Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Back To Life Co.

Bringing matter back where it matters.
  [vote for,

As we die, we experience the termination of the one and only way of life our five senses allow us to acknowledge. Whatever comes after, where our “souls” end up or where the next journey will take us has been speculated by every culture that has existed on our planet, but never precised. Despite of this mandatory philosophical question, one thing we know: the “package” of flesh and blood lent to us by mother nature to inhabit this world (for whatever amount of time we were granted) must be given back.

Along history, the different civilizations (usually based on their religions and ideologies) have created what they think are the best ways to handle the "leftovers" of their loved ones in order to guarantee successful ride to the afterlife (burial, cremation, etc). What people seem to forget is that our souls might belong to whatever each one of us call God, but our bodies belong to what they were taken from: they are just matter.

Matter is the temporary, physical manifestation of a ubiqitous underlying network of energy. It is helpfull to think of matter in terms of "events", rather then "objects". A human life is an event, but Matter is like a wave in the ocean: temporarily "something" (for lack of a better description) before falling back into the formlessness of a sea of energy or, to be more precise, into what surrounds us: nature. By rotting in a coffin 6 feet underground or just having one's ashes sitting quietly in a box inside a crypt we are not giving nature back what it lent us. We can't know whether our souls will live any further(or if we really have one) but we can guarantee an "afterlife" for our bodies. How? Through Back To Life Co.

This company would offer services of "reincorporation to nature" to those interested in a less traditional, more trascendental funeral. First, they make sure all the (still useable) deceased person's organs are donated to those needing one. Secondly, the rest of the body will be given back to nature through a method/ceremony previously chosen by the former owner of the body.

The options go from the less brutal burial (coffin-free) in a forest with a tree planted just above the "grave" or being cremated and have the ashes be spread in a sunflower field to other options somewhat more drastical, such as being thrown to an ocean or river (to be eaten by submarine creatures, obviously a fast coming-back to nature) or being chopped in pieces and fed to wild creatures in animal reservations or the wild... the possibilities are endless. If the "funeral" of your choice is not on the list, the staff from Back To Life Co. can tailor one that suits your wishes. The family is entitled to run a regular funeral but right after that Back To Life Co. will organize the funeral YOU wanted: a ceremony to give your matter life again.

As far as my opinion goes, I prefer to think that, after I die, the only thing my loved ones will need to do to feel me near them is look around them, bite an apple, smell a flower, take a walk on the forest, taste some honey... I could be anywhere because my matter is back where it belongs.

A green salad, a Dolphin, a butterfly... who needs a gravestone?

Pericles, Nov 30 2003

Similar http://www.halfbake...a/Forest_20cemetery
Interesting links to this one. [2 fries shy of a happy meal, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

I'm thinking of going out this way: http://www.boxjamsd...com/d/19990623.html
[yamahito, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

"Is my body really made out of star stuff?" http://starchild.gs...ons/question57.html
From NASA Starchild educational site. [waugsqueke, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

The Natural Death Centre http://www.naturaldeath.org.uk/
I'm torn between eco-friendly woodland burial, like my friend's dad, or leaving my body to Medicine, like my Gran just did. [friendlyfire, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       Your way of thinking reminds me of a piece of poetry I remember from Wordsworth;   

       She died, and left to me
This heath, this calm and quiet scene;
The memory of what has been,
And never more will be.

       A slumber did my spirit seal;
I had no human fears:
She seem'd a thing that could not feel
The touch of earthly years.

       No motion has she now, no force;
She neither hears nor sees;
Roll'd round in earth's diurnal course,
With rocks, and stones, and trees.
Helium, Nov 30 2003

       hey [Pericles], I like it, I reckon the difficulty will be getting people to think about it before their death. I like Moby's reflections in his fine "we're all made of stars"

Growing in numbers
Growing in speed
Can't fight the future
Can't fight what I see

People they come together
People they fall apart
No one can stop us now
'Cause we are all made of stars
..OK, so it's not Wordsworth, but captures my atheist slant on it.
neilp, Nov 30 2003

       About your comment [neilp], I think a good environmental, emotive media campaign could make people find that regular burials won't integrate them back to the environment, and therefore find a "reincorporation to nature" funeral more appealing.   

       I want my body to be thrown to the sea when I die. My younger sisters say they won't let that happen, so I thought about hiring somebody in advance to do it and that's how the idea came to me.   

       I'm sure lots of glamorous stars (like Moby) would like this. He wasn't so wrong... maybe our children will be made of (dead) stars, like Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, etc.
Pericles, Nov 30 2003

       [Pericles] -
All the heavier elements (heavier than hydrogen and helium) are manufactured in the core of stars. We are predominantly made of elements that are not only heavy, but are produced in abundance in stars (if you know what a resonance is in this context, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen are such, or have decay parents that are). So our constituent particles (including the hydrogen) were, at some stage, inside the core of a long expired star.
Detly, Nov 30 2003

       [Detly]: Interesting. What I meant by "our children will be made of (dead) stars" was exactly what [yamahito] points out through the link, and not as the literal sense implied. However, both interpretations are correct... am I wrong?
Pericles, Nov 30 2003

       The original quote is from Carl Sagan, "We are made of star stuff." He was talking about about celestial sort. I'm guessing that's Moby's point of reference, since he's wearing a space suit in the video.   

       // I want my body to be thrown to the sea when I die. My younger sisters say they won't let that happen... //   

       I can think of some very good reasons why that should not be permitted to occur, not the least of which is the thought of a decaying, partially devoured corpse washing up on a beach where children are playing. I'm sure you wouldn't want that.   

       I'm all for fulfilling wishes involving ashes, but I would draw the line at actual body bits.
waugsqueke, Nov 30 2003

       //He was talking about about celestial sort//   

       I know that. I said both interpretations were right because if matter can't be destroyed the next generations could be made of other type of dead stars too.   

       //the thought of a decaying, partially devoured corpse washing up on a beach where children are playing//   

       Which part of the body of the idea says Back To Life Co. would let this happen? Isn't it clear that the purpose of the service is to reincorporate matter to matter? There are many good ways of making sure a body doesn't end up washing up on a beach. Besides, that's just ONE way of disposing one's body... there are hundreds. Pick your own... the main purpose remains the same.
Pericles, Dec 01 2003

       I want my carcass to be picked clean by vultures and my bones munched up by hyenas etc. To me the idea of 'preserving' my corpse and depriving the many creatures that would enjoy it of a decent lunch seems selfish.   

       Should others wish to share my vision, please note that BTLC might have to do some pre-processing such as removing metal pins/plates, pacemakers etc from bodies in case they choke the vultures.   

       Why stop with humans? I suspect many pet-owners would take up the offer too.
dobtabulous, Dec 01 2003

       Exactly!! So if it really is over why do people want their family to keep their burnt leftovers in a box? Or rotting in a box underground? Yes, you die, it's over, agreed. But "your" body was lent to you and after usage it must be given back to wherever you took it from.
Pericles, Dec 01 2003

       If you bury a pine box in a coniferous forest, is that cannibalism?
RayfordSteele, Dec 01 2003

       //to be eaten by submarine creatures//   

       When I first gave this idea a quick look, I thought that meant creatures that eat submarines ... which is still a funny thought ... like some cool sci-fi burial ... like " may my body be taken by the martians."   

       [+] Nice grim idea, [Pericles]!
Letsbuildafort, Dec 01 2003

       // Which part of the body of the idea says Back To Life Co. would let this happen? //   

       Well it wasn't clear. You said you wanted your body dumped in the ocean and there was no mention of ashes, or any measures taken to advance decay or whatever. There still isn't, really, just the vague suggestion that it would be 'handled' somehow.   

       If you're going to dump a freshly dead body in the sea, you need to weight it down so it stays submerged, and is not accidentally spotted by a passing freighter which attempts a rescue.
waugsqueke, Dec 01 2003

       //A green salad, a Dolphin, a butterfly...//   

       ...a croissant? A warm and flaky way to share yourself with the world. And for that, you get two from me. One for this post and one after I die. +
sartep, Dec 02 2003

       Well, I'm planning to die in space, so I would expect at a very minumum that the, what, 90%? water in my body would be recovered and returned to the life support system.   

       I suppose international maritime law would prevent you dumping a body outside territorial waters?
BunsenHoneydew, Feb 28 2004

       the way i see it, i'm not worried about dying. there has to be life after death. think about it. according to science, everything in are brains, our thoughts, memories, feelings, knowledge, etc. is an electric impulse. the laws of conservation of energy states that energy must be conserved, and that it cannot be created or destroyed. so even if our bodies die, our thoughts STILL live on.
cardeguy, Feb 29 2004

       Cool, when I die, I want to be exploded+
swimr, Jul 22 2004

       Hmm... matter=energy. A company could possibly take a person-part and colide it with some anti-matter in a upwards-pointing parabolic dish. REALLY deep space funeral!
my-nep, Sep 01 2004

       "We are stardust   

       Billion year old carbon   

       We are golden   

       Caught in the devil’s bargain   

       And we’ve got to get ourselves   

       Back to the garden" - Joni Mitchell (Woodstock)   

       I couldn't have said it better myself :D   

       It is said that each atom in our body is replaced over the years by other atoms, drifting in from the cosmos. To the effect that no part of our body is composed of atoms of more than around 9 years 'old'. It has also been said, by very similar people, that as a result of this, we may each have a few atoms of Wordsworth, Shakespear, etc in us!   

       So both star-particles theories could be valid, although you may have to wait a few hundred years to start finding bits of Elvis in your atomic soup. Assuming of course that he is already dead ;)   

       Hmm, now that I think on it; Holistic Healing practises dictate that no matter how dilute a tincture may be, it still possesses as much or if not more healing power than the pure solution. So doesn't that infer that we should all be absurdly poetic, creative and probably also homicidal, suicidal or any other sort of 'cidal you care to mention since we now all contain a tiny little atom or two that once belonged to DaVinci, Genghis Khan, Einstein and all the rest of histories hall of fame.   

       Someone is talking bunkum methinks...... Probably me!   

       To get back on topic. I think this is a great idea and will surely be investigating options of a similar nature for my own departure. I would give you two buns if I could.
Salmon Of Doubt, Nov 09 2005


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