The role of the shaman at death

The only certainties in life are death and taxes, according to Benjamin Franklin. So you’d think that, given the 100 per cent inevitability of our demise, we’d be making sure that we knew a heck of a lot about it. But no. We have every kind of instruction, information, advice and guidance on how to…

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Let’s talk about death and dying

The last hours of an 84-year-old man, dying from cancer, which was televised last May, caused much controversy. Unlike in the East, we’ve managed to sanitise death. Wandering around India, one soon comes across death red in tooth and claw, with bodies in Bombay left mouldering in the streets, or being burned on funeral pyres. Here…

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