Ours is the first culture to pathologize an interest in death. — Joanna Ebenstein
If our worldview, composed of our beliefs, attitudes and values, determines our experience of life then we would want a healthy and life-affirming worldview—wouldn’t we? And as many of us suspect, our attitude vis-à-vis death needs some work.
Shatzi Weisberger was throwing a party of a lifetime recently. It was her funeral but she pronounced it her FUN-eral. “‘Come on in,’ she said, ‘There’s lots of food. And a coffin that people are decorating.’” (1)
The principle that we are highlighting in this essay is “impermanence.” One major drawback of our ignorance of impermanence as a foundation block in the structure of reality is that we over-identify with our bodies. Some people are starting to realize that we are not our bodies and that acknowledging that truth will alleviate human suffering.
“Nearly a million people have downloaded the starter kit for the Conversation Project, a guide to discussing plans for the end of life. Others use the popular WeCroak app, which sends five daily reminders that we are going to die.” (1) Death is no laughing matter. Or is it?
Joanna Ebenstein, a graphic designer in Brooklyn, started a blog called Morbid Anatomy, highlighting ways different cultures represented death. “Only in the United States, she said, were images of death absent from art and daily life.” (1)
If we are going to have a conversation about death in America, it might as well be based on the truth. To find out what that is, click on the link below.
Insight # 60: Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. — Steve Jobs
- Death in The ABC’s of Simple Reality, The Encyclopedia of Self-Transformation, Vol I (2018), by Roy Charles Henry.
- Leland, John. “They Say Death Has Gotten a Bum Rap.” The New York Times. June 24, 2018, page 32.