I continuously dreamed of skulls — I’d be riding on a skull motorcycle, driving a skull car, living in a skull house. Because these experiences of mine were previews of death — what we will all see when Mr. Death taps us on the shoulder. The skulls express the ego death of the transcendental state … Read moreManWoman, Mr. Death and Church Punk
Recommended viewing for those interested in end-of-life issues, especially the right to die on one’s own terms, the work of death doulas and the practice of “living funerals” (or FUN-erals, in this story). Moon Manor is a true-ish comedy-drama based on the life and philosophies of Jimmy Carozzo, who also stars in the movie as … Read moreMoon Manor
Click here to listen to my recent discussion with Stephen Bradford Long on the Sacred Tension podcast, centered on the themes of mythmaking, poetic faith and nontheistic ritual/religion.
Columnist Lincoln Andrews writes for OnlySky on the secular memorial rituals he performs for his son, Josh: As a secularist, I don’t have the faux comfort of a heavenly reunion to fall back upon. As a realist, I accept that everybody, save the very famous, is forgotten within two generations. (Got a deep reservoir of … Read more“Mourning and Remembrance Without an Afterlife Safety Net”
Dale McGowan writes for OnlySky, the new secular/Humanist multimedia platform, on the vexing question of “what is it like to die?”: There are ways to diminish the fear of death and dying. Epicurus may have been the first to formally note that our existence is bounded by symmetrical eternities. We fear the eternity of nonexistence … Read more“Will I Go Gentle?”
Max Tobin reports for the BBC on recent scientific research into the state between clinical death and brain death, suggesting that the mind’s final minutes may be more active, interesting and even fun than might have been assumed.
Professor Stephen Asma writes for Aeon on the potentials of a science of the imagination: Philosophers like Ernst Cassirer and psychologists like Jung focused on the ritual or visual symbol (rather than literal language) as a way of enacting meaning. Images, objects and rituals of mythopoetic cognition are imperative rather than indicative. If we’re immersed, … Read moreImaginology
Masked vigilante/private investigator Jonathan Preest, the last atheist in Meanwhile City, prowls a literal Marketplace of Religions in this scene from the flawed but fascinating 2008 movie Franklyn.
Ruth Graham writes for the New York Times on Dr. Philip Incao’s cremation at Crestone, Colorado, which is currently the site of the only outdoor funeral pyre in the USA: Dr. Incao’s ceremony began with family members and friends laying juniper branches and flowers on the body. Incense burned in a terra cotta pot tended … Read more‘Being the Smoke’: One Man’s Choice to Be Cremated Under the Open Sky
Professor Elizabeth Scarborough muses on potential futures for discarded monumental statues: Monuments are objects designed and created intentionally to remind us of something worth honoring. According to J.B. Jackson, “A traditional monument, as the origin of the word indicates, is an object which is supposed to remind us of something important. That is to say, … Read more“Burying the Dead Monuments”