For decades, I have been fascinated with the idea of choosing my own way of letting go of my body when the time comes. And not necessarily because I am terminally ill or depressed. But simply because the time has come to leave and I know it. In other words, I don’t go along with the idea that choosing one’s death is only ethical if death is already imminent. I do not consider the body as the ruler of my time here on this planet!
My preferred manner of leaving is to voluntarily learn the art of intentional Out of Body Experience (OBE). This would be the quickest, easiest exit, and were I to actually settle down enough to practice learning how to do what I did inadvertently a few times back in my 20s, I would be thrilled.
On the other hand, a kinder option for others’ sake might be to let go slowly, and in this way share some final good times and provide some wonderful memories, for those close to me.
Enter VSED: Voluntary Stopping of Eating and Drinking.
Scott Nearing famously chose this way to let go. But then he was 101! I doubt I’ll want to live that long, doubt that I can be of service to others until that advanced an age. Hell, that’s nearly 30 years from now! If Guy McPherson is right, we may all be letting go around that time, whether or not we want to. All the more reason to consider a ceremonial manner of dying.
Here’s a pdf that talks about it. I just read pp. 383-402: the ancient history of VSED, the actual clinical process of starvation/dehydration, its various stages over, usually, a 7-14 day period, and the kind of care which ensures that this dying ceremony can be not only easy to undergo but, in fact, naturally produces euphoria as the end stage prior to coma.
And guess what? It’s most likely legal.
I thank Valerie Tarico who linked to this pdf in her alternet.org interview,