Domingo, 10 de Julho de 2011

"Death, Sex and Gardening": algo em que tenho pensado ultimamente...


Death of Sardanapalus


Medical science has been conferred a moral neutral ground, which has been "defended on the grounds that medical categories, unlike those of law and religion, rest on scientific foundations exempt from moral evaluations' (Illich 1976 :47). As Shiva has suggested, "modern science is projected as a value-free system of knowledge which has displaced all other belief and knowledge systems by its universality and value neutrality" (Shiva 1989 : 15).

Thus science and the medical profession have infiltrated our conceptions of life and death and given power to determine the way in which we live our lives. Illich suggest that medicine has taken the place of traditional rites of passage in our society. "The ritualization of stages of life is nothing new, what is new is their intense medicalization. (Illich 1976 :89). One of the effects of this medicalization of the life cycle is that "people are turned into patients without being sick. " (Illich 1976 :89). Illich has called this the medicalization of prevention and cites examples such as the medicalization and treatment of birth and old age in hospitals.


It would seem wise to question what happens in a society when there is little emotional involvement in integrative rites of passage, where such rites tend to be medicalized, with the symbols of sexuality, death, decay, regeneration and growth carefully expunged to leave a clinical, scientifically explained reality which serves to further fragment the body into mechanical pieces separate from soul and soil.


What Illich calls the 'de-medicalization of society' could empower people to accept responsibility for their own health and to take the responsibility to shape their environments in such a way as would encourage positive health.

Gardening for food is one of the most important ways in which we can encourage positive health. I would also suggest that this links directly to our conceptions of death as a society. By attempting to create boundaries between death as life and distance ourselves from processes of decay, I feel that we cut ourselves off from process of life, such as the process of growing food, of touching the earth (literally), making compost and the realization that rotting is the precursor of fertility and growth.


A dissolving of some of the boundaries which we create between ourselves and death and the process of dying, including a reclaiming of death and health from the medical profession, can lead to the idea of death as less of an end point and more of a cyclical transition. "Death is a transition; but it is only the last in a long chain of transitions. The moment of death is related not only to the processes of afterlife, but also to the processes of living, aging and producing progeny. Death is related to life" (Metcalf and Huntington 1991 : 108). A reintegration of death and rotting into life could allow us to see the connections between fertility, sexuality and the earth This understanding could be integrated into funeral rites, in which people are active participants, not merely passive observers.


publicado por quaerendoinvenietis às 11:24
link do post | comentar | favorito

. ver perfil

. seguir perfil

. 1 seguidor



.posts recentes

. Isto é CO LO SSAL

. "This is coming to you"

. Contente por ter visto es...

. Contemplação

. The Sinking of the Titani...

. Mantra

. ...

. Uma viagem e tanto


. Feels like home


. Abril 2014

. Janeiro 2014

. Outubro 2013

. Setembro 2013

. Agosto 2013

. Julho 2013

. Abril 2013

. Março 2013

. Fevereiro 2013

. Outubro 2012

. Setembro 2012

. Agosto 2012

. Julho 2012

. Maio 2012

. Abril 2012

. Março 2012

. Janeiro 2012

. Dezembro 2011

. Novembro 2011

. Outubro 2011

. Setembro 2011

. Agosto 2011

. Julho 2011

. Junho 2011