January 6, 2010

Cremation or burial of a dead body

Compiled from my contributions to a discussion with friends on the internet

How the body is treated after death can best be understood as an offering.

A cremation is a burnt offering of the body. What is burnt away is what's more worldly or not desired. What is offered is that what is more heavenly. This must be understood in terms of energy or call it 'vitality elements.'

Of course, ideally there is offered to God and a ceremony must be conducted by somebody in the position of priest. In reality, the offering is often brought not to God but to certain deities or ancestors or angels.

If offered to God and accepted by God, the good elements in the body can go to the spirit or also be given to others, either in spirit world or in the physical world. This is done by God.

If offered to other deities, they do or do not take care of this. If offered to deities, the spirit will come under their control in spirit world, at least for a certain time period after death of the body.

To bury the body is similar as cremation from the viewpoint of offering, but because the body isn't burnt, it takes more time before the offering can be completed. As long as there are remains of the body, the offering isn't completed and could be interrupted if the grave is disturbed.

Another possibility is that the grave comes under control of other people or spirits some time after burial. This would have consequences for the situation of the spirit in spirit world.

Other aspects are: the place where the body is buried (sacred or not) or where the ashes are kept or spread (also same question, sacred or not).

To bury a body means to have a place where the person who died can be visited and attended. Of course, this can also be done with an urn with ashes.

For the spirit who ascended there is still another difference: if the body is still there and the person is very much body-centered, the person can visit the body or sometimes stay with the body. If the person in spirit world cannot find the body, this may cause problems to resurrect the spirit.

This is a matter of personal faith and also of personal spiritual development.

I don't see a reason why either form, cremation or burial, should be prohibited. It is a matter of personal belief. But burial can in certain cases help a smoother transition into the spiritual world.

Cremation can be practiced for reasons of hygiene, or connected to belief in reincarnation. Because as long as the body hasn't completely gone, the spirit would not be free from the old body.

Offering of the body

The entire process must be seen as an offering. In case of cremation, the burning of the body is of course an important stage. In the past and still some countries today, such an offering is made outside with the body on a pile of wood.

In the Western world, little is still understood of the necessity to offer the dead body. A crematorium usually is not a very spiritual or religious place. If there is no official priest present at such an occasion, someone who does understand could try to lead the ceremony in a meaningful way.

When a Catholic priest conducts a religious service for the deceased person, it usually means that the spirit is offered to a Catholic spirit world, paradise or purgatory. How to see this? Is this under God's control? That's up to everyone's opinion. There's no big difference between the Roman Catholic spheres in spirit world and those in the Catholic Church on earth.

The influence of the priest on the offering is notable, but if a priest performs the offering inside a church building and through a traditional service or mass, it means he accepted the spirit world that controls that church. There's no other way to go around that than by performing ceremonies on another place.

To choose the priest is an important responsibility. I would not let 'coincidence' or the traditional runs of affairs take care of this.

Good elements that can be distributed: these are what can be called vitality elements that normally pass from the body to the spirit. Only when a person lived a life of sacrifice for others, will it be possible for some of his or her good elements to be given to others. It's something that I have spiritually seen happening.

Evil cultures of the past often sacrificed people in ceremonies, for example young girls. One meaning of this is that the girls in spirit world had to serve the deities. In that way, believers satisfied the desires of the deities and expected to get protection and blessings in return.

Disturbances of grave sites

Many grave sites of Native Americans have been and still are being disturbed to make place for building projects. I have met people who lived in houses built there and who were haunted by spirits that attacked them again and again. I think this problem is still very much present in today's world.

In Western society many graveyards are abolished after a certain period. But often there are still many spirits attached to such a place where their bodies were buried. Where shall they go after they lost their 'homes?' They may feel terrible and make trouble to people on earth.

In what way spirits are connected to their urn or buried body

There are many, many possibilities here. Some spirits are so undeveloped that they cannot recognize their buried body location even they were brought to it. Some spirits end up in a prison situation right after death. For example, in a war where some soldiers are killed and the rest made prisoner of war, usually the deceased soldiers end up in a prison in spirit world controlled by the enemy.

People who die in a prison on earth usually also end up in prisons in spirit world. Many of them may not be able to escape such prisons for hundreds or even thousands of years.

How long spirits visit their buried bodies?

Again, there are many different situations. If the site is still recognized and kept sacred, spirits may go there for a long, long time.

For example, dolmens often were burial sites for the higher class of tribes. Such spirits may be found on such sites even after thousands of years.

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