O Me of Little Faith

Anyone up for some advance, listy content from Pocket Guide to the Afterlife (one of three Pocket Guides to release next summer)? More than any of the other Pocket Guides I’ve written, this one — about heaven and hell and all the other stuff different cultures believe about life-after-death — really lends itself to list-making.

And it’s well-documented that blog readers like lists.

So here’s one of the lists from the final listy chapter of Pocket Guide to the Afterlife. Enjoy.


Twelve Activities That May Be Signs of an Impending Death Should They Occur in Your Dreams, According to the Tibetan Book of the Dead:

1. Being disemboweled by a fierce black woman, causing your entrails to spill out

2. Eating feces

3. Wearing black clothes of yak hair

4. Being trapped in a wicker basket

5. Being dragged by a black rope attached to the neck

6. Being trapped inside a very tall, red-colored, moat-surrounded castle

7. Being decapitated and having your head carried away by someone else

8. Repeatedly picking red flowers

9. Being dragged along by a crowd of dead people

10. Being surrounded by crows, or villains

11. Dancing with a host of ogres

12. Jumping headlong into a pit


When I was a teenager, I had a vivid dream in which my parents were cats, and we lived in an underground home with dirt walls, and it tunneled into an amusement park, and somehow I ended up being pursued by a herd of cattle through that same amusement park. As far as dreams go, it was horrifying. I’m pretty sure it meant something profound.

But I’m glad to know it didn’t mean my demise was imminent.

Dream interpretations, explanations, and recaps welcome in the comments. Have you dreamed any of the 12 things above? Let me know. We’ll pray for you.

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