Bio-Cremation

I’d prefer this method if I had to be cremated. But, at this point in my life I’d actually like to have a living wake (a funeral type of get together while I’m still alive) and have my body tossed into a hole in the ground, as is. Or just throw it into the deep ocean. Having a gravestone is a huge expense and not usually welcome in cemeteries these days. So, I’d rather have no stone at all if I can’t have some grandly romantic and mysterious sculptured gravemarker.

Likely, bio-cremation is the closest I will get to what I’d plan for myself. But, once I’m dead it really is up to whoever has to dispose of my body at that time. We (or I at least) don’t know how or where we are going to end up (literally end).

Bio-cremation is the funeral industry–approved term for alkaline hydrolysis, a method of corpse disposal in which lye and water are heated under pressure, dissolving flesh and leaving only bone fragments and whatever surgical oddments the body contained. The process is often faster than traditional cremation and costs about the same, and the end product takes up less space than a standard burial. Bio-­cremation’s unique selling point, however, is its environmental friendliness. It consumes one-eighth the energy of cremation, requires no casket, and leaches no toxic embalming fluids into the earth. Yet it is still a niche practice, even in a country as green-savvy as ours: Hilton’s facility is one of just three in Canada.

Source: Dissolving the Dead · thewalrus.ca

To have all Military Cross-shaped headstones removed

Just think if they make them remove all religion from headstones will they turn it retroactive and have all the  crosses removed from all the graves. What will they replace them with? A “thanks for your death” medal?

Below comes from an email forwarded to me:

The first  to the last picture are taken at the beach in  Santa Barbara right next to the  Pier.   There is a veterans group that  started putting a cross and candle for every  death in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The amazing  thing is that they only do it on the  weekends.

They  put up this graveyard and take it down every  weekend. Guys sleep in the sand next to it and  keep watch over it at night so nobody messes  with it.   Every cross has the name,  rank and D.O.B. and D.O.D. on it.Very moving,  very powerful.   So many young  volunteers.   So many 30 to 40 year  olds as well.

Amazing!

The ACLU  (American Civil Liberties Union) has filed a  suit to have all Military Cross-shaped  headstones removed.

cid:A28D4BBA8CC943C08C4505976A2522F3@GilbertPC

And that they filed  another suit to end prayer from the military  completely.   They’re making great  progress.

The Navy Chaplains can no  longer mention Jesus’s name in prayer thanks to  the ACLU and our new administration.

cid:810ECA51ACE145AFAB2CC397F6FC5B75@GilbertPC

Keep forwarding  this e-mail to others.   I’m not  breaking this one.   I’m asking that  you don’t break it either.

cid:2769C148C91A4084BCA486016D95D1A5@GilbertPC

If I get it a 1000  times, I’ll forward it a 1000 times!    Prayer for all allied soldiers… please don’t  break it!   Please send this on after  a short prayer.

Please, let us  pray:  GOD BLESS  YOU FOR PASSING IT ON!

Atheists Think Differently

lightbulbearthAtheists don’t believe in any god or goddess or combination of either. It’s a bold choice. Like playing without a net when it comes to your beliefs about death and what comes next. Many people ‘get religion’ when death touches their lives. They become afraid and want something to believe in. Something that has power over them, something bigger than themselves, something that can give them possibilities rather than just an end to life.

I think atheists are brave or bold or angry or young or something… to stand out on that ledge and not believe.

Atheist beliefs are more than just not believing in god or following a religion. Atheists can be religious, they can be part of an organized religion. But they have a slightly different outlook because they don’t believe in the gods of the religion. This may seem complex or as if you are not really following the religion at all.

For myself, I would call myself a Witch, however I don’t believe in any gods or goddesses. This does not mean I don’t believe in something. I do believe in reincarnation. I believe there is some law of nature (something I don’t have the knowledge or experience to understand or define) which controls what happens to us after we die. Reincarnation makes sense to me, like recycling.

In this way, I follow the Pagan ways, share most of the Pagan beliefs but I have given them my own slant as a free thinker, not quite an atheist.

This free thinking changes my outlook on everything religions connect with a god or goddess. I don’t pray. But, I don’t think prayers are something wrong. Prayers give words to your deepest thoughts, emotions and needs. I also don’t believe in Adam and Eve. I believe in evolution.

People wonder why I don’t believe in god. It started when I began feeling religions hold god, heaven, devils, hell, etc over people – as a threat and a bribe to make them conform to certain standards. I began to feel I could not respect any god who would use such methods – or any god who needed or expected to be worshipped at all. Why would a god (something all mighty) need to be fawned over? It would seem to be empty praise, remote, automatic and even forced. What would that really be worth.

I started looking at other options, other beliefs. I began to merge my thoughts, feelings and values with what I found others believing.

My strongest connections were to beliefs which gave women power (rather than thinking them the ‘weaker vessel’) and those which focused on man/ humans as being responsible for their own actions rather than letting a god or devil be held to account for everything.

Through reading more about atheism I found the Free Thinkers. That’s where I will be exploring next. I like having the option to change my mind without having to change my whole religion every time.

Humanists, atheists, agnostics, non-theists, skeptics, freethinkers and other non-religious people

This post was originally written and posted to HubPages. I’ve cut and pasted the comments in because they added to the topic.

That Grrl

No one should be quick to pass judgement on another belief system/ religion until they have an understanding of it. Of course, once you begin to understand it that well, parts of it will make good sense and become worthwhile to you.

Niteriter

I think people have a need to worship something bigger than themselves because, deep inside the psyche, they feel inadequate and fearful. I believe that, once individuals have dealt with personal inner fear as it applies to their particular circumstances, the ideas you talk about here fall into place as options for forming a personal life philosophy.

I like your gentle approach to such a potentially contentious topic. We need more people exploring this important part of life with your open and genuinely inquisitive attitude.

cheaptrick

I follow Frizbetarianism.We believe when you die your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck there…

The Real question we each need to answer is;Does self awareness survive death?Without it nothing else matters…seems to me…

Dean

That Grrl

It’s always good to hear there are others who think differently. A lot of people seem to carry on with beliefs without questioning anything or really appearing to think at all.

OldWitchcraft

This is a very nice essay. I am, also, an atheistic witch. I apply the term “traditional witch” a lot, but then I have to define that term because it means so many things to so many different people. I hold that, historically, most traditional Western witches were atheists.

The only reason we have to talk about “god” is that so many other people are talking about it and these people are sometimes politicians and people who could have a negative impact on our lives.

johndnathan

Nice hub, Thatgrrl. I’m more of a Pantheist myself, which to the general masses is too close to Atheist for comfort. Oh well. I do believe that when you are not bound by the limitations of a religion that you are free to see the world in a different light.

The Eighth Day

I happened to have Murdoch Mysteries on this afternoon. I wasn’t paying full attention to it but I did catch part of the show. One of the policemen/ detectives was telling Murdoch his theories of how the universe came to be. He started by saying his Grandmother was a church going woman who believed God created everything in seven days. Then the policeman/ detective went on to expand on his thoughts about all of that. I can’t remember all of it now.

What caught my attention was the 8th day theory. First, what if God’s idea of a day is different from our own. Maybe one sunset to the next sunrise isn’t a day when you’re an omnipotent being of some kind. What if God’s day is billions of years to us. What if the 7th day is still ongoing and one day we find ourselves with all kinds of new wonders as the 8th day starts and God begins creating again, after his break on the 7th day?

Isn’t that a neat theory?

I don’t believe in God or Goddess but I do think there had to have been something which started everything at some point. Something which sorted out life, death and everything. Do you really think everything could have just happened by evolution, luck or happenstance?

Where the Wild Things Are: Death and Dying

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, May, 16, 2004.

My Dad is quite likely going to die soon, any day now. Don’t worry about sending sympathy, condolences or anything of that sort. You don’t know him. For me it’s a lot more personal.

People think the dying become almost holy. As if, while dying, they change and become a better person all of a sudden. You can’t talk badly about them, you must visit them and you should really, really hold their hand.

Well, my Dad was not a nice, happy, friendly Dad. His dying hasn’t changed that. I don’t want to hold his hand. I don’t want to go in and see him now that he is becoming a pile of meat rather than a human being. Sure, I can stick my hand inside a turkey each Thanksgiving and pull out the little bag of goodies. That doesn’t mean I want to do the same sort of ghoulish thing with my Dad. So, I am visiting him (second time will be today after work) but I am not going to touch him.

What do you believe about death? That gets tested each time someone close to us (physically or emotionally) dies. I still believe in reincarnation. I still believe the body becomes about as useful as roadkill once the person inside is gone. I still think the best body disposal method is compost in the family garden rather than taking up space in a graveyard plot. I’d much rather have my remains sucked up by worms and trees than rotting away in an expensive box.

Am I grossing you out? Am I being too blunt? Do you not want to think about death in such a practical way? Too bad. Death is part of life. There is no getting away from it. Death is always there, waiting at the end. That, I very strongly believe.

I’m not afraid of death. I’m just in no hurry to get there. I’d miss too many things. Every ordinary day, new inventions and ideas, seeing the tulips each Spring and so on.

Anyway, my Dad wants to be cremated. It looks like he will soon have his wish. I don’t think I will miss him. But I’m doing my best to be a good daughter now, in these last days. Not for him, not for myself especially, but for my brother and sisters who seem to expect something grand and dramatic and perfect. As if now that he is about to kick off forever we should honour him for the things he did right.

The Ancient Science of Folklore

Originally written for The Crying Clown Zine (c. 1998)

Folklore is not an old wives tale, mere superstition or fairy tale. It is more than that. Folklore is a way of doing things not based on scientific fact. People relied on folklore before the invention of science. Those who want to practice magick should begin with the study of folklore.

The word folklore literally means “the learning of the people”. W. J. Thoms coined the term folklore in 1846 replacing the old term popular antiquities. My definition of folklore is a habit or tradition based on knowledge from a less than official source, such as modern science.

Folklore covers a wide area including traditional beliefs, customs, stories, songs and sayings. Beliefs concerning nature (animal, plant and mineral), human nature and inanimate objects, magick, charms, luck and disease and death. Customs and rites such as marriage, childhood and adult life, festivals, warfare, hunting, farming, and fishing. Old myths, legends, folktales, ballads, songs, proverbs, nursery rhymes and riddles keep folklore passed along in cultures all over the world.

Folklore comes from every culture on the planet, current and extinct. However, folklore must be taken with a grain of salt. Look it with a slightly suspicious mind and a practical, scientific nature. Explore each custom and belief. Dig deeper and find the mechanics of the idea, what made it work, if it really worked at all. Some customs may have worked once and then just been taken as truth.

Pagan and Wiccan magick are rooted in folklore. Read about herbs, divination, tree magick, astrology, animal guides, weather magick and you are reading folklore. Any magick you look at will be full of old ideas which science is only recently looking at. Do some research and find which old wives tales are having a second wind and are already available at a drug store near you. Not enough for you? Look at a modern wedding ceremony and list the customs that do not seem based on logical scientific thought. Start with throwing rice or catching the bride’s bouquet. Does rice guarantee children? If it did over population would be a much bigger issue!

So, why throw rice? How and why did that custom start? Find out! To really understand and work your own magick you will need to know the thoughts and theories behind it, its roots. To step in and attempt to create magick without studying the how and why is like skipping the whole beginning of a book.

Divination is a good place to start looking at folklore. Divination is a belief/ custom based on folklore, early ideas of science. Every tradition from tarot, dowsing, crystal gazing, scrying to reading the bumps on a head can not be proven to work by science. Still, divination in all its varied forms is a very popular form of magick.

Of course, some folklore is truly a fable or superstition. It will be up to your own explorations and common sense to dig deeper and decide which are fable and which are facts. Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty when you get your feet wet, most of all, have fun!