Sunday, March 3, 2024

The fruitfulness of death

“We call this planet Earth, but it should be called life.” This is the thesis of the Catalan ecologist Jordi Miralles Ferrer, because “the real particularity of our planet is not the land nor the ocean, but this thin layer that covers everything called the biosphere.” Especially since, so far, no life has been found anywhere in the universe. Thin because, although we can see some birds flying ten kilometers above sea level or abyssal fish eight kilometers deep, the space where life takes place is equivalent if the planet is the same size—on an apple, the skin that covers it.

What if we call this planet Death? Again, this would describe a particularity of it, because, until proven otherwise, there is no death anywhere in the universe. And, indeed, without life, there is no death, nor vice versa. We call it the biosphere, but we can also call the thanatosphere the thin layer where organic matter dances an unchoreographed dance.

In any case, the beats that shake this bio-than atmosphere are broken by life-feeding death and death-making life reborn. A hard systole, life; a hard diastole, death; of a heart, an important organ which, as Deborah Bird Rose states in her approach to the Australian Aboriginal worldview in the book The Wild Dog’s Dream, “for about four billion years, life and death coexisted, each finding their respectful level of relationship with each other, and together they sustained a family of life on Earth.”

But the culture of modernity no longer pays the cult it deserves in life or death. On the contrary, the imposition of rational thought ends up forgetting the mystery of this eternal cycle. In industrial agriculture, we have a lot of evidence of how, blinded by productivity, based on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, the microscopic life that is in the soil is destroyed, including the digestive biome, which is responsible for obtaining, processing, and delivering the nutrients from dead things. in living plants to maintain the trophic cycle. Is it merely ignorance or more of a reflection of the imposition of a culture that rejects self-awareness and relies on the rest of human and non-human living beings? If we jump to the place of death of people, and especially to the ceremony or burial of our bodies when they have died, we will find some clues.

The culture of modernity no longer pays them the worship they deserve in life or death

I, and I’m sure some of you too, have long stated that when I die, I want my body to be buried directly, without clothes or a coffin, in my garden, and that by feeding detritivores and all kinds of decomposers. , they allow my carbon molecules and other elements, behind the mycorrhizae, to reappear as part of a branch, a stem, a leaf… May my meat made into ” compost” return to the biosphere the life it “borrowed.” me”, avoiding the process The usual formulas, I feel, are very polluting.

The Funeral Natural website, edited by Jordi Miralles, offers excellent information on this matter. For example, it warns that taking dirt in a private place, no matter how nice it is, is not allowed. Or prove that this prohibited natural practice, which is strictly controlled, not only restores the fertility of the soil but has the least ecological impact, as can be obtained from reading a complete study in 2017 held by Fondation Services Paris Funeral Homes.

In any case, it is clear that we die while we live, or vice versa, that we find the same ways to live in the world in ways that do not live in it. While the urban macro cemeteries and their niche skyscrapers are a clear expression of how most lives happen outside nature, the chain cremation of funeral homes is a true reflection of the level of industrialization. and urbanization we have reached.

As has happened in other places and looking for inspiration in cultures past or different from the capitalist West, I hope we free ourselves from fears and prejudices to review not only how we deal with death but also, because it has many. To do this, how do we deal with death? life, to propose and ask for an alternative to natural burials such as green cemeteries or humusation to facilitate our metamorphosis. We come from compost, and we become compost.

“We call this planet Earth, but it should be called life.” This is the thesis of the Catalan ecologist Jordi Miralles Ferrer, because “the real particularity of our planet is not the land nor the ocean, but this thin layer that covers everything called the biosphere.” In particular, until now there has been no…

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