Amy Bloom tells the story of her husband, Brian, getting Alzheimer’s and wanting assisted suicide. Her search to find a way to do that led her to Dignitas, in Switzerland. Hear this intimate and frank account of the experience they go through, excerpted from her book, IN LOVE. (39 minutes) Audio excerpted courtesy of The Penguin … Read moreExit Strategy
Since moving to our new riverside neighborhood, I’ve been in the habit of leaving small memorial tokens – leaves, pieces of bark, twigs, etc. – on this tree stump along the river pathway. Very occasionally, there’s been evidence that others are likewise leaving items on the stump, though their purpose is unknown to me. This … Read moreRiverside Shrine
This evening I was intrigued to happen across an artistic memorial ritual taking place within minutes of my home. The Ishti Collective’s Returning Home ritual honors those who have returned to the earth via a symbolic ceremony involving rangoli designs and a short walking meditation, followed by a graceful dance performance.
In 2017, Burning Man’s theme was “Radical Ritual,” and the Burning Man Philosophical Center project produced a series of essays and interviews exploring the place of ritual in modern society. Here’s a section from Larry Harvey’s introductory essay: Is Burning Man a Religion? “The practical needs and experiences of religion seem to me sufficiently met … Read moreThe “Radical Ritual” Series
My new article for OnlySky explores the philosophy of radical death acceptance via the nontheistic religion of Cavesword imagined in Gore Vidal’s 1954 novel Messiah, tracing the concept back to the garden-school of Epicurus and then to the bohemian counter-culture surrounding the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam: The humanist point of view is centered on the … Read more“One life: imagining a radical acceptance of death”
Duende or Struldbrugs? Choose now. Our operators are standing by.
A new memorial ritual emerges at Green-Wood Cemetery in NYC, where people have begun leaving sticks for Rex, a Very Good Boy whose statue may date back to the year 1884.
Where is the duende? Through the empty archway a wind of the spirit enters, blowing insistently over the heads of the dead, in search of new landscapes and unknown accents: a wind with the odour of a child’s saliva, crushed grass, and medusa’s veil, announcing the endless baptism of freshly created things. – Federico Garcia … Read more“Where is the Duende?”
An excerpt from this classic of the ’60s counterculture: How to Start Your Own Religion First, decide with whom you will make the voyage of discovery. If you have a family, certainly you will include them. If you have close friends, you will certainly want to include them. The question, with whom do I league … Read more“Start Your Own Religion” (Timothy Leary, 1967)
Gaiman has written of his Death character that: The mythology of “Sandman” (…) includes in it seven entities who are not gods, who are not worshiped, but are essentially more powerful than gods, because gods die when they are forgotten, but the Endless are always there, and one of those seven is Death. (…) I … Read moreDeath of the Endless (“The Sandman”, 2022)