Waking the Dead - Book Review Discussion

book coverAaron Barlow brings his perspective to this review of Waking the Dead: A Review of The Grateful Dead and Philosophy: Getting High Minded About Love and Haight edited by Steven Gimbel (Chicago: Open Court, 2007)

Barlow states:

But trivial this book is not. As Gimbel goes on to say, some of those Deadheads who argued all topics into the wee hours while listening to traded tapes of Dead shows went on to study philosophy seriously. This volume is the result.

Read the review on the Journal and come back here to discuss!

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The ePMedia editor who read this asked: "Might you elaborate just a little more clearly for me, the connection between the discussion of reincarnation and death say, and current academic thinking. The question of how the inevitable reality of our death imbues our life with the possibility of special meaning as well as perhaps leading us to despair that we do not fulfill that destiny."

From what I have seen, way too many academics ignore such questions, seeing a mystical element that they steer clear of. To me, that's unfortunate.

Fortunately, some in philosophy departments, including the contributors to this book, are willing to look into such things.

Personally, I think we should take the questions away from "current academic thinking."

That said, however, I gotta admit that I have no answer.

Anyone else?

a mindset of "I can do what I want now, knowing that I'll be back" or is there more of a tendency toward altruistic, karmic thought like "Each life, every lifetime is precious; I get one shot to do my best, and when I come back in another time, another place and another life I'd rather keep moving forward with growing, learning and achieving instead of being burdened by a past I can no longer correct" ... ?

...just thought I'd toss that one atcha and see what you think.


reincarnation is that you either "pay" or are "rewarded" for this life ... in the next. So, say, Dick Cheney would probably come back as a mosquito next time (no offense to mosquitoes).

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If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little. ~ George Carlin

...or like a fly on sh!t.

Sounds like a plan but not one I fully endorse. Sitting on a dung heap seems more like it.