Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Pope & Circumstance

What makes you, you, or me, me? According to the Christian faith, it is our soul or spirit. Our bodies are merely the hollow vessel.

So why are millions expected to visit Rome to view the carcass of the Pope?

I've never understood the fascination so many people have with dead bodies. You dress 'em up like their asleep and people go by to gawk AT them or, sometimes, talk TO them. Yet, since the belief is that the soul is the person, not the body, it's like talking to a coffee mug that no longer holds any coffee.

I heard on the radio yesterday that Poles want the Pope's heart so they can bury it on home soil. Why? It's not the Pope. The Pope has gone elsewhere.

This morning one of my pet rabbits died of unknown causes. It was really a shock as he always seemed to be the healthiest and most energetic of our 3 house bunnies. I wanted to throw his lifeless body in the trash. My wife wanted to take it to the local Humane Society for proper disposal.

I relented on my position only because I thought it would help my wife's grieving process. (Note: We have no human children. Instead we have a brood of animal "children".) For me, whether Jack's spent body went to the Humane Society or into the trash bin, won't alter what ultimately will happen. Regardless of which place it went originally, it will be incinerated.

Now, if I were to behave as the Catholic world is behaving this week (typical of most Christians and other religions too), I should have propped up Jack's dead body on the kitchen table for a few days. I could invite the neighbor children who knew him to come in and say their last goodbyes. My wife & I could "talk" to him each night at dinner.

But why? Jack's no longer a resident in that body just as the Pope no longer resides in his body.


  1. I was just thinking about these things myself...and i couldnt agree more..the person you are looking at in the funeral is not the same person you knew..its like looking into a house with out nobody in it..im not really into looking into coffins myself, i just dont see the point in making it hard on myself to sleep that night and the following nights thereafter..when i can remember the person in their prime, id prefer to remember them as they were when they were living...

  2. I knew a woman whose mother had died. They held an open casket funeral. The woman didn't want to look at her dead mother. Her relatives, however, insisted that not only she view her mother BUT stroke her dead, cold skin. They said if she didn't do this, she would regret it later.

    She bowed to the pressure of her family and she lived to regret it. She had nightmares for years!

    I wish (I'm sure she does too) she had listened to my advice instead!

  3. I am sad to see a man using the name of Tao name in such a way.

    I have been a devotee if the Tao for many years. This person Smith only seeks to divide, not to unite. This person does not understand the oneness of the Tao.

    This man must stop to consider that to attempt self glory through the negative,through malice and separation is denying the Tao and the teachings of the sacred scripts.

    This man Smith is opposed to oneness. He is in need of mending. He is broken.

    Mr. Smith must surely heal the sores he has created, the carbuncles of his words are distasteful to all Tao.

  4. I'm sorry you're upset, anonymous one. However, I certainly don't see anything in this post that seeks to "attempt self glory". I merely stated I don't understand the fascination with looking at vessels as the true substance.

    And, by the way, philosphical taoism doesn't consider any text to be sacred. In order to be sacred, said text must originate from a deity. There are no deities in philosophical taoism.

  5. The part that bothers me most is thinking that in news terms we only hear about poeple who are famous who die on particualr days.
    There is no list of the dead on any day so I think it is weird to see the earthly remains of one person . Are they supposed to stand in for all of the rest?Do we really say that one dead body one life is better than any other?
    Or that it matter s how you die - dying as a victim or as a holy man or as someone who works in the media will get you recorded. It all seems so arbitrary.

  6. Laura, another good point. Every life is precious.


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