Happiness Academy Online

A Blog about Psychology (Jungian), Spirituality and Happiness, By Roberto Lima Netto.

Death – The Grace in Dying

(Clique para português)

Death and TimeDeath – The Grace in Dying

The death of my mother was traumatic. She was lying in bed on pains that drugs could hardly stop, suffering her terminal illness.

We all know we are going to die, but the majority of Western people try not to think about it. In the East, with the belief in reincarnation, the situation is radically different. Take the example of the Buddhists; they preach that the meditation on death, on the impermanence of life, is essential for our spiritual development.

Death is feared in the Westerns world. Many claim that they are not afraid of death, but of the pain that comes along. If this were the case, modern drugs could solve the problem. But this attitude may be a disguise for our fears; in fact our ego is afraid of the unknown. What waits for us after death?

I just finished reading an excellent book- The Grace in Dying by Kathleen Dowling Singh, Ph.D. Kathleen works with dying patients in a hospice, in Florida. The subtitle of the book – A Message of Hope, Comfort, and Spiritual Transformation – describes in a nutshell its contents.

The book goes through the stages of dying on track with the teachings of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, a pioneer in the subject of dying, describing several real life cases. But Kathleen goes further. The main thesis of the book is that we can prepare ourselves for death working on our spiritual growth.

The three main periods of the nearing death experience  are Chaos, Surrender and Transcendence. The first two are fully covered with existing literature of the subject. Kathleen stresses the third period, with a myriad of examples showing that we do not need to fear death.

But I think we should fear the period of Chaos. This is the aspect that, as Kathleen and Buddhists stress, can be overcame, or at least enriched, by an adequate spiritual development through life.

Kathleen also affirms that the transcendence phase is a beautiful one. The peace and brightness that permeate the dying person in the last days or hours or minutes of life are fantastic gifts for persons around.

When my mother was dying, I didn’t have the courage to be close to her, to keep her hands, to pray with her. I was afraid of death. Although I was near, I would hide in the next room, talking to my brothers, hopping for a miracle, trying to deny the obvious – that my dear mother was dying.

Until today, I feel sorrow for my weakness. It’s a shame I didn’t know Kathleen’s book before the death of my mother.

I’m Roberto Lima Netto, a Jungian. I write Jungian books –  The Jungian BibleThe Little Prince for Grownups — and Psychological thrillers – The Amazon Shaman, – In Search of Happiness.

Capas Biblia Principe Bible Prince Shaman

 

 

A Graça na Morte

A morte de minha mãe foi traumática. Ela estava deitada na cama com dores que as drogas não conseguiam eliminar, sofrendo seu câncer terminal.

Todos sabemos que vamos morrer, mas a maioria dos ocidentais tenta não pensar sobre morte. No Oriente, com a crença na reencarnação, a situação é radicalmente diferente. Tomemos o exemplo dos budistas, que pregam que a meditação sobre a morte, sobre a impermanência da vida, é essencial para o nosso desenvolvimento espiritual.

A morte é temida no mundo ocidental. Muitos afirmam que não têm medo da morte, mas do sofrimento que vem com ela. Se este fosse o caso, as drogas modernas poderiam resolver o problema. Mas essa atitude pode ser um disfarce para nossos medos; na verdade nosso ego tem medo do desconhecido. O que nos espera depois da morte?

Acabei de ler um excelente livro, A Grace na Morte por Kathleen Dowling Singh, Ph.D. Kathleen trabalha com pacientes que estão morrendo em um instituição para doentes terminais, na Flórida. O subtítulo do livro – Uma Mensagem de Esperança, Conforto e Transformação Espiritual – descreve em poucas palavras o seu conteúdo.

O livro descreve os estágios da morte com base nos ensinamentos de Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, uma das pioneiras no assunto, descrevendo vários casos da vida real. Mas Kathleen vai mais longe. A principal tese do livro é que podemos nos preparar para a morte trabalhando em nosso crescimento espiritual.

Os três períodos principais da experiência da morte são Chaos, Rendição e Transcendência. Os dois primeiros são totalmente cobertos com a literatura existente sobre o assunto. Kathleen ressalta o terceiro período, com uma infinidade de exemplos que mostram que não precisamos temer a morte.

Mas acho que nós deveríamos temer o Caos. Este é o período que, como Kathleen e os budistas ressaltam, pode ser superado, ou pelo menos melhorado, por um desenvolvimento espiritual adequado ao longo da vida.

Kathleen também afirma que a fase de transcendência é linda. A paz e o brilho que permeiam o moribundo nos últimos dias ou horas ou minutos de vida são presentes fantásticos para pessoas ao seu redor.

Quando minha mãe estava morrendo, eu não tive a coragem de estar perto dela, manter suas mãos entre as minhas, orar junto com ela. Eu tinha medo da morte. Embora estive perto, eu me escondia no quarto ao lado, conversando com meus irmãos, rezando por um milagre, tentando negar o óbvio – que a minha mãezinha estava morrendo.

Até hoje, sinto remorso por minha fraqueza. É uma pena que eu então não conhecesse o livro de Kathleen.

I was involved in the business world, as an executive of large companies and university professor since recently. I was the president CSN, the largest steel-mill of Latin America and was responsible for its turn-around. My first encounter with the teachings of the Swiss psychologist C. G. Jung, one of the greatest geniuses of the 20th Century, was during my midlife crisis. Reading "Man and his Symbols" at that time, inspired me to go into Jungian analysis and to begin devouring the writings of Jung and his disciples. Since then, I've been studying psychology, especially Jungian psychology and, after reaching my seventies, I decided to become a full time writer, specializing on books on Jungian psychology and psychological thrillers. Every masterpiece of literature can be absorbed through multiple interpretations, and yield powerful insights for our daily lives. My first Jungian book, “The Little Prince for Grown-ups“, in its fourth edition in Brazil, was based on the famous book of Saint-Exupéry. The second, - “The Jungian Bible” - interprets some stories of the Old Testament and world myths. As I get older and, with a bit of luck, wiser, I want to pass on to the younger generations the lessons life has taught me. Jesus Christ taught that it was easier to sell ideas with stories. Following the Master, I published in English "The Amazon Shaman" and "In Search of Happiness", two psychological thrillers around the theme of happiness.

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