Books of the Dead
Required reading for bookworms holding their ground.
Author: Professor Oddfellow, Craig Conley
ISBN #: 979-8488741829
This small (108 page) book is a gem in its own right, a distillation of twenty-four books of the dead from around the world and across the centuries. Books of the Dead are unique in that they act as guidebooks for transition and are filled with mythological archetypes. Somehow, when I think of books of the dead, I am reminded of late-night TV stories from my youth about Egypt and mummies. Scary stories that we all loved to watch!
From the book:
“As night blackens
the emerald earth,
the wheel revolves;
death follows birth.
Strive through the dark
with every breath
to wake past day
and beyond death.”
A variant of a Zen poem
Preserved by Philip Kapleau
In his introduction, Professor Oddfellow notes many guidebooks for the dead presume that death is not an ending but a transitional journey, that requires attentive planning. He references Ptolemy Tompkins (from “The Modern Book of the Dead”) as noting that those who hate and fear death are unable to live happily, while for those who think the right way about death “life loses that gloom and becomes something entirely different: something larger, stranger, and infinitely more promising and positive than we might ever have imagined.”
Professor Oddfellow states that books of the dead are really action-drama-fantasies, with a cast of characters, theatrical journeys, and more. (Remember those late-night TV shows!) They are metaphysical in origin, rich with mythological archetypes that offer a wonderful window into human psychology.
This book is divided into four sections: Ancient and Classical Books of the Dead, Modern Books of the Dead, and “Fictional” Books of the Dead”.
In his afterword, Professor Oddfellow addresses the two most mystical manuals for guidance in the Otherworld: The Tibetan Book of the Dead and The Egyptian Book of the Dead.
There is also what to me is a very magical appendix that addresses the Tarot as a book of the dead.
“Books of the Dead” was intended to act as a book-reader collaboration, to inspire a deep intuitive understanding of afterlife guides, and to connect with what Jung termed the “both-and” philosophy of the Universal mind. It has accomplished this … and so much more!
© March 2022 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction is prohibited without written permission from the author.