I read about in a book called Buddhist Cosmology: Philosophy and Origins, by Akira Sadakata, a Japanese professor who has had access to many Buddhist texts that are largely unknown in the western world.
One of these texts is the Flower Garland Sutra (Avatamsaka-sutra), the original of which dates back to the third or fourth centuries C.E. This Sutra contains a chapter that describes the topography of the universe in terms of a lotus flower. This depiction of the universe is called the "Lotus Repository World." (See pages 144-151.)
The petals of the lotus represent "Great Encircling Mountains." The center of the lotus is a flat land full of "jeweled trees and sweet-smelling grass" (the stamens). There are also "fragrant oceans" of nectar in which the seeds (or fruits) of the lotus form, in receptacles below the surface of the flower. Each of these receptacles, which are infinite in number, holds a single seed/fruit. Each seed/fruit is a system of worlds, in twenty layers, with each layer itself containing countless worlds. Our world appears as the thirteenth layer of the world system in the central fragrant ocean of the Lotus Repository World.
There are other universal lotuses surrounding our own, infinite in number, and each containing countless fragrant oceans and world systems. Each world system has its own set of buddhas and bodhisattvas.
When I first read about the Lotus Repository World, my reaction was that it was little more than an elaborate thought experiment intended to illustrate the concept of infinity. At best, it was a means of intuiting concepts such as the plurality of planets in the physical universe capable of supporting life, or of zones in the nonphysical reality that I call Otherwhere. Only after having had the following adventure did I become aware that the notion of the Lotus Repository World was actually a sophisticated means of mapping nonphysical reality.
While writing down this adventure, I remembered that many years ago my mother had had an arrangement of dried flowers that contained the center of a lotus--although at the time I had no idea what it was. To confirm that that’s what it was, a few weeks later I made a trip to a crafts store and located another dried lotus flower. It was gray-brown in color, circular in shape, its flat upper surface about the size of the palm of my hand. That surface did indeed contain a number of holes (twenty-one, to be exact), radiating outward from one in the flower's center. Each hole held a dark-skinned, capsule-shaped seed, about the size of a dried bean. The holes themselves were like small hollowed-out chambers below the surface of the flower. The underside was shaped like a rounded coffee cup, tapering to the point where the stem entered it.
With this background information in mind, it should be possible for a reader to understand the following account of my adventure. If you're having trouble envisioning its central fixture, you might want to visit a crafts store and ask to see their dried lotus flowers, as I did.
The adventure began with my entering what looked like a spacious circular control room, as for a space ship or station. As usual in my forays into nonphysical reality, I don't know how I got there.
In the center of the room was what looked like a large decorated birthday or wedding cake, about ten feet in diameter and three to four feet high. The entire surface of the cake was white. The upper side looked like sculpted frosting. The cake's perimeter was decorated with a raised ridge of frosting. In the mostly flat central portion of the cake, there were holes in the frosting that looked like the places where birthday candles had once stood--but there were no other signs of candles.
Upon closer inspection, these holes appeared to be hollowed out like pits and to hold clear colored glass spheres like beads or Christmas ornaments. Some seemed to be lit from within. Others were dark.
Near each of the holes was a three-dimensional cake decoration made of frosting. These decorations were of several kinds: paired segments of what looked like gift-wrap ribbon coming together in a cross, tall spires, cairns made of pellets of frosting stacked in pyramid shapes, rose-like flowers, and round flat buttons. Scores of the glass spheres and their accompanying cake decorations, one per sphere, were spread over the surface of the cake
The control room itself was more multifaceted than round. It contained dozens of small booths, one per angle. Each booth contained a TV-like monitor, just higher than eye level, a seat, and control panel. The combined effect of space-age technology and a giant iced wedding or birthday cake was surreal.
A Facilitator was waiting for me in front of the cake. She was wearing a one-piece, body-hugging leotard with a distinctive camouflage-like pattern in purple and beige. She could have stepped off the set of a Star Trek movie. In fact, the whole setup reminded me of the Bridge of the Enterprise.
"Welcome to Mission Control," the Facilitator said dramatically, yet with a playful smile. "Or call it Afterlife Central, if you prefer. Here it's possible to get an overview of how the Afterdeath Zone is structured, as well as monitor what's going on in any of its parts. That's the purpose of the monitoring booths that surround us.
"In the center, here," my Guide indicated the giant cake, "is the multidimensional map of this portion of Otherwhere."
"But it looks like a birthday or wedding cake," I protested, trying to conceal my disappointment. "That kind of decorated cake may look beautiful before its cut--or before the birthday candles have been removed--but it's certainly not my idea of heaven. In fact, it's more like sugar hell."
"Actually, I'm not surprised that you see the map in this way," the Facilitator replied. "Keep in mind that just as the primary lesson in physical reality is identity--that's why you have bodies that seem to cut you off from everyone and everything else--here in nonphysical reality the primary lesson is union. What you see as a wedding cake, therefore, symbolizes the experience of union that prevails here, where all souls are as it were dissolved in the medium of conscious energy that makes up nonphysical reality--but without losing their identity.
"The Afterlife also serves as a period of preparation for rebirth in one's next lifetime. Therefore, the image of the birthday cake is also apt.
"As you know, here in nonphysical reality, thought manifests itself as experience. You could say that the medium of conscious energy in which you find yourself here can shape itself and hold its form, under the guidance of properly directed thought, just as icing does in the physical world, under the guidance of a properly trained cake decorator.
"Most thought-created realities, here, are relatively transient, like dream images. But some will hold their form indefinitely. Much depends on the skill and focus of the shaper--although, in the realm of the Afterlife, people's expectations of what they're likely to encounter here will also have something to do with the forms they'll encounter and their duration.
"The important thing for you to recognize is that nonphysical reality isn't empty. It's full of an impressionable medium that shapes itself in response to your thoughts. In some highly charged areas of this reality, however, your thoughts will be entrained by their energetic function. Thus, your experience there will take certain predirected shapes. This is what you would call a zone.
"You may represent the energetic function of a zone in a variety of ways. But the function itself, beneath those images, won't change. Other people may perceive that function differently, in terms of images. But both their images and yours will be ultimately traceable to the underlying function of the zone.
"Thus, the zone in which you presently find yourself, which I've called Mission Control, is perceived by you as if it were the deck of a star ship, based on your memories of science-fiction movies and TV shows such as Star Trek. There are several reasons why this choice of imagery is appropriate for the energetic function of this zone.
"First, the map before you indicates that navigation in the Afterdeath Zone is a primary function of Afterlife Central, just as the bridge of the Enterprise served that purpose in the Star Trek shows. Second, the identification of this zone as Mission Control suggests that your journeys of exploration in Otherwhere, as well as various aspects of what goes on in the Afterdeath Zone itself, are guided and monitored from here. Third, just as in the Star Trek shows, your coming here indicates that you have indeed gone where no man--or few living people, at least--has gone before.
"You see me in a uniform, as if I were a crew member, because I'm one of a number of Facilitators assigned to duty in this zone. Other visitors might see both this zone and myself differently. Nevertheless, the images used to represent both the zone and myself will be traceable to the same essential function.
"So, what you see here is a collaboratively created reality of sorts. You haven't created it from scratch with your thoughts. But you've supplied the images that enable you to perceive it. The zone itself, however, has been shaped--which is to say that its function has been established--by the Overseers. It's as permanent a fixture of the Afterdeath Zone as anything in nonphysical reality could be. It will last as long as there are human souls here that need to be monitored."
"So the map isn't just a model--it's made of the same substance as everything else, including the room that surrounds it?" I asked.
My Guide replied, "If what you mean is that it's not like plastic in a room full of metal, then yes--it's made of the same substance as everything else. But it is a model in the sense that it's not the Afterdeath Zone itself, merely an image of it that can help those who consult it to perceive the relationship between its parts.
"You've hesitated to relate one zone to another in quasi-spatial terms in all of your mapping of nonphysical reality up to this point. But something you've recently read now gives you a means of representing the relationship of one zone of Otherwhere to another. The image that allows you to do this comes from esoteric Buddhism and involves what's called the Lotus Repository World.
"In that image, a huge lotus flower is used to describe a nonphysical reality. The petals form the perimeter of this reality and act as what you call a Boundary. In esoteric Buddhism, these petals were thought of as a mountain range. Here, on our own topographical map of the Afterdeath Zone, you have what looks like a mountain range surrounding a flat central plane. Or, if you want to go back to your cake image, you have a raised ring of frosting at the edge of the topmost layer, surrounding a more or less flat surface.
"Actually, there are no lotus petals, mountains, or mounds of icing at the edge of the Afterdeath Zone. But there is a Boundary, like an impassible mountain range, that keeps certain kinds of consciousness or energy patterns out (most living human beings, for example); while it keeps others in (the Shades, for example).
"In the image of the Lotus Repository World, there are openings in the surface filled with so-called fragrant oceans. Each such ocean holds a single system of worlds, just as the seeds of a lotus each develop in a single receptacle in the inner, flat surface of the flower."
"So," I interrupted, "you're saying that what I see as the holes left by birthday candles each holds a whole universe, like it said in the book on Buddhist cosmology I was reading?"
"Yes and no," my Guide replied cryptically. “Each colored sphere that you see in one of the holes represents a subzone of the Afterdeath Zone, an area with its own specialized function. It might be better to think of these spheres as environments rather than as whole worlds, systems of world, or universes, as in the book you were reading.
"And yet, in that book, each of the worlds held in one of the repositories of the lotus has its own buddhas and bodhisattvas. That could certainly be said to be true, in the sense that each subzone of the Afterdeath Zone has its hierarchy of Facilitators and Overseers."
"So," I interrupted again, "what are the other topographical features that I see on this so-called map--the ribbons, buttons, spires, flowers, and cairns?"
"They each represent groups of subzones having to do with particular religious beliefs," my Guide explained. "The flowers represent Buddhism, in which the image of the lotus was so important. You saw the lotus as a rose because you were so used to seeing roses on wedding and birthday cakes.
"The colored spheres that are marked by such flowers are areas of the Afterdeath Zone reserved for the followers of different kinds of Buddhism. There's one great central sphere that represents the basic tenets of Buddhism that most Buddhists share. Then there are various smaller spheres, like satellites, that surround the central one. These represent the major branches of Buddhist belief, each of which may have satellites of its own representing the sects that split off from it.
"Some of these subzones are no longer in use. You can tell by looking at which of the spheres are lit from within, and which look like burned out Christmas tree lights. From our vantage point, while looking at the map, we can see how all of these subzones and satellites relate to each other, in the sense of where each new form branched off from an earlier one.
"Remember that when I first began to explain this map to you, I said that it was multidimensional. In the image of the Lotus Repository World, each world system, or seed, contains twenty worlds stacked up within itself, each with its own buddha. What you see on the surface of our own apparently three-dimensional map represents the configuration of subzones and satellites that reflects your own time frame.
"Beneath this surface, however, the constant changes in how the Buddhist subzones and satellites are constellated in relation to one another may be perceived, as if in archaeological layers--back to the beginning of the faith in the time of Gautama Buddha himself. Thus, your perception of a birthday or wedding cake is also apt in that, like such cakes, this map of nonphysical reality has been built up in layers.
"If you were an esoteric Buddhist of the period when the Flower Garland Sutra was written, you wouldn't see Mission Control as the bridge of the Enterprise, but rather as a multi-sided temple. The map that you see as a cake would like the Lotus Repository World, and within the flat surface of the flower, the arrangement of fragrant oceans and world-system/seeds would represent the constellation of Buddhist subzones and satellites that existed roughly 1700 years ago."
"So," I interjected, "what do the ribbons represent?"
"See how they come together in the shape of a cross?" my Guide pointed out. "That's the Christian subzone, with its City of Christendom, which you've visited before. That City exists within the central sphere, surrounded by the smaller satellites of living and dead sects and denominations.
"The spires are actually minarets, from which the Muslim faithful are called to worship. They indicate the location of the Islamic subzone and its attendant satellites.
"The cairns represent earth-based, or ancestor-worshiping religions, such as Shinto. The subzones in that area of the Afterdeath Zone are very old. They're only loosely related to one another, since the mythologies that support such religions generally aren't connected to one another in the ways that sects, cults, are denominations are to some monolithic central religion or dogma.
"The buttons represent Judaism. If you look more closely, however, you'll see that you've misperceived them. They aren't buttons at all, but round areas with flat bottoms and slightly upraised sides--as if a button had once been there and dust had built up around it before it was removed, leaving an empty space. That symbolizes how the notion of the Afterlife was more or less removed from Judaism.
"The loss of belief in an Afterlife, however, doesn't mean that those of the Jewish faith don't have one. There are subzones and satellites in this area too, in constellations that reflect the much ramified history of Judaism.
"All the world's religions--past, present, and, you could say, future--are present in the multidimensional layers of this map. But you only see the configuration appropriate to your present lifetime."
"So," I mused, "whoever wrote the Flower Garland Sutra seems to have been describing a vision of the Afterlife, something like mine?"
"Yes, indeed," my Guide replied. "Because you considered the notion of the Lotus Repository World as the most far-fetched idea in the book you were reading about Buddhist cosmology, we wanted to show you how useful it could be in mapping nonphysical reality--especially the problem of laying out the subzones and satellites in relation to one another.
"Obviously, it would be impossible for you to dream a three-dimensional map of what you're seeing here. Nevertheless, the concept of the Lotus Repository World is helpful for conceptualizing how the subzones of the Afterdeath Zone are related to one another. Remember, in the Buddhist faith the lotus flower represents consciousness. As I mentioned earlier, nonphysical reality is filled with a malleable conscious energy. A lotus flower and cake frosting are equally valid means of representing this medium to your physically conditioned mind in order to understand it. The lotus imagery emphasizes that this medium is consciousness. That of cake frosting emphasizes its malleability.
"In a certain sense, a temple built on the basis of the Flower Garland Sutra, with a lotus representing multiple worlds, each with its own buddha, would be an earthside manifestation of what you see here as Mission Control. By meditating in such a temple, it's possible to use it as a physical representation of this zone, to align yourself with it and perceive it internally. Entrusting yourself to the buddha portrayed there would help you attune yourself to the function and guardianship of the Overseer in charge of a particular Buddhist subzone or satellite--such as the so-called Western Paradise of the buddha Amithaba, the Buddha of Infinite Light.
"Of course you would have to have the proper esoteric training to be successful in such a transference of your consciousness into the Afterdeath Zone through meditation while still alive. Some branches of Buddhism, in particular the Tibetan, were quite interested in effecting this sort of consciousness transfer."
[I should mention here, before I go on with my account of this adventure, that in the book Buddhist Cosmology, Professor Sadakata mentions two Buddhist temples that were inspired by beliefs similar to those expounded in the Flower Garland Sutra--that at Nara, Japan (containing the Great Buddha of Todai-ji), and that at Borobudur, Java.]
"Now, let's get to your other question," my Guide said, turning away from the wedding-cake map.
"I didn't know I had another question," I said, perplexed.
"Of course you do," my Guide replied, smiling. "You always have a question when you come to visit us here in the Afterdeath Zone. You're only allowed to pass the Gate if you have a legitimate question--one that can only be answered on the basis of such a visit, of your actually being here, absorbing the energies to which a particular zone or subzone is attuned, rather than through a dream.
"You wondered whether what you'd read in that book about Buddhist cosmology was valid because it all seemed so foreign to you. Now you know.
"Your other question has to do with the relationship between personality while alive and soul after death. Come to one of the monitors there behind us and I'll show you something that may answer your question."
On the screen I saw a scene that I recognized from earlier adventures in Otherwhere: the Earth-to-Otherwhere Line, which this time looked like a trolley instead of a train, as before. The trolley was headed toward the Afterdeath Zone. All the still-living Dreamers had already gotten off, leaving three Shades (people who had died).
The Shades were dark, like shadows. But it was also possible to see through them, as if they were ghosts. They were dressed in black, no doubt mourning their own passing. Their clothes seemed to have more substance than their bodies.
Upon closer examination, it appeared that the three Shades were all very old women. Each of them was traveling with two medium-sized pieces of luggage, sitting on either side of them, next to their feet. They were also wearing Sunday hats --perhaps because, like good Christian women, they were going to meet their Maker.
The Shades were quiet and resigned, stoic in attitude, after years of unhappiness. The monitor allowed me not only to see them, but also to overhear their thoughts. One of them was thinking to herself about how much she hated travel. She didn't seem to have much of an idea about where she was going!
All three Shades were totally self-absorbed, unaware of anything going on around them, or of the presence of the others.
After I'd fully absorbed the scene, my Guide began to explain it to me. "All three of these Shades were good people, deeply disappointed in life, but possessed of a strong faith, and carrying what could be called a normal load of emotional baggage. They seem shadowy not only because they're Shades, but also because the soul's actual presence in them was rather tenuous.
"The personalities of these old women, however, were both solid and stolid--like casings of cement in which their souls were trapped. Gradually, they'll emerge from these stolid personalities, waking up to their true selves as souls. But they won't be suddenly omniscient at that point, as your friend Alan wondered. They can only wake up to the soul to the extent of that soul's knowledge before they entered the lifetime they've just left behind.
"Most people's spiritual development advances slowly. So much false, or surface, personality encases them by the time they die that the soul has had little room to grow or develop. By false, or surface, personality, I mean reactions to life that block the soul's growth, such as dealing with a disappointment simply by saying 'That's life,' instead of finding another way to satisfy the need that lay behind it.
"Over here, they're immersed in an environment that encourages growth. This helps them to break out of the casing of false personality. The more they forgot about who they truly are while alive, the greater their relief at remembering over here.
"Arriving at new insights about oneself while alive, however, advances the growth of the soul and prevents the casing of false personality from developing. This casing is primarily the result of unhappiness, disappointed expectations--and in some cases, serious compulsions, obsessions, or idées fixes. The presence of compulsions, obsessions, or idées fixes indicates that the casing of false personality is hardening inward toward the core of the self, leaving even less room for the soul to develop.
"Many people are caught in a cycle of incarnating and forgetting who they are, then leaving the world and remembering. But they can't really advance their growth without incarnating and remembering who they are. Such people are just inching along, from lifetime to lifetime, on the basis of whatever small furthering of their understanding they may have accomplished while alive. And of course they don't want to keep coming back to the world--they like what they experience over here more than the suffering they all too often experience in the physical world.
"This endless cycle of forgetting and remembering--and then forgetting again, so that the between-lifetimes remembering does very little good while one is alive in the world--is the wheel of karma that Buddhist belief is supposed to save one from. You would be amazed at how much one's growth can be accelerated by simply clearing the mind of as much ignorance and attachment as possible. One purpose of Buddhism is to do just that.
"Only the sorts who come here and wake up to who they are, then return to the world and live what they’ve remembered in order to further their growth, bring more of the soul into the body. They resist the encasing of their souls in surface personality. They’ll be able to move freely between the worlds of birth, death, and rebirth. Furthermore, they may even come to enjoy life and long to return to it while they're still focused in nonphysical reality, between lifetimes. This is the ideal state, in which growth is greatly accelerated.
"Now, let's tackle your friend Alan's question. In the simultaneously existing time of nonphysical reality, there is a level of consciousness in which the soul is fully realized. This fully realized soul may guide your growth and development from that level of consciousness. But you have no access to that level of consciousness except in momentary flashes of insight or mystical peak experiences. The ecstasy that accompanies such moments, however, urges you to duplicate them. When attempts of this nature are successful, the soul is brought into greater presence in the body and your own consciousness has been brought closer to that of the fully realized soul.
"Between lifetimes, you gain access to a level of consciousness that represents the growth you accomplished while alive. If you accomplished a great deal of growth, you'll be several levels of consciousness closer to the soul. If you've grown little because you've forgotten much of who you are, then you'll be at the same level of development as that which prevailed before you were born into the life just left behind. If you developed compulsions, obsessions, or idée fixes, you may drop to a lower level of consciousness.
“All this is mapped out in the Buddhist notion of the six realms of rebirth: the gods, titans, humans, animals, hungry ghosts, and hell-beings. In this system, achieving buddhahood is the equivalent of achieving union with the fully realized soul. The level of consciousness of people who are self- aware in ways that maximize their growth within a lifetime is represented by the human realm. Those who are dealing with false personality are represented by the animals, hungry ghosts, and hell-beings. The animals are humans who act from compulsion, the hungry ghosts those who act from obsession, the hell-beings those who act from idée fixes.
“The gods and the titans represent two dead-end approaches to spiritual growth. The so-called gods are human beings who have mastered the knowledge of how to create their own reality. They're as able to create the realities that will satisfy their needs while incarnated on Earth, as they are here, in between lifetimes. In Buddhist tradition, the gods live enormously long lifetimes of sensual pleasure in some nonphysical paradise world--which is to say that they're advanced enough that they don't need to return to the physical plane on a regular basis, like most other souls.
“The chief characteristic of the titans is that they envy the gods. They're desperate to achieve that level of development themselves. Thus, the titans are human beings who pursue spiritual growth for the wrong reasons. Not only do they want to satisfy their needs as easily as the gods, they also want to be free of the world. They want to transcend the world at all costs, whether those costs accrue to themselves or to others.
"This approach to spiritual growth assumes that nonphysical reality is better than physical reality. It can often be quite self-destructive, both physically and psychologically. Spiritual practices designed to advance the soul at the expense of the body--self-flagellation, for example--are typical of the so-called titans.
"The approach to spiritual growth of the gods, on the other hand, is destructive neither to others, nor to themselves. Their problem, however, is that they're completely self-absorbed. As I've said, they're able to use their advanced spiritual knowledge to create pleasant realities for themselves, both in the physical world and in the Afterlife. But they have no interest in placing their superior spiritual knowledge in the service of others.
"The truly advanced souls are those who try to help you remember who you are and further your growth, both while you're on Earth, and in between lifetimes. These are the buddhas and bodhisattvas of Buddhism, who are roughly equivalent to the Overseers and Facilitators whom you've encountered on your journeys to Otherwhere. In some cases, your own higher levels of consciousness or development may reflect and express themselves through such guides.
"In Buddhism, you do not automatically become a fully developed buddha after death. Thus, in answer to Alan's question, you do not automatically become your own most fully realized self, or soul, after death. Whether on Earth, or in between lifetimes, you're always striving for buddhahood--or to realize the level of consciousness represented by your most fully developed self, or soul. After any given lifetime, in the afterdeath state, you become whatever portion of the totality of who you are that you were able to achieve within that lifetime.
"Your friend Alan's problem is that he uses the word soul in an absolutist sense: It can only refer to the whole of who one is. But for you, the word often refers to different levels of consciousness, depending on context. Alan isn't yet sensitive to those contextual nuances.
"It's easy to get hung up on words like soul and personality, especially if you're trying, like Alan, to use a single definition of them as explicitly and consistently as possible. This is what I was referring to when I said that Alan's definition of the word soul was absolutist. There are too many shades of meaning--or levels of development--between the personality and the soul, and too few words to describe them, for that approach to work.
"Thus, for example, the soul is not without what you would call personality. Aspects of your personality, while you're alive on Earth, may be based on certain portions of the soul's unique beingness. Such personality aspects have a special energetic quality, or liveliness, about them that's immediately recognizable--both by yourself and others--as uniquely your own. They usually relate to your function, life purpose, and growth goals, as you understand, and are motivated to realize, them. That's core personality, as opposed to surface, or false, personality.
"You regain access to many soul-based aspects of yourself after a lifetime on Earth. Much depends on the extent to which you've allowed them to become the core of your personality in a given lifetime, as well as the degree to which you advanced your development in that lifetime.
"Surface personality, however, is left behind or destroyed. Like the casing of cement I described earlier, you emerge from and discard it.
"Surface personality is formed in opposition to who you really are, often out of fear--what the Buddhists call ignorance; and a desire for love--what the Buddhists call attachment. While you're on Earth, such things can cloud your sense of who you really are--so much so that, after death, it can indeed seem as if you've gained access to a much larger self--one that's more whole, complete, and advanced in knowledge.
"This is perhaps what your friend Alan was envisioning as a likely afterlife scenario, based on what he's read about the Afterlife. But for most people, that seemingly larger self will not be the whole soul. There's always more to learn about yourself, until you finally become one with your own most advanced self--what the Buddhists call achieving buddhahood."
"By the way," I asked, since the Facilitator seemed to have finished with her answer to Alan's question, "what's the meaning of the beige and purple patterns on your uniform?"
"Remember," she explained, "what you seem to see in Otherwhere is merely a representation of some pattern of energy that you're perceiving. Because what I've had to tell you on this visit reminded you at some level of things that you read years ago in the Seth material about camouflage reality systems--those whose appearance depends on an observer's perceptual apparatus--you see me wearing the pattern of camouflage fatigues. The beige color symbolizes human skin, and the purple higher consciousness, or the soul. Thus you perceived my intention to answer both of your questions--the one about the Lotus Repository World, which is a kind of camouflage reality system; and that about the relationship of the human personality and the soul after death--even before I began to do so."
I expressed gratitude to my Guide for all the information that she had given me, which was presented with a great deal more animation and humor than I've been able to capture here. Then I woke up.