Mocking at death

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by harishankar, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. harishankar

    harishankar Local Aatmaa :p

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    Recently when Aussie celebrity and animal conservationist Steve Irwin died, there was a lot of reaction, particularly online, about how funny it was that he didn't die wrestling a crocodile and all that kind of sick jokes. There were also people who said "He got what was coming to him." and that kind of sentiment.

    My question is, from a religious point of view, how are these statements viewed? I personally think it's negative karma to the people who express such beliefs and I think that it will come back to them in a similar way in this or a later life - where they're in a situation where the death of their loved ones is mocked by others in a way to hurt them deep.

    So how do you see this whole mock at death issue. Is nothing sacred in this world? What does your religion tell you on this issue
     
  2. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Hi, harishankar:)

    I won't go into detail here, but I have been in that position, where the salvation of a loved one was actually questioned from a pulpit (thinly disguised). It hurt me terribly, but I got over it. I have learned to leave things like this in the hands of my Master who leads me by Word and example. He said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34).

    Thank you for a thought-provoking question. I look forward to reading various replies, as well.

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  3. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    I think you have to make a distinction between a public persona and the real person. I enjoy gallows humor, and I've heard some really funny (and tasteless) Crocodile Hunter jokes. I'm not laughing at the the real man and the real tragedy, I'm laughing at a crude send-up of his persona.

    Beyond that, though, tragedy and humor are two sides of a coin.

    Chris
     
  4. inhumility

    inhumility Active Member

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    It was very sad to happen. As a human being I have to sympathize with his family and all those who loved him. This is what my Ahmadia, a faith in Islam teaches me. Man is mortal, sooner or later everybody has to die; only God is great who was never born and never died, ever-existing. Praise is unto Him our Lord, best comforter.
    Thanks
     
  5. cavalier

    cavalier Well-Known Member

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    How should such statements be viewed?

    With inevitability. No, nothing is sacred, such things will always happen and I don't think we should dwell on it too much. Doing so will only increase any negative karma.
    Instead, accept that it will happen, disapprove if necessary, but then do something positive. In this instance perhaps that could be donating time and/or money to a wildlife group. Then his life's work will continue, and the jokes will become insignificant.
     
  6. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Death is the great release. It is perhaps the most joyous of all human occasions. Birth is the saddest. If there were ever a cause for weeping, it is birth. And for rejoicing, it is death.

    But mocking it is perhaps inappropriate, since we are still overwhelmingly ignornant, on this planet, regarding the true nature of birth and death - the significance of these events ... especially from a religious point of view (ironically, I might add).

    I think there is a certain irony, objectively even, in that the "Croc guy" died of a heart attack, caused by a stingray. One can observe that, even say, "What irony!" ... and mean nothing irreverent by it.

    What is unfortunate, is that people will lament, and regret Steve's passing. This just shows us ... how much we have left to learn, even today, given how far we've come - and how much science has advanced us.

    Death comes for everyone. We all face it eventually, and the experiences on the other side are, more or less, the same for all. There may be slight variation, and there are of course, true accidents ... also cases of violent death, including those as a result of war (where national karma is involved). But we are born, we live, and we die. This is the nature of things. :)

    I greatly look forward, as I hope we all do, to that time when we are born into a world which knows and understands the nature of death, more about the true purpose of life, and can HELP us to achieve or fulfill that purpose, while we are in the form. Until then, the saddest experience we can ever have, or go through, is life on this planet. :eek:

    Namaskar,

    andrew
     
  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    To me it was bound to happen. He lived at the edge. Like test pilots or astronauts or solidiers or policeman or fireman.... they have occupations which in any given day could be their last.

    Couple of interesting questions here...is death sacred...and are jokes appropriate...

    I think all of the stages of life are sacred...including the now...death...and birth...and see death as a birth...from this plane to the next...a transition, not in any way an end. This fact does not mean that I feel a need to trivialize it or demean it...

    The jokes are ways for people to minimize their grief, to avert their emotions temporarily. And any time someone famous or infamous dies, especially in a dramatic fashion...they are expected...While they range from humorous to distasteful...they are in to me a tribute, a memorial of sorts as well.
     
  8. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    This is very true. People deal with death in their own way. It is a nervousness about the unknown that someone has gone over to that often causes people to crack fun at, and that is especially true for people that deal with death often (though not for the same reasons).

    In places where suicide is prevelant, and the same people have to come in day after day and clean up the mess, there is a strong sense of gallows humor.

    Once a reporter went with us on a "suicide jump" from a bridge known for jumpers to frequent (only once each, usually) :rolleyes: As we pickep up the last of the pieces of the situation, and headed back to shore, someone noted that Levis' Jeans Company could make a great commercial that would appeal to the modesty of those bent on killing themselves, by advertising that if one wanted to go via a bridge, make sure to wear Levis button down jeans, as they are the only thing that will stay on upon impact (when bodies hit the water at a high rate of speed, all clothing blows off, from the impact).

    Of course we all chuckled at that, except the reporter who questioned our callauseness for the dead. One of us looked at her and quietly said, "If you deal with death every day, and you don't make fun of it, you'll go insane..."

    Another time we pulled a jumper from the river (who'd been in for about eight hours). When the local police came to carry his body to the morgue, we picked him up by his arms, and he stood on the fantail like a statue of the tin man, he even had a half smile frozen on his lips. So the police stood on either side of him, leaned on his arms while someone else took a picture, and evrybody laughed at the "stiff shot". Then, they laid the body down gently on deck, placed a blanket over it, while one policeman made the sign of the cross, and said "poor bastard, tomorrow could have been a better day..."

    Alot of the reasoning behind this joking is that it helps take the edge off of our sudden forced contemplation of our own eventual demise, and is a way of easing the unanswered question of "why" something had to happen a certain way.

    Even Mr. Irwin poked fun at death throughout his carreer, and made no bones about it. He was often quoted as saying, "this could be my last moment..." (para). What he did do for us, however is show us that nature is not something to be feared, but respected. And we are all part and parcel of nature (subject to its rules and reality).

    One thing I find ironic, is Mr. Irwin's one private comment about his misgivings on going into the sea. In the outback he was at home, and knew what was around and about him, but in the sea, he was out of his element. I think, for once, he was uncertain about himself, and therefore not prepared, and that cost him dearly. But even here, he taught us a great lesson...

    We can't go through life half cocked, but ignorant about what we are getting ourselves into. There is no bliss in ignorance.

    my thoughts

    v/r

    Q
     
  9. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Well people I knew were very saddened by his (Steve Irwin) death and that he had a young family.

    I think his death sort of went along with the territory...and that if he had a choice as to how he would die he might have preferred this way to go..To be where he was risks were definitely a part of his life and style.

    better than maybe dying slowly in a bed with tubes attached and intravenous feeding perhaps.

    Death in my faith is a release from this life ...just as a bird is released from a cage so the soul wings it's flight to it's spiritual home.

    - Art
     
  10. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Perhaps. But from others' perspectives (purely selfish actually), death is a loss, and we don't want to lose. So often times the one dying or about to die hangs on, not for self so much as for those around the one. Othertimes the one about to die has to comfort the ones remaining behind...(isn't that ironic).

    44 years old, and the whole world knows him by one word..."CRIKEY". Even now it brings a smile and a pleasant thought...(ohhhh boy, what is he up to now?) :eek:
     
  11. Blue Jay

    Blue Jay Well-Known Member

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    Q, thanks for your profound thoughts on death in this thread and the people who "pick up the pieces." This one in particular touches on something I have often wondered. It's as though the person has no right to die unless given permission by the rest of the family. Isn't that the ultimate control issue???

    Just some thoughts.

    BJ
     
  12. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    I think this might have more to do with our K select survival strategy {rather than r-select survival strategy:} it has more to do with concern for the rest of the family to adapt to life without the dying member than it has to do with "the ultimate control," IMHO. {That, and actually having the capacity to care about others.}
     
  13. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Namaste BJ, there is some truth to that. And on the flip side I know people who hung on...until someone came in, or the family came in, and gave them permission. One was comatose, the other was 'on her deathbed' for months...once they had 'permission' they went. Another story closer yet to me. I was on the west coast and recieved a call my grandma was ill. That I should come home. By the time I got coast to coast, all of her family except me had been in to see her. I arrived, long hair, bearded from the woods of northern California...she looked at me and didn't recognize me. She had been in and out for days, they told her who I was, she went back to sleep. A little while later she awoke and immediately recognized me, and sat up and talked with us all for a couple hours. My parents said the most animated she had been in days...and that night she made her transition. She wasn't waiting for permission, but she did wait to say her goodbyes to everyone.
     
  14. Blue Jay

    Blue Jay Well-Known Member

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    That's beautiful, Wil.
     
  15. neosnoia

    neosnoia Well-Known Member

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    I cried. Felt stupid doing it, not knowing him and all. But nevertheless, I cried.

    http://neosnoia.com/?page_id=280
     
  16. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Why feel stupid? No one wants the "hero" to die...ever. Because heroes are supposed to overcome every obstacle. Because it makes us lonely and sort of unprotected...:eek:

    v/r

    Q
     
  17. Postmaster

    Postmaster Well-Known Member

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    Maybe people exaggerate mourning of a death.. Simply because death is one of mans greatest fears.

    How badly would you mourn to the news of hearing your relative divorced (again losing a loved one) compared to there partner dieing.

    You can't force anyone to mourn in any particular way, people react differently to different situations. Above all things respect is what should be given, the kind of respect given is in the best interest of who we are mourning.

    It's said Steve Erwin wanted his death to be broadcasted on TV as a request before he went?
     
  18. Blue Jay

    Blue Jay Well-Known Member

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    Good point. There are ways of losing someone that are far more complicated than death. Death can be a clean break by comparison. All societies have age-old traditions on dealing with death.

    Not to diminish the pain of losing a loved one to death, but to raise awareness that there is suffering over relationships that is just as bad as death and not given half the acknowledgement.

    BJ
     
  19. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Not the same. In a divorce the other is still around, walking the earth. Painful, yes. But for different reasons...

    As far as Erwin wanting his death broadcasted...never heard of that, but since it is recorded, I presume one day it will be...:eek:
     
  20. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Tears are always such a wonderful release. I was at a workshop during the summer where at one moment the tears flowed like spigots. I avoided the tissues, let them run, in public, nearing 50, male, people watching me...was an interesting experience. No death, no trauma, just pure release...very freeing. Twas a comfortable setting though.
     

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