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What happens at point of death and subsequent "ritual"?

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ro§ie
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(@roie-2)
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i originally started this discussion on the hindu forum but it quickly became apparent that it should maybe discussed more generally. so the original thread is:

[link= http://www.healthypages.net/forum/tm.asp?m=299157&mpage=1 ] http://www.healthypages.net/forum/tm.asp?m=299157&mpage=1 [/link]??

i think by the 2nd post we were getting off hindu belief and into other faiths. as sunanda mentions here:

Mind you, as I mentioned in my email to you, the Buddhists believe that it takes four days for the soul to leave the body so they prefer not to bury the cadaver for that amount of time - which can lead to problems in a hot climate, as you can imagine!

i didnt know that about buddhists. and it did surprise me, i must say!

from what i gather, catholics dont go in for the cremation thing at all, but prefer burial... is that correct... and for what reason? and is there a reason, apart from it being below sea level, why many opt for above ground burial (mini mausoleums) like in new orleans (all the cemetaries had these)?

just curious about other faiths ideas on what happens at point of death and funeral "rituals".

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Principled
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RE: What happens at point of death and subsequent "ritual"?

Hi Rosie,

Yes, I read your original post - it's an interesting subject. Did you know that the Zoroastrians (called Parsi's in India) used to (before public health laws forbade it) leave bodies on what were called the towers of silence for vultures to eat the flesh off the bones. Now they are forced into cremation.

just curious about other faiths ideas on what happens at point of death and funeral "rituals"

Taking the second point first, students of Christian Science are normally cremated. The body is simply like the skin the snake sheds, or the chrysalis the butterfly leaves behind. Many families will have a thanksgiving service and then a private cremation, so nothing takes away from the joy that the individual is still alive and is progressing now towards deeper understanding of their eternal spiritual identity and one-ness with God. My husband was amazed at Christian Science funerals when we first got married - he says he's never enjoyed funerals before! The emphasis is all on Life.

I have been taught to pray for the individual for three days to help them leave this mortal sense of existence and go forward. Jesus was three days in the tomb, so was Lazarus. Mary Baker Eddy writes of this event: "If Jesus awakened Lazarus from the dream, illusion, of death, this proved that the Christ could improve on a false sense. Who dares to doubt this consummate test of the power and willingness of divine Mind to hold man forever intact in his perfect state, and to govern man's entire action? Jesus said: "Destroy this temple [body], and in three days I [Mind] will raise it up;" and he did this for tired humanity's reassurance." (Science and Health p 494)

As to what happens at the point of death? Well, Mary Baker Eddy, writing of the experience when she had the first revelation of divine Science, described it as the "Light shining in darkness." When describing what she learnt, she started with: " When apparently near the confines of mortal existence, standing already within the shadow of the death-valley, …." I'm guessing that she had a near death experience. Most people I've read of who have had a NDE talk of being in a dark tunnel and of seeing a light that draws them forward.

Here are some of her observations on death:

The fact that the Christ, or Truth, overcame and still overcomes death proves the "king of terrors" to be but a mortal belief, or error, which Truth destroys with the spiritual evidences of Life; and this shows that what appears to the senses to be death is but a mortal illusion, for to the real man and the real universe there is no death-process.
The belief that matter has life results, by the universal law of mortal mind, in a belief in death. So man, tree, and flower are supposed to die; but the fact remains, that God's universe is spiritual and immortal. (Science and Health p 289)

Death will occur on the next plane of existence as on this, until the spiritual understanding of Life is reached. Then, and not until then, will it be demonstrated that "the second death hath no power." (Science and Health p 77)

Mortals need not fancy that belief in the experience of death will awaken them to glorified being.
Universal salvation rests on progression and probation, and is unattainable without them. Heaven is not a locality, but a divine state of Mind in which all the manifestations of Mind are harmonious and immortal, because sin is not there and man is found having no righteousness of his own, but in possession of "the mind of the Lord," as the Scripture says.
"In the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be." So we read in Ecclesiastes. This text has been transformed into the popular proverb, "As the tree falls, so it must lie." As man falleth asleep, so shall he awake. As death findeth mortal man, so shall he be after death, until probation and growth shall effect the needed change. (Science and Health p 291)

This is quite a long discussion about death - over three pages - here is a link to the middle page, if anyone

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(@red-bess)
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RE: What happens at point of death and subsequent "ritual"?

Hi Rosie,

Interesting thread.

I'm a non-practising Catholic but I can tell you the reason that Catholics like to be buried rather than cremated: the belief is that the body has to be whole in order for the spirit to enter heaven. It's the reason my dad went absolutely bonkers when, at 13, I carried my first organ donor card. Have to say, though, I have relatives (church-every-Sunday Catholics) that were cremated, but I think that may be because you have to be cremated if you die from certain conditions - could be very wrong here, but it's the only way I can see those relatives having a cremation over burial. I personally would be happy scattered with a tree planted on me!

A couple of asides: according to the faith, anyone who has comitted suicide is not allowed to be buried in consecrated ground - God gives you your life and you have no right to take it away yourself. It's deemed an unforgivable sin, and 'thou shalt not kill' goes for yourself too.

It is also believed there is no afterlife apart from heaven, except purgatory if you've been saved from your sins but still need to be 'cleansed of them' to prepare you to enter heaven.

As I say, great thread!

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ro§ie
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(@roie-2)
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RE: What happens at point of death and subsequent "ritual"?

hi judy and red bess,

thanks for joining in :o).

i suppose when i say, what happens at point of death, i dont mean to be asking... is it the walk into the white light experienec, more... what is the belief of soul/spirit... does it leave right away? 3 days? thats more of my interest, not "how" it is... does that make sense?

my aunt died in australia and her sons wanted half her ashes sent over here for them"to do with"... the other half staying with the great grandaughter. the initial reaction of my mum and me was, ewww! silly really, when you consider that most people scatter ashes or use them for a good fertiliser for that tree or rose! (which reminds me, i must get round to doing that for mum :).... guess she's not going anywhere though).

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(@divine-love)
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RE: What happens at point of death and subsequent "ritual"?

Hi Rosie, I did start a thread on this and what other people had experienced on the spiritual forum, so it might be worth popping in there. In my experience the soul/spirit leaves the body immediately on death, in fact it is the soul/spirit leaving that is the final passing, and some souls hang around on the earth plane longer than others; there is no fixed timing as such, in fact some even do not follow the light and get stuck between dimensions. Although it would be good to get other's views and experiences on this.

Divine Love

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(@annier)
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RE: What happens at point of death and subsequent "ritual"?

Hi Rosie,
Iam from the Uk and married to an Irish Catholic and now living in southern Ireland. And i have to say that the whole process is totally different here to the uk.
It all happens very quickly, most people are still waked at home and yes most are buried, although i do believe now that there are a couple crematouriums around.
i also find that the funerals here attract huge crowds, (if thats the right way to phrase it) compared to the uk - people tend to go for the family left behind, rather than the descesed themselves, which i think is better.
I have recently made my will, and have requested to be cremated - but with half my ashes to be buried in somerset - with my grandparents and aunt, and half to stay in ireland - my mother in law (jokingly) has suggested taking the ferry across and scattering the lot halfway across!

annie

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