Modern society has a tendency to hide demise and the loss of life approach from public view, looking to erase them from our attention. this angle of denial stands in nice distinction to the procedure of the good non secular traditions of humanity, for which the demise approach was once an vital and infrequently an important a part of our personal non secular perform. This quantity bargains a pattern of reflections from students and practitioners at the topic of demise and loss of life from students and practitioners, starting from the Christian culture to Hinduism, Lacanian psychoanalysis, whereas additionally bearing on the subjects of the afterlife and near-death experiences.
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Additional info for Death, Dying, and Mysticism: The Ecstasy of the End
1 When new realms of experience become open to autobiographical writing, as dying and grieving did during the 1970s, this sense of personal uniqueness turned into an imperative to tell one’s own story. The explicit reason given may be to inform the world about liver transplants, or to protest the social pressure put on women to undergo breast replacement surgery postmasectomy. But these worthy and rational goals were and continue to be fueled by the underlying desire to tell a unique story, with oneself or one’s loved one as the central protagonist.
38 Curtailing all contact with women, however, proved to be impossible and the reality of Franciscan life was very different from its official position. Called to pastoral ministry, Franciscans evangelized among the people by preaching in public squares and serving as confessors, and what we would call today as spiritual directors, to laity. In addition, there is evidence that despite the order’s official wariness of women, the friars cultivated important spiritual relations with many women of faith.
But there are problems applying this to the kind of materials examined in this chapter. Put crudely, a narrator who “dissolves” can’t finish a book so that American readers will be able to make sense of it. Instead, images of trust and surrender can work, while representing the transition out of life. Joanne Kelley Smith ends her narrative Free Fall as an imagined jump into the sky supported only by a loving God as her death approached. 13 That’s how she ends her story. Perhaps the genre of writings here has built in limits for such possibilities as the classical “immersion in God” of much mysticism.
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