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CARLETON UNIVERSITY / Religion / RELI 2732 / 3 fundamentals of islam.

3 fundamentals of islam.

3 fundamentals of islam.


School: Carleton University
Department: Religion
Course: Death and The Afterlife
Professor: Angela sumegi
Term: Spring 2017
Cost: 50
Name: Death and the Afterlife Final Exam Study Guide
Description: These notes cover what will be on the final exam.
Uploaded: 04/11/2017
20 Pages 106 Views 20 Unlocks


3 fundamentals of islam.


Death and the Afterlife  

Professor Angela Sumegi  

Monday, April 17th 2017

The Religion of Islam

Things to Remember:  

∙ Most recent of the monotheistic faiths  

∙ “Muslim” translates to “One that submits to God” or “One that finds peace in  submission to God”  

∙ “SLM” peace, wholeness, and safety  

∙ “Islam” means “prime ordeal faith with the function of all things according to  God”  

∙ “Shala” means “God wills it”  

∙ Existence itself is enough proof that God exists  Don't forget about the age old question of What happened to public confidence in the federal government and military between 1945 and 1990?

∙ Tawhid- the oneness of God  

Who is prophet mohammed?

3 Fundamentals of Islam  

1. The Unity of God (Shahada): “There is no God but the one God, and  Mohammed is the prophet of God” (Primary constitution of Muslim faith)  2. The Prophecy: Mohammed is the last of the prophets  

3. Eschatology: The study of the end times  

Rabi’ah of Bara  

∙ 8th century Sufi mystic

∙ “O my Lord if I worship you from fear of hell, burn me in hell. If I worship  you from hope of Paradise, bar me from its gates. But if I worship you for  yourself alone, grant me then the beauty of your face.”

∙ She said that she would take a husband only if he could answer 4 questions  correctly.  

o What will the judge of the world say when I die?  

What is mecca?

o When I die, will I be able to answer the angle’s questions?  

o When I am given a book, will I receive it in my left or right hand?  o When man is summoned to judgement, where will I go?  

∙ He cannot answer any of the questions, they are questions that only God can  know that answer to.  If you want to learn more check out How postmodernism changes the genre?

∙ She remained unmarried and devoted herself to the love of God.  The Prophet Mohammed  

∙ Born in Mecca around 570 CE  

∙ In 1610, at the age of 40, he received his first vision  

∙ Gabriel commanded him to recite the words of God (Qur’an)  ∙ Qur’an is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy


∙ God promised Abraham may descendants, but his wife Sarah could not  conceive  

∙ He had a son with his house made, Hagar, whom he called Ishmael  ∙ Sarah had a child in her old age, who was names Isaac  Don't forget about the age old question of How does perception occur?

∙ Abraham took Hagar and Ishmael to the desert and left them there ∙ Hagar searched for water frantically  

∙ An angel appeared and spring pooped up from under the heal of Ishmael  ∙ Spot became a sacred well (The well of Zamzam)  

∙ Hagar settled there  

∙ Abraham returned later and built a shrine called the Kaaba  

∙ It became the most sacred place in Arabia  

∙ Mecca was also a religious center that had annual festivals and attracted  

many trading people  

Pre-Islamic Arab Society  

∙ People thought Allah was too high up to hear them, so they focused their  worship on local deities called the sons and daughters of Allah

∙ (Therefore, Muslims find it incorrect to speak about the son of God, as it is  regarded as a pagan view)

∙ The breath was regarded as the most important possession (song, speech,  prayer)

∙ The language of the Qur’an is still considered to be one of the most beautiful  religious languages (no human could have composed such beauty without  inspiration from a divine source)

∙ There was a group called the Hanifs who were attracted to the monotheistic  views of Christianity and Judaism (Mohammed may have belonged to this  group)  Don't forget about the age old question of Who is jean piaget?

∙ The message that he preached was: “Listen and preach the will of the one  God.”  

Islamic Idea of the Soul  

∙ Nafs- the soul, the inner self or person  

∙ Ruh- the divine spirit the life breath of God that animates a person  ∙ The difference between Ruh and Nafs is sometimes compared the difference  between sleep and death  If you want to learn more check out What are the two major parts of blood?
If you want to learn more check out What is an allocation in economics?

∙ At death, it is the the rational soul (nafs) that dies with the body, and the  divine spirit or breath of life (ruh) that continues  

Cosmology of Islam: The Macrocosm  


∙ Light- place of the angels. (compared  with the pure light of the realm of the  

angels, the human word is darkness  


∙ The worlds in between are the realm of  beings that are said to be neither pure  

light nor pure darkness. Jinn are said to  

be made from fire. Somehow substance

but also light, they are like images in a  

dream, the world of the senses.  

∙ Not quite the external world but somehow, they appear “Imaginal”. They are  not purely imaginary or fantasy…kind of like how a dream has some reality to  it.  

∙ “Imaginal - Something that can appear in any kind of shape or form- like Jinn. Something which appears in a from that shows its meaning- like a dream tiger might show the meaning of power or a dream monster might show the  meaning of anger of fear  

The human being as microcosm  

∙ The soul represents what qualities the person has developed  ∙ The 99 beautiful names of god- merciful, avenging, the loving, the slayer… ∙ All bodies are the same, everyone is made of flesh blood and bones ∙ Every human being is brought to life with the breath of God  

∙ So, the only place that we differ is in  our souls  

∙ the is the meeting place of spirit and  body

What Happens After Death  ∙ Remembering the inevitability of  death is crucial to living a good life  

∙ After death and before resurrection,  soul exists in a state called Barzakh  


∙ The final sign of the end of time will be the sounding of a trumpet blown by  the angel Seraphiel  

∙ After death, the soul will show its true shape

∙ In the first night of the grave the person is questioned by 2 angels names  Munkar and Nakir- they are not your typical angels…big and scary  ∙ The come to interrogate the dead by asking him questions about their religion ∙ If you answer from the heart, you will sleep peacefully until resurrection  ∙ You will also be visited by a man with a beautiful face, he represents your own good deeds  

∙ If you cannot answer the angels properly, your time in the grave will be a time of torment  

∙ the day of resurrection and judgement is also the day of the apocalypse  ∙ On the day of Judgement God will shine light on each person per their works;  some may have light shined only on their toes  

∙ Dead is then questioned by God about their actions in life  

∙ There is also the weighing of good and evils  

o There are people who people who go straight to Heaven or straight to  Hell, people who have done both good and bad have their actions  weighed to determine where their next destination will be  

Spirit and Soul  

∙ Spirit= divine spirit, breath of God- same in all people  

∙ Soul= the personality of the person that shows how much they have  developed the divine qualities that are perfect in God  

∙ Body= everybody is made of the same material

How Souls Appear After Death  

[On the Day of Resurrection, meanings are bared. Then form takes on the color of  meaning. If a person had been dominated by passion and greed [in the world], he  will be seen on that day in the form of a pig. If he has dominated by anger and  aggression, he will be seen in the form of a wolf.]

Burial Practices  

∙ Cremation is prohibited in Islam, and so is embalming and autopsy  ∙ Burial should take place within 24 hours  

∙ The body is to be washed and shrouded in white plain cloths  ∙ Prolonged periods of mourning are discouraged because God’s will include the death of all humans  

∙ Only men are accompanied to carried the body to the grave site, where it is  buried without coffin  


∙ Among the Safaliba Muslims, funerary rituals carry on until 40 days after the  death  

The Places You Will Think Only of Yourself  

∙ when the scales are erected and the actions weighed  

∙ At the scrolls, when you see if you receive the book in your left or right hand  ∙ At the traverse: the bridge over hell  

The Sufi Mystics  

∙ Goal: union with God through pure love (Fana)

∙ Promote contemplation of death as a stage in union with God  ∙ 3 types of death  

o Biological  

o Psychological  

o Social  

The Mystic Idea of Union with God  

∙ Worst sin- associating anyone or anything with God  

∙ It is a sin to fear anything more than you fear God  

∙ It is like the union of air and light  

∙ After death, person becomes like air, and they can be completely permeated  by the light of God- they become inseparable, but still different  

On the day of Judgement  

“On that Day the mountains shall be shaken to dust … On that Day the heavens  shall be split apart …  

On that Day tongues shall be struck dumb, and limbs shall speak out loud.  [It is] the Day on which the secret things are rendered public, the Day on which no  soul shall aid another … the Day on which one shall have no refuge from God …  On that Day … Hellfire is brought near and its simmering water brought to a boil; the Inferno moans, the unbelievers despair …” (184-87)

Dying in the World of Sufism  

• Biologically – denying the ordinary needs of the body

• Psychologically – abandoning all desires except the desire for union with God • Socially – abandoning caring for social convention, focused only on the love of God

• Fana – the Sufi goal - extinction of the individual self in the light of God – living in unity with God

The Religion of Hinduism

The View of Time  


∙ time is thought to be a cycle of creation and

destruction (circular)  

∙ Great periods of evolution are called Clapas  

(every 4 billion 320 million years)

∙ Mythic events take place in Clapas  

∙ The cycle of death and rebirth is called  

Samsara (keeps going due to self-oriented

internal action)  

View of time in monotheistic traditions  


∙ “Hindu” is an ancient Persian name meaning “someone who does not  convert”  

Major Traditions of Hinduism Based on The Vedas  

∙ Vedas are the sacred scriptures of the Hindus  


∙ The earliest text consists of verses of praise to various gods of Aryan people  o Surya – The Sun God  

o Candra- The Moon God  

o Agni- the God of Fire  

o Indra-god of storms

o Yama- Lord of Death  

∙ Hinduism that we know today is a blend of the Aryan people who conquered  the Indus Valley people, also the various mountain people and the people  from the south  

The Cast System  

∙ The Priestly (Brahmin Class)  

∙ The Warrior Class  

∙ The Merchant Class  

∙ The Servant Class  

∙ The Harajins (untouchables)  


∙ Dharma- law or duty  

o Religious, social, and family duty  

o Eternal cosmic law or truth  

∙ Karma in the Vedic period- action of ritual of the fire sacrifice  ∙ In the in the Upanishads- intentional action and result of action  ∙ Karma- the natural law occurring in the universe  

∙ Soul- atman  

∙ According to a person’s good or bad actions the soul takes rebirth in good or  bad conditions.  

∙ Moksha- liberation from rebirth and re-death by realizing the true nature of  the atman  

∙ In the Vedic period 1500-800 BCE

o Karma had an emphasis on the ritual action of fire sacrifice  o Karma does not mean intentional action and its results  

The Paths (Marga) to Liberation from Samsara (Moksha)  

∙ Karma Marga- the path of action associated with the ancient sacrificial  

religion of the Vedas

o There was no idea of Samsara in this period  

o There are gods for each level of the earth (atmosphere, earth, water,  mountains)  

o Underworld is for the dead ancestors  

o Was to ensure the blessing of the Gods  


∙ Jnana Marga- the path of knowledge related to the later Vedic tradition of the  Upanishads  

∙ Bhakti Marga- the path of devotion related to worship and devotion to a  particular deity  


∙ Focused on liberation from the existence of an unreliable world  The Vedas  

∙ Means knowledge- most ancient texts with regard to the religions that  developed in India  

Vedic Sacrifices  

∙ West- round altar (earth) [animal preparation]

∙ East- sky fire [relatedness of

Gods and earth things]  

∙ South- fire (hungry fire)

[nourishing the ancestors]  

∙ All offerings made to Agni,

the God of Fire  

∙ Fire = Transformation  

∙ Harmony of the universe

depended these rituals

performed by the Brahman


∙ Cremation is called the last


Vedic Death Rituals  

∙ Cremation was the last sacrifice to the fire God  

∙ Sons performed death rituals to create a new body for the deceased to  nourish the soul  

∙ Ended in the Sapindikarana ritual- the transformation of the person’s spirit  into an ancestor  

∙ If the sacrifices were not made, then the deceased would go hungry  ∙ A person needed to marry and have sons to ensure a good afterlife  ∙ Marriage and procreation was debt that had to be paid to your ancestors  


Karma and Rebirth in the Upanishads  

∙ Karma is the intentional action which can bring results independent of any  divine force  

∙ It is the natural law operating the universe  

∙ According to Karma, one can be reborn into good or bad conditions  The Nine Stages of Death  

∙ Preparation for death, the moment of death, preparation of the body, process  of cremation, disposal of the ashes, ritual, annual rituals  

∙ At the moment of death, the person should be at home, close to the ground,  and with the name of god on their lips  

∙ At the moment of death, water from the Ganges or the leaf of a Tulsi plant is  placed in the mouth of the dead  

Family After Death  

∙ The family is thought to be in a state of impurity after the pollution of death  ∙ Mourners can’t visit temples or other people’s homes  

∙ In order to release the soul, the skull must be broken  

∙ Mourners must make rice balls and present it to the spirit of the deceased and poor water over it. Every day they poor a little water over it, and each time a  little bit of the spirit is born  

∙ On the 12th day the spirit is full and can go to the land of the ancestors  The Atman  

∙ Atman has no gender  

∙ That which sees, hears, knows and understands  

∙ But we confuse it with ourselves  

∙ What is really seeing is the unseen seer  

Path of Knowledge  

∙ Study leading to the realization of the true nature of the soul as the essense  and foundation of the whole universe  

The Path of Devotion  

∙ Love and devotion to the personal lord  

∙ Ex. Krishna or Shiva or the great mother (Devi)

∙ It’s also the path to liberation  

∙ The goal of the devotee is union with the beloved lord, not identification with  the lord  


∙ The afterlife goal of the devotee is rebirth in the heaven of the beloved and  the opportunity to continue worshipping one’s personal lord  

The Bhagavad-Gita  

∙ The text in which Krishna is the incarnation of Vishnu  

∙ The story of the two cousins that went to war…  

Ideal Stages of Life of an Upper Cast Male  

∙ Student  

∙ Householder  

∙ Retirement  

∙ Renunciation (focusing on liberation)  

Hindu Funeral Ritual  

∙ Body is cremated within 12 hours of death  

∙ Eldest son lights the fire  

∙ Ashes are immersed in a river or in the nearest ocean  

∙ Family goes into mourning and an oil lamp is kept lit for the dead  ∙ There is a feast at the end of the 11-day mourning period, and son performs  annual memorial ceremony from that point on  

∙ During these days, the family is considered to be in the “liminal zone”- they  cannot enter the temple  

What happens to the soul?  

∙ A sincere devotee would go to the heaven of their chosen Lord, and after  spending some time there, the soul is reborn and its new form depends on the karma from its previous life.

∙ The wicked, of course would go to naraka, a place of torment, the underworld  dwelling of Yama, Lord of Death and judge of a person’s deeds. But no place is permanent and after some time, the soul would again be reborn in the never ending cycle of samsara.

Women and Death  

∙ Sumangali- a woman could become a Sumangali by immolating herself on her Husband’s Funeral Pyre- this was called a Sati or Suttee  

∙ Santi- the ancient practice of widow suicide  


∙ Widows must wear white  

∙ If they did not have a son before their husband died this was considered very  unfortunate  

∙ Life is hard for widows. They must marry their husband’s younger brother,  burn with their dead husbands, or lead a life of self-denial  

Realization and Liberation  

When one has realized that which is soundless, intangible, formless, unchanging,  tasteless, odorless, unwavering, beginningless, and endless, that which is infinite  and perfectly stable, then one is freed from the jaws of death.

The Religion of Buddhism  

Common Principals  

∙ Cyclical concept of time and personality i.e. Samsara- cycle of birth and death ∙ Samana- one who rejects the household life to seek liberation  ∙ Karma and Rebirth  

∙ There is an idea of rebirth, but does not believe there is unchanging part of us ∙ Does not believe in the idea of God  

∙ Existence is dependent on causes and conditions- therefore nothing can come into existence unless it is based on its own causes and conditions ∙ Everything is impermanent  

∙ Bardo- the state between death and rebirth  

∙ Buddhists want to die in the sleeping lion position, on the right side with the  head pointed north  

Gautama Buddha 400 – 480 BCE  

∙ Gautama- family name  

∙ Siddhartha- Boyhood name  

∙ Buddha- the awakened one  

∙ Born as the son of a great chieftain  

∙ Mother dreamed of a pure white element that entered her from the right side  on the night of his conception  


∙ Immediately after his birth, the Buddha took 7 steps and prophesized that this would be his last birth  

∙ It was prophesized that he would be either be a great ruler, but if not he  would become a Samana  

∙ Father wanted Siddhartha to be a ruler, so he sheltered his son  ∙ Siddhartha got bored of being trapped in the palace, he leaves and see the 4  sights  

o Old man  

o Sick man  

o Dead man  

o And a Samana  

∙ The Samana inspired him to leave the palace for good and search for the  truth  

∙ One night while meditating under a tree he gained liberation  Nirvana  

∙ “awakening” or “enlightenment”- attained in life  

∙ Parinirvana- means “further” Nirvana – the death of the awakened one  Last words of the Buddha  

“Decay is inherent in all component things! Work out your salvation with diligence!”  The Four Noble Truths  

∙ All beings experience Dukkha- suffering  

∙ All suffering has cause  

∙ Suffering can cease only if the cause is eliminated  

∙ There is a path by which one can attain the cessation of suffering  Stupa  

∙ Buddhist reliquary and funeral monument for great persons  

∙ After the body is cremated the relics are held in the Stupa  

Buddhist Meditation on Death  

∙ We must accept that death always accompanies birth- everything has an end, and this is unavoidable- everything is impermanent, fragile, and forever  changing

∙ There are no nouns in Buddhism- there can’t be because nothing is concrete everything is constantly changing and in motion.  

Samsara: The Cycle of Rebirth and Re-death  


∙ The Upper-World- related to good birth  

o The gods  

o The anti-gods  

o The humans  

∙ The lower world- related to bad rebirth  

o Animals  

o Hungry ghosts  

o Hell beings  

∙ World of the gods characterized by pride

∙ World of the anti-gods characterized by jealousy and aggression ∙ World of humans characterized by desire

∙ World of animals characterized by ignorance

∙ World of the hungry ghosts characterized by avarice (excessive greed) ∙ World of hell-beings characterized by anger

View of The Soul  

∙ Teaches anatman (no soul)

∙ Any idea of the unchanging part to the person is just an illusion  ∙ Upon death, the stream that is the material body dries up, comes to an end,  but the mind stream consisting of subtle mental habits and tendencies  continues and eventually forms another body and takes a new birth  ∙ The consciousness of the dead lingers between this world and another for 49  days  

∙ When the consciousness separates from the body, the consciousness can  hear much better than it could in life.  

∙ Bardos end when there is a sign that consciousness has left the body Mara  

∙ Mara represents the connection between death and desire, and everything  that obstructs enlightenment, like ego  

∙ He is sometime looked at as the Buddhist Satan, but unlike Satan, Mara can  reach enlightenment just like any other human  

Three Reasons to Contemplate Death  

∙ Death is certain  

∙ The time and occasion of death is uncertain  

∙ Spiritual practice is the only protection at death and beyond  The Three Poisons  

∙ Rooster- greed  

∙ Serpent- Hatred  


∙ Pig- Delusion  

∙ Nirvana is the blowing out or extinction of the three poisons that manipulate  the personality  

Himalayan Vulture  

∙ Sacred bird in Tibetan culture  

∙ They typically cremate their dead, but in some cases the body is offered as  food for the birds  


∙ Merit- force of good that makes you go up in the world of life and results in a  food rebirth  

∙ Merit is to be shared or dedicated to the welfare of others (including the  living, sick and the dead)- it is not to be hoarded for oneself alone  

Tibetan Book of the Dead (Bardo Thodol)

∙ “The Great Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo”  

∙ To be read to the dying  

∙ The text is read out loud after the death as well to guide the soul  

The 6 Bardos  

1. Life  

2. Dream  

3. Meditation  

4. Dying Process  

5. After Death  

6. Rebirth  

Bardo of the After-death State

∙ Consciousness wakes up in a dream-like state  

∙ Beautiful and horrifying hallucinations occur  

Bardo of the Rebirth Process  

∙ Consciousness becomes tired of the changing conditions of the Bardo and  longs for stability  

∙ It begins to look for a womb where it can rest  

∙ “if you have been able to find liberation, then look for a good human rebirth.”  14

Meditation on death not interned to be morbid or create depression  May this realization help me to put aside useless regrets,  

To live each day with compassion for myself and others,  

With kindness towards myself and others,  

With joy in the achievements of myself and others,  

And with even-mindedness in all things.

The Religion of Jaina  

Core Concepts  

∙ Most fundamental principal is non-violence above all else- the only battle  worth fighting is the one where you conquer your own ego

∙ Non-violence is the supreme duty/path/religion  

∙ “Samyak Darshan”- correct vision/ insight into the truth of non-violence  ∙ If you are not bothered by violence, you can never attain Moksha  ∙ Jiva (soul)- all life forms have a soul  

∙ Ajiva (matter)

∙ All life forms have Jiva  

∙ Beginningless association with these two forms-there is no creator God  ∙ Goal: escaping the cycle of birth and rebirth  

∙ We can burn off Karma by practicing non-violence  

Acaranga Sutra- The Oldest Jaina texts  

∙ Mahavira- the great hero- he was a historical personage

∙ The last in a series of 24 teachers  

∙ Earliest person that we know of associated to Jainism

∙ When we cause harm, we cause harm to ourselves  

∙ The teacher can only come when there is a mixture of suffering and  happiness in the world  

Monks and Nuns  


∙ Becoming a monk or a nun is to become a hero in the tradition  ∙ Some wear mouth guards so they can only speak when necessary and don’t  breathe in living things .  

∙ Ideal path in Jainism but less than .5% actually become monks or nuns  ∙ Sadhu, Sadhvi (ascetics, some naked)  

∙ 3:1 ratio of nuns to monks  

∙ It is believed that females are naturally more violent that males  ∙ They move around India for 8 months a year, and only stop in the rainy  season  

Mahavratas (Great Vows)  

∙ Non-violence  

∙ Truth  

∙ Non-stealing  

∙ Celibacy  

∙ Non- possession  


∙ They celebrate death, and they want to have a good death  ∙ A good death means being conscious until the last breath  

∙ when they know they are dying, some do a ritual fast  

∙ called “Sallekhana”- scratching out the body to save the soul  ∙ Santhara- the bed one lays down on to die  

∙ The key is to know when to give your body up  

Eastern Traditions  

**Eastern traditions reflect 4 strands of influence  

1. Ancient indigenous beliefs- concerned with spirits  

2. Confucianism- concerned with proper behavior  

3. Daoism- concerned with the natural way of things  

4. Buddhism-concerned with Karma and rebirth  

[What you do is more important than what you believe. You can be a Daoist and  Buddhist at the same time. If the people fulfill their obligation, and their god does  not fulfill his duty, there is no point in continuing the relationship.]


Fundamental Concepts  

∙ They do not speak of a creator  

∙ The gods are organized into a hierarchy  

∙ All deities are lodges in one place of worship, no matter what eastern tradition they belong to.  

∙ The way to deal with a bad spirit is to worship it like a god. The positive will  counter act the negative.  

∙ People can have different beliefs and still be great friends.  

∙ “Dao” or “Tao”- the order of nature, mother of the universe, the way  ∙ When you die, you join the community of the dead  

∙ The main religious issue is health and wellbeing of the person both in this life  and in death  

Yin and Yang  

∙ Yan (White)- signifies qualities of light, warmth, height, expansion, activity,  masculinity

∙ Yin (Dark)-signifies qualities of darkness, coldness, death, contraction,  tranquility, femininity  

∙ Everything is complementary, and everything is associated with Yin and Yan  ∙ There is no condition that is entirely Yan or entirely Yin  

∙ When the person is sick, it is believed that the balance of Yin and Yan is off  within the body  

∙ Soul is understood to have a balance of Yin and Yan elements  Chinese Soul Theory  

∙ Based on the principals of Yin and Yan  

∙ The Hun/Yan soul is associated with the chi (breathe or cosmic energy)  becomes the benevolent/Shen spirit  

∙ The P’o/ Yin soul is associated with the physical body/grave/ghosts  ∙ Burning of paper houses and effigies to ensure the comfort of the dead in  

their afterlife  

o Yin soul remains with the body  

o If body is not buried properly, then the Yin could bring harm to the  family  

o Practice of second burial- bones are dug up and placed in a new urn  Views of the Afterlife  

∙ Heaven and Hell conceived as vast bureaucracies like the Chinese court and  government on earth  

∙ Heaven- court of the celestial jade emperor  


∙ Hell- ruled by the 10 kings of Hell  

Gods, Ghosts, and Ancestors  

∙ Gods and Ancestors are Yang phenomena  

o Gods worshipped by the general community  

o Ancestors venerated by their individual families  

∙ Ghosts are Yin phenomena  

o Can become harmful if bodies are not cared for properly  

∙ Ancestors  

o Can be both worshipped as an ancestor spirit by the family and feared  as a ghost by others  

∙ Yin soul becomes a ghost when there is no one left to care for it  ∙ If person died under tragic/sudden circumstances, they are considered  dangerous or pitiful like beggars or bandits  

∙ The souls of dead children always become ghosts  

∙ People put offerings outside the house for them, hoping the ghost will pass on and not disturb them  

∙ By worshipping these spirits, they can become calm, and this pacifies all the  negative elements about them  

Fung Sway  

∙ The art of positioning graves, homes, and buildings  

∙ As to best benefit for the chi energy in the area  

∙ Must position the graves in the proper way to make sure the yin soul is  content to remain in the body  

The Dao  

∙ The source and order of the universe that manifests in all things  ∙ The natural way of things  

∙ The path, the way  


∙ Associated with ritual, magic, alchemy, and the goal of becoming an  immortal dwelling eternally in the paradise of the immortals- the isle of the  blessed  



∙ In China, the tried to develop a substance that could give eternal life  ∙ Their search turned inwards- inner alchemy- the attempt to produce an  immortal body through practices of mind and breath control  

∙ Only 8 ever managed to do this- they were called the immortal- thought to  live in the isle of the blessed  

The Dao De Jing by Lao Zi  

∙ “the way that can be spoken of is not the eternal way; the name that can be  named is not the eternal name; the nameless was the beginning of heaven  and earth; the named was the mother of the Myriad creatures.”

∙ The Dao whatever we can say about it, is not the eternal Dao, because the  eternal Dao is nameless, and that namelessness is the source of the Dao.  

Philosophy in Daoism

∙ The simple life is the way to happiness

∙ The Daoist person is very modest and takes delight in small things  ∙ If you grieve too much after someone’s death, it goes to show you don’t know anything about the natural progression of the world

∙ Life and death are a continuum, no one just disappears  


Tony Walters- Thesis 1  

1. Death in the modern world is an alienating and terrifying experience.  ∙ He claims that death and grieving where easier when people had  religion and ritual to rely on  

∙ Claims that modern medicalized death is not as natural as it was in the past  

∙ Claims that religious beliefs in heaven and hell help people to die  ∙ Claims that community mourning and funerals of the past were  psychologically comforting  


Tony Walters- Thesis 2

2. modern death is a good death  

∙ a good death in modern times should mean that people do not fear  death and, therefore, need religion less

Tony Walters- Thesis 3  

3. Modern societies have developed new ways of dealing with death ∙ The media contributes to helping people grieve and face death  


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