No death cult for me, thanks.
A death cult is at the core of every religion I know of. I suppose you could argue that they are really anti-death cults, what with endless speculation about afterlives and such, but the obsession with the end of life is still there. What each claims to answer is the all-important question; what happens to us after the lights go out and our relatives start to worry about the smell? Death is arguably the second-most important event in our lives, birth being first. Of our birth we are certain, which leaves us with death to ponder.
We speculate-wildly-on what, if anything, follows life. What our faiths then promise us is a way to make what comes after more pleasant, having first promised that there is an after. I remain unconvinced by anyone's argument for a particular après-vie. Death is universal. What we do in life will not change that. And it is there that I part ways with death cultists. Complex rules to ensure that dead is good rather than bad are simply silly-whether it be the sacrifice of a goat or taking communion or charitable works. (and faith? Don't get me started on faith!)
Dale Austin, May, 2006
All images and text Copyright Dale Austin, 1962-2008