Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Death Space
Death Space is an Essential Aspect
Peace: It is not an emotional state or merely the absence of conflict; it is rather the presence of stillness, which is an aspect of Essence. It is the presence of Being as absolute stillness and calmness. This stillness is not experienced as dull or vague, but as an exquisitely alive kind of consciousness. Peace involves the cessation of the torturous ego activity, with its hopes, desires, efforts and resistances. That is why it is often equated with ego death. Peace is actually both death and life in the same consciousness. One learns that death is nonexistent on the Being level. More accurately, one learns that death, in terms of consciousness, is really nothing but an aspect of Being. The associations that most of us have with death are actually related to an aspect of Being which we call Death Space. By following these associations one can experience a certain state that feels like death, but which is actually a certain black spaciousness [see our book The Void]. Also, from the perspective of boundless and nondifferentiated Being physical death is seen as a transformation of form, and not as ultimate in the way most people think of it. What most people think of as death is actually the presence of the essential aspect of Death Space. Also, the aspect of Peace has experiential qualities similar to that of Death Space, such as stillness and silence.
Pearl Beyond Price, pg. 313
The Death Space Can be Experienced in Life
Attachment to the body then is not just attachment to the physical body, but also to what the physical body means to you, all the pleasures and the comforts and the safety you believe it gives you. There is nothing wrong with these things, it’s the attachment to them that creates the misunderstanding that is experienced as frustration and hell. I’m not saying you shouldn’t want all these pleasures, that’s not the point. The point is, the attachments to them will inevitably cause suffering. Becoming free from this attachment has to do with becoming free from the attachment to pleasure, all kinds of pleasure. It is the loss of attachment to physicality, to your body from the inside. It’s not a matter of image here, but of direct sensation, direct feeling. This identification is very intimate; it is something you’ve lived with all your life, and you always believe it’s you. Ultimately, it gives you comfort. When you see this identification for what it is, it also will dissolve, because it isn’t any more real than your driver’s license identity. This realization in turn brings in a new space, a new awareness of the void, what we call “death space.” At this point a person experiences what is called death. It is what happens when somebody dies physically; they actually disconnect from the body. Death is a deep dark black emptiness; of course, this death space can be experienced in life. You don’t have to physically die; all that is required is to lose the physical attachment to the body, and the death space will be there. You will know what death is, you will know that you are not the body, and then the identification with the body will be lost.