There is this discussion on at Intent – a question was asked if Enlightenment is a natural state after Death.
It is amazing that somehow everyone takes Death as some kind of an automatic gateway to a meeting with “God” – however one defines that concept. Why? Because death is somewhat of an unknown. And since no one around you “knows” and can speak for what happens beyond, it can be manipulated the way one wants!
If life follows death – as many reincarnation case studies have shown – then why would death be any different from life – in its basic sense?! The basic building block that travels on the journey between life and death is something that continues until it dissipates. But it is a manifestation. Some call it soul. Some call it Karma. Some call it thought. Some call it mind. Some call it “life”. All are synonyms. Life does not require a body. Body is is just a medium of expression. Nothing more and nothing less.
Some think that if you try and “kill” the mind or somehow make it do “good” – the enlightenment (or freedom) is a certainty. The mind/thought/soul is a manifestation – a wave as it were – so how can you “move” it or kill it? Any attempt by the mind to kill itself is a farce. It is like the attempt to catch water.
The only way to see this mind disappear is to observe it. Observing of mind and being aware of its limitation is also its own freedom. For mind is not a “thing” but the properties that it exhibits. Observing those properties (lust, anger, happiness, sorrow etc) is to free yourself of it!
Death does not take away the mind. It just ends one instrument of its manifestation. Only to start all over again.
Krishna says in Geeta that Mind chooses its own body and the environment. Its because body is an expression and somehow the mind – narcissist as it is – creates relations which provide the best opportunity for its dissipation. I am not saying that those relationships provide happiness but provide the opportunity to get to freedom if it were sufficiently observant.
In most cases it is not. And it keeps reacting to the results of earlier actions. Thus this chain keeps moving back and forth – action-result-reaction – until the mind can break off the chain. Death of the body has precious little to do with freedom.