Apart, however, from the Masses said for the soul in the Catholic Church, the provisions we make for the dead are rudimentary and on the lowest level, not because we cannot convince ourselves of the soul’s immortality, but because we have rationalized the above-mentioned psychological need out of existence.
We behave as if we did not have this need, and because we cannot believe in a life after death we prefer to do nothing about it.
Simpler-minded people follow their own feelings, and, as in Italy, build themselves funeral monuments of gruesome beauty.
The Catholic Masses for the soul are on a level considerably above this, because they are expressly intended for the psychic welfare of the deceased and are not a mere gratification of lachrymose sentiments.
But the highest application of spiritual effort on behalf of the departed is surely to be found in the instructions of the Bardo Thodol.
They are so detailed and thoroughly adapted to the apparent changes in the dead man’s condition that every serious-minded reader must ask himself whether these wise old lamas might not, after all, have caught a glimpse of the fourth dimension and twitched the veil from the greatest of life’s secrets. ~Carl Jung, Psychology and Religion, Page 524, Para 855.