Read before the Bureau of Homoeopathic Philosophy, I.H.A., July 21, 1954.
DAYTON PULFORD, M.D.
If life is pretty much of a mystery, so is its termination, death. Other than whether or not death comes in a violent or very painful manner, it concerns more people to know what takes place after death. This is more mysterious than death itself.
We have a fair idea of what takes place in the physical death process. We know that we do not die all over at once, even if the death is violent. We know that the organization of the body is irreparably broken so that it can no longer maintain itself even with external aids. We know that parts of us can be kept alive by artificial means. All of this is of very little comfort to ourselves and our survivors. Thus, in the main it is the spiritual aspect that concerns man more in death.
Man is more concerned with his exit than his entrance because he cannot remember his entrance and by some experience of one kind or another forms some conception of his probable exit. This most likely accounts for the very little celebration w hen a child is born, other than a few cards, a few presents and the passing out of a few cigars, as compared when one makes his exit. Then the family goes all out in a demonstration. Poverty stricken people mortgage their shirts so that the departed may be buried in the grand manner.
He many have been born in a filthy bed in a tenement house but he must go our in a gorgeous casket, the best his survivors can possibly afford, and with as much other pomp and splendor as they can raise. An over-the-world survey will show many various rites at this time, each in keeping with the current thoughts and belief of the place. Afterward some will bring food to the grave, others flowers, all depending on their views on after-life. On Egyptians were buried with all of her possessions possible so that they could go on in the next world fully equipped.
As already stated, the behavior at these times depends on he views help by the deceased and his survivors. One might be held as had as an atheist if he does not care to believe in a here after. The writer will not say one way or the other about his belief because he does not know. He may share in the hope and wishful thinking that such may be so. He has no objections to those who uphold either side. No one has ever returned to give us define information as to what takes place after the great adventure.
Whatever our views on his matte, I am very thankful for the gentle euthanasia of Homoeopathy and a feeling that if a there is an after-life, the God who took care of me here will take care of me there. If there is no after-life He can devote His time to looking after someone else. One great parallel between Life and Death is the greater concern over their spiritual aspects than their physical ones, their mystery and their unsolved perplexities.
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DR., ALLAN D. SUTHERLAND (Brattleboro, Vt.): One wonders how one can discuss something about which one knows nothing except from observation, in the hope that it wont happen to him for another ninety years.
DR. ELIZABETH WRIGHT HUBBARD (New York N.Y.): I should like to make one comment apropos of Homoeopathy and dying. It seems very important that a baby be born in to this world, not coming into it stupefied with drugs, the mother not having had twilight sleep. Along the same vein, it seems even much more important that we not go over into another more delicate and more important life, stupefied with drugs, and in Homoeopathy I have found that even with terrible cases of cancer, they can be kept to the moment of dying, serene, without too much pain, without any medication which dulls the consciousness.
DR. GUSTAV TUFO (Chicago, Ill): In the spirit of things, the author could have mentioned the practice of euthanasia.
DR.PULFORD (closing): I probably should have gone into that more fully, as Dr. Tufo suggests, but it just happened that I didnt. In regard to the statement of Dr.Sutherland, I think it is always a lot safer to write on something no one knows anything about, so you usually go home with a whole skin. (Laughter and applause.