Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Zoroastrian tradition

Saint Swithin had kind of the right idea. He was a bishop and with Bishops they were often buried in their Cathedral, but Saint Swithin chose to be laid to rest outside, where his body might be subject to the feet of passers-by and rain.  Around a hundred years after his death, his body was moved into his Cathedral, and to show his displeasure at being disturbed, Saint Swithin may or may not have caused it to rain heavily for forty days and forty nights. And this I think is the point about the Zoroastrian tradition. Once the birds of the air have finished with your flesh, and once the Coyote, the neighbors dogs, the odd squirrel and maybe there's a bunch of others, have chewed up your bones, then there's no chance of a resting place being moved, because there is no resting place.

Being alive would be so much easier if when you were born, the ethers would gather and send you some kind of a telegram, or an email with the date and time of your last moment with life. September 23rd, 2021 at two in the morning, Greenwich Mean Time. Then you could plot your course, drift off in to the wilderness and pray hikers, or woodsmen, or landowners wouldn't find you until you were well gone back to the earth. It's a good theory, I know, but the practicalities of ensuring that birds of the air had the first go at you, rather than a Canine would require either a high degree of agility that might enable you to climb a tree and lodge yourself up there, or some kind of contraption that would lift you high into the air and hold enough of you there until well past your bloat phase.

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