Me And My Bones

Does a newly dead person, or one dead for many years, regard their remains as them? We attach ourselves to our form and then carry that on, in our imaginations at least, into the grave. Are we our form? Dead, or alive? I think not.

Yes, this skull in Manchester has raised some questions and caused me to question my own sensibilities around how I regard human relics. How I regard what’s left behind after my physical death.

See King Milinda’s questions to Nagasena on the nature of self.

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6 thoughts on “Me And My Bones”

  1. Reminds me of grandfather’s hammer. At the end of the day it still knocks nails in!

    There is no-thing there and every thing there. But karma? I don’t know, I just don’t know. My world seems to me to have been formed in part by those I regard as dead. In that way at least they live on in me. Flesh and bones the Tao fashions into new forms.

  2. I have sometimes wondered, if (when I’m dead) I am cremated, will I feel the flames?
    Irrational I know, considering consciousness will be absent and death is the deepest form of clinical anaesthesia.
    Its strange the thoughts we have sometimes.


  3. It’s a strange thing this business of being and having.
    Am I me or am I simply part of everything and not me at all.
    In which case my bones are not mine, now or when I’m dead. They are just a physical bits of humanness which helped me to be me for a while, like thoughts and intentions. I have often wondered why there is a fascination and with relics – the Buddha’s, Christ’s, the pharoes and countless others.
    Sometimes I have a wish to divest myself of whatever I can but some of my things also define me to some extent, or at least the me which I wish to project as me.
    Intellectually I dont think I mind what happens to my remains. I used to have a wish that my ashes would be mixed with sand and lime, shaped into a stone and placed on a wall on a hill top on which I have had many memorable walks and views. Now it doesnt seem so important though the hill is as special as ever.
    But I do get lots of pleasure from the rose bush which was planted on top of some of my father’s ashes and is now bloming in my daughters garden and sniffed by many including my grandaughters. Generations and memories.
    These are the other things that define us – memories. All constructs but they are mine and are part of me and to some extent are what makes me me and they will die with me.
    All these mes and mines… Sounds like ownership and attachment.

  4. In our family we discussed this subject several times ending up that it would be wise not to be cremated. I did not kwow what to say at that time.
    I had forgotten this discussion until reading the comment of Norman. Thank you Norman, it gave me the opportunity to reflect on the matter again.
    Trying to find an answer I got nowhere. When I was about to drop the matter, it came to my mind that it is to me impossible -while being alive- to think about ‘what (might happen)if I am dead’. I believe trying to find answers is natural and also tends to speculation to cope with the fear of death.
    The truth about death might be that it can only be known by passing through death. If I remember correct Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett said that meditation is ‘a dry run for death’.

  5. It’s a fascinating discussion about the skull and thanks for posting the link to the Manchester Hermit on your site. It’s such a complicated issue, I don’t know where to start or even what my opinion is! Oh, well, I’ll just keep sitting…

  6. Hi Pascal. I’m following the Hermit’s Blog. I rarely take the time to read much, on or off line. What’s going on there is just so interesting and multi leveled (if that’s even a word!). Yes, complicated issue(s) and simple at the same time. Would it be about individuals making decisions and taking responsibility for their actions/decisions (which have far reaching consequences). Sound familiar.

    Thanks for leaving a comment. I know I want to link to one of your posts on your blog…so I guess I’ll be taking a hike to find the link to make the post. Perhaps this very day.

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