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What Happens When I Die? - by Eric Allen Bell

Art by Alex Grey

In order to answer the question, "What happens when I die?" I feel it is important to take a look at something a bit less speculative and that is the question of what happens when we live.

There is no way to understand death if you don't know what life is. What happens between the moment you take your first breath and the moment you draw your very last?

Who is it that is looking out through your eyes?

Is it not the same quality of awareness that existed right before you read these words? Is that quality of awareness not the same quality that existed yesterday and the day before?

And that awareness, the pure state of awareness was there before you could form words or even knew your name. It is independent of personal history, of labels, of nationality of ethnicity of religion of political orientation or even a gender. This is the essential self. And the awareness of this self, even if momentary, is what is often referred to as "Self Realization".

The essential self is not contained within the boundaries of worldly identification, although it plays in those fields.

The essential self is not limited in perception by the five senses, although it enjoys experiencing them.

The self that is eternal is not limited by space and time, although it uses space and time to creatively express its essence.

The Realized Self came from nowhere and is going nowhere, but may choose different manifestations perhaps throughout the birth-life continuum.

The brain that tells the lungs to breathe will die with the body, but the Awareness that animates the organ called the brain is eternal.

You are not your thoughts. You are not your story. You are not your body.

Experience your thoughts, experience your story, experience your body, as none of it will last.

That which experiences remains constant. We can call that constant the "Self" - the real self and not that which masquerades as you.

So when you ask the question, "What happens when I die?" I would have to ask you a question in return...

Who is asking?



Eric Allen Bell

Eric Allen Bell is Founder of
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Tags: Eric-Allen-Bell, consciousness, death, god, non-local-consciousness, reincarnation, religion, samsara, self-realization, spiritual-blogs, More…spiritual-groups, spiritual-networks, spirituality


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Comment by Richard Stanaszek on October 23, 2014 at 7:50am

I started to look at life  as a Game, even though I had a after death experience when I was seventeen and everybody that I loved died rather young. I did not start accepting the "Game" as a game till I Heard over and over again through the adventures of my own mind. It was when it was reiterated on the Elias forum did it start to make sense.

Death is Life, do not but importance on this world on less you want to play the Game and make the Goal of remembering who you truly are. 

Comment by Luce G on September 4, 2013 at 10:34am

I am not the body- I am not the mind. I am Om

Comment by Eric Allen Bell on December 5, 2011 at 2:22am

Alexi - For me personally when I was 39 and 40 was coming at me fast and I felt like it was all over, my sense of mortality was in the foreground.  I wrongly thought that my best years were behind me and I was afraid of growing old and eventually dying.  I needed to know what happens when I die.  I eventually made peace with it (See "A Fear of Death") but it is a question that has a tendency to bring many of us to the "Who Am I?"  a question - which is at the core of spiritual inquiry.  

Comment by Alexi on November 22, 2011 at 11:13pm

I'm curious - why do you think this blog has so many views over others?  Is it resonating for a particular reason? Am I missing the "Wow, now I totally get it!" moment (I am grinning as I write that question), or did it perhaps get picked up and cited by a major publication?  It's a fantastic piece, don't get me wrong - there is just so much great content on this site I'm really, really curious why this one in particular is getting so many eyeballs.  Thoughts?

Comment by william j. mcgrath on November 9, 2011 at 5:43am

Nichiren Daishonin said, "Sufferings are nirvana only when one realizes that the entity of human life throughout the cycles of birth and death is neither born or destroyed".



Comment by Erik John Ragnar Wedendal on October 29, 2011 at 3:30am

I escape to my dreams when Im tired of being alone. Could that be a transcending truth?

And if so. Why not genuinly enjoy my own creation?

Even if time is an illusion its there. My body, my history and my mind are all fabrics of eternity, but they are still there. Ive been searching, and I still am. But I think ill settle as a human and embrace my search until I find something else I want.

I guess love can be the thing I crave and Im starting to realise Im alone is responsible for the outcome of this great mystery. See even if I cant fly like a bird or swim like a dolphin I can love them and feel myself in their place. I think thats why human love is the closest thing to love yourself on this physical level. To grasp wholeness makes you appreciate the ever changing uniqueness in the world. And Im sad to say it, I dont believe it can be tought. It can be introduced as a possibilty, and more important, a critical approach to life must be rewarded if we want to come to any understanding.

But Im not even sure of that. I dont even think we can understand anything, we can only percieve and chose love or hate, trust or mistrust, forget or forgive, etc etc.

And these words are only symbols Ive come across on my journey reflecting something I wish to believe in.

Im struggling, but Im beginning to like it.

Comment by R Couchie on November 27, 2010 at 6:59pm
What happens when I die? I go home and I prepare to come back. My job here is to serve. Ultimately I hope to help everybody to get back home and where I will be the last one in line. When I get back home I will look back and see where I came from and what I have to done to make that place a better one. Where I created more positive energy, where I laughed much, where I loved and shared love. Where I only spoke good things about those around me and did not ad to the unhealthy energy that surrounds us all. When I get back home I will know what it was I was supposed to work on in my last incarnation and use that as basis for my next journey. I will thank all those who watched over while I was away from home, guides, angels, family and friends and so on and so on. The list goes on and I know one day I will stay back and those who are away from Home. That's part of what happens to me when I die and leave this existence. Smile and enjoy the ride. Treat this life as if it were a roller coaster ride. Two things you do on a roller coaster ride, throw your arms up in the air and scream like a little girl and when you done say let's do that again and again and again. Have fun, learn, love, serve, and laugh.
Comment by Clara Haven on October 19, 2009 at 11:23pm
I never even thought to look at it that way. Thanks for the insight! I keep reading this over and over.


Eric Allen Bell


An Inquiry into That Mystery - which cannot be organized into a knowable form.

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