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Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul Paperback – March 17, 2015
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—Dr. Martin Shaw, author of Snowy Tower: Parzival and the Wet, Black Branch of Language
About the Author
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That college girl is long gone, and I have lost friends and family to war, accident, murder, sickness, and old age; and my own eventual death has assumed real, normal proportions. I have been a witness and participant in how my culture handles death, and would never wish a hospital passing on any of us. But how to accept and learn from my dying time, and how to let death guide my living?
Enter Stephen Jenkinson's marvelous book. I saw the DVD first, so I was prepared for his method of storytelling, and found the writing clean, clear, humane, loving, honest, and wholly helpful. While I am currently healthy and strong, I won't be forever. Also my husband and I have taken my mother to live with us, so we live daily with her ageing as well as our own. To be reminded so well that life is a privilege and not a right, and to have Jenkinson's help in putting all my other losses into a proper context, including the tragedy that passes for their end of life care, is deeply reassuring. Now I have a way to reach back to Death as Ally, and use that understanding properly to live every day. Thank you, Stephen Jenkinson, for writing this book.
The richness of his words spoken by him enabled me to really glean much from his beautiful life's work.
I work in the medical field and have seen the damage caused by "if you can do something, you must." And I have seen the damage caused by military mindset toward healing. I too feel strongly we need different metaphors and options.
Die Wise is not an easy read, and if you decide to engage this work, take it in small doses. Savor and simmer what his words call forth in your mind and emotions. This is a book that encourages living into the questions. And in our bullet pointed solution based internet world, this kind of inquiry is deeply nourishing to the way they human heart loves to wander and wonder.
Top international reviews
And what a breath of fresh air not to be told or cajoled or nudged into so called 'self help' advice given by someone who may never themselves have stood on the shore let alone crossed the river. My heart felt recommendation is to buy this book, read it now or keep somewhere safe until reading it feels more timely. Either way, don't leave it too long as its a life affirming book. I also have the audible version and, for me, the author's voice is soothing balm on sore ears. I wish you very good health.
You could take a paragraph from almost anywhere in the book and devote an hour's seminar to discussing & exploring it.
It is nearly impossible to write a summary of the work, as the ideas require a lot of unfolding in order to be fully offered and understood, but the basic premise is the observation that we currently live in a time that abhors death, and from this follows an inquiry into why this is so, what fuels it, and why it is such a destructive force that desperately needs challenging and changing.
I can't remember the last time I read a book that made me think and question so deeply, often needing to go back and read paragraphs again and again to absorb the profundity of the ideas. Speaking as a person who has dabbled in depth in various different spiritual traditions, I can say with certainty that this book offers some of the greatest wisdom and insight into what is meaningful in life, without overtly purporting to do so, that I have ever come across.
Please, please, read this book.