Category Archives: Deathday

Reid Dickie 1949-2016


James Reid Dickie
August 4, 1949 – February 21, 2016

The happiness of the drop is to die in the river. Celebration and sadness in equal measure mark Reid’s gentle passing in Winnipeg, MB. Born in Brandon, MB, the second child of Helen and Bruce Dickie, Reid grew up happily with loving, inspiring parents in Margaret, Hayfield and Shoal Lake, MB. He attended Hebron School and Shoal Lake Elementary and High School. After graduation he studied Radio and Television Arts at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto. During the 1970s he worked on air radio at CFAR, Flin Flon, CKX, Brandon and Winnipeg stations CFRW-FM, CHIQ-FM and CJUM-FM. Creativity dominated Reid’s life. In the late 1970s and early 1980s he and Linda Tooley, his life partner, created multi-genre, post-modern art using photography, video, performance and installations, many shown at Plug-In Gallery in Winnipeg. Chronicling this era, in 2010 he created The Dick Tool Kit, a boxed set of four DVDs, one CD and a 64-page booklet. During the 1980s Linda and Reid owned and operated IF you have to get dressed in the morning, a vintage clothing store on Corydon Avenue. Thereafter he pursued a career as a freelance writer, studying and writing about architecture, heritage issues and history widely published in newspapers and magazines. He wrote extensively about his hometown, creating a blog devoted to Shoal Lake’s history. His book, Manitoba Heritage Success Stories, was published in 2006, Carberry Heritage Walking Tour in 2010 and Play the Jukebox, his only novel, self-published in 2016. Reid was a joyful man, animal lover and life-long learner who craved new ideas and new modes of expression. Several of his short stories and newspaper articles won writing awards. In midlife Reid developed his spiritual being enriching his life beyond measure. He travelled widely on the Canadian prairies visiting dozens of ancient sacred sites, performing rituals and exploring the realms opened up through his daily practice of neo-shamanism. He wrote extensive fiction and non-fiction about his experiences during his sacred journeys. In 2010, after his retirement he started his blog and a YouTube channel as outlets for his writing and new videos. Lucky in love, Reid met Linda in the mid 1970s spending 33 loving years together until her death from cancer. Reid had many life-long friendships. When polled Reid’s friends described him as “funny, handsome, gifted, kind, witty, compassionate, wise, spiritual.” Reid was predeceased by his sister Dayna Lee in 1948, his mother in 1993, his father in 2001 and Linda in 2009. He leaves to mourn cousins and many good and true friends. A private ceremony will be held at a later date.  Special thanks to the exceptional angels of 3E at Riverview Health Centre. In lieu of donations do something kind for someone and pay it forward.

Be happy.


Filed under Death and Dying, Deathday

Sitting Bull and Dancing Horse – 124 Years Ago Today

Fiction by Reid Dickie


December 15, 1890

Sitting Bull’s Camp

Grand River, South Dakota

Commotion was his cue, his spur, his trigger. Gunfire, whoops, whistles and yells! Dancing Horse needed no other prompting. He began to perform his repertoire of tricks; the seven Bill Cody taught him and the two he learned by watching other horses. He was a smart horse born to the circus. Bill Cody had gelded him himself and taught him tricks.

Dancing Horse was the gift Buffalo Bill Cody gave Sitting Bull when Bull retired from the Wild West Show. He’d spent recent years on the quiet prairie with Sitting Bull, far from the cheering crowds.

Though it was the middle of a cold night and the years had slowed his gait, it all came back to Dancing Horse. As the air filled with noise and bullets whizzed around him, the horse pranced and danced, sat on his haunches and raised his front legs, waving, whinnying and shaking his mane. He cantered in a circle, stopped, backed up and cantered on, a curtsy, a bow and, his finale, a high wild buck accompanied by snorts and a long careening whinny. Then he started again.

At the flap of Sitting Bull’s tepee, melee built into frenzy. The holy man, now 60 summers old, lay half-naked, dying; his blood, loosened by two wounds, soaked into the snow. Sitting Bull’s spirit soared over the scene, its grief brief for the hard and desperate life just lived, now elated by the familiarity of death and the antics of Dancing Horse, moving like a pale ghost in the snow below.

Long after the fighting ended, as the prairie filled with mournful keening, Dancing Horse continued to perform, repeating his act over and over. The horse had danced through the mayhem without a single bullet hitting him.

He did not perform for the incredulous and spooked Sioux who watched in awe. Dancing Horse had an audience of one. His old friend Sitting Bull watched long in delight, solely entertained by the horse’s show, then he turned and his spirit embraced The Light.

As the first rays of dawn swept over the frozen land, Dancing Horse collapsed into the snow, exhausted. A little boy dressed in buckskin advanced toward him, extending a handful of sweetgrass.


 Reid Dickie

 December 15, 1890

Central Plains

Overhead Orion paused in mid hunt; half a moon lit the prairie snows. The Spirit, its message clear and urgent, rose from the shabby encampment on Grand River, the scene of the crime.

Wearing only paint on his body, riding a horse with arrows and lightning bolts painted on its white flanks, the ghostly Messenger held a human skull on a stick. Half his face was red, half white, his heart was painted with a blue starburst and his body had wavy yellow lines running from foot to throat.

Sailing through the clear cold air the Messenger traveled north over the rolling hills of Standing Rock Reservation to Cannonball River, the end of Hunkpapa land. Every tiny cluster of tipis with warm dreamers inside in the camps of Thunderhawk and John Grass got the news as they slept. Some awoke keening in grief.

The Messenger turned south, crossed over the Grand River in a single bound and headed toward Cheyenne River Reservation, home to the Minneconjou. In his dream, Yellow Bird, the medicine man received the news with a jolt, grabbed his rattle and woke the camp. It was nearing dawn but still dark and cold as Kicking Bear, the high priest of the Ghost Dance, his wife Woodpecker Woman, and all the Minneconjou were informed.  Further on, the camps of White Swan, Bear Eagle and Hump were next to be grief stricken. Off the reservation, the camps of Touch the Clouds and Red Shirt received word.

The ghost Messenger leapt the Cheyenne River and flew southwest toward Pine Ridge Reservation. Passing over Bad River, through the eerie Badlands past Castle Butte and a leap over White River got him to Pine Ridge and the camps at the headwaters of White River. Black Elk, the mystical shaman of the tribe, received the news and told the Oglala chiefs Red Cloud and American Horse. Ghost Dance priest Good Thunder immediately began to beat a hide drum and chant.

Spirit Messenger turned eastward just as dawn was blemishing the blackness. A leap over Pass Creek, through coulees and around buttes and Two Strike’s camp was informed; the ghost dancers Short Bull, Mash-The-Kettle and Plenty Horses began to paint their bodies with grieving symbols.

By the time the sun rose, the Great Plains was lit with grief. As far west as Tongue River Reservation in Montana, Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, and as far south as the Kiowa Reservation in central Oklahoma – they all knew what had happened. Even the people of Walker River Reservation in western Nevada, home to visionary Wovoka who brought the Ghost Dance to the people, knew.

Except Orion, no one saw the ghostly figure riding the strange awkward horse but they all reported his message with sad accuracy:

 “Sitting Bull is dead.”


Thomas Edison’s Black Maria Studios in West Orange, New Jersey is said to be America’s first movie studio. In 1894 one of the earliest films of Native Americans was shot there. The silent 16 second black and white film, called Buffalo Dance, features three Sioux warriors in full war paint and war costumes performing for the camera. The warriors – Hair Coat, Parts His Hair and Last Horse – are accompanied by two unidentified drummers; all are veterans of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. It was originally shown on a Kinetoscope. The quality of the film is remarkable. I have looped it twice at its original speed followed by the clip at half speed. Click the pic to watch the one-minute film.


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Births & Deaths on Earth in Real Time

birth death map

Click image for live map and info about its creator

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Tibetan Book of the Dead – A Map of Dying – Repost

As I was sifting through the number of hits various posts have received, I was rather shocked to find very few hits, under 100, for this distillation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead into an easy-to-follow flow chart of events. I was inspired by Ken Wilber to follow his distinctive interpretation of the Book and post it in a orderly form. I repost it so more people will know what lies ahead for all of us and to help us make informed choices about our actions today.

You might want to read about the Contraction of Being in my FAQs.

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The Faces of War

Reid Dickie

Eleven years ago today my dad, Bruce Dickie, died. He was 83. I miss him every day. I wrote about Dad last year on this day, too.

Recently I came across an article about how the ravages of war become etched on the faces of young soldiers. They show close-up pictures of dozens of Scottish soldiers before, during and after serving in Afghanistan along with their comments. If you ever needed further testimonial to the insanity, destructiveness and uselessness of war, look into the eyes of these men. In every case, the innocence, hope and clarity of the first photograph transmogrifies by the third photograph into reflected horror, soul death and hopelessness. Instead of innocence, their faces convey only fear, instead of hope there is loss and despair, instead of clarity, they are haunted by memories of unspeakable horrors.

Similar changes were wrought upon the face of another Scotsman, my father Bruce Dickie, before, during and after he saw combat as a lance bombardier in WWII from 1942 to 1945. In a series of pictures he sent Mom while he was overseas, the transformation of my father’s face is obvious and frightening.

This first picture was taken in London just after he arrived overseas in 1942. He was a fresh-faced farm boy from the Canadian prairies.

 The next picture was taken in Aberdeen, Scotland in late 1943 after Dad had seen combat. Experience and sadness lurk in his eyes and his serious expression.

The third picture was taken in Amsterdam near the end of the war in 1945. Innocence is gone, replaced with aggression, his eyes are wild and his teeth are bared. No other image ever taken of my father is more heartbreaking for me than this one.

The horrors of battle that Dad witnessed become progressively more evident on his face in each photograph. Dad signed each picture he sent to Mom but it was only on the last one that he mentions love. Dad lived another 55 years after that last picture was taken. Quietly and peacefully he died of old age eleven years ago today. Luckily he never had to live in a post-911 world.                          


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Top Five Regrets of the Dying

Bronnie Ware

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learned never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people have not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.


Filed under Ancient Wisdom, Deathday, Life and Life Only, Momentous Day, Soul Building, Spirit

Happy Deathday Frank Zappa

“You can’t write a chord ugly enough to say what you want sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream.” I miss Frank. He died of prostate cancer on this day in 1993. He was 52. We can still tune in to some of Frank’s thoughts. “Take the Kama Sutra. How many people died from the Kama Sutra as opposed to the Bible? Who wins?” “A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules, often with the assistance of unsuspecting musicians.” “It isn’t necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice. There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia.” “Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe.” “The computer can’t tell you the emotional story. It can give you the exact mathematical design, but what’s missing is the eyebrows.” “You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.” “Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny.” “My best advice to anyone who wants to raise a happy, mentally healthy child is: Keep him or her as far away from a church as you can.” “Scientology, how about that? You hold on to the tin cans and then this guy asks you a bunch of questions and if you pay enough money you get to join the master race. How’s that for a religion?” “The United States is a nation of laws, badly written and randomly enforced.” “People make a lot of fuss about my kids having supposedly strange names, but the fact is that no matter what first names I might have given them, it is the last name that is going to get them in trouble.” At a Congressional hearing about parental advisory labels on records, Frank said to Tipper Gore, “May your shit come to life and kiss you on the face.” Read my post on Weasels Ripped My FleshWatch Frank’s version of Ravel’s Bolero. (My Sharona at 3:47)  What’s with happy deathday?

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Happy Deathday George Harrison

“I’d join a band with John Lennon anyday, but I wouldn’t join a band with Paul McCartney.” Good choice, George. On this day in 2001 Beatle George died of lung cancer. He was 58. His ashes were scattered in the Ganges River. George left a few thoughts behind for us today.  “After all we did for Britain, selling that corduroy and making it swing, all we got was a bit of tin on a piece of leather.” “It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.”  “As far as I’m concerned, there won’t be a Beatles reunion as long as John Lennon remains dead.” “As long as you hate, there will be people to hate.” “The biggest break in my career was getting into the Beatles in 1962. The second biggest break since then is getting out of them.” “When you’ve seen beyond yourself, then you may find, peace of mind is waiting there.” “You’ve got as many lives as you like, and more, even ones you don’t want.” What’s with happy deathday?

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What’s with “Happy Deathday”?

Reid Dickie

Nothing is lost, nothing is created … all is transformed. Nothing is the prey of death. All is the prey of life.”  – Antoine Béchamp

“All goes onward and outward. Nothing collapses. And to die is different from what anyone supposes…and luckier.” -Walt Whitman

A good question and one asked of me several times since I began the Happy Deathday features on the blog. Don’t misinterpret this as me being happy these people no longer live. That’s not the point at all.

My perspective on this is shamanic and incorporates a shaman’s understanding of death which differs vastly from the mainstream idea of death being scary and unknowable. In the shaman’s world death is simply a change of being, a moving from organic to inorganic, from flesh to Spirit, that faithful old process we’ve lived and died with for eons.

Death is our next opportunity to express our spiritual evolution and put to use the soul building we have done during our life. It is a celebratory moment when we face Great Spirit and obtain final clarity for that lifetime. If we are prepared, if we have trained well during all our lifetimes, we transcend reincarnation, become enlightened and merge with The Light. If we still aren’t ready to achieve that, we contract away from The Light back through the mental realm as a sexual thought then reproduced again in a gross body with all its suffering and bondage. This is also our next opportunity for personal evolution, for pursuing our next level of soul building.

Because we communicate with spirits directly, shamans know that Spirit persists after the elemental needs of the body are gone and the mind is relieved of its duties. Seen simply, sometimes we are alive, sometimes we are dead, always we are Spirit. Since the aftermath of birth is life in the gross reflecting realm and the aftermath of death is heaven, it’s just as appropriate to wish someone a happy deathday. The hope that accompanies the loving wish is that you have used this life as a stepping stone on your path to enlightenment and eternal bliss, that you have done the real work, the necessary work.


Filed under Ancient Wisdom, Deathday, Love, Old Souls, shaman, shamanism, Soul Building, Spirit, Wisdom

Happy Deathday Federico Fellini

“Realism is a bad word. In a sense everything is realistic. I see no line between the imaginary and the real.” Not seeing a line between the imaginery and the real is probably a form of mental illness unless you happen to be Italian film director Federico Fellini, in which case, dream on baby! After living for 73 years and giving the world a unique body of work, Fellini died on this day in 1993 (as did River Phoenix who was 23). Some of Fellini’s thoughts on film and life bear acknowledging today. “A good opening and a good ending make for a good film providing they come close together.”  “All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster’s autobiography.” “I think television has betrayed the meaning of democratic speech, adding visual chaos to the confusion of voices. What role does silence have in all this noise?” “The artist is the medium between his fantasies and the rest of the world.” “You exist only in what you do.” “There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the passion of life.” You can find an earlier post about Fellini directing and watch an erotic scene from Fellini Satyricon  here. What’s with deathday?

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Happy Deathday Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac successfully drank himself to death on this day in 1969. After years of alcohol abuse, his liver wouldn’t let his blood clot and he bled to death. He was 47. From On The Road:“[…] the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ What did they call such young people in Goethe’s Germany?” From The Dharma Bums: “Down on the lake rosy reflections of celestial vapor appeared, and I said, ‘God, I love you’ and looked to the sky and really meant it. ‘I have fallen in love with you, God. Take care of us all, one way or the other.’ To the children and the innocent it’s all the same.” and “Happy. Just in my swim shorts, barefooted, wild-haired, in the red fire dark, singing, swigging wine, spitting, jumping, running—that’s the way to live. All alone and free in the soft sands of the beach by the sigh of the sea out there, with the Ma-Wink fallopian virgin warm stars reflecting on the outer channel fluid belly waters. And if your cans are redhot and you can’t hold them in your hands, just use good old railroad gloves, that’s all.” A few other random thoughts from Jack’s fertile consciousness: “I’m going to marry my novels and have little short stories for children.” and “My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.” and “My witness is the empty sky.” and “Don’t use the phone. People are never ready to answer it. Use poetry.” Ultimately, “I’m writing this book because we’re all going to die.” Watch my short video homage to Jack. What’s with deathday?

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Happy Deathday Cole Porter

“My art belongs to Dada,” songwriter Cole Porter once said. His art leaves a legacy of whimsical, brilliant, sometimes cheeky songs whose interpreters have spanned decades and will continue to do so into the future. Cole never collaborated. He always wrote his own lyrics and music. When asked, “Who wrote ‘Some Enchanted Evening’?” he replied “Rodgers and Hammerstein, if you can imagine it taking two men to write one song.” Asked where he looked for inspiration, Porter quipped, “My sole inspiration is a telephone call from a director.” Cole Porter died this day in 1964 at age 73 leaving the world hundreds of marvelous songs. I picked three, all sung by Frank Sinatra who was a major interpreter of Porter’s material. First, hear a young Sinatra swing Night and Day. One of Cole Porter’s best rhymes, and there are hundreds of great ones, can be found in I Get A Kick Out of You: he rhymes spree with ennui. Hear Sinatra sing it. The pinnacle: Cole Porter’s I’ve Got You Under My Skin live by Sinatra with Count Basie’s Orchestra backing him up. The break is wild (Frank just sits down and lets the band go nuts), Frank’s inflection and phrasing is genius and the whole event SWINGS!! Watch this one!

UPDATE: all the links are now dead. Sorry.

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Happy Deathday Janis Joplin

Where have you gone, Janis? Morrison and Hendrix have nether careers but you seem to have fallen through the cracks in the rock and roll sidewalk. You were part of the heavy triumvirate of 1960s American  music and, like your two brothers, you had to die at age 27.Tell us some thoughts, dear Janis: “I’d rather have ten years of super-hypermost than live to be  seventy by sitting in some goddamn chair watching TV.” and “Onstage, I make love to 25,000 people – then I go home alone.” and “I’m one of those regular weird people.” and “Being an intellectual creates a lot of questions and no answers. You can fill your life up with ideas and still go home lonely. All you really have that really matters are feelings. That’s what music is to me.” and “Audiences like their blues singers to be miserable.” and “Texas is OK if you want to settle down and do your own thing quietly, but it’s not for outrageous people, and I was always outrageous.” Janis died this day in 1970. One final word from her: “It’s hard to be free but when it works, it’s worth it!” Watch Janis sing “Ball & Chain” at Woodstock. What’s with deathday?

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Happy Deathday William S. Burroughs

Although the inevitable occurred on this day in 1997, during his long productive life, William S. Burroughs said many clever things. “Which came first, the intestine or the tapeworm?” “After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say ‘I want to see the manager.'” “Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact.” “Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape.” “In my writing I am acting as a map maker, an explorer of psychic areas, a cosmonaut of inner space, and I see no point in exploring areas that have already been thoroughly surveyed.” “Like all pure creatures, cats are practical.” “There couldn’t be a society of people who didn’t dream. They’d be dead in two weeks.” More advice from Bill. What’s with deathday?

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Happy Deathday Jim Morrison

“Death makes angels of us all and gives us wings where we had shoulders smooth as raven’s claws.” Doors lead singer and Old Soul Jim Morrison got his wings on this day in 1971. He was 27. Jim left us these thoughts to ponder today: “I am interested in anything about revolt, disorder, chaos, especially activity that seems to have no meaning.” and “Film spectators are quiet vampires.” and “I believe in a long, prolonged, derangement of the senses in order to obtain the unknown.” and “People fear death even more than pain. It’s strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death. At the point of death, the pain is over. Yeah, I guess it is a friend.” and “The appeal of cinema lies in the fear of death.” and “When you make your peace with authority, you become authority.” and “I see myself as a huge fiery comet, a shooting star. Everyone stops, points up and gasps “Oh look at that!” Then- whoosh, and I’m gone…and they’ll never see anything like it ever again… and they won’t be able to forget me – ever.” That seems to be going to plan so far, Jim. What’s with deathday?

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Happy Deathday Carlos Castaneda

Since Carlos was such a large influence on my early shamanic thinking, today I honour his day of ascension in 1998 after 72 years. He knew about it for years in advance. Don Juan showed him his death. Instead of quoting Carlos – he wrote a dozen books to do that – here is a short story I wrote called Carlos, Neil and Me. On a high hill in southern Saskatchewan next to a stone buffalo effigy, I met Carlos Castaneda. He was alone and naked except for a guitar. He sat cross-legged on the dry dun grass and strummed, trying to remember the words to some old Neil Diamond song.   The sun was in his eyes. He clenched them shut against the heat, the fury, the bullshit!   He asked if he could have my car. I told him it was rented.   “Rented!” he exclaimed. “Everything is rented!” with a wave of his hand to express inclusion. “We’re all rented!”   I gave him the car.    When he started it, that old Neil Diamond song was playing on the radio. 

   “I am…I said, to no one there,” sang Neil. 

   Carlos left me two bags of groceries and drove away. 

   “Everything is a circle,” said the buffalo effigy.

What’s with deathday?

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