Everything born of duality inherits the quality of dualism. That is,
all things of this world, and the ‘other world’, have a dual nature.
Thus, it can be stated that something which is seen can also be unseen,
and that which is unseen can be seen. That which is known can be unknown,
and that which is unknown can be known.
If someone tells you that they have seen a spirit or ghost, is it really
possible? If they see a ghost but you do not, does the ghost really exist
or not? The ghost may really exist in their mind but not in yours. Similarly,
someone can deliberately imagine a ghost exists, but really know it does
not, but can still convince you that it does. Now the ghost really exists
in your mind but not in the mind of the other. As you can see, whether
the ghost exists or not depends only on whether or not the mind perceives
As stated earlier, all created things have a dual nature. Thus, we can
say that if someone sees a ghost but someone else does not, then it can
be stated that a ghost can be seen and the ghost cannot be seen. The
evidence of the existence of the ghost is real in the mind of the one
who perceives the ghost. This perception is a perception of the mind only,
and the mind (which by its very nature has the quality of duality) can
perceive correctly or incorrectly; that is, its perception may be true
or false. The nature of perception, whether true perception or false
perception, can only be grasped by that which is distinct from the mind—and
that is pure consciousness.
One whose consciousness is pure will not have a distorted perception
and will be able to distinguish between what is real and what is unreal.
Ghosts are unreal. This means they have no real existence. Their existence
depends only on whether or not the mind perceives them. The mind that
perceives a ghost is the mind that is caught up in false perception. This
doesn’t mean that the ghost is unreal to those who perceive it. Certainly
the ghost is real for them, and remains real for them so long as they
continue to perceive it. This false perception is not the same thing
as imagination. It is not correct to say that they imagine a ghost exists
(though some people may only imagine it). There are people who really
do see ghosts, but again, this perception is false. For example, if someone
sees a rope in the dark and mistakes the rope for a snake, they may say
they have seen a snake and really believe it is so. They are convinced
that they have seen a snake and no one can convince them otherwise. But
the same rope if seen in the light would not be perceived as a snake at
all, but only as a rope. Similarly, when one is ignorant of the knowledge
of ATMAN (soul) one may believe in ghosts, but when one is enlightened
with the knowledge of ATMAN one perceives correctly and knows for certain
that ghosts do not exist, have never existed, and can never exist.
The mind is an incredible instrument whose workings are barely understood.
But even if we consider only the information (about the mind) currently
available to us we can begin to understand how it can be stated that “the
ghost exist, the ghost does not exist.” For example, it is well known
that certain drugs can alter one’s perception and cause the state known
as hallucination, which basically means that we see something that exists
but which really doesn’t exist. A person who is hallucinating will actually
see things that others do not see. The person is not imagining what he
or she sees—they actually see it, even though it does not actually exist
except in their mind. Clearly, it is possible for someone to hallucinate
without the use of drugs. This self-induced hallucination is a state
of mind. False perception and false knowledge propagate one another and
produce more hallucination. All are the product of ignorance.
When we say that ghosts are the product of ignorance we are not saying
that all those who claim to have seen a ghost are ignorant. They may
very well be intelligent people, but they are certainly not enlightened.
A person can possess a great deal of intellectual acumen and still live
in self-deception and self-delusion.
Ghosts have no power except the power we give them. Similarly, ego is
just a paper tiger; it has no power except the power we give it. Ego
is really a ghost, and all ghosts are really the apparitions of ego only.
Where there is no ego, there are no ghosts either. But when the phantom
of ego is validated in the mind, one will be haunted by one’s memories,
images, and impressions and will suffer from many misconceptions. These
misconceptions will produce more misperceptions and false knowledge, and
this vicious cycle will continue until it is interrupted by the dawn of
The mind is enlightened with Wisdom. To remove false perception, wisdom
is absolutely necessary. Everyone should fill the mind with the knowledge
of the Soul to dispel once and for all the mythology of ghosts, goblins,
“How can you be so sure that ghosts do not exist? Just because you have
never seen one it doesn’t mean that others have not seen them.”
I am certain that ghosts do not exist just as I am certain that the Earth
is round and not flat, even though I have never actually traveled all
the way around it. With my little knowledge of science I realize that
the earth could not be a flat disk but must be spherical in nature. Likewise,
with my little knowledge of the Soul I realize that the existence of ghosts
is not possible. Soul-knowledge (ATAMGYAAN) gives me the following insights:
- Soul is eternal and unchangeable. Soul has never been born, nor has
it ever died.
- The Spirit-self is never born and never dies but is manifested in
the form of Prana (Life Force). This (Spirit-self) is the PURUSH.
- The living soul, JIVATMAN, is born when PURUSH (Spirit) is joined
with PRAKRITI (Nature).
- This Jiva (living being) is accompanied by ego, intellect, mind, senses
- The Jiva ‘dies’ when the body disintegrates (when the body’s integrated
components: Fire, Water, Earth, Air, and Space are pulled apart by forces
inherent in PRAKRIT) according to the law of Cause and Effect (KARMA).
- By the same law of Cause and Effect, the Jiva is born again.
- The Jiva continues to revolve in a seemingly endless cycle of birth,
life, and death so long as it remains caught up in Cause and Effect.
- When the Jiva dies, the mind does not die, nor do the senses, intellect
or ego. These elements accompany the Jiva through all its existences.
- When the Jiva is enlightened it gains control over all these elements
and ceases to be bound by the law of Cause and Effect: which means that
it is no longer compelled by the law of Cause and Effect to be reborn.
This only happens when the Jiva has purified the ‘inner organ’ (Antarkarana
comprised of ego, intellect, mind, and senses) to the point that the
physical body (the ‘outer organ’) is no longer automatically (by the
force of Nature) manifested or born.
- If the Jiva is not enlightened, it is automatically reborn at the
time of death by the force of Nature. The unenlightened Jiva has no
choice in this matter.
- The Jiva is never trapped in between the state of death and life,
because no such state exists. Either the Jiva is enlightened or not.
Either you are embodied or not.
- The spirit of the Jiva is the pranic energy of which the Jiva is
the embodiment. In other words, the Jiva is the manifestation of the
Spirit Self joined with Nature and there is no separate ‘spirit’ from
- The Jiva is the embodiment of Consciousness in the unconscious matter.
The Spirit Self, in the form of the Jiva, cannot exist in a disembodied
state except in the state of Liberation (Moksha or Enlightenment). In
other words, there is no such thing as a ‘spirit’ (which generally refers
to a ‘being’ possessed of and by ego, intellect, mind and senses,
through which it functions but is supposedly able to do so without
a physical body. This is simply not so, because such powers are accessible
only to the enlightened.)
- The Jiva is the manifestation of the Spirit Self, and this manifestation
(Jiva) remains bound by birth, life, and death until the time of liberation.
According to the law of Cause and Effect the Jiva must be reborn unless
it has attained the state of Enlightenment.
- Death is an effect of the cause of life. (In other words, death is
a natural consequence of living.) Life (the life we are living now)
is an effect of the cause of a previous life. Death is the transition
from one life to another life—it is not the cause of another life (for
example, death by trauma cannot cause a person to become a so-called
ghost or spirit trapped between life and death). The way we live our
life will cause us to live another life too, or it (our living) will
ultimately lead to the deathless state, known as Liberation, or MOKSHA.
- Death comes naturally, according to the Law of Karma (the law of Cause
and Effect), and rebirth also comes naturally, according to the same
- There is no law (or principle of existence) that says a soul can be
trapped in a state in between death and rebirth. Only those who have
no understanding of the Law of Reincarnation (as it relates to the Law
of Karma) will believe that a being can become a ghost. A ghost is a
phantom, and a phantom is a figment of the mind only.
- The reason a being cannot become a ghost is because it would violate
the laws of Nature (the laws of Prakriti and Purush, the workings of
Matter and Non-matter). According to the laws of Nature, an unenlightened
soul must be reborn to continue to reap the results of its actions.
The only time we are not reaping the results of our actions is in the
state of deep dreamless sleep, or during the state of Samadhi, or during
the state of Moksha (Liberation).
- We pay for our Karma (words, thoughts, and deeds), that is, we reap
the rewards of our actions, while awake and while dreaming. Someone
once said that “sleep (ordinary dream-sleep) is a short death, and death
is a long sleep.” If we believe that Death is like a dream-sleep state
of mind, then we may also believe the soul stays in dream-sleep state
of mind for a period of time before it is reborn. But this dream-sleep
state of mind has nothing to do with ghosts, goblins, and spirits. The
things that happen in a dream are dream-like only; they are not ghost-like.
In other words, just as the characters in a dream have absolutely no
control over, or interaction with, people, places, or things that are
not part of the dream, in the same way, even if the soul remains in
a dream-sleep state of mind for a period of time after death, it would
not be possible for the soul to have any contact whatsoever with persons
who are living, and no one who is living could have any contact with
the person or persons that exist in the dream.
- Some people who have studied the Occult will say that a spirit or
ghost is the astral body (subtle body) and that the astral body moves
about in the astral world and sometimes interacts with persons possessing
physical bodies. This too is just a fairy tale, because the truth is
that only a free soul (one who is enlightened) is able to move about
in the Akashic dimension or plane, and such a one would only very rarely
(if at all) appear in an astral form before the eyes of mortal beings,
even before the eyes of very highly evolved mortal beings. Ordinary
people may of course have so-called out of body experiences, but these
experiences have nothing to do with ghosts or spirits. They are simply
glimpses into a different dimension of our being (the non-physical dimension)
and may occur naturally as a result of spiritual development, or unnaturally
as a result of trauma or drug use. In any case, all of these experiences
have absolutely nothing to do with ghosts or spirits.
- Some persons postulate that all experiences are recorded in the Akash,
and they say that these Akashic records can be read or viewed much like
an audio or video recording. They further postulate that it is possible
to stumble upon these recordings without realizing that what is being
experienced is a recording only, of some past (or even future) event.
In this way they explain how someone might see the figure of, for example,
a person who lived a thousand years ago during the European Dark Ages.
The Akashic record, being an exact representation of the event, will
display everything about the event exactly as it was at the time it
was recorded, right down to the fine details of the clothing, hair-style,
language, ornaments, etc. Seeing such a thing, the person who experiences
it feels that they have seen a ghost, when all they really experienced
was an Akashic record. This would explain how some persons think they
have seen, for example, a departed loved one exactly as they looked
when they were alive. For instance, someone may see a little girl who
died long ago. Obviously (that is, obviously if one has any knowledge
of the nature of the Soul), the soul (Jivatma) can never get stuck in
an image but is always evolving. We never remain the same even for
a second, but are constantly changing. Thus, a soul who was living
in the body of a little girl, and who met with an untimely death, will
naturally move onto a different life, in a different body, and (very
likely) in a different place. If someone claims to see the same girl
twenty years later, or a 100 years later, and tells us that the girl
is just as she was previously, then that person has little or no understanding
of the true nature of that little girl who died—they have no realization
that the essence of the little girl is NOT a little girl, or young girl,
or young woman, or middle aged woman, or old woman, or even a woman
at all! The soul left the body and moved on, and has already been reborn
in another form, in another time, in another place.
- When we realize the purpose of our existence and know without any
doubt that we are the children of GOD, we know for certain that the
Divine Presence is always present, has always been present, and will
always be present. Living in that Presence, or even just being conscious
of that Presence, opens our eyes to the Truth. The truth is: what is
Real is always Real, and what is unreal can never be Real.
In conclusion, everyone should banish from their mind any belief in the
existence of ghosts, goblins, and spirits. It is a total waste of time
and psychic energy to create in the mind any belief in that which is unreal.