Stephen A. Fuqua (saf)

a Bahá'í, software engineer, and nature lover in Austin, Texas, USA

The Oneness of Burial

dogwood flowers

The closing from one of the many beautiful essays in Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril is incredibly moving (as is the rest of the essay), illustrating the beauty of simplicity and oneness with the world around us:

“When I die, wash my body with a cotton cloth. Bury me in a split-wood coffin crafted from trees that died a natural death. Lay me to rest in clothes I have already worn thin. Do not seal out the water and bugs and burrowing critters. Let me be absorbed back into the Earth. Let my body turn to soil. Even when I’m dead, let me nourish the future.” (p107, by Carly Lettero).

In fact, it reminds me of words from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá… I cannot find the passage I am looking for, but I have found another, more succinct passage, in Star of the West, Vol 11, No. 19 (March 2, 1921):

“The body of man, which has been formed gradually, must similarly be decomposed gradually. This is according to the real and natural order and Divine Law … that after death this body shall be transferred from one stage to another different from the preceding one, so that according to the relations which exist in the world, it may gradually combine and mix with other elements, thus going through stages until it arrives in the vegetable kingdom, there turning into plants and flowers, developing into trees of the highest paradise, becoming perfumed and attaining the beauty of color.”


Posted with : Social Discourse, On the Subject of Religion, Nature, Sustainability, Environment, Wildlife, Bahá'í Faith