AGNI YOGA WEB TV
BROADCASTING 2: The Secret of Immortality
Part II: The New Identity - The Immortal Man
With seven steps you have changed and become an immortal. You have actually turned into another being – like the caterpillar into a butterfly. Your old identity ends and a new one begins.
To make it even clearer: Read again the fine book by Jean-Paul Sartre "The game is over". There you find a vivid description of how the souls of the deceased take part in earthly life, by observing the doings of the incarnated people, partly sympathetically, sometimes annoyed, but without being able to interfere with their destiny. To many a living one there follows at every step, like a shadow, a long row of curious ancestors or former companions from the realm of the spirit.
This is exactly how you have to imagine the "coexistence" of your body and your soul: Your new identity is such a subtle, transparent, spiritual being of the higher world, invisible to earthly eyes, which can pass through closed doors and walls. This being permeates your body, it stands behind or above you. Unlike with Sartre, however, your Eternal Individuality is able not only to observe, but also to act in the material world by using of your body as a vehicle. You used to be the man at the typewriter. Now you are the spirit in the white garment behind him.
Let uxs now look at some of the features of your new Eternal Identity. This will make you aware of who you are now. Or, better, because we are speaking about a development process, who you want to become as of today.
1. Supratemporal, supermundane Individuality
Your new identity is a non-material, supratemporal personality, which already existed millennia ago, long before the birth of your present body, and which will continue to live on in eternity. You are a species of the spiritual world, which is not limited by the restrictions of matter, time, and space.
We care not only about the earthly life, but even more about the supermundane existence. (Supermundane 795)
For the life of your Eternal Individuality, you must set up an interplanetary, supratemporal and supramaterial plan! If you limit yourself to projects that you can pursue on this earth only, you will wander around aimlessly and unemployed in all other worlds – especially after the death of the body in "heaven".
2. No Death
Böcklin “Die Toteninsel”
What is death? At death, your soul abandons the body. It returns to its homeland, the spiritual world. There it does not need a physical shell any longer.
You – your true self – passes from one world to the other; this is like going from one room to another.
That is all. That is no cause for concern. That is a reason for joy! This so called “Last Journey” is an adventure, to which you may look forward curiously and confidently!
We must die so that life may have a more perfect expression. (Teachings of the Temple Vol. I, Lesson 16 “Unselfish Love”)
For the sage, death is a delight: He may leave this earthly vale of tears. He may relinquish the body, which became at the end of his life useless and more and more a burden to him. He may return to his homeland, a far more pleasant plane of existence, where his true spiritual relatives are already waiting for him.
People do much harm to themselves by limiting their awareness to one earthly existence. They build obstacles for themselves everywhere. (Supermundane 75)
There is no death in the sense of the complete extinction of your entire existence. There is only the transition of your spiritual being to the world beyond, while giving up the physical body, which is cast off like a worn out coat.
“We do not die, but change”—can one speak any more clearly about eternal life? (Fiery World II, 369)
Your Eternal Individuality is as little affected by the death of the body as the rider by the death of his donkey. The rider continues his path and takes a new donkey. Similarly, the immortal soul, after the death of one of its bodies, continues its eternal journey. If it has formed a material body once, it can do so again.
Hans Memling "Musician Angels"
After a period of rest, you resume your work. We immortals do not believe in the fairy tale of a rest of eons before, and of an eternal rest after, the "Last Judgment."
Do you realize what this would mean? To sit on a cloud and sing to the harp, or be roasted in hell, for an infinite period of time – and that because of some tiny merits or failures during only one single, insignificant, short earthly life?
The fact that such an idea can arise at all shows that people have not yet fully grasped the concept of "eternity".
There can be no stagnation in Eternity; all is in motion—in the striving toward perfection. (Supermundane 791)
A permanent standstill, the absence of any development, an existence without work and struggle – that would really be death. Namely, for every living being, whether spiritual or physical, an intolerable and unworthy state – especially since there remains so much to do, to heal and to elevate on earth.
Can you imagine to enjoy the pleasures of paradise, while down below in the material world misery continues and people are crying for help?
No Fear of Death
In the certainty of your eternity, you have no reason to fear death. Fear of death is nothing but ignorance. How many people suffer from lack of knowledge!
Ends the ignorance, ends the suffering.
There are some who suppose that man is continuously dying; others know that man is incessantly reborn. The former are motivated by fear, the latter by joy. The former suggest death to themselves, the latter recognize life. Thus, man to a large extent predetermines his own future. (AUM 118)
The consciousness of immortality removes the fear of death, the depression, the sense of meaninglessness in view of the brevity of an earthly life, which afflicts even religious people. Do you sense how Bach's words "I am looking forward to my death", despite all the consolation and confidence of the melody, have a touch of denial of life?
There is only one true consolation for the sick, for the dying, and for their relatives: the real self, the soul, is not affected by the transition. It only changes its whereabouts. (Picasso Weeping Woman)
In keeping with their opinion, scholars have proposed the ingenious consolation: “Man begins to die from the moment of his birth”—a scanty and funereal comfort. But We say that man is eternally being born, and particularly at the moment of so-called death. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 330 )
In the past, the philosopher used to place a horrible skull permanently before his eyes and to repeat gloomily: Memento mori – remember that you have to die. Today we rejoice vigorously and joyfully: Remember that you are immortal!
(Ignaz Mayer-Frauenberg "The philosopher")
3. New Family
Raffael "Holy Family"
Your eternal self as well has a spiritual father, a spiritual mother and spiritual brothers, sisters, relatives, and friends: namely, those other souls with whom you are truly spiritually related, to whom you belong, with whom you are living and working together over the ages in eternity. For them there is the beautiful expression "soulmates".
With these spiritual brothers and sisters, you will be reunited at the latest after death in the world beyond. This is your true, supratemporal family.
Nothing can separate souls bound by love. (From the Mountain Top, Vol I, Lesson “Love is God”)
Your earthly family (father, mother, brothers, sisters, spouse, children), your blood relatives, are not necessarily soulmates of yours. Among them there may even be spiritual enemies with whom you have been brought together in order to settle old bills, or to continue to struggle, or, if possible, to be reconciled.
This explains the tensions that unfortunately prevail in many a family: All too often, people meet who do not really belong together spiritually, and who will separate already after only one earthly life in order to never see each other again.
This, however, does not alter the fact that the obligations within the family are sacred. The higher standpoint only makes that which you cannot change anyway easier to bear.
Recognize your Soulmates
It is quite possible that you will not encounter any one of your true relatives during this earthly life. However, the certainty of being secure in a community of like-minded people at least in the afterlife will help you to better endure a few years of earthly solitude.
You should develop your Eternal Individuality by learning to distinguish: Who of the people you are dealing with in family, friends and surroundings is really a soulmate?
When we search for true friends, we will find them in the Subtle World. (Heart 564)
Also, search in history for people, places and times, which look familiar to you: Probably you were physically incarnated there in a previous life together with your soulmates.
As you gradually develop your sensitivity, you will be able to bring to light surprising insights into your past incarnations!
4. New Gender
You think you are a woman? Youthink you are a man? There you succumb to the illusion of matter!
(Lukas Cranach “Adam and Eva”)
Gender is an aspect of your perishable personality. If you want to redefine yourself and express your Eternal Individuality, you have to free yourself from the categories "male" and "female".
Your higher, spiritual self like an angel is neither male nor female. It incarnates on the material level sometimes as a man, sometimes as a woman. It bears the characteristics of both sexes. It is a synthesis of both. (Titian “Tobias and the Angel”)
Therefore, never belittle the other sex, for thus you belittle yourself. On the contrary, try to unite within you the best qualities of both principles.
5. New People
You think you are an American? You think you are a Russian? You think you are a Japanese? All of you are wrong!
Belonging to a particular people is also just an aspect of your perishable personality. Your immortal soul is born on its eternal way into many different nations.
You, your true self, are a citizen of the earth – or even better, as your existence is not confined to this planet: a citizen of the universe!
An Agni Yogi must renounce the conventions of nationalities, although temporarily he belongs to one of them. (Agni Yoga 171)
What a madness when Palestinians and Israelis believe that they have to hate each other and to wage war against each other: He who was born in this life as an Israeli may be a Palestinian in the next life, or he might have been a Palestinian in a previous life. Thus, the hatred is directed against one's own (past or future) people!
How much suffering arises from ignorance! Ends the ignorance, ends the suffering!
The new, immortal man will of course contribute to defend against attacks the people with whom he is currently connected. But he will rise above the borders between the nations and will work towards the realization of the global community of all nations.
6. New Religion
You think you are a Jew? You think you are a Buddhist? Or you a Hindu? And you a Muslim? That is a mistake!
Your religion is usually predetermined by the environment into which you were born. You – your true self – once lived in the Muslim, today lives in the Christian, and will in a later life perhaps live in the Jewish culture.
If you place one religion above the others, you automatically belittle your own (past or future) religion.
So what a madness it is, when people wage war because of religion: They fight in truth against themselves! It is nothing but ignorance that causes so much suffering.
The religion of the immortal is a synthesis of all religions – which is not surprising since all confessions originate from one and the same source. They differ only slightly for the following reason: Only that could be disclosed from Above which a certain people at a certain time in a certain place with a certain level of education was able to understand.
The new immortal man will strive to unite all creeds to one world-religion.
7. New Age - Eternal Youth
How old are you? 30, 40 or 50 years? This is pure illusion. Your higher self lives eternally and thus has no age at all.
(Doris Waschk-Balz "Archway of Ottensen")
For a being whose life has no end, time is meaningless. You have to form a completely different idea of your age. The number of years that your tool, the body, has spend on earth up to today, is of no account whatsoever in view of the eternity of your soul.
Preserve mobility, freshness and enthusiasm of the soul! Then you will stay forever young! This does not depend upon the age of your body.
"Old Soul" is a title of honour for someone who has not wasted the opportunities on his way, but used them to assemble a great treasure of experiences; for someone who is greater than other men because he has learned more than the others.
8. New Food
What is your favourite food? Pizza, chocolate, ice cream or roast meet? As soon as you become an immortal, you will no longer be tempted by any of these.
We had already said: As a spiritual being, you need no physical food.
You may already have noticed: Every intake of food actually burdens the spirit; little food, or even fasting, unburdens, elevates and liberates your soul. Therefore you will train yourselves to supply only as much food as the body really needs.
Man shall not live by bread alone. (Matthew 4, 4).
Your Eternal Individuality, for its survival and growth, is in need of spiritual food: Great thoughts, inspiring ideas and high ideals, as they are contained in the Holy Scriptures of mankind.
9. New Profession
What is your profession? Are you a baker, a doctor, a firefighter or a locomotive driver?
None of these! Your profession is also just an aspect of your perishable personality.
The man of today defines himself primarily through his profession. With this regard, too, you have to take a completely different attitude if you want to become an immortal.
Your higher self, on its infinite path, must practise and prove itself in a great variety of secular professions: such as king or shoemaker, monk or father of a family, army leader or ordinary soldier, workman or entrepreneur, scientist, craftsman or artist.
In all these positions, you develop only a part of the large bouquet of skills that a fully educated human being possesses. However, all these are temporary functions only.
Jesus, for example, was a carpenter. This, however, describes his true nature only to a small extent (in the sense that his soul had accumulated among many others also technical skills, such as Mozart's soul has collected musical skills). Much more important than Jesus’earthly profession is his cosmic office: that of a Christ.
(“Jesus as a Carpenter”. Nicholas Roerich “Christ”)
You, too, must look for a cosmic task, which you can execute in all worlds, on all levels of existence. If you choose a profession that can be practised on earth only, you will wander around unemployed in the world beyond.
10. New Pleasures
Nicholas Roerich “Krishna”
Many things that you used to enjoy up to today give pleasure to the body only, but not to the soul. We had already said: Material pleasures do not satisfy your spiritual nature.
Even as an immortal, you may continue to be a "man of pleasure". You do not have to become an ascetic. You will, however, change your habits and turn to those spiritual pleasures, which your higher self enjoys.
If you limit yourself to material pleasures, you will remain cheerless in your homeland, the intangible world, because these simply do not exist there.
The highest spiritual delight is meditation: the communion with the supermundane homeland and the conversation with our soulmates there. (Gambarelli "St. Catherine of Siena praying with Jesus the Divine Office", Basilica di San Domenico, Siena)
It is true, however, that the spiritual man renounces many material delights because they impede the higher spiritual pleasures. Meditation, for example, is simply impossible with a crammed stomach or after the consumption of alcohol.
11. New Wealth
Who is rich? A millionaire?
No. Your Eternal Individuality neither needs nor desires material possessions, which it has to give up anyway upon its return home.
The wealth of the immortal is of a spiritual nature: It consists of the accumulations of his true eternal self, which are not lost at death, but preserved for the further infinite path: good qualities, sensitivity, a wide consciousness, a large stock of psychic energy, higher skills etc.
What you own deep in your heart you cannot lose by death. (Goethe)
This wealth is not external but lies within: it is indissolubly attached to the soul. We do call truly rich not a person whose surroundings are crammed with material objects, but the one whose nature is pure, wise, powerful and inviolable, who acts in every situation in a dignified way, proudly, fearlessly, joyfully, and freely.
This inner greatness elevates one's own self, and is therefore of incomparably greater value than any external possessions.
Only spiritual possessions are worthy of a Yogi. (Agni Yoga 223)
Accumulations shape Individuality
The immortal senses within himself the accumulations of many millennia: The soul takes along to the next level of existence and its further infinite path everything that it has acquired during its stay on earth (and in other worlds): achievements or malformations and good or bad qualities. These accumulations from past existences cling to you whenever you incarnate on earth.
These accumulations form your true, supratemporal individuality. Their abundance or their absence indicates whether you are rich or poor.
Character is the result of aeons of conscious, persistent, indefatigable effort by the individual Ego through stone, plant, animal and human life. (Teachings of the Temple Vol. I, Lesson 89 “Character”)
Only these brought-along accumulations explain why people are so different already at birth. Did you not already observe that little children of gentle parents may be true devils? What a relief will it be for many afflicted parents to realize that they are not responsible for that what their child carries with it!
Ends the ignorance, ends the suffering.
We immortals do not believe in the fairy tale that at birth some sort of cornucopia pours upon us, indiscriminately and without regard for our inner maturity and merits, a heap of good and bad qualities.
Let us listen to a miracle, a sounding proof of reincarnation: Music from Mozart's first symphony, which he composed at the age of eight: What a maturity, what a great spirit speaks from these notes! A real genius!
Should this be a coincidence, a mere caprice of nature? That would be a miserable concept. Instead, there applies a cosmic law:
Everything that exists is the result of work and experience.
That means: He is greater who has worked harder during earlier existences.
What is real? The material world goes by. The past is a memory only already at the end of the day. The future is not yet reality, and the present is only a tiny, transient moment.
But your higher self, your achievements, the treasure accumulated by your immortal soul, which is stored there for all eternities – that is reality because it is imperishable.
The greatest treasure you can own is not money or material objects, but a sublime nature, which is reflected in a royal aura perceptible to the outside. (Nicholas Roerich “Fiat Rex”)
The bright radiance of a great spirit diffuses even the densest darkness and illuminates its entire environment.
You do not have to occupy a throne. It is much more important that you become a king by your very nature. The New Man does not differ from the old one externally, as the biped from the quadruped, but by his majestic emanations, by the magnet of his aura.
A Great Soul like Mahatma Gandhi does not need an office in the government or in a political party, and no material means either. It moves the world solely by the power of its spirit.
12. New Path
Cézanne “Landscape. Road with Trees in rocky Mountains”
Where does your path lead you? What are you striving for? Success in your profession? Wealth? Luck in love?
The path of the soul is completely different from the path of the mortal who plans only for one single, short earthly life. The New Immortal Man walks an infinite path through the most diverse material and spiritual worlds, states, cultures, times, and planes of existence; through remote spheres of such a strangeness that we cannot even imagine how they look like.
Your current stay on earth is only a tiny part of this eternal pilgrimage, which, before the existence and after the disintegration of this earth, takes place on other planets as well.
The path of the soul – the meaning of life! – is also to accumulate wealth – but spiritual wealth! Namely to improve our accumulations: to get rid of bad habits, to gather good qualities, to acquire new abilities, to more and more develop the gigantic potential, which lies dormant within us, and
to climb ever higher on the spiritual path to mastership. (Selvarajan Yesudian „You are the Sun of your Life“)
Your soul, like every living being – every plant, every tree, and every child – strives to grow greater. The eternal path alone gives you the opportunity to do so: namely to rise over the ages from a small to a great soul – a Mahatma.
13. New Homeland
Where is your homeland? In Germany, in China or in New Zealand? No, do not look down to the material level!
The homeland of your Eternal Individuality is the spiritual world of the soul. From there, Anima came down in order to form your present perishable personality. There Anima will return after the death of the actual body. Up there she is staying for a much longer time than down here on earth.
On the material plane, you are a stranger, an alien, a being from another planet: You are dwelling here only temporarily. Your kingdom is not of this world.
14. New Name
What is your name? Robert Miller, Mary Smith or James Baker? No, these names describe your earthly personality only, which will soon cease to exist.
In order to confirm your transformation from a material, mortal to a spiritual, immortal being, you should adopt a new name that marks your true self, your Eternal Individuality.
The name thou now bearest will die with thee, but thine own name, thy true name, is graven on the hands and in the heart of thy Father in Heaven. (From the Mountain Top, Vol. I, Lesson “My Father”)
Manifest to the outside world as well: You have freed yourself from the illusion of being the mortal creature, which is defined by your old bourgeois name.
A name is essential to characterize a living being. We can hardly imagine any creature without a name. This applies to your Eternal Self as well.
To adopt a new eternal identity is like a second birth. This occasion has been celebrated by the spiritual communities of all times with the award of a new, for example a religious name.
Make what we are talking about a reality! Create for yourself a new "identity card". Carry it with you all the time, so that it always reminds you of your new identity, of your Eternal Individuality.
Insert the image according to which you want to shape your spiritual being, and your new name. Enter as place of residence the name of the community of the spiritual world to which you wish to belong. Put in as date of birth the day of your second birth, of your accepting your new, eternal identity.