Food for thought

Death Literacy Tales

By August 23, 2022 No Comments

Spirituality and Death, Inhabiting Matter / Eco-Theology / Death Literacy

New writings, explorations and New Materialisms Informed by spirituality and eco-theology.

The greatest of human discoveries in the future will be the discovery of human intimacy ( new wineskins into a deeper humanity) with all those other modes of being that live with us on this planet, inspire our narratives, our art and literature revealing that numinous world whence all things come into being, and with which we exchange the very substance of life.

remix, Berry, Thomas; Swimme, Brian. Meditations with Thomas Berry: With additional material by Brian Swimme (GreenSpirit Book Series) (p. 72). Kindle Edition. 

Spirituality as entanglement consciousness, epistemology, ontology, and ethics are inseparable. Matters of fact, matters of concern, and matters of care are shot through with one another. Or to put it in yet another way: matter and meaning cannot be severed––nor can spirit and death .

Post-1990 new works that draws attention to our encounters with new sciences, technologies, and other forms of matter, often in forceful and unexpected ways. What is more, new thinking that offer novel experiential environments for exploring, inhabiting, and even critiquing our relations spirit, mind, body, humanities and yes DEATH in the 21st technology.

“DEATH as Consciousness is not something we have; it’s what we and the whole world are.” 

Currivan also claims that this way of seeing and understanding reality is best described as a spiritual perception (2017, 191). This more wholesome cosmic view of consciousness is central to quantum mechanics, inseparably connected to the whole of life as Niels Bohr claimed, and reiterated in our time by quantum theorist Paul Levy: “The fact that consciousness is an emergent property of the universe implies, given the underlying wholeness of the universe, that consciousness is one of the intrinsic ingredients of the universe. It is as though the universe is curious about itself, and through its intrinsic sentience, is capable of reflecting upon itself”

Spirituality other side of religion

Spirituality, on the other hand, thrives on story, the deep ancient narrative of the human fascination around the mystery of our existence. Here the context is deep time, and the discerning horizon is as large as creation itself. Discerning the underlying wisdom of myth and story requires a very different mode of interpretation from that normally involved in theological discourse. The discernment begins not with ourselves in our human condition, but with the cosmic/planetary womb from which we are begotten. The different methodologies reflect two radically different understandings of the mystery we call God. All formal religions acknowledge an imperial divine ruler, imbued with several anthropocentric projections, a God figure often envisioned in our own image as creatures who seek to dominate and control everything in creation. Jesus tends to be identified with this patriarchal God concept. Spirituality, on the other hand, begins with the Great Spirit, that cosmic insinuation that energizes and empowers every movement within and around us. At one time deeply personal, but also transpersonal (as distinct from impersonal), the Great Spirit is both narrator and narrative of creation’s evolving story. We are the progeny of a storied universe. We are one aspect of a narrative that has been told for eons past. And we are now the privileged participants in that story becoming conscious of its own unfolding. All indications are that we are evolution growing into a new quality of self-awareness, which we call consciousness. Seeing DEATH anew.

Quantum theology/Spirituality expands death literacy in a very different direction, adopting a worldview more congruent with modern science and cosmology. Moreover, the emphasis has shifted from something fixed and unchanging to an evolutionary reality forever in the process of becoming. Here, spirituality takes on a whole new meaning: 

  • It seeks to honor the creativity of God, at work in the whole creation, and not merely in human life, that understanding of the Holy One described as the Great Spirit. 
  • It advocates openness and receptivity to a God who forever seeks to lure all life into greater complexity and deeper becoming. • It supports a deep sense of trust in what it perceives to be a God of unconditional love. 
  • Therefore, instead of trying to make it up to God (reparation) for our sins (the spiritual life), spirituality strives to discern how we too must love unconditionally, just as we have been unconditionally loved. 
  • Spirituality, therefore, moves in the direction of healing and wholeness—for all life-forms, and not merely for humans. 
  • Instead of being subject to God (in the patriarchal sense), or serving God in some passive way, spirituality adopts the language of collaboration and co-creation. 
  • In a word, while the spiritual life advocates a process of escape (from this vale of tears), spirituality advocates a program of engagement, sometimes articulated in the phrase “helping to bring about heaven on earth.”

remix, O’Murchu, Diarmuid. Doing Theology in an Evolutionary Way (p. 194). Orbis. Kindle Edition. 

Leave a Reply