Buddhists have schematized the possible life realms into six main categories:
The realms of the Gods,
of the Antigods, of the Humans, of the Animals,
of the Hungry Ghosts/Pretans, and the realms of Hell.
deceased person's journey
through the between. Once one has felt the boundless
of all life forms, the inspiring infinite horizon of positive evolution
||The "Six realms of migration" are graphically
represented everywhere throughout Tibet and elsewhere in the Buddhist world
in the "wheel of life" often found on temple walls. This figure represents
the experience of the dying person, who flies into the "mouth of Death"
(the deity Yama, holding the wheel in mouth and ands and feet), and lands
on the wheel of egocentric life according to his or her evolutionary momentum.
The Book of Natural Liberation presuposes
this cosmological context as the setting for the
toward Buddhahood is accompanied by the terrifying infinite horizon of negative
toward the animal, pretan, or hell-being life forms. The horrid states
truly frightening and definitely
to be avoided. Nothingness would be far preferable.
Awareness of the possible
horrid states is a powerful motivator toward positive
development for oneself, and an intense catalyst for compassion
for others. It is
indispensable for developing the messianic drive to save
other beings from suffering that is
called the will to, or spirit of, enlightenment. This is the spiritual
conception that changes an
ordinary egocentric being into an altruistic bodhisattva. Some Asian teachers
have said in
decades that the horrid states are simply metaphorical and not to be taken
that they merely
indicate states of mind to be avoided.