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The Bardo of Rebirth and the Confrontation with Conscience
Next, you will then awaken in the Third Bardo, the Bardo of the Process of Rebirth. You will find yourself once more inhabiting a subtle body composed of psychic energy, with your mind and sense faculties totally intact, but, nevertheless, this is still just an immaterial spirit body. This body will also resemble the body you possessed in your previous life. At first you may seek out again your old haunts and familiar scenes, although your mind and your vision is far less clear and focused than it was in the previous Bardo. There is much more confusion here. It is like you find yourself in a dream, where the scenes change about you with increasing rapidity and instability. You may try to speak to your friends and relatives, but they can neither see nor hear you as they go about there daily lives in your absence. Failing even to find your old body, you now enter into the process of rebirth and now set out once again seeking a new birthplace, but with a greater feeling of desperation. You may encounter many different spirit beings like yourself who are also searching, but these encounters will be fleeting and give little comfort. You will see many visions of colored lights and hear strange and frightening sounds like thunder; you will experience many varied landscapes like you are in a dream, for you now come to experience your personal karma in a very visible form. But if you fail to recognize these as karmic visions created by your own Mind, the winds of your karma will drive you relentlessly onward, like a frail leaf blown about to and fro by the autumn winds. At last you will come to stand before the gates of hell itself and there you will see the great court of justice. Entering within this awesome structure, you find yourself in the presence of the Judge of the Dead who is stern and terrifying in appearance and who holds the mirror of karma in which you see the face of your own soul reflected as it really is. The good and the evil that you have done during your life are weighed before you in the full view of the court. If you recognize that the dark and solemn form of the judge is actually your own conscience manifesting in visible form before you, even here, in the court of karma, you can obtain liberation. If not, the dull lights that are the pathways to future rebirth in Samsara manifest before you. And you must take one of these roads. You are irresistibly drawn to one of them and the winds of karma become like a hurricane.
In this dull light the form of your old body from your previous life begins to fade away and now you will come more and more to resemble the body you will have in your future rebirth. Impulsively, you search for a place of rebirth in accordance with the unconscious propensities of your karma. Finally, you will see your future parents mating and you will feel attracted to them. Depending on whether you will be reborn in a male or a female body, you will feel sexual attraction toward one parent and aggression and jealousy toward the other parent. At the moment of conception, when the white element, the sperm of your father, unites with the red element, the egg of your mother, you will be irresistibly drawn into the womb of your future mother. You are now about to embark on a new life in a new body.