“Mourning and Remembrance Without an Afterlife Safety Net”

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”

“Will I Go Gentle?”

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?”


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

‘Being the Smoke’: One Man’s Choice to Be Cremated Under the Open Sky

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

“Burying the Dead Monuments”

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”