SEE: November Zoom Cyber Room…

May be an image of book
***

A Walk with Death…

Death is one of the most important things about our lives, and yet many people have remarkably shallow views on it, preferring to settle for religious folk tales rather than using our aliveness to explore its apparent opposite.

Certain authors, including our cover image writer, Terry Pratchett, have cleverly used humour to explore this question.

Philosophical history is full of excellent accounts of the journey of death, but how will we know which are useful and which fanciful?

The Vedic and Egyptian civilisations – to name but two – had detailed descriptions of what we should expect after death.

We will be asking for guest speakers to take a ten-minute slot to give us an overview of their interpretations.

Finally, we will ask whether a spiritual understanding of life can equip us better to encounter death… and take that walk with ‘the Reaper’!

In this first of the ‘dark months’ join us for seriousness and merriment as we throw ourselves into this challenging topic!

***

‘Diana began our discussion with a reading of her poem…
The Nadir of Light
As we move toward the depth of winter, the light fades,
Weakens, moves sideways.
Rising late, thin, attenuated like a ghost,
A wraith that moves silently in mists and cloudy twilight,
The light shivers in the clear chill of icicle mornings,
And wraps itself in fleecy pastel afternoons darkening
To evening.
Darkness falls, a black drapery muffling the change of scene,
And light appears again.
Within the wilderness a fire burns, a meal is prepared.
A window glows golden and welcoming to the traveler in the night.
Above the dark earth, the jewels of the sky gleam as diamond-bright
Sequins cast upon a velvet ground.
Death stops by for chats these days;
A familiar presence come to spend a bit of time with me
While I muse and sip my tea. We are old friends by now.
Death never says much; doesn’t have to —
The wheeze in my chest says it all,
Says I am vulnerable, says I am old,
Says my friend and I are growing closer by the day.
And the days are short, and cold in winter,
And sleep seems sweet and warm, deep, enfolding
Like soft arms, or great, dark wings ….
Death is a flirt, catching my eye suggestively
Only to look away again.
It is a game we play; we both know
Which of us succumbs.
This is an ancient wooing dance we do,
A courtship ritual played out at last
In a life lived long enough to understand the partner
And the steps.
The year glides into its turn. One hemisphere enjoying
Sun and summer warmth, the other bearing a cold face,
In winter‘s grip,
The earth orb pirouettes through space
In company with the corps, the coterie of the nearest star.
And each star in its own great cycle spins,
And moves in its great pilgrimage to ending and beginning
Never-ending. The aeons in a choreography process.
The long nights draw cold, sharp as a knife, across the lives
Of the sacrificed. All that has passed is holy, and all that is to come,
And this moment, most of all;
Now is holy. The turning point
Hidden in the moment – in every moment – the potential
Is here, present, perfect
In process.
The dark stain of blood upon the snow
Marks where a creature passed into the maw of history,
And another found sustenance.
Life feeds upon itself, in constant revolution of
Darkness and light.
The scythe has passed, the husks lie empty on the cold ground;
Freed of the flesh, the warm blood no longer coursing
With the pulsing of the chambered heart,
The essence flees from light to dark;
Womb-dark, earth-dark with the richness of loam
And decay
And there, the germ of life takes fire from heaven
Within; Growth begins.
At the turn of the year, as winter claims the sacrifice
The antipodal summer reaches apex, and the light
Begins its redirection.
The apex of humanity, the conscious eye, surveys itself,
What dies and what remains and grows, and feeds upon
That which has gone before, and changes,
Unfolding possibilities.
Another year, and old bones growing colder,
Brittle, like the dry sticks feeding the fire.
Ah — grind the cinnamon into the mug, just so —
And breathe the scent of sacrifice;
The tree’s life gives spice to warm the blood.
Soon enough my essence will be freed to dance
In the space between the stars, where neither cold nor heat
Are sensed, and all is the light-filled darkness.
But for this day, in time, as the year moves to its turning,
I hold the warm liquid still in its cup, and inspiration
Brings me content,
Absorbing substance of a subtle sort.
Here, at the portal is a glimpse of immortality:
Life and Death as one moving essentiality, the spirit

Traveling, timeless and eternal, in infinity.

D.G.B.Young

***
‘What senses allow us to know someone is alive (or dead)?’
– The everyday drama dissolves and the ‘song’ of the individual emerges.
– We have something remarkable that recognises life but that is difficult to define.
– The quality of the individual is gone.
– Death is here, in the physical, and where we go when we die is life. There is unity between the two, but the physical body stands in the way.
– Death could be considered an advisor.
Lorraine presented the Druid’s view of death although there is no particular collective belief system. We come from earth and we return to earth in the cycle of life and death that is present throughout the natural world.
There is no need to fear it because it is natural and normal. She suggested that the soul/spirit returns to another place and join the realm of the Ancestors to share knowledge and wisdom gained in life experiences.
Death is to be welcomed and, in fact, willing sacrifices gave honour and nobility to their tribes in ancient times.
She added that peace comes with the transformation/transition of death and that it is a happy and joyful experience for Druids because life is then happy and full. We must live fully in the physical though, experiencing life through the senses as compensation for not being in spirit; if not, we are doing a disservice to spirit.
Kevin commented that some are advised to prepare for death with a ‘Death Working’ and, according to the Rosicrucian, the psychic body, which is developed in life, accompanies us through death, while Buddhists rehearse dying.
Luba suggested that death is like divorce in that the physical and the spiritual separate and take two separate journeys.
Steve looked at, The Myth of Osiris, as an example of a death myth – however, is Osiris actually associated with death or with life (his green-ness implies life and regeneration).
Stuart asked us to consider this from a psychological perspective where the myth changes focus, perhaps… Seth as ego, Isis as soul/spirit…
Is this myth about death?
The God of the Underworld (consider the implications of the word ‘underworld’ as foundation, basis, upholding).
The myth is about life, not death!
The form dies, but not the material and, having been dissected, Osiris does not have a lower aspect, but he does have a higher one.
And all pharaohs displayed themselves as Osiris in death. The Imperishable Star = the higher self = humanity’s royalty.’ – Recorder
***

THE OSIRIAD

Myths of Ancient Egypt

Sue Vincent

In the Two Lands of Ancient Egypt, a mythical history has been preserved. It begins with the dawn of Creation itself and spans one of the greatest stories ever to capture the heart and imagination of humankind.

In this retelling, it is Isis, the Mistress of all Magic herself, who tells the story of the sacred family of Egypt. In forgotten ages, the gods lived and ruled amongst men. Many tales were told, across many times and cultures, following the themes common to all mankind. Stories were woven of love and loss, magic and mystery, life and death. One such story has survived from the most distant times.

In the Two Lands of Ancient Egypt a mythical history has been preserved across the centuries.

“We have borne many names and many faces, my family and I. All races have called us after their own fashion and we live their stories for them, bringing to life the Universal Laws and Man’s own innermost heart. We have laughed and loved, taught and suffered, sharing the emotions that give richness to life. But for now, I will share a chapter of my family’s story. One that has survived intact through the millennia, known and remembered still, across your world. Carved in stone, written on papyrus, I will tell you of a time when my name was Isis.”

 Available for Kindle and in Paperback via Amazon UK, US and worldwide

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