Studying death and dying may seem morbid to many, but it is an essential requisite for understanding the mysteries of the soul. Through the very act of departing the physical body; our identified mortal vessel, we learn much about ourselves and the human condition. In this, we learn much about ourselves and about the totality of purpose; the expressive relationship we have with the otherworldly and through it, finding a deep respect for what was, is, and shall be.
Classical thanatology is a scientific pseudo-medical field of study in which the doctor learns the process of dying; the natural and unnatural causes of death, how the body atrophies and ceases to function. This is also analyzed to a degree in which the discovery of knowing and being able to pinpoint the exact moment when an individual ceases to live is the philosopher's stone of this area of study.
Mystic Thanatology goes much deeper. Within the range of study, one searches for answers to understanding how the spirit functions inside the mind and body; how the spiritual body augments, controls, and plays a part in the overall health, function, and behavior of the physical vessel, our thoughts, actions, wants, desires, and the esoteric; the ethereal functions of one's innermost being. In truth, this art was once called negromancy, or necromancy. However, in the Cabal, we do not take our ques from grave-robbing dabblers of ancient and medieval times. Rather, with great respect, we study the scientific, medical, and spiritual fronts so that as we too one day face our own mortality, we may do so gracefully and with a sense of knowing that can only be harnessed through study, experience, and a faithful spirit.
Then how does mystic thanatology and necromancy differ? Necromancy is considered a very black art; taboo in nearly all cultures. The very concept of stirring the energies of one's resting place in order to inquire of them answers to the secrets beyond this world frightens many. The dead and the grave are both believed to be tainted and our involvement with either will also taint our souls. I have come to understand that by maintaining a healthy respect with those who've passed is a very empowering experience as it keeps us grounded, aligned, and fearless. Certainly, we can ascertain through our experiences and studies that the end of a material life does not beckon the end of one's very existence. Instead, we are purified, perfected, and exalted.
In truth, the final goal of mystic thanatology is not even so much in understanding the function, but in actively applying its benefits to our life as mortals. An individual who takes their findings and positively applies them to their life now will find that even the mundane is far more rewarding and that one's spiritual practices are empowered; entwined with divinity in its purest form. Quite worth all the effort, I'd say. The Tower of Atrophy was my Tower in focus as it still is today. It is through all of which has so oft times been labeled as dark, morbid, depressing, and even evil, has proven to give me a profound perspective on life and death which carries me to live a much more fulfilling life and to value those in my life far more than I would have otherwise. Keep this in mind as tomorrow is promised to no man.