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Explanation of this Guided Experience
This Guided Experience leads to an anticipation of transcendence beyond death, making use of images and registers that everyone — even those who are skeptics regarding these themes — can experience. As a matter of fact, in this experience a person who is a non-believer will have the opportunity to mobilize new and unusual images and feelings, and this will give greater flexibility to their mental mechanics. Those who do believe in transcendence, on the other hand, will find that this experience provides a reinforcing theme.
Everything is dark but I believe I'm in a theater. Slowly everything becomes illuminated, and I see that I am standing on the stage.
The whole place feels like something from a movie. On one side I see the light of torches, and toward the back a huge balance or scale with two arms. I think that the ceiling, which is probably vaulted, must be very high because I can hardly see anything above me. I can make out walls of stone, some trees, and swamp-like terrain encircling the center of the stage. Everything appears surrounded by thick jungle, and everywhere I can see human figures moving furtively.
Suddenly two hooded figures take me by my arms. Then a grave voice asks, “Where do you come from?”
I don’t know what to answer, so I explain that I come from “inside.” “What is ‘inside’?” says the voice.
I venture an answer: “I live in the city, so being here in the country is ‘outside.’ But for people who live in the country, the city is also ‘outside.’ Since I live in the city, that is, ‘inside,’ that’s why I say I come from ‘inside’ and now I’m ‘outside.’”
“What utter nonsense. You have entered our domain, and therefore you come from ‘outside.’ And this is not the country but rather your ‘insides.’ Didn’t you think, perhaps, this was a theater? And you have entered this theater which is, in turn, in your city. And the city where you live is outside the theater.”
“No,” I respond, “the theater is part of the city where I live.”
“Listen, insolent one,” says the voice, “let’s put an end to this ridiculous discussion. To begin with I will tell you that you no longer live in the city. You used to live in the city, and therefore your ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ spaces are something from the past. Now you are in another space-time. In this dimension things work differently.”
Immediately an old man appears before me carrying a receptacle in his right hand. He approaches me, extending his other hand right into me, as if my body was made of butter. First he removes my liver and places it in the receptacle, and then he proceeds to do the same with my kidneys, stomach, and heart. Finally, in a very unprofessional manner, he removes everything else that he finds until the receptacle is overflowing. Throughout this procedure I feel nothing unusual.
This strange character then turns around and, carrying my viscera over to the balance, deposits them on one of the large dishes, and the balance tilts downward until it comes to rest on the floor.
I have the sensation that I’m in a butcher shop where they weigh the various cuts of meat as the customers look on. Indeed, a lady carrying a shopping bag tries to snatch my internal organs from the dish, but the old man stops her. He shouts, “What’s this? Who told you that you could take any of these pieces?” Then he climbs up a short ladder until he reaches the empty dish at the opposite end of the balance, where he places the feather of an owl.
The voice then addresses me saying: “Now that you are dead and you have descended to the threshold of the world of shadows, you will say to yourself: ‘They are weighing my viscera,’ and you will be correct. To weigh your viscera is to weigh your actions.”
The hooded characters flanking me on either side let go of my arms, and I begin to walk slowly, without any direction.
The voice continues, “Your lower viscera are in the infernal fire. The keepers of the fire are always active, preventing those you desire from coming close.”
I realize that the voice is guiding my steps, and with each insinuating phrase the scene changes.
The voice says, “First you must pay the keepers. Then, enter the fire and remember all the suffering that you have caused others in the chain of love.” (*)
“Ask forgiveness from those you have mistreated, and leave the fire only when you are reconciled. (*)
“Then, call by name all those you have wronged, and beseech them to let you see their faces. If they agree, listen carefully for their advice, for it is as soft as a faraway breeze. (*)
“Thank them sincerely, and depart following the torch of your guide. Your guide will lead you through dark passageways until you reach a chamber where are kept the shades of all those toward whom you have been violent in the course of your existence. They, all of them, remain in the same suffering condition in which you once left them. (*)
“Ask them for forgiveness, reconcile yourself, and kiss them one by one before you leave. (*)
“Follow your guide, who knows well how to lead you to the sites of your shipwrecks, to the places of things irreparably frozen. Oh world of great losses, in which smiles and enchantments and hopes are your burden and your failure! Contemplate your long chain of failures, asking your guide to slowly illuminate all these illusions. (*)
“Reconcile with yourself, forgive yourself, and smile.
“Then you will see how, from the horn of dreams, a wind arises that carries the dust of your illusory failures to nothingness. (*)
All at once the whole scene changes, and I find myself somewhere else. I hear the voice say: “Even in the cold and dark forest, you must follow your guide. Birds of ill omen brush against your head. In the swamps treacherous snares surround you.
“Have your guide lead you to the grotto. You can advance no farther unless you pay the price to the hostile forms who guard the entrance. If, at last, you are able to enter, ask your guide to illuminate to the left and to the right. Beseech your guide to bring his torch closer to the large marble bodies of all those you have not yet been able to forgive. (*)
“Forgive them one by one, and when your feelings are true, each of these statues will turn once again into human beings, who will smile at you, stretching out their arms toward you in a hymn of gratitude. (*)
“Follow your guide out of the grotto, and do not look back for any reason.
“Leave your guide and return here, where the actions of the dead are weighed.
“Now look at the dish on the balance where your actions are deposited, and see how it rises and is lighter than a feather."
I hear a metallic sound even as I see the dish that bears my viscera beginning to rise up.
The voice concludes: “You have forgiven your past. You have achieved more than enough to think of going any further for now. Were your ambition to carry you further it could happen that you might not return to the region of the living. You have gained too much already with the purification of your past. I say to you now: Awake and leave this place.”
The lights on the stage slowly dim, and I begin to feel that I am again outside of that world and part of this one. But I also realize that I have kept with me the experiences of that other world even though I've returned to this one.
It is not recommended that you work towards overcoming resistances in this experience, since these resistances may be linked to your particular beliefs, and we certainly have no business trying to modify them.