In other traditions too, there are explicit festivals, opportunities to make friends, or at least make peace, with death.
Reincarnation, that is, the ancestors come back in our descendants.
Incorporation - maybe there is a better word for this - that is, the spirit can not die, just as matter (mass/energy) in physics is not created or destroyed, but this goes beyond conservation, just as dead plants are food and fodder, mulch and manure...
|Egungun Dancers. Photo credit: sunnewsonline.com|
Some examples of incorporation:
- If you loved or were loved, then you invade your companion(s) and they imbibe your essence. They continue your life in this act of solidarity. I think of it as eating the hearts of the dead, cannibal-like, gaining their powers and their support. Have you ever done this - eaten someone's heart, symbolically or not? Sometimes they choose us, it's weird.
- If you did great or small works, you live on in the imprint, the impact and the tales. Sometimes the tales multiply a tree into a forest. You continue to manipulate the world from beyond the grave.
- If you had children, voila, you left a small or big piece of you in them. Should I have put this example first?
|Mexican Day of the Dead: November 2|
Another model: Heaven and eternal life in another place. I nearly forgot.
In time for Halloween, I created a cover for my fifth little book. It's called Monsters. I regret that there are a few misplaced pixels in the cover art, maybe you won't notice.
I hope the front, the back, and the contents scare the crap out of you.
Tradition has it that when Jesus Christ was 33, the same age I am now, well, you know what happened. The ultimate contempt.
He had to go, the people thought.
They got rid of him.
They beat him up, then killed him slowly and publicly.
He only came back stronger.
I used to think (around ten years ago) that I would be that person that pissed off the existing order so much that prison would be a second home. It looks like I don't have to worry about that any more. The world has changed. The world has learned to tolerate rebels, I think.