Thelemites of course face death squarely in the eye as commemorated in the Death Collect in our Gnostic Mass, this being a natural outcome of tasting the consciousness of the continuity of existence. Now, the New York Times is trumpeting the “Positive Death” movement in a recent article. It begins
“It was the party of a lifetime, and Shatzi Weisberger wouldn’t have missed it for the world. After all, it was her funeral. Or, as she pronounced it, her FUN-eral.
“Come on in,” she said. “There’s lots of food. And a coffin that people are decorating.”
And so it was that a hundred or so people gathered in the common room of an Upper West Side apartment building recently to eat, sing, mingle and hear Ms. Weisberger’s thoughts about death and dying.
“I hope we have fun,” she said.
A former nurse, Ms. Weisberger wore white slacks, white sneakers and a bright floral print blouse. A biodegradable cardboard coffin in one corner bore handwritten messages in colored marker: “Go Shatzi! (but not literally)”; “death is only the beginning”; “Shatzi, many happy returns … as trees, as bumble bees, as many happy memories.”
Ms. Weisberger worked the crowded room. “I have been studying and learning about death and dying, and I want to tell people what I’ve learned,” she said. “Some people are coming because they love me, and some people are coming because they’re curious about what the hell it’s about.”