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Does a person retain their individuality after death?
My question has to do with death. My 36-year-old sister recently—and mysteriously—died. We were all very shocked, and members of my family now have dreams in which she is trying to contact them. Sometimes I can feel my sister as though she were inside me and is a part of me in some way that I can't describe. Can you please explain this to me? Does a person retain their individual form and personality in some way after death?
People, places, and things in dreams are always symbolic and represent the wishes of the dreamer. This is true of all perceptual experiences whether they seem to be daily life encounters, nighttime dreams, visions, apparitions, near "death" experiences, etc. The script is a motion picture of beliefs. Your sister appearing in family members' dreams is an example of consciousness drawing forth witnesses to what is believed. You can feel the connection within, and this is an indication of your awareness that Truth is within. You do not need a specific symbol and therefore do not perceive your sister in that way.
Death seems to be something that happens in form, and the world looks to form for "causes" of death. Yet nothing of the world is causative. The ego and death are synonymous, and the ego is nothing but a false belief. Mind is causative and powerful, and when faith is given to a false belief, it appears to make a world of opposites that seem real to the perceiver. Birth and death seem to be beginning and ending points to the world, but distorted perception simply seems to continue on and on, until Atonement is accepted for the dream of the world. Personality or "individual” identity is part of the self-concept or make-believe little identity which the ego holds out as replacement for True Identity as Christ. Your feeling that your sister is “inside [you] and a part of [you] in some way that [you] can't describe” comes from the belief that you are more than a personality, and life is more than the body. As you approach true forgiveness, the body will grow increasingly unimportant in your perception, and you will have experiences of the vastness of mind.
You have asked if a person retains their individual form and personality in some way after death. In this sense of the word, "death”—as used by the world—is a continuation. For until there is a change of mind—the acceptance of Self as Changeless, Divine Mind—distorted and limited perception continues without break or interruption. It is not so much that a person retains a personality. It is rather that the belief in a private mind with private thoughts generates a mask or persona, which is called by the deceived mind "person/personality." In Awakening from the belief in separation (which is also the belief in private minds and private thoughts), the mind first forgives and sees itself as single and whole. Beyond this healed Perspective is the Abstract Oneness of Heaven. In approaching complete forgiveness, you will make many self-concepts along the way. Each one will feel more free and expansive than the last, for each one will increasingly reflect the connectedness of mind and the lack of importance of the body. As it becomes apparent that you are mind, wholly mind, purely mind, the concept of the body will fade and grow dim and disappear from awareness. What remains is Abstract Light, and the Light of God is our Eternal Home.
All Glory to God for creating All as One.