The Silver Cord

by Joshua Tilghman on February 13, 2013

If you’ve ever had a near death experience (NDE) or tried astral projection, you may have seen the silver cord. The silver cord is often referred to as the “life thread” because it supplies energy to the physical body. If the silver cord is severed, the physical body can no longer be sustained and dies.

I had a conversation last week with a Christian about the silver cord. She told me she was raised by her Nanny who experienced an NDE in the hospital. Her Nanny stated that she was floating near the ceiling of the hospital room watching her body on the operating table. After floating around she grabbed the silvery-looking cord still attached to her and used to it to pull herself back into her physical body.

“I know it sounds like New Age misinformation,” my friend assured me, “but my Nanny was the most sincere person you could ever know.”

I told my friend not to worry. It wasn’t misinformation at all; the silver cord is known about in many religious circles, and it’s even in the Bible. A shocked look spread across her face, so I showed her the scripture:

“Or ever the silver cord be loosed…Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:6-7).

The Bible clearly supports the teachings of many Eastern religions; if the silver cord is severed, your consciousness can no longer be filtered through the physical vessel. Many Christian commentaries, such as the one written by the evangelist John Wesley, suggest that this silver cord mentioned in Ecclesiastes is referring to the spinal column. This is a poor interpretation. The Hebrew for “loosed” indicates that which is completely removed from the person, not just a breaking of the spinal column.

The Appearance and location of the silver cord

People usually describe the silver cord as a wispy, etheric-looking filament about one inch in diameter. It’s silvery-grayish in color, and seems to have infinite elasticity, stretching on as far as the astral (emotional) body travels. It is connected to the heart chakra in each of the subtle bodies. A lot of people report seeing the silver cord attached to the head, but perhaps they are confusing this with the consciousness thread that is attached to the crown chakra.

The function of the silver cord

The sole purpose of the silver cord, or life thread, is to provide the subtle and physical bodies with vital energy. Think of it as a sort of umbilical cord. Just like a baby has an umbilical cord that receives and transfers physical nutrients from the mother, the silver cord serves as a sort of energetic umbilical cord to receive and transfer Prana. Prana is a Sanskrit term meaning “life.” Without Prana, or spirit, the physical body could not operate as it does. This is why once the silver cord is severed, the physical body has no choice but to die.

I like to think of the physical body as a sensitive electromagnetic vehicle which filters and grounds spiritual energy and consciousness. By filter I mean that higher (subtle) energy is stepped-down (by chakras) through each subtle body until it manifests in the physical body. Denser matter is the most restrictive, so energy and consciousness is more limited in the physical body than in our subtle bodies. Although the physical body is more restrictive, it provides a highly varied experience for consciousness, so more restriction isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

What happens when the silver cord is severed—i.e., true physical death

According to esoteric literature, true physical death occurs when the silver cord is severed. So what happens next? While it is true that different people have different experiences, we can discuss these experiences in two ways. After the death of the physical body, consciousness resumes in our more subtle emotional bodies. Depending on the development of one’s consciousness, the emotional world can be a pleasant experience or an unpleasant one. If a person is holding on to a lot of emotional negativity and desire, the experience on the emotional plane isn’t going to be as pleasant because there is no physical body to damper or restrict these emotions. In other words, strong emotional desires would seem amplified without the restriction of the physical body. Imagine having an uncontrollable desire that can’t be quenched! This is the true “hellish” experience that religion really speaks of. Hell is not the eternal abode of the dead like many Christians believe. It is simply an impermanent experience in the cycle between incarnations.

Someone whose consciousness operates with higher emotions will have a more pleasant experience on the emotional plane. But this state isn’t permanent either. The emotional body will eventually die too. Like the physical body, the astral body is subject to the law of impermanence.

The death of the emotional body is known as the second death in religious literature. Beyond this second death, individual consciousness may or may not sleep (remain conscious). Again, it depends on the level of mental consciousness the person has developed through their many incarnations. In Corinthians the Apostle Paul states:

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep…” (1 Cor. 15:51).

By “sleep” Paul means that not everyone remains conscious after physical death.

If the consciousness is developed enough in the mental body, consciousness is regained after the second death and the individual experiences the mental plane. It is believed that this is a more blissful experience because thoughts instantly manifest. It is possible that this will be a “heavenly” experience.

It is silly for the church to teach a cut and dry version of one heaven and hell. Even the Apostle Paul said he was taken up to the “third heaven.” Doesn’t it make more sense that there can be different degrees of both heaven and hell. Ultimately, the experiences are more subjective than objective, and largely dependent upon the development of one’s consciousness.

The silver cord, then, isn’t just connected to the etheric and physical body. It is connect to all the subtle bodies and serves to transfer spirit to all of them.

Closing thoughts

I would like to mention a closing thought on the original Bible verses from Ecclesiastes at the beginning of this post. It told us that the body returns to dust, but the spirit goes back to God. The spirit going back to God is speaking of the life-force of the highest self returning to source where it rests before another incarnation. This represents the sum-total of all that we are, and includes the energy that made up the temporary physical, emotional, and mental bodies that we used to develop consciousness through our former experiences.

Personally, I believe it would do the world a lot of good to learn these esoteric truths rather than the watered down version of spiritual things we are usually taught in church. Not everything taught in church is bad, it is just incomplete. In order to get the bigger picture, the esoteric interpretation is needed. I believe that a vast majority of Christians are ready for these teachings. They are certainly a better alternative than the typical salvation messages that are being preached today. These salvation messages usually do not end up raising the consciousness of church goers. In fact, it often times lowers it, because many seekers believes that in the watered down message they have already received the prize and give up seeking higher truth.

We should never give up on our development. It should be an eternal endeavor.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert February 14, 2013 at 1:04 am

Holy synchronicity, I was just reading about the silver chord for the first time two days ago and wondering about Paul’s description in the bible of what traditionalists call the rapture , whether it had some connection to higher consciousness. Also I had no idea the silver chord was mentioned in the bible. This blog is an encouragement to deal with emotional negativity and desire in our present life cycles, rather than being stuck with the unpleasant residue in between reincarnations.


Joshua Tilghman February 14, 2013 at 10:15 pm


Robert, that’s great. The Rapture definitely has to do with higher consciousness, not flying in the air to meet Christ. The Christ is developed within. No need to fly anywhere.

And thanks for your kind words. Maintaining this blog has taught me as much as it will ever teach anyone else.



Sam Ward February 14, 2013 at 8:36 am

Hi there, lovely read & I’ve learned from this, so thank you for this article,

you’ve helped as i understood the spiritual aspect as i often go places in my sleep (astral projection) but never quite made the link between what I’ve experienced and that which is spoke about in the scriptures, due to ill-teachings in the churches/establishments, but now after reading this i can fully see the link.

So i ‘d just like to thank you again, keep up the great work you’re doing Joshua, lots of light energy coming your way!

Jah Bless



Joshua Tilghman February 14, 2013 at 10:24 pm


Glad you were able to put two and two together. For the longest time the Bible remained an enigma to me. I am sure parts of it still are. It’s a book almost too vast for any of us in our limited physical existence to completely comprehend, but if we can get but glimpses of its truths, we’re sure to grow.

Thanks for commenting.


J Tom Harris February 14, 2013 at 9:38 am

Again please go to:
The official site of Master Path, The Divine Science of Light and Sound
“The Kingdom of God Within You” Accessed through the Third Eye and Crown Charkras
Charkras-Energy centers,or plexuses, with in the five- bodied human-entity: serves to
regulate all physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual functions.


Joshua Tilghman February 14, 2013 at 10:40 pm


I finally had a chance to check out masterpath. I enjoyed reading the article on the differences between prayer, contemplation, and meditation. In esoteric literature, contemplation has always been the highest path, which is different than mental concentration. I will visit the site some more and read up on what he states about sound. Thanks for sending the link. I look forward to learning something new.



Rhonda February 14, 2013 at 7:36 pm

A very interesting article, Joshua.
I agree with your final statement…”We should never give up on our development. It should be an eternal endeavour.”
It made me think of an email conversation I had with one of my sisters this past week. She had sent me an email expressing grief at my (as she perceived it) “throwing the baby out with the bath water…literally”…Though she stepped out of the religious denomination we grew up in, she still thinks along very traditional lines! At the end of my reply I wrote…
” A long time ago I asked God to reveal religion in me…religious attitudes…and to rid me of them. I have been seeking with heart and mind laid open and bare to KNOW HIM…to know LOVE for LOVE is what ‘He’ IS. I have absolute faith in ‘His’ ability to lead me “into all truth” for “You have no need of any man to teach you, for the spirit of God abides in you and will lead you into all truth.”. LEAD…this is a process of progression…and since my God is Eternal and Infinite I have no doubt the process of progression into truth/love/light will also be eternal and infinite.”
Thank you for all the work you put into these blogs, Joshua. I’m sure all of us who read them look forward to each new one.


Joshua Tilghman February 14, 2013 at 10:42 pm


I very much enjoy reading your comments. And it sounds like you and I have asked God for the same things in our past.



Laurie February 15, 2013 at 7:32 am

I learned something New today from your article. :) Thank you!

I had the same conversation that Rhonda and Joshua had. I believe that’s a part of the Journey as well. I said “God, if this is you (looking at religion, it’s system and bondage) I want no part of you and won’t worship you. BUT… If you are real, then YOU have to teach me the truth”.

It was a turning point. I think it’s one of the biggest turning points for us to step out of our “Ego” and surrender.

I also agree with what Robert said. I no longer look back at my time in a Fundamentlist Church as BAD or EVIL. I truly see, that it was all a part of the Journey. To go farther into that…I no longer take it personally when someone still in that mindset tries to fix me. I can see past that Ego (from them and from how I used to see it) and truly see that it’s part of their Journey (and mine as well). I don’t need to fix them either. Nor save them. We both are right where we are supposed to be in our Journeys. That is just a little glimpse of “The Peace that passes all understanding”.

I’m loving the Articles and equally the Comments. Thanks to all!


Robert February 15, 2013 at 1:37 am

I think experiencing the role of \”skeptic with a good motive\” like Rhonda\’s sister and experiencing the \”seeker of truth\” like Rhonda are both valuable to the developing consciousness. When the skeptic becomes the seeker, the seeker has the opportunity to transcend annoyance with another skeptic by realizing that the opportunity to play both roles teaches something to the developing soul, and that both roles are worthy of respect and have value toward development. Also if a seeker who has been a skeptic then finds themselves in a situation where they are skeptical of another, they learn to proceed with respect and value to the other . A calmness and deeper value of of the term \”namaste\” is thus learned.


Joshua Tilghman February 16, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Another good point, Robert!


selina February 15, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Joshua, Thanks for this, though I know about the silver cord I did not know about this being in the bible, nor would any one else I know as this is something new I have learned today thanks to you. Love and light always Selina x


Joshua Tilghman February 16, 2013 at 1:10 pm

My pleasure, Selina. Blessings.


Christine Hoeflich February 16, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Thanks Joshua! I did not know much about the silver cord, just that when it is severed, that means the soul has left the physical body and the body then dies. I am so so glad that the Christian community is waking up to these truths and that the world can now take the next steps in its development towards greater peace and Love! And thanks Josh for your significant contribution!


anny July 15, 2013 at 8:14 am

Hi Joshua,

Although I did know about the silver cord and even that it is mentioned in the bible, I find this a very enlightening article. Can you also shed some light on the golden bowl, or the pitcher at the fountain and the wheel at the cistern that are to be broken when the silver cord is loosed, as mentioned in the same verse? I could always imagine the silver cord as some sort of umbilical cord as you say as well but it never became clear to me what these other things had to do with it.


mark September 9, 2013 at 6:48 pm

I have seen the silver cord you speak of. I make a report of the ufo sighting on mufons web site. I beleve the date of the report was made was somewhere around sept. 2011. I watched this object for sometime when I first saw it looked like a silver and black blob of metal moving like water about 300 ft. off the ground. a silver tail started to grow out of this object in a very jagged manor about 15-20 ft. long then the object promptly vanished and a old fashioned looking rocket appeared white in color. I watched this object for about 3 min. until it was out of site.


Godchild January 9, 2014 at 4:06 pm

I was rasied in a largely fundamentalist, cessationist background (dogma being that the “age of spiritual (miraculous) gifts has passed with the apostolic age.
I however in my walk with God have experienced His power otherwise.
I think it began in college with cloudbursting.
Then one day, by his power, I stopped the rain.
I have experienced glossolalia but once (my ‘tradition’ generally rejects modern-day tongue speaking)
which bestowed upon me the power in faith to heal my daughter where physicians had failed.
I saw in my son, and prophesied that I was raising up a prophet.
He to my surprise was an angel incarnate. Always prophesing unto us “you are delivered”, and “Daddy. you have favor!”. He would build crosses with blocks and diapers; and Hallelujahs were forever upon his lips.

One day he in turn prophesied to me that “The sad man is coming. I am going to die daddy; I am going to die.

One week later. my beautiful, healthy, vibrant son was dead.

He was 2 years old.

Fast forward less than two months to the night(morning) of January 6, 2014.

In anguish for my sons, (I lost my first son as an infant in 2009), as I slept, it seemed I left my body.
When I realized what was happening,vI feared looking back, lest I get snatched back into my body out of fear.
So I chose to move forward after that, and decided I would go outside. I went through my window out into the egde of the forest through the trees. That is when I turned and saw my beautiful glowing slilver and white cord. an electrical. etherial glow; almost blue in its radiance.
Then I hovered through the walls of some neighbors it would seem.
My consciousness was so expanded, I filled the upperbpart of the rooms and could see the beams in the walls!


Godchild January 9, 2014 at 4:14 pm

Correction: it is flawed for me to say my influence by the Unseen began in college; for, especially in my early youth, I have always been a dreamer of things of deeper meaning, or events yet to come.


Joshua Tilghman January 12, 2014 at 12:50 pm


Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. The silver cord is very real.

I must say the information about your son breaks my heart. I am truly sorry for your loss, and you are a very strong person to be able to discuss the topic. My prayers go out to you.


anonymous March 20, 2014 at 10:47 am

this website contains a lot of info (esoteric) :

please do take time, it is a lot

Kind Love.


Joshua Tilghman March 22, 2014 at 11:22 pm

Thanks, anonymous. I will check it out!


Book Reader April 13, 2014 at 1:26 pm

I had an experience while attending a Pentecostal summertime church camp when I was 19. There was a church service on one of the nights, and it was a lovely time with sincere hearts praising a God. I experienced two visions that night. The first was seeing the Shekinah Glory of a Gods Spirit as it manifested as a smoky glittery cloud up above everyone, close to the ceiling. After staring at this magnificent sight I emotionally felt Unity with God. Then I saw a silver chord go through each person. Seeing this vision and feeling the Unity of a God and with everyone else, it was a beautiful experience.

This experience has made me hyper sensitive to attitudes that people hold onto, which cause division, and self promotion. It breaks down this beautiful sense of a Unity. Sad. In fact, it’s a huge sense of loss and violation of a higher level if relating that the a Holy Spirit has to offer.

I was hoping to find a picture on the web that might be close to what I saw but I find asto- projection topics instead. I will have to draw it myself. It was interesting to read this article. Thank you.



Patricia L. Loranger December 15, 2014 at 4:52 pm

I am a Christian believer, the Holy Spirit gives me the interpretation of dreams & visions. I often practice this gift when other believers bring me their dreams & ask me to interpret for them. When I read your vision I had the interpretation to your vision. When you had the vision of the Glory of God manifested as a smoky glittering cloud, what you saw was Christ who is the head of the Church. Then you saw the vision of the silver cord go through every believer this is all Christians being connected to the body of Christ as one in the Spirit with Christ. All Christians are adopted into the family of God when we accept Christ as our Lord (For as the body is one & has many members, but all the members of that one body being many are one body so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jew or Greek whether slave or free we have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. 1 Cor. 12:12 – 14) So the interpretation of your vision, of the silver cord attaching all Christian believers together is ” all Christians are one family in Christ Jesus”.


Joshua Tilghman April 24, 2014 at 8:36 am

Book Reader,

A very awesome experience! Thanks for sharing.


Bill houdeshell January 18, 2015 at 4:36 pm

Friend said to me that he saw a silver thread between me and another person… Please can anyone help with this question…. Thanks. Bill


Joshua Tilghman January 19, 2015 at 7:28 pm

Hi Bill. I’ve never heard of the same silver cord being connected to more than one person before. I wouldn’t know how to answer, but if you find out please feel free to return and let us know what you discovered.


Janelle March 16, 2015 at 3:53 pm

Ok a while back while I was reading in Ecclesiastes I had a vision that I was in a huge dark space. It was almost like the universe without the lights. And there was a loud humming sound. Then I seen a silver cord suspending down out of thin air.The silver cord gave off a brilliant bright light. Then I seen the cord break. It was so weird and while I was there it seemed like time stood still. I honestly think that God was revealing his word to me. But I dont understand it yet and was hoping someone could interpret the vision.


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