Death Makes Life Possible

Captain Edgar Mitchell was a hero, stepping up to challenges throughout his life with courage and tenacity. Born in Texas on September 17, 1930, Mitchell embraced a changing world in every moment. He often remarked that his grandparents had traveled across the country in a covered wagon and he went to the moon. Anything is possible. During his illustrious career, Mitchell was an American naval officer and aviator, test pilot, aeronautical engineer, noetic scientist, and NASA astronaut. He was a test pilot during the Korean War, taking off and landing on the aircraft carriers. It was, according to Mitchell, like finding...

The following is an audio excerpt taken from the audio learning course “Living the Noetic Life: Transformation and Healing at the Convergence of Science and Spiritual Practice.” Produced by Sounds True, this learning course offers a new worldview for fully perceiving and engaging with life. Marilyn Schlitz, author of Death Makes Life Possible, shares how grief and grieving can guide us to embrace the flow of life's transitions, let go of fear and accept the beauty of change. Understanding our own perspectives on loss can enable us to see and use grief itself as a transformative tool that connects us with deeper parts of ourselves. Ultimately,...

I first met Rick Hanson at a small café in Mill Valley, California. The founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, Hanson is a psychologist who studies evolutionary neuropsychology. Given his background, it isn’t surprising that Hanson’s understanding of death is informed by a big picture of the natural cycle of life: Death clears the way for young to come forward, and it enables a species itself to adapt and improve itself over time. In other words, if members of the species do not die, the species could not evolve. So, we’re sitting here today, 3.5 billion years...

[caption id="attachment_1926" align="alignleft" width="150"] Betsy MacGregor[/caption] Conversations about death may be frightening, because death touches each of us at very unique personal and emotional layers of experience. Such conversations may also be deep and transformative. Betsy MacGregor, MD, is especially sensitive to the complexities of how we think and talk about death. She worked in a busy city hospital for three decades, caring for seriously ill patients. In particular, she has focused on how her own profession relates to end-of-life issues. “Until people in the healthcare professions really begin to look at their relationship to death and to dying, they don’t bring themselves...

[caption id="attachment_1919" align="alignleft" width="99"] Lee Lipsenthal[/caption] Someday you will face your own mortality. At that moment, I hope you see that your life has been well led, that you hold no regrets, and that you loved well. On that day, I hope that for you, it has become a good day to die. - Lee Lipsenthal, Enjoy Every Sandwich Lee Lipsenthal was fifty-three years old when he was told by his doctor that he was dying. He’d been living with esophageal cancer for two years. After a dance with remission, the disease had returned full force. As a physician who was married to...

Experiences that bring us close to death have an enduring impact on our lives. Marilyn Schlitz, author of the Death Makes Life Possible book, will be interviewed on the popular radio program Coast-to-Coast AM about how these experiences have the power transform. Tune in on Wednesday April 29th from 10:00PM to 12:00AM to hear the insightful conversation. You may also enjoy the following Death Makes Life Possible book excerpt which explores these themes.   Simon Lewis was a rising film producer. With the production of Look Who’s Talking under his belt, he had set up a deal for Nick Nolte’s next...

Earlybird Rates End February 28th CLICK HERE TO REGISTER The Science of Being. The Spirit of Community. July 22 – 26, 2015 Hilton Oak Brook Hills Resort near Chicago Picture yourself at an inspiring gathering of fellow explorers and like-minded friends. The menu of options speaks to your deepest passions, and luminaries from science, the environment, and wisdom traditions spark new insights. Music, dance, conversations that matter, and exercises that help deepen your experience are woven into a rich tapestry of renewal and transformation. You share your dreams and your vision, find inspiration, celebrate, reorient toward your deepest purpose, and take away tools you can...

In my book, Death Makes Life Possible, I have emphasized that death awareness can serve as a fundamental catalyst for our individual and collective transformation. We have the means to harness our shared intention and attention and use them to shift the widespread fear and terror associated with death. In this process, we can wake from a cultural trance that has estranged us from our natural relationship to mortality. Crafting a new story for humanity may help us to identify a more expanded set of possibilities for our lives and those of future generations. Finding language to share our deepest...

  I am Deepak Chopra and I am proud to be a part of this important program that is redefining death by helping people transform their fear into an inspiration for living. As this program shows so powerfully, coming to terms with our own beliefs about death can liberate us. The key to the conquest of death is discovering your true self, who you really are. When you do, you realize that death makes life possible. This is a program and a movie that goes deep into the nature of an event that we’re all going to experience. We’re all going to...

A recent online article in the Huffington Post named the Death Makes Life Possible film in step 5 of its 5 Action Steps to Improve End-of-Life Care in Your Community. Under action step 5, "Host a Film Screening and Discussion," author Karen Wyatt, MD encourages readers to  feature a film at a local screening and to facilitate transformative dialogue among the audience after watching the movie. Dr. Wyatt recognizes the potential of Death Makes Life Possible to catalyze shifts in the way we think, act, and talk about death. Indeed, throughout the United States, many community organized viewings of Death Makes Life Possible have already...

The Death Makes Life Possible team recently traveled to Nevada City for the Wild & Scenic Film Festival. A sold out audience attended the screening of the film, and afterwards engaged in some passionate and moving dialogue with the filmmakers. Wild & Scenic featured Marilyn Schlitz, Executive Producer/Writer,  on their radio interview series during the event, and also produced a short video interview. Please enjoy these media and some other photos from the festival below!   Marilyn Schlitz, Death Makes Life Possible at Wild & Scenic   KVMR Radio Broadcast from Wild & Scenic Film Festival Media Reception [audio mp3="http://deathmakeslifepossible.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/WSFF_Media_Reception_on_KVMR_MSchlitz.mp3"][/audio]   Photos             ...

With Part 1 of this series, I introduced Terror Management Theory and discussed the implications for society when the idea of death is approached with anxiety and fear. Transforming the way we think about death and dying into a process of joy and inspired living may in turn transform the way we interact with others and lead to a more peaceful world. But where and how does this transformation begin? In this blog I share the words of an individual on this path of transformation. Yassir Chadly, a Sufi man I interviewed for the Death Makes Life Possible book and movie, holds a worldview that embraces religious and...

[caption id="attachment_1796" align="alignleft" width="300"] Paris, France. Thousands come together in solidarity for peace after the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris.[/caption] How can we use our own awareness around mortality to help overcome our aggressions and promote peace? Some social theorists assert that much of the violence and strife in our world is fundamentally the result of a shared cultural fear of death. As we look at the recent incidents in France, as well as other ethnic conflict around the world, we begin to see the application of this theory. The existence of alternative worldviews can cause us to question our own convictions and...

In the United States we celebrate our veterans, and the patriotism, the courage, and the sacrifice that they embody in service to the country. It is especially important to remember and honor those who gave their life in such service. Today, Veteran's Day, I want to share with you a scene from the documentary film Death Makes Life Possible, in which I interview veterans about their experience of life and loss. I have also included a sneak-peek excerpt from my upcoming book of the same name. In this excerpt veteran’s speak about their experience in war and how these experiences shaped their perspective on...

Every year, immediately after Halloween a unique cultural event occurs. It's an event that celebrates our mortality by honoring the lives of those who are no longer physically with us. This day is called Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. This holiday originates in Mexico, but is now becoming more and more popular in the United States as well. From city parades, to children's movies, how we approach death and dying in our culture seems to be shifting. Below is a sneak peak of a clip from the Death Makes Life Possible movie, and also an excerpt from my upcoming book of the same name (to be published in...