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Excerpted from Life After Death by Deepak Chopra. Copyright © 2006 by Deepak Chopra. Excerpted by permission of Random House, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.

"You can only see what you vibrate to."

  Deepak Chopra, Life After Death, Part 4

The general notion that you go where you belong rested easily in my mind back then. I imagined dogs going to dog heaven, and people who loved dogs joining them. I imagined bad people no longer hurting anyone except themselves because they were isolated in a kind of karmic jail. This was consoling, an assurance that the good people who loved me but were now gone lived in a place of goodness. But my view had limitations. I was never sure whether my wise grandfather met his wise grandfather in the hereafter, who showed him how to proceed, or if that job was carried out by angels, or enlightened spirits. Much later when I began to research karma I found that after we die, we remain self-motivated. A soul moves according to its desire from one astral plane to another, projecting as in a dream whatever sights and people, guides and astral entities it needs for its own advancement.

All these planes ultimately were imagined by Spirit, just as it imagined the material world. The Indian word for Spirit was Brahman, which is Everything, the one consciousness that fills every plane of existence. But Indians are relaxed about terminology, as befits a very old culture. We said God. Rama. Shiva. Maheshwara. The important thing wasn't the name but the concept of a single consciousness that creates everything and continues to do so in infinite dimensions at infinite speed. On the astral planes Spirit continues to play roles. There, one can actually see images of gods and goddesses, angels and demons. These are ultimately illusions, however, for each astral plane provides the experience of Spirit. Here, on our plane, we experience Spirit as matter, solidity. On the astral planes we experience subtle beings and the landscapes they inhabit--what we might call dreams.

The cosmos is nonlocal, that is, it can't be mapped as a location. After death we gradually stop being local. We see ourselves as we really are from the soul's perspective: everywhere at once. This adjustment is probably the biggest obstacle any of us will encounter in the astral planes. Right now you are at the center of the universe because infinity extends in all directions, yet someone on the other side of the world is also at the center of the universe, because infinity extends on all sides of them, too. If both of you are centers of the universe, you must both be at the same location. The fact that you appear to be in different places is a sensory artifact. It's based on sights and sounds, which are local events. You are not a local event.

Similarly, each moment is the center of time, because eternity stretches around each moment in all directions. Therefore every moment is the same as every other. The cosmos, being nonlocal, has no up or down, north or south, east or west. These are only points of reference for our convenience at our particular frequency (i.e., inside a body). The transformational process after death is not a movement to some other place or time; it is just a change in the quality of our attention. You can only see what you vibrate to.

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