I haven't spent much time envisioning how I'd like my dead body to be disposed of. But after listening to an episode of Philosophy Talk today, "Is Nothing Sacred Anymore?," I've got an interesting psychedelic option to consider.
Here's what a member of the audience said:
Hello, my name is Jay Monk. I'm from Willamette University. And first I'll apologize for the asking of this question about a taboo, but I really want to know what your thoughts are. If hypothetically, for my burial, I'd like to be buried in a plot of land that has been inoculated with psychedelic mushrooms, and then afterwards, in six months or however long, my friends and family take these as a celebration of my life in a wake ceremony, is that sacrilege?
Responses of the philosophers (the ones I could make out among the ensuing laughter):
What a good question! Leave it to the young to think of new ways to break... Wait a minute, these are edible mushrooms? Yes, yes, they have to ingest them to get high. Seems like a cool idea. This could be a celebration of somebody's life. One does have knowledge of rituals in which human beings are eaten as a way of passing on their powers to the people who eat them. And a kind of ritual, eating of the mushrooms that have grown on a person's grave is a mode of connection to that person's life, actually. It shows a kind of seriousness... Have you patented that, uh...
Great idea, Jay. It's terrific that a guy going to college right here in Salem, Oregon, my home town, had such a philosophically inspiring notion.
I had some personal acquaintance with psilocibin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, back in the 1960's. My memory of the experience is dim, but I'm confident that if any friends or family of a deceased person were still grieving after six months, a magic mushroom experience, courtesy of the grave site, would knock them into another state of consciousness.
Graveyard soils apparently are conducive to mushroom growing. And Oregon is fertile ground for magic mushrooms. So I hope you will indeed patent your idea, Jay. Don't let a minor detail like the illegality of magic mushrooms stop you.