FUNERARY RITES

Imagination precedes all.
So how do you want your body to be treated when you die? Have you donated your organs or your whole self to research? Of course you rely on others to follow your request and imagine, to put your own mind at rest, that they will!

Imagination precedes every action that we may contemplate and then put into place. How could you get up out of your chair and cross the room if you could not imagine doing it in the first place.

When considering your death you may freak out at the imagined possibilities, but then why would you? Anything sacred that existed within you when alive will be long gone and you are just the remaining physical husk!

On other planes too: How could you imagine an angel if you were not told what to expect or seen their depiction by an artist, erroneous though that representation and therefore imagination may be?

Apart from this life what about other levels of existence?
Our multiple cults and faiths all have different funerary expectation and consequences. Certain North American Nations would suspend their dead on six foot high platforms waiting for the eagle to come to take the Soul, which they refer to as spirit, away to heaven.

At the sight of the eagle they would turn their backs during this very personal and private moment in the afterlife of the deceased. Whether the eagle actually came, or the tribe were told by the Shaman that it had materialised, must be left to the imagination!

Others imagine that the white buffalo will come to take the soul away to the North American equivalent of Nirvana. And we know from recent times following the misguided imagination of cult leaders there have been mass suicides at the prospect of the end of the world or the threatened destruction of their imagined and elected way of life.

Suicide is a sin by the way, for the benefit of those who believe that there is no such thing as sin, not on the Logos, God, but on the Soul which if you like is ultimately onto God since the Soul remains a part of God before, during and after life, but the Soul feels it most as a denial.

But back to death:
We know that for very good reasons, such as in hot countries without morgue or refrigerated rooms, the deceased must be buried as quickly as possible whereas in places in northern climes the practice is more relaxed and it can be a week or more before interment or cremation, especially when post mortems are in order to ascertain the cause of death.

I remember taking a boat at 05.00 hours on the bank of the Ganges at Varanasi for the boatman to row us up and down past the Ghats from the yellow painted house where people could come to stay who were about to die and from the posh electric crematorium to the open fires where the ashes were sifted over by the senior surviving relative for any gold teeth or rings before being scattered in the holy river. We won’t go into the reasons for that ritual.

There may be many valleys of the dead where bodies of both humans and animals are left for the vultures and other scavengers to clean the carcasses of the dead that serve two functions:

One to deal with the dead and the other to keep the wildlife alive, which in certain areas with clean up operations in progress and the use of the valleys for other purposes, the bodies are dealt with in other ways and the wildlife is left to starve to death and is now in danger of becoming extinct. You see we either shoot them or starve them and as usual we are good at causes but crap at realising the effects that we create!

Some still embalm the powerful, famous, infamous or saintly and encase the preserved bodies in sealed caskets whether transparent for display or solid for seclusion and preservation for the imagined afterlife as in Ancient Egypt.

If we do not cremate our dead but bury them in wooden boxes that with the climate in our country are soon sodden with rain which allows the creatures of the earth to invade and consume the remains.

Just imagine the effect that this could have when those who died from contagious diseases are buried in this way leaching bacterias or viruses into the soil instead of being consumed cleanly with no contamination by fire.

I know which funerary rite I would prefer my heirs to follow on my behalf and have said so in my will, so that there will be no argument. Incidentally the Soul chose this life with all its consequences including a possibly long and painful passing so I do not believe in assisted euthanasia or whatever else would be the politically correct term for what is still seen as the sin of suicide by the Soul.
Make sure you state your choices before you pass. In short – do it now – for you never know when your time will come. Just to keep everyone happy you understand!
Love, David

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About David

Devonian writer
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