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Death & Dying Ch 14

"The Last Dance - Encountering Death and Dying" Chapter 14

QuestionAnswer
Andrew Greeley says we are born with what 2 incurable diseases? Life, from which we die, and hope, which says maybe death isn't the end.
An exploration of beliefs about immortality can lead to what? A more coherent philosophy of life and death, making possible a congruence between hopes and perceptions.
Even when we are settled upon a belief system, exposure to other views can do what? Broaden our understanding of different responses to death and enhance appreciation of our own beliefs.
In some of the earliest graves, how were the skeletons positioned? Bound by hands and feet into a fetal position.
What has been characterized as the most persistent image of afterlife in the history of religion? Rebirth
In traditional societies, death represents a change of what? Status, a transition from the land of the living to the land of the dead.
What is a key feature of many beliefs about what follows death? Judgement
How did traditional Hawaiians believe person would suffer eternal punishment? They would become a wandering spirit, forever homeless, forever hungry.
The ancestor-gods of traditional Hawaiian beliefs had the power to do what? Punish or reward the released spirit or even send it back to the body.
How did misfortune result in traditional Hawaiian beliefs regarding life after death? When a person had neither loving relatives to care for the corpse nor the guardianship of family ancestor-gods who help souls find their way to the world of spirits.
To understand the consciousness from which a view of immortality concerned with the continuation of the community and its common heritage, what must one from a Western culture do? Put aside the notion of selfhood and imagine a mentality in which group identity is all-encompassing.
Regarding Jewish beliefs about death, what is the emphasis on? Faith in the people of Israel as a community with a common destiny and in Yahweh, whose promises will be realized in the unfolding of the divine plan.
According to Jewish tradition, our lives are measured by what? Our deeds and whether we have lived up to our full potential.
Following an old European tradition, what is done for the deathly ill? They are given a new Hebrew name so that when the angel of death comes looking for him, he won't find him.
In Jewish beliefs about death and resurrection, righteous conduct is advised why? Because it leads to harmony in the present life, not because it guarantees future rewards for the individual.
In Jewish beliefs, between the time of David and prophets such as Daniel and Ezekiel, there was a gradual change from resignation to hopefulness in the face of death that what would happen? At the end of time the bodies of the dead will be resurrected from the grave and reconstituted.
What is She'ol? The Hebrew word for the underworld of all the dead, a shadowy realm of ghostly, disembodied souls.
As the concept of She'ol became refined, what distinct realms was it divided into? Gehinom (hell) and Pardes (heaven/paradise).
What are some of the customs that maintain the faith of Israel? Minyan (a minimum # of people required for communal worship), the reciting of kaddish (a liturgical expression of praise to God, which functions as a memorial prayer), shivah (7 days of formal mourning).
When is kaddish recited? During the first 11 months after death and on the anniversary (yarhzeit) of the death of a loved one.
In Judaism, the customary mourning rituals do what? Help the bereaved face the reality of death, give honor to the deceased, engage in a reaffirmation of life.
What was the general view of the afterworld in ancient Greece? Not an attractive prospect. Hades, teh realm of the dead, pictured as a shadowy place inhabited by bloodless phantoms - an image of despair. Heroes rage against death.
In the Athenian democracy what mattered? The survival of the polis - the corporate existence of the city-state.
In Athens, personal immortality was important to what extent? That it affected the survival of the community.
In Athens, a person could achieve social immortality by doing what? Performing actions directed toward the common good.
In ancient Greece, how could one exchange the grim picture of bloodless phantoms in the afterworld for the more promising one of an idyllic future in paradise? By dedicating themselves to the rites prescribed by the priests of a mystery cult.
Among early Greek philosophers, what did they believe of the soul's survival after death? It did not survive as a distinct entity but merged with the stuff of the universe.
In ancient Greece, who taught that conduct during life determined the destiny of the soul after death? Pythagoras
Which mystery religion of ancient Greece was drawn upon in the beliefs that practicing discipline and purification could influence transmigration, resulting in eventual union with the Divine or Universal Absolute? Orphic
What is transmigration? The migration of the soul from one body or state to another in successive rounds of births and deaths.
What notion did Socrates favor regarding the soul after death? That the soul survives the body.
In the "Apology" Socrates described death as what? Either eternal bliss or dreamless sleep.
In the "Phaedo" Plato advanced what proofs? That the soul is eternal and is released from the body at death. The body is mortal and subject to corruption while the soul is immortal and not subject to death.
What are the two main premises of both Jewish and Christian insights? 1. Human beings are creatures, composites of dust & God's animating breath. 2. They are created in the image & likeness of God, with a destiny that overtakes their finite status.
In the New Testament writings about dying & death derive from what? Jewish traditions as interpreted in the light of Jesus' death & resurrection.
What model is the ultimate reality realized through faith for Christians? The life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
The promise of immortality, which was implicit in the Hebrew scriptures, is defined in the Christian view as what? Personal and bodily resurrection from the dead.
Ignatus, an early father of the Church, called the Eucharist what? Medicine of immortality, an antidote against death.
What Greek understanding was a persistent influence in early Christian thought? That of the body, and soul as immortal and part of the human person that exists in a disembodied state after death.
What was the intermediate state of purification between death and resurrection that provided for the removal of obstacles to the full enjoyment of eternal union with God? Purgatory
In the writings of Dante and Thomas Aquinas, what can be said of concepts of death? The earlier focus on eventual resurrection of the body is subordinated to a more pronounced emphasis on the soul's immortality after death.
Milton Gatch says about the formative years of Christianity that, from a picture of death as the inauguration of a sleep which would last until the divinely instituted resurrection, there emerged what? A picture of death as the beginning of quiescence for the body and of a continued life for the soul.
Carol Zaleski says of the classical Christian view that the perfection is what? An unfinished work until the soul regains its body and the whole of Christ is complete in all its members.
Today, what is the predominant view of Christianity? After death and separation of the soul from the body, the bodiless and intermediate state of the soul follows; after the intermediate sate of the soul, the resurrection and judgment; after the resurrection & judgment, two-fold eternity.
Christians see themselves as a narrative of hope in which death can be understood as what? Coming home
What great religious tradition, in addition to Christianity and Judaism, also stemmed from the patriarch Abraham? Islam
What does Islam mean? Peace or submission - peace comes from submission to transcendent reality, the Divine.
What Semetic religious heritage does Islam share with Judaism and Christianity? Monotheism, God's revelation through the prophets, accountability for one's actions at the Day of Judgement.
What does Qur'an (Koran) mean? Readings
According to Muslims, what does the Qur'an do in regard to the scriptures preserved by the Jewish and Christian communities? It does not abrogate or nullify, but corrects them.
What 2 statements does the doctrine of Islam hang on? 1. There is no divinity (or reality) outside the only Divinity (or Absolute). 2. Muhammad is the Envoy (the mouthpiece, intermediary, or manifestation.)
A basic premise of Qur'anic teaching about death is that God determines what? A person's lifespan.
In the Islamic vision, why are the pleasures of heaven and the pain of hell fully experienced? The Last Day will be accompanied by bodily resurrection.
At a Muslim funeral, a mourner may approach a corpse and whisper what to it? Instructions for answering the questions of Munkar and Nakir, who will interrogate the deceased about his beliefs and deeds in life to determine whether he is comforted or punished.
Why do some Muslims believe that no one should precede the corpse in the funeral procession? The angels of death go before it.
What are some of the ceremonies performed after death in Muslim tradition? A ritual washing, no elaborate ceremony, the body wrapped in white cloth & laid in an unmarked grave, the grave laid out on a north-south axis with the deceased's face turned toward the East so that it is symbolically in a state of prayer.
What does Allah Karim mean? From God we came and to him we shall return.
Whereas Western thought distinguishes between either/or, Eastern does what? Subsumes such distinctions within a holistic both/and approach.
What is one of the greatest literary works of Asia? "Book of Change" or "I Ching"
What does the "Book of Change" postulate regarding the basic circumstance of change in the universe? Life and death are different manifestations of a constantly changing reality.
What does the symbol of the Tao mean? The way - the process of nature by which all things change.
In Asian religions, life and death are like what? A pendulum swinging through its arc, the completion of one cycle heralds the beginning of another.
In observing the process of life and death, the sages of the East developed what concept? That of reincarnation
The terms Hindu and Hinduism refer to what? The beliefs, practices and socioreligious institutions that developed from the civilization of the Indo-European-speaking peoples who settled in India in the last centuries of the second millennium B.C.E.
In Hinduism, death has been called what? The personification of time and the foundation of the cosmo-moral order.
What is among the distinguishing features of Hinduism? Belief in transmigration of the soul.
What is samsara? Wandering, journeying or passing through a series of incarnational experiences.
What is karma? What links the samsara experiences - the moral law of cause and effect. The thoughts and actions of the past determine the present state of being; and in turn, present choices influence future states.
In Hinduism, the apparent separateness of individual beings is what? A unitary reality - undifferentiated being manifests itself in human experience as apparently separate selves.
In Hinduism, what is the infinite center of life? A reservoir of being that never dies, is never exhausted, and that is without limit in awareness and bliss - the hidden self, Atman, Brahman, the Godhead.
In Hinduism, what does liberation from fate and the cycles of births and deaths entail? The recognition that life and death are beyond such mistaken notions of self-identity.
Nikhilananda says that Brahman does what? Creates a body, identifies Itself with it, and regards Itself as an individual, or embodied soul.
The cosmic dance of the Hindu deity Shiva embodies what? The fundamental equilibrium between life and death, the underlying reality behind appearances.
Name some of the various rites and practices in Hinduism that help in awakening to truth? Imagining one's own death & the fate of the body; paying close attention to the transitory & ever-changing nature of one's own being, moment to moment; Meditation in the presence of a dead body.
According to Bodhidharma Ink, the humorous and sometimes shocking theme of skulls and skeletons in Zen painting lead both artist and viewer to contemplate what? The impermanent nature of material existence.
According to Bodhidharma Ink, in the Buddhist view, only when impermanence is directly confronted and deeply understood can what become possible? Freedom, bliss and enlightenment.
What is Buddhism named after? The historical Buddha (the awakened one), Siddhartha Gautama, who taught in India around the 6th - 4th centuries B.C.E.
In what doctrine is Buddhism similar to Hinduism? Karma and samsara
What is the aim of Buddhism? Nirvana (extinction)
Define nirvana. An unconditioned state beyond birth and death that is reached after all ignorance and craving have been extinguished and all karma, which is the cause of rebirth, has been dissolved.
In the Buddhist view, karma is seen as what? The universal principle of causality that underlies the stream of psychophysical events.
Dogen, founder of the Soto Zen sect of Buddhism, indicates that rebirth does not involve the transfer of a substance, but what? The continuation of a process.
In Buddhism, what two kinds of deaths are there? 1. Continuous and regular - the passing show of phenomenal experience, constantly arising and passing away, moment by moment. 2. Corporeal, physical cessation of vital body functions at the end of a lifetime.
What is left to religious professionals in religions? Finer points of doctrine and practice.
Buddhist meditation is described as what? A death rite. Meditation is about sitting attentively on the abyss between life and death without clinging to life as if it were good or fleeing death as if it were bad.
According to Dogen, what is the most important problem of all for Buddhists? The clarification of the meaning of birth and death.
What did Hakuin advise for those who wish to investigate their true nature? Meditation on the word shi - the character of death.
How did Hakuin describe death? The Diamond indestructible, where you have become a divine immortal, unaging and undying.
Why does the priest at a Buddhist funeral speak directly to the deceased? The period immediately after death is considered an especially opportune time for gaining insight, and the priest is expounding on the teachings that can awaken the intermediate being to the true nature of existence.
Buddhists and Hindus believe that what determines the character of the next incarnation? The last thought at the moment of death.
What is known as decease and rebirth in Buddhism? Decease = the stopping of the last thought. Rebirth = the appearance of the first thought.
"The Tibetan Book of the Dead" is meant to influence what? The thoughts of the dying person during the transitional period of life-death-rebirth.
In addition to being known as "The Tibetan Book of the Dead", what is the "Bardo Thodol" known as? "The Book of Natural Liberation"
How can bardo be interpreted? An intermediate or transitional state between death and rebirth, or gap/interval of suspension.
What books are read to the dying in Buddhism and Hinduism? The "Bardo Thodol" and the "Bhagavad-Gita"
The "Bardo Thodol" offers counsel on what? How to use the experiences of our basic psychological make-up, that of the principle of birth and death recurring constantly in this life, to awaken to a more enlightened incarnation.
What does the "Bardo Thodol" emphasize that the deities and demons encountered by the bardo traveler are? The experiencer's own projections.
Some scholars, like Cristopher Carr, argue that near-death experiences (NDE) describe what versus the Tibetan books of the dead describing what? NDE = the beginning of death processes Tibetan books = the entire death processes
How does religion enhance coping resources? By fostering self-esteem and a sense of control through trust and faith in God.
What are 4 functions of religion in societies? 1. Shared set of beliefs, values, norms around which people form a common identity. 2. Answers to questions about human existence & purpose, life & death. 3. Foundation for norms & laws. 4. Emotional & psychological support.
For dying patients and their families, religion may do what? Offer solace, suggest some meaning in dying, and provide rituals to help ease the pangs of grief.
A significant theme in the work of W.E.B. Du Bois is the insight that religious institutions do more than connect people to God. What do they do? Connect people to each other.
What does spirituality entail? A search for ultimate meaning & purpose in life, which may or may not be related to a religious tradition; connection to beliefs, values, practices that give meaning to life, inspiring & motivating individuals to achieve their optimal being.
What does spirituality emphasize? A personal search for connection with a larger sacredness & bonding with others that cannot be severed, not even by death.
What 5 dimensions does religiosity embrace? Experiential (emotional) Ritualistic Ideological (commitment) Consequential (integration into daily life) Intellectual (knowledge about traditions, beliefs, practices)
Define secularization. The process in modern societies whereby religious ideas, practice and organizations lose their influence in the face of scientific and other knowledge.
Traditional beliefs no longer carry the same weight in a social milieu that emphasizes what? Rationalism and scientific method.
Name 3 of the most influential secular alternatives to religious orientations. Humanism, positivism, existentialism
What does humanism emphasize? Human intellectual & cultural achievements rather than divine intervention & supernaturalism.
What does positivism reflect? Religious or metaphysical modes of knowing are imperfect and positive knowledge is based on what can be directly observed in nature and in human activities.
What does existentialism focus on? Individual responsibility for making choices that define who we are and what we will become.
What is symbolic immortality? Biological continuity from having children who sustain a person's genetic legacy, creative works of art, contributions to a field of knowledge, heroic/helpful deeds.
What is medical immortality? Body donation for medical research.
What is communal immortality? The contributions to the welfare of others - our good deeds continue to resonate with a positive influence on humankind.
What percent of people in the U.S. believe in life after death? 80%
In one study, what percent of college undergraduates believe that one is reunited with family & friends, that the afterlife is comforting, that there is Heaven, & that the transition is peaceful? 90%
What 3 forms of the otherworld journey does Carol Zaleski identify? 1. Journey to the underworld. 2. Ascent to higher worlds. 3. Fantastic voyage.
What are near death experiences? Profound psychological events with transcendental and mystical elements, typically occurring to individuals close to death or in situations of intense physical or emotional danger.
What are 4 core elements characteristic of near death experiences? 1. Hears the news of his/her death. 2. Departs from the body. 3. Encounters significant others. 4. Returns to the body.
In one sample, what percentage of near death experiencers experienced themselves as separate from their bodies? 33%
In one sample, what percentage of near death experiencers experienced the entry into a dark tunnel or transitional stage? 23%
In one sample, what percentage of near death experiencers experienced seeing a bright light? 16%
In one sample, what percentage of near death experiencers experienced entering the light? 10%
Near death experiences resulting from what were more likely to be complete according to Ring? Illness
Near death experiences resulting from what were more likely to include panoramic memory according to Ring? Accidents - half of NDEs related to accidents experienced this life review.
What do some think that hellish near death experiences are what? Incomplete NDEs, or purification experience
Who is one of the first people to systematically collect NDE data? Albert Heim, a Swiss geologist and mountain climber.
What are the neuropsychological theories on NDEs? Temporal lobe paroxysm Cerebral anoxia Endorphin release massive cortical disinhibition False sight Drugs Sensory deprivation
What are the Psychological theories on NDEs? Depersonalization Motivated fantasy Archetypes (images are wired into the brain)
What are metaphysical theories on NDEs? Soul travel Psychic vision
According to the model by Russel Noyes and Roy Kletti, what 3 stages are distinguished in the typical NDE? 1. Resistance 2. Life review 3. Transcendence
How does Raymond Moody characterize NDEs? Paranormal death syndrome
What 3 points does Charles Garfield express regarding dying? 1. Not everyone dies a blissful, accepting death. 2. Context is a powerful variable in altered-state experiences. 3. The "happily ever after" stance toward death may be a form of denial when what the dying need is demonstration of real concern.
How do death dreams compare to NDEs? The imagery is richer in graphic detail and more subtle in dreams, while NDEs are more schematic and culture bound.
What does the sun symbolize among Egyptians? The source of awareness.
When and by whom was LSD first synthesized? 1938 - Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman
What do researchers notice that LSD does? Activates unconscious material from deep levels of the personality; opens areas of religious & spiritual experience intrinsic to human personality but independent of cultural/religious background. Leads to shattering encounter with birth, decay, death.
Besides relieving pain symptoms, what does LSD do? Diminishes emotional symptoms such as depression, anxiety, tension, insomnia, psychological withdrawal by altering patient's learned experience to pain.
Transcendental experiences such as what were induced in randomly selected subjects via LSD? Greater responsiveness to families & environment, self-respect & morale enhanced, greater appreciation for the subtleties of everyday life.
What reactions to LSD caused it be outlawed? Religious fervor of casual users and their calls for social revolution.
Created by: silvrwood