Analecto

23 de setembro de 2020

Some advice from Augustine, part 4.

Filed under: Livros, Saúde e bem-estar — Tags:, , — Yure @ 11:09

This time, I decided to read the short The Care Due to the Dead. I already knew more or less the content of this treaty, considering what Augustine says about Monica in the Confessions. According to Agostinho, in the Confessions, Monica did not care about the place where she would be buried, since no place was far from God. So I thought that Care for the Dead would go in the same direction, that burial was of no importance. I was almost completely right.

If what matters to the subject who dies are his actions in life, it follows that burial and funeral honors are more a consolation for the living (in the form of a memorial, for example) than an aid to the deceased in the afterlife.

It is not that burial has no value. It’s just that it has no value for those who are dead. The dead guy doesn’t know anything about what happens to the living. So he doesn’t benefit from a good burial. Considering that many righteous people were cremated or crushed or dismembered, it is difficult to say that burial is necessary. If so, what happens to those who cannot be buried because of the nature of the death they suffered? So, what is burial for? It’s a way for the living to show respect to the person who died and maintain their memory alive. If so, burial is a benefit to the living more than it is to the dead. In fact, depending on the person who dies, the burial may not even be a respectful tribute. If I die, I want my organs to be donated. In short, the grave is of no importance to those who die, being, in fact, a way for the living to maintain the memory of the deceased or to show respect for the person who departed.

Neither the good man loses anything by not having his body buried, nor the bad man gains anything by receiving burial. If prayers for the dead are useful, that utility should be limited only to those who died with a positive balance.

From what has been said previously, it appears that burial does not help the soul of the deceased wherever it is. A doomed guy who dies is still doomed after death. And the worst thing is that his time to redeem himself is over, since what counts are the actions in life. An absolutely bad person will not win a paradise because he was buried near a martyr. Nor does the good person lose anything in the afterlife because he was not buried. It is the actions in life that matter, not the party thrown at the funeral in honor to a dead body. The same goes for funeral prayers. If the actions in life are what matters, the prayers made by the living in honor of the dead are only useful for those who die in divine favor. That, of course, if such prayer has any use.

When we see a living person in our dreams, there is no reason to believe that it is the actual person who is manifesting to us in dreams, which means that there is no reason to believe that it is the actual person who is manifesting to us when we see in a dream a person who has died.

I would like to see what Rivas has to say about this, as he is into the study of past lives and immortality of the self. For Augustine, when we see a living person in dreams, we don’t think that the person is astrally projecting into our dreams, especially because the person we saw in the dream can confirm that he was just sleeping at the time the dream occurred and ensure that he did not “project” anything at all. Unless… So why are there people who believe they speak to the dead when a dead person “manifests” in dreams? Whatever the significance of the phenomenon, it is wrong to think that the person is really manifesting in dreams just because we cannot ask the corpse if it was really him, once we are awake, like we can ask a living person we saw in our dream.

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