Introducing the topic of the "afterlife" to the layman


I think it’s fair to say that the departure of the soul from flesh through physical death is an extremely sensitive subject in many of the world’s societies today, and the taboo nature portrays it as extremely negative and traumatic. My father had a close call a few weeks back (everything is fine now) and it definitely shook me up a bit as I haven’t really experienced the death of anyone close to me in my life. It did get me thinking, however.

So my question is: how do you approach the subject of death and the beyond with those who aren’t spiritually-inclined? I suppose it’s a similar task to introducing practical spirituality to someone who has no knowledge or understanding of it. I would be the first to say that it’s probably a waste of time to try and convince someone who has little importance to you, but what about those who are, such as family and close friends? Or should you not introduce the subject to them at all?

It brings to mind the Bardo Thodol (Tibetan Book of the Dead) and its function of being read by a monk to the individual approaching death (continuing to the corpse after death) in attempt to prepare and guide the spirit to enlightenment. I know that Dion Fortune has a book which deals with this exact topic however I have yet to read it.

Have any of you had to deal with this issue?


Well one co-worker was going on about he was thinking of joining a local church because he wanted answers before he died and I was like “I don’t think you’ll find any real answers doing that” told him a bit of what I think on the matter though I don’t know how much he believes it as most of my co-workers think I’m kind of crazy.