Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

Death and Metaphors

Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

Death and Metaphors

Article excerpt

A GOOD FRIEND of mine died recently. We had been in high school together, and kept in touch for 45 years. I visited him in the hospital, as he lay wasting away from a fast-moving cancer. What do you say?

We talked about death. We talked about whether or not to expect our consciousness to go on after death. If it does go on, what should we do in that strange new environment?

We were brought up face to face with our lack of knowledge about death. As I reflect on it, our ignorance about death is immense. Our culture really does not know what to expect when we die. We have no reassuring rituals to practice to help us on "the other side."

A couple of weeks after I visited my friend, he died. He was surrounded by family and he "passed away" peacefully. He now has encountered some answers to the questions we did not know the answer to.

At one point I looked up "near-death experiences" in the library. These seem to be as much information as our scientifically oriented culture can collect about what it is like to die. Apparently people often experience their consciousness as floating above their body, looking down on the body and the people around them. They see other people in the new realm they are in, sometimes long-dead relatives. They see their lives flash before them quickly, but completely. They go through a tunnel of light. Often they talk with some "angel" or "spirit," who tells them they must go back into the body and keep on living. Many people say they do not want to go back, but here they are. …

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