Between Worlds (Epilogue)


Maitreya the Conqueror » by Nicholas Roerich)


I read the The Tibetan Book of the Dead twice. I started with a French translation, and then read the Robert A. F. Thurman version. My motivation back then was to learn more about the death process and what comes after.

The text is traditionally read to the dead, and is intended to guide them through what the consciousness experiences during the interval between death and the next rebirth, in order to help them attain liberation. But at the time when I first read it, I was agreeably surprised to discover that it was also very rich in knowledge that could be applied to my own life, for instance in terms of understanding my own inner workings.

Years later, I came to the realization that the text could also be interpreted as a metaphor for life, or more precisely, as a symbolized depiction of the process of moving from where one currently is to the next stage in their life. In that perspective, and in a way reminiscent of the interpretation of the death card in tarot, the death process can be seen as the transition from one's present self to one's future self, for instance in terms of changing careers, relocating, moving on to a new love relationship, or similar transformations, which are represented by transmigration and rebirth.

As hinted in the text through numerous mentions of not giving into fear, and recognizing post-death experiences as one's own mental projections, the quality of this rebirth is determined by the degree to which one is able to recognize the extent of their power, their very nature and their true purpose, and to shed the elements of the past that are not compatible with this recognition.

The audio clip above presents the finale of the whole suite. Below is an excerpt taken from the first ever live performance given by Poligraf, playing an early version of « Between Worlds » back in April 2002 :


Hey! Now when the life between dawns upon me,
I will abandon laziness, as life has no more time,
Unwavering, enter the path of learning, thinking, and meditating,
And taking perceptions and mind as path,
I will realize the Three Bodies of enlightenment!
This once that I have obtained the human body
Is not the time to stay on the path of distractions.

(Taken from "The root verses of the six betweens" - see near the bottom of the page)

·
« Between Worlds » is a composition that started as a song entitled « Requiem » which was written in response to the deaths of my father and maternal grandmother, both due to cancer, at the beginning of the 1990s. Inspired by « The Tibetan Book of the Dead, » the piece eventually developed into a suite in five movements intended to present the successive stages of the death process as described in Tibetan culture.
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