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Reply To: Realizations Upon Reading the Hero With a Thousand Faces


savemysoul writes

“But there’s something that just keep coming into my head and that is the object of a circle.  At the end or once where the last breath was given by the dying, after the spirit has left its body, where does it go? I remembered looking around for my grandpa after he just gave his last breath. “

I have to appreciate your timing. Right now I’m working on a MythBlast focused on “the mythology of breath” (for lack of a better term). Life outside the womb for every human begins with that first breath. Every breath thereafter marks our existence as a separate, individual being growing into our own conscious awareness of the world around us—until our final breath, when consciousness recedes, to we know not where.

Breath washes in, breath washes out; consciousness washes in, consciousness washes out—but whence the source of consciousness, and where does it go? Mythology associates consciousness with the breath—so what, then, is the Source of Breath?

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. ” Genesis 2:7, King James Version (KJV)

and then from the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad (3.7.1):

“He [the Divine Self] dwells in the breath, He is within the breath; the breath, however, does not know Him: the breath is His body, He controls the breath from within. He dwells in the mind, He is within the mind; the mind does not know Him: the mind is His body, He controls the mind from within.”

Of course, I read God / Brahman as a metaphor – perhaps for the circle you mention. And what is breath but a circle – we breathe in, the oxygen circulates through our body, we breathe out, and repeat the cycle again. And when we deliver that last breath into the atmosphere, consciousness leaves as well … which circles around to your final thought:


“So death perhaps isn’t so much the end…its not the end, it maybe the end for a certain material body, but the spirit will transcend.  Or maybe the spirit was never meant to remain on this material world ever, the spirit was never from this place in the beginning.”