The green death revolution

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Inspiring and illuminating presentation of how to bypass the conservative funeral industry and how to come to terms with the reality of having one’s dead body disposed of. Bhagawati has the latest on body recycling.

During the recent decade or two, many people have consciously embraced the fact that one day their body will die. Today, many books on the subject have been written and websites are devoted to death and the actual dying process.

Many of our friends have died a conscious death, have prepared for it in particular when they had an incurable disease – we meditated with them and sat by their side when they left their body. We have played tapes with Osho’s discourses, maybe read the Bardo to them, and we played inspirational music for them.

But, have we as a group of seekers made that next step – namely what to do with the body itself, once the soul/consciousness has flown?

For many people who live in India and East Asia, cremation is the usual way for that last step although this has become quite popular also in western countries. A cremation appears ‘cleaner’ and environmentally of a lesser burden than the customary heavy wood coffin lined with satin which is often placed in yet another sealed (!) casket made out of steel or concrete that takes a very long time to disintegrate. And not to mention the exorbitant cost to ultimately recycle a dead body in this customary way to ‘preserve the body’.

New technology has been developed that signals a green option to dispose, actually to liquidate, a dead body. Called alkaline hydrolysis, it is already available in the USA but so far only for dead pets. It seems hard for the majority of the population to accept such a new concept to be applied to dead human bodies.

In this video, a most charming, often tongue-in-cheek mortician states, “Instead of seeing alkaline hydrolysis as some bizarre science experiment being done to our dead, maybe we could reframe our collective brains to see it as a gentle, eco-friendly solution to the environmental issue surrounding cremation and burial.”

Finally the video shows another possible step for a totally green option in death technology: the ultimate natural burial that only involves a simple bio-degradable cloth for the naked body to be wrapped in and then placing said body in a shallow dug-out.

Mortician: Caitlin Doughty
Co-writer and Researcher: Louise Hung
Editor and Graphics: Landis Blair
Animations: Cheryl Agustin

Considering the present human population of 7,6 billion, within the next ninety years or so there will be at least 7,6  billion dead bodies on this planet that need recycling. Maybe a good idea to start deeper research now – I am off  to our backyard to find a suitable plot!

BhagawatiBhagawati is a regular contributor

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