Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Death
- It's unfortunate that Jens Bjørneboe didn't live
long enough to write about cryonics. He would have had a real ball with that.
Mike H wrote:
>"...The fear of death is the great night casting its shadow over the
>American paradise. Thomas Wolfe has described it unforgettably. And
>the future's first social task must then be to produce a race of
>humans too dull to know about death.
>Many feel instinctively that this is a very high price to pay for
>It may be appropriate here to recall a burial custom which has long
>been on the rise in the United States. It is a variation on lying in
>state which has a very strange effect on unprepared Europeans.
>Before cremation the corpse is taken under treatment by skilled
>beauticians. He or she is made up and treated with injections to
>restore a life-like roundness and color, the hair is arranged to look
>as much as possible as it would after a car trip or before a party,
>the eyes are opened and given a sheen, and the deceased is dressed in
>party clothes or a sports outfit, according to the person's taste and
>character. The corpse is then set in its accustomed place in the
>family living room, with a glass, an apple or a cigarette in its
>hand, its favorite phonograph records are played, its picture taken.
>Then follows the funeral.
>This - and much else - has not come about by itself. All such
>phenomena are unconscious reflections of the American view of life.
>Whether one is putting makeup on corpses or apples is immaterial.
>When a people wash themselves so much outwardly, says Thomas Wolfe,
>inwardly they must be very slovenly indeed. Washing promotes health
>and well-being, washing prolongs life. The healthier you are and the
>longer you live, the more pleasure you can squeeze out of the
>material paradise. Add artificial pineapple flavor to the pineapple
>and smear pink plastic color over it all; for under us, behind us,
>off the dance floor, outside the neon light, the Meaningless One lies
>in wait! Death, the only true snake in Eden!..."
>The above in contrast to this below, that says that it is "luckier"
>to die. As opposed to the utter denial of most of the comsumer
>"...What do you think has become of the young and old men?
>And what do you think has become of the women and children?
>They are alive and well somewhere,
>The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
>And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the
>end to arrest it, And ceas'd the moment life appear'd.
>All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
>And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.
>Has any one supposed it lucky to be born?
>I hasten to inform him or her it is just as lucky to die, and I know
>I pass death with the dying and birth with the new-wash'd babe, and
>am not contain'd between my hat and boots, And peruse manifold
>objects, no two alike and every one good, The earth good and the
>stars good, and their adjuncts all good.
>I am not an earth nor an adjunct of an earth,
>I am the mate and companion of people, all just as immortal and
>fathomless as myself, They do not know how immortal, but I know..."
>Walt Whitman [song of myself]
>Posted by Mike