pantimes 05 the courage to live

Death and Dying: Thymos, Psyche and Bardo

From the PanTimes talk on 29 April:

Hello Dry Drinkers and Sad Smokers,

In the previous few talks we have discussed different elements of the pandemic and lockdown, as viewed through the lens of mythology and psychology. We began with the Biblical plagues, and the angel of death passing over the houses of the Children of Israel, and what they needed to do, to protect themselves. The following talk, we looked at the elements of sacrifice and the need to stay indoors, and what ‘going in’ and ‘staying in’ means psychologically and alchemically, for personal transformation to occur. Then we looked at the blood on the doorpost and explored the image of ‘the threshold’ from an archetypal perspective, the need to know where boundaries are, and how to navigate these.

With the Biblical deaths of Pesach and Easter behind us, we still need to be mindful of the dangers of exposure ‘outside’. Heading towards a partial easing of the lockdown, it seemed appropriate that we consider death and dying. Naturally, this is a tremendous subject and not something that a few short discussions would attempt to address in great depth, but we can open the conversation, and your imaginations, to the topic. Who or what dies? What happens to the body, and to the soul, after physical death. Psychologically, what does our death mean, and what should our attitude be towards this inevitable event. We do know what causes death. In every case, the cause of death is birth.

We shall not be discussing death from a theological or medical perspective. That is not our field of exploration. Our interest is in the soul, and the imagination of death, and the connection of death with love. Psychically, we know that outlived aspects of ourselves need to die, for new stages of our lives to be born. If we know this, then why is it so difficult to surrender to transformation.

here is how to view a recording of this talk