Student: I have one other question, reading some works on death and when one is dying and one is releasing hold of the body. Can one just continue with self-inquiry in the process when the subtle experiences start to arise?
Robert Adams: Unless you’ve been practicing before it will be most difficult to hold on to the I when you’re dying. For with the average person when death starts arriving there is total fear and you become more engrossed in the I than ever before. That is why upon death according to the ancient scriptures the I leaves the body and grabs hold of another body and then you go through the same experiences of I.
Student: But what can one do when one is dying and maybe in the first three days – was looking at – that can happen any time you know?
Robert: As I said, it is not what one can do when you’re dying. You will not have any choice because a death experience will be so frightening to you, it will be so powerful in your mind, you will not be able to do anything. But, if you’ve been practicing eliminating the I all of these years, perhaps you have not come home yet, awakened yet, but you’ll be an advanced devotee and you will not hold on to the I, you will simply smile as you leave your body and you will realize that you are I-am, consciousness.
Student: Because in the book I was reading they said the mandala appears and at the center is the white light and if one just surrenders to that light then you can let go more.
Robert: In this teaching you have to ask yourself, “To whom does the white light come? To whom does the mandala come?” To the ego, to the I. The I is experiencing the vision of the mandala. It does not free you. You cannot become free this way. The whole I has to go. In other words, the object and the observer have to both become annihilated. You are the observer, the I is the observer it’s observing the mendala. They both have to go. The only good that can do you I think, is because you are experiencing the vision of the mandala you can become a buddhist monk in the next incarnation. And you’ll sit if front of mandala for thirty-forty years. Contemplating the mandala. That is as much good as you’ll get out of it. (laughter)
Student: Well in this teaching the light is supposed to be our Self, you know, who we really are. You know and they say that if you get distracted by other worlds and that’s where you end up then you’re in doubt, you have like a chance a special opportunity…
Robert: Again you will not be able to do those things unless you’ve been practicing meditation before.That is why in the Tibetan book of the dead they explain you have to practice how to die for years before you die. To die correctly. Most people do not do this. But we go further in Jnana. We go beyond the light. When you split the atom there is a tremendous light. When you go deep within yourself you will see fantastic light. It’s like seeing visions. You’re seeing the source of your existence. But you’re not seeing the real source. Which is nothing. You’re seeing the source of your existence, the light. The question is, “Where did the light come from?” Go beyond that. That is the only way you become free. But lights, visions, mandalas, colors, those are all in the occult world. We’re told to go beyond the occult. Beyond the visions. Beyond the light. To become totally liberated, totally free. One must destroy the I who sees all these visions, all these lights and you do that by inquiring, “To whom has the I come?” or “Who am I?”