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Building an America Kali - Towards an Intelligent Culture of Death


By Shivanath

You are going to die. Admit it.
Rumi talks of life as jostling in the line in front of a door through which people are passing, one at a time, never to return. Why do people contest and shove for position in the queue rather than being focussed on the mystery which comes after all the waiting?
Rumi, of course, was a mad man, but you get the point. Death is certain, life is uncertain. Death will come, but life can almost entirely elude us.
Be on good terms with Death, the general concept, and death - your death - the personal experience.
To help us with this task, we're going to talk with Kali, the Dark Goddess of Death and Destruction, who carried with her the head of Brama, the Lord of the Creation of the Universe.
Shivanath: Kali, dear goddess, what's with all the killing?
Kali: [Hacks shivanath's head off with an axe]
Kali: Now, did that change anything?
Shivanath (from Astral Plane): I don't really suppose so. But those library books are going to take me a while to get back now.
A Kapala is a skull cup. Ideally it should be made from the skull of your previous incarnation but that can be hard to arrange. Any human skull will do. You don't eat or drink anything that isn't served in that skull because, after all, you don't want to get the foolish idea that you're immortal-in-this-body, even if you might be Immortal-in-the-soul.
Might.
I have a skull. Two, actually. One contains my brain. The other is polystyrene and was bought at Big Lots before Burning Man last year. It's good to have a skull.
It's better to have two, so you won't forget that you die.
If you think this culture has sex taboos, you ain't seen nothing. Death is THE GREAT TABOO in American culture. Hospitals and Morgues exist to make death as invisible and as sanitary as possible, the dying hidden from the living, and the dead - as far as possible - hidden from everybody. We live in the same world as "Logan's Run" depicted, with an eternity of Truth and Beauty suddenly interrupted when people go missing sometime around 50 and stop appearing on TV, in Movies, in the News Papers and so on. All we ever really have thrown at our awareness is Youth, young faces and bodies in a never ending media parade while the old and the sick and the dying wither invisibly in nursing homes without a sound.
You think about this unless you were planning on being young and living forever.
To cushion the shock of thinking about death, have a revealed truth:


A birth at any point in the universe represents either the entry of a new soul-being into the Game of Life, or the death of a being at some other point of the Universe.
Read that again.


A birth at any point in the universe represents either the entry of a new soul-being into the Game of Life, or the death of a being at some other point of the Universe.
(Assuming reincarnation) You - yes YOU used to live somewhere else. And then you died, and you came here. Death-and-life, the severing of the old in the name of the creation of the New. Hitler (we'll talk about him more in another essay) destroyed the world trying to create his vision of newness, so this process isn't always good, but it is a fundamental process: one thing dies, even one self, so that another may live. Even in a peaceful time, unless all beings incarnating are new, fresh souls, somebody is dying to keep the Wheel of Time (Kalachakra) appearing to turn.
Kali is not the Grim Reaper, by the way. Kali is your mom: in one form (Parvati) she creates, and in another form (Kali) she continues to create. Just by, you know, hacking your head off.
Kali: So you'll be wanting a new physical body then, Shivanath?
Shivanath: Well... not having any hands other than the ones I imagine into reality myself is a bit of an inconvenience. I can't pick anything solid up and I'm getting hungry.
Kali: Hungry? You habit-addicted fool, you don't even have a stomach to fill. Jesus! Here, eat this (throws Fat Astral Shivanath a donut).
Shivanath: (as donut passes clean through him) Bitch!
Kali and Shivanath: (cackle like mad witches)
Shivanath: Ok, ok, where do you want me to go next?
Kali: Well, how's about earth?
Death is not a major deal from the perspective of the dead, who know that, paradoxically , they are still alive. For the living, death represents the theft of a familiar object, say "Fred," rather than a metaphysical event. Death is like losing your wallet for the living, and like an unexpected trip to a far away place (next door) for the dying.
I think this sounds more blaze and casual than I really feel about dying, but I've gotta say, this is exactly how I saw it before I came here. The attachment to life thing is basically bred into the bodies, and is not a function of the soul.
You are going to die. And it's going to be fine, except for the people who miss you. Some of them will see you again in future lives, though.
So, let's meet this Dark Goddess with whom we are so familiar in the tens of thousands of years, but ignorant of in the decades.
Here she is:




This is the evolution of an Archetype - literally the entry of a new Goddess-form into the World Mind. The American Kali is white-skinned with black clothes, has two arms, and guns and knives. She is a little colder than the Indian Kali, may be single rather than paired with Neo/Christ/Shiva and, in general has a lot more of the killing, and a lot less of the regeneration, as befits a more violent culture and society.
But she's still the killer we all know and love opening the doorway from one lifetime to the next, the mother-before-the-mother, charon of the more ancient world, ferrying us around and around on a mill pond universe.