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Features Archive:

2005 Archive:
Whose Scrooge? - by Lee Prosser
December 15, 2005

Column - regular feature

Spirit Dor by John Richards
December 9, 2005

The Witchcraft Connection - The Ghostly Carpenter - by Marcus Foxglove Griffin
December 6, 2005

Column - regular feature

Nature is a Haunted House - by Lee Prosser
December 1, 2005

Column - regular feature

Hollywood Ghost Hunt Weekend by Richard Senate
November 28, 2005

Clairvoyance, Ghosts, and Music - by Lee Prosser
November 15, 2005

Column - regular feature

Halloween and the End Times - by Lee Prosser
November 1, 2005

Column - regular feature

The Witchcraft Connection - Resurrection Mary: The Conclusion - by Marcus Foxglove Griffin
October 20, 2005

Column - regular feature

1 Corinthians 12:10 - by Lee Prosser
October 15, 2005

Column - regular feature

Gift From A Child By Rick Hayes
October 14, 2005

Ghost Hunt: The Liberace Mansion by Richard Senate
October 7, 2005

Mimosa, Marigold, Cayenne, Dandelion, Mullein, Clairvoyance, Uncle Willard, and Ghosts - by Lee Prosser
October 1, 2005

Column - regular feature

Today's Cults of Personality by Wayne Harrup
September 19, 2005

Clairvoyance and the River of the Mind - by Lee Prosser
September 15, 2005

Column - regular feature

Bide One's Time - Rev. Pat Robertson - by Lee Prosser
September 1, 2005

Column - regular feature

Cedar Key Inn - The Man in the Kitchen by Janice Cottrill
August 29, 2005

Bide One's Time - High Spirits - by Lee Prosser
August 15, 2005

Column - regular feature

CBS Introduces the Ghost Whisperer by Jeff Belanger
August 5, 2005

Bide One's Time - Ghostly Encounter - by Lee Prosser
August 1, 2005

Column - regular feature

Bide One's Time - Don Bachardy - by Lee Prosser
July 15, 2005

Column - regular feature

Bide One's Time - New Mexico, Land of Enchantment - by Lee Prosser
July 1, 2005

Column - regular feature

Tibetan Beliefs On Death and Beyond Part 2 of 2 by Janice Cottrill
June 20, 2005

Bide One's Time - Why Do We Enjoy Ghost Story Movies? - by Lee Prosser
June 15, 2005

Column - regular feature

Tibetan Beliefs On Death and Beyond Part 1 of 2 by Janice Cottrill
June 13, 2005

Bide One's Time - We are Each a Living Ghost in Our Own Story - by Lee Prosser
June 1, 2005

Column - regular feature

Electronic Voice Phenomena (E.V.P.) by Todd M. Bates
May 23, 2005

Bide One's Time - Sensitive to Ghosts - by Lee Prosser
May 17, 2005

Column - regular feature

Emotions of the Paranormal by Brian Leffler
May 13, 2005

George Lutz's Amityville Horror by Jeff Belanger
April 12, 2005

Connecting Through Reincarnation? by Rick Hayes
March 16, 2005

Chinese Hopping Ghosts by Janice Cottrill
March 4, 2005

Dr. Hans Holzer - A Lifetime of Explaining the Unexplained by Jeff Belanger
February 7, 2005

The Legend of Lucy Keyes by John Stimpson
February 4, 2005

Raymond Buckland by Lee Prosser
January 28, 2005

The Mysterious Haunting of Stone's Public House by David Retalic
January 23, 2005

Some Musings on White Noise by Lee Prosser
January 12, 2005

India and the Supernatural by Lee Prosser
January 3, 2005

June 20, 2005

Tibetan Beliefs On Death and Beyond - Part 2 of 2

By Janice Cottrill

The The Disposition of the Body 

Upon drawing the I to the top of the head where it leaves the body and ensures the future well being of the deceased, death is achieved. When the dying person has breathed his last breath, he is dressed, putting his clothes on backward. Then he is tied up, with his legs crossed, his knees bent and touching his chest. In small villages, the body, dressed in this way, is placed in a cauldron. As soon as the corpse has been taken to the cemetery, the cauldron is quickly washed and a soup or tea is prepared for the funeral guest. The funeral ceremonies occupy many days and because of the high altitudes decomposition is slow and corpses are kept a week or so until it emits a putrid odor.

Some uneducated people in Tibet believe that these discarnate ghosts must go to a sandy place and see his footprints on the ground. If these footprints are reversed, that is if the heels are in the front and the toes are turned backwards, he will know that he is dead.

How can a ghost have feet? Like the Egyptians, the Tibetans believe in the double.

It is the ethereal double who has the feet to which he is still attached. This double during life is attached to the material body. The double can leave the material body and appear in different places or become invisible. It can accomplish various things.

Although separation from the double can be involuntary, it is a feat for which one may train himself. The separation however, is never complete for a strand will remain to link the body to the double much like the golden cord that westerners are familiar with.

This link remains for a period of time after death. When the body is destroyed, the destruction of the double is not certain for there are many cases where the double will survive its companion.

The officiating trapas will advise the dead, telling him what roads he should take, and those he should follow as well as those who they should avoid. They take their meals facing the dead saying, Spirit, come here, immediately, and feed yourself

If the bodies are cremated as they are in the wooded regions of Tibet. In the barren north and central parts of Tibet where the only fuel is cow dung, the corpses are left to the wild animals either in cemeteries near the villages or anywhere on the mountainside.

If the deceased is a dignitary; the corpse is preserved by the process of salting and cooking in butter. These mummies are called mardong. They are swathed in clothes, meaning tightly wrapped like westerners wrap a new-born infant. Their faces are painted with gold and they are placed in mausoleums of massive silver, studded with precious stones. A pane of glass is placed over the casket so their faces can be seen.

Methods of disposition include taking the body to the top of a mountain and dismember the four limbs and putting the entrails, the heart, the lungs on the ground where wildlife and birds feed upon it. The body may be thrown into a sacred river where fish and otters eat the flesh and the fat. The body may be burned where the flesh, bones, and skin are reduced to ashes or the body may be put into the earth where the flesh, bones, and skin are sucked by the worms. 

Monks are paid to repeat a religious service daily for six weeks following the funeral. An effigy is then made with a light frame of sticks supporting the clothes that belonged to the deceased and a paper drawing of his face. The name of the departed is written under the portrait. At the close of the ceremony, the Lama burns the paper and the clothes in which the effigy is made are given to the Lama as part of his fee.

Tibetans want complete separation from the dead and will tell the deceased that they are dead and to stay away from them as they leave the funeral. They tell the deceased that their house is burned, that their wife ran away or that some horrible fate will befall them if they come near the living.

Are the dead alive at their funeral? Can they see and hear what is being said? 

The Journey of the I

As the body is dressed and disposed of, the I has begun its strange journey. Some feel that the journey goes through lands that really exist and they see people that they know but the learned Lamaist consider the journey as a dream that the I himself weaves according to the influence of his character and his past actions.

Certain Lamaist teach that immediately after the I has left the body, it has an intuition, a bolt of lighting that shows him the truth of the Supreme Reality. If the I can grasp this enlightenment, it is set free from the circle of successive births and deaths. It is called the state of nirvana.

This does not happen often for generally the I is dazzled by this sudden bolt of lightning and shrinks from it. He isnt ready to leave; he is not ready to give up his property and his pleasures, all of which are attachment that tie him to the physical realm.

Or it may be that he doesnt notice the bolt of lightning because he is self-centered, is preoccupied with what has happened to him.

If a man dies while unconscious, he does not immediately understand what has happened to him and will wake up, talking to people who are living and not understanding why they do not respond. Through the use of a pawos or medium, the dead may contact the living. The dead may become irritated that they are not able to do what they could do when they are alive. The I is disoriented and confused. The idea that he is dead may come to him slowly.

The I is told to move forward and not to look backward. Most of the dead listen to the messages delivered by their families and friends at their funerals. However, those that dont listen will appear to their family members in dreams and strange things will happen in their former house. Tibetans believe this is the I that is unhappy and calling for help.

At this point a Lama diviner is called in. They act as a medium to give voice to the deceased. Unlike the Western spiritualistic sances, neither darkness nor silence is required and they are sometime held outside. The pawo begins with chanting with the accompaniment of a little drum and a bell. He dances, starting off slowly and then faster and faster until it is evident that the deceased has taken possession of him. He speaks in broken sentences conveying what the deceased wants to be heard. Families will honor what is told to them through the medium to aid the deceased.

During the funeral, the I" travels through the Bardo. Here he sees colored paths and crowds of strange visions. There are apparitions that frighten him as he wanders among them. If he can hear the Lama, he can take a road that will lead him to be reborn into pleasant circumstances just as the initiate who enters consciously into the Bardo has carefully studied its map.

The deceased who is attached to the material and enter the Bardo cannot hear the Lama so they miss the opportunity to escape the consequences of their action. They find themselves without a road to celestial happiness and are deceived by their hallucinations and they believe they are in a place that they are not. They come back into life in less than perfect circumstances.

Not unlike the Egyptians weighing of the human heart with a feather after death, the Tibetans believe the dead who do not get the light when it is offered to them will wander through the Bardo and they will be judged for their past action in a mirror or their actions weighted with black and white pebbles. According to the score, the I will be reborn and gifts or handicaps will be given to him as he re-enters the world of the living and a new life.

This information came from Conttrill's personal instruction and the book, Magic and Mystery in Tibet by Alexandra David Neel (Dover Publications). Janice Cottrill is an investigator, researcher, and writer. She runs Cottrill Investigations.

2014 Haunted New England Wall Calendar by Jeff Belanger photography by Frank Grace
Check out the 2014 Haunted New England wall calendar by Jeff Belanger and photography by Frank Grace!

Paranormal Conferences and Lectures
Don't miss the following events and lectures:

Jeff Belanger and “The Bridgewater Triangle” at Dedham Community Theatre - April 6, 2014 9:00PM

The Spirits of the Mark Twain House - Hartford, Connecticut - April 12, 2014

Paracon Australia - East Maitland, New South Wales, Australia - May 10-12, 2014