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'Be a teacher after death': The message strategies of the body donation campaign in Taiwan
Unformatted Document Text:  15 organization, it cannot overrule the Buddhist doctrine completely to serve the purpose of body donation. In order to resolve the clash between the Buddhist teaching of avoiding touching the deceased and the necessity to process the donated body within the first critical eight hours after one’s declared death, a reinterpretation of the doctrine from the religious perspective was given and the frame of “will of one’s meta-conscious being” was proposed. According to Master Cheng-Yen’s interpretation (Chang, 1999a), the rationale behind the Buddhist recommendation of not touching or moving the deceased to avoid incurring unbearable “pain” from the deceased was the belief of the existence of one’s meta-conscious being. Even after the declared death of one’s physical being, one’s meta-conscious being is still active. Touching or moving the deceased is believed to upset its meta-conscious being because it is not used to the state of death. The unbearable “pain” is originated from the deceased’s hesitation to leave its physical body or the world it leaves behind. On the other hand, if the deceased is willing to pass away without any hesitation, that is if the deceased knows that death is a means to accomplish a meaningful goal (e.g., body donation), then one’s meta-conscious being is unlikely to experience any “pain” because its will is satisfied. Instead it will feel contented because it knows that it has a higher goal to accomplish after death. Such a reinterpretation provides legitimacy for the medical professionals to process the donated body soon after one’s declared death

Authors: Chang, Hao-Chieh. and Leung, Kenneth W. Y..
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organization, it cannot overrule the Buddhist doctrine completely to serve the purpose
of body donation. In order to resolve the clash between the Buddhist teaching of
avoiding touching the deceased and the necessity to process the donated body within
the first critical eight hours after one’s declared death, a reinterpretation of the
doctrine from the religious perspective was given and the frame of “will of one’s
meta-conscious being” was proposed. According to Master Cheng-Yen’s
interpretation (Chang, 1999a), the rationale behind the Buddhist recommendation of
not touching or moving the deceased to avoid incurring unbearable “pain” from the
deceased was the belief of the existence of one’s meta-conscious being. Even after the
declared death of one’s physical being, one’s meta-conscious being is still active.
Touching or moving the deceased is believed to upset its meta-conscious being
because it is not used to the state of death. The unbearable “pain” is originated from
the deceased’s hesitation to leave its physical body or the world it leaves behind. On
the other hand, if the deceased is willing to pass away without any hesitation, that is if
the deceased knows that death is a means to accomplish a meaningful goal (e.g., body
donation), then one’s meta-conscious being is unlikely to experience any “pain”
because its will is satisfied. Instead it will feel contented because it knows that it has a
higher goal to accomplish after death. Such a reinterpretation provides legitimacy for
the medical professionals to process the donated body soon after one’s declared death


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