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Sivosten webZine :: Bernard Werber: The Thanatonauts
Bernard Werber: The Thanatonauts

Author: Dimitar "Cliff" Stefanov, Thursday, 22 November 2007.

In Articles :: Literature; Propose a Second Opinion

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Je congnoys que pauvres et riches,
Sages et folz, prebstres et laiz,
Noble et vilain, larges et chiches,
Petitz et grans, et beaulx et laidz,
Dames rebrassez colletz,
De quelconque condicion,
Portant attours et bourreletz,
Mort saisit sans exception.*

I doubt if there exists a thinking creature who hasnt questioned itself about matters concerning death. What is it, how does it work exactly, what happens after that, can we escape from it Almost all religions and spiritual teachings speak of life after death, in Heaven or Hell (of the particular religion), or again on our Earth but in a different body, learning yet another lesson in the circle of reincarnations allotted to everyone.
Confirmed materialists and atheists strongly deny the possibility of a world beyond the grave. For them, anything that cant be sensed simply doesnt exist. And maybe the truth is out there, somewhere in the middle Well, in his book Bernard Werber tries to present his point of view.

Police file

Request for personal data records

Family: Werber
Name: Bernard
Hair: greyish
Eyes: brown
Height: 1.78 m
Special peculiarities: wears glasses
Notes: one of the founders of the Thanatonauts movement
Weak spot: writer

We have all heard of the visions of people who have gone through a clinical death or have come out of a coma. White tunnels, meeting friends who have died, dazzling light. These are only some of the things that can be seen, when one has a Near-Death Experience (NDE). But what happens when the President of a whole country goes through such an experience? It is most logical that he should encourage research in this field. And there is no lack of eager scientists. That is how they set out to explore the Continent of the Dead. It may sound absurd, but a few centuries ago, it sounded just as absurd that there existed a continent east of Indonesia.

Well, yes, but there was a real continent with plains, trees, animals, aborigines!"
"Thats easy to say in the 21st Century, but at that time, just imagine! To talk about the Australian lands was as strange as to look for the continent of death now.

The analogy with Australia is even more complete, because the pioneers here are also prisoners, but the stakes are incredibly higher. In the beginning, as in every experiment, the death toll is high, but soon come the first successes. After entering a comatose condition artificially (which is the easier part of the task), the volunteer must keep his connection with our world and at the same time investigate the Continent of Death in as much detail as possible. Little by little, the map of this mysterious place starts growing. Just as naturally, the prisoners give way to inquisitive people with a free spirit, and successes are quick to follow.

Revealing the secrets of death inevitably impacts people's life on Earth. Passing across seven areas (blue: of attraction and joy, black: of facing your most painful memories, red: of encountering the most perverse vices, orange: of confronting time, yellow: of the absolute knowledge, green: of the absolute beauty, and white), the soul of the dead (or the living thanatonaut) faces a trial, where it's held responsible for its actions during its earthly pilgrimage. The trial determines its reincarnation or leaving the wheel. If one has heaped up bad karma, he makes it up with his next life. He has a much harder start than people who have lived righteously. Well, with that knowledge, interesting times come to Earth. People become better, yet not because this is their way but because of petty selfishness. Suicides become the norm for those who aren't pleased with their present state of life. And why wouldn't they, knowing that what lies in store is the inevitable reincarnation in a new, better and different life. Mankind loses its will to live, evolve, advance. It merely goes with the tide, not living, but semivegetating.

The dessert in the book is, then, the moment that I believe has everyone excited by this point. What EXACTLY happens when you pass from this existence into the next? What happens if you still have lessons to learn and lives to live? What is beyond the trial in the seventh area, beyond death?

Beyond death, there is

The Thanatonauts is a book that, although at times striking me as slightly overswollen, makes for an easy read and gives interesting possible answers to even more interesting questions. Still, in order to ask the right question, you must first know the larger part of the answer.

* Francois Villone - Grand testament, XXXIX
** Translated by Kalin Nenov

Commentary topic: http://www.sivosten.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=193605#193605

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