Shinto – It can be difficult to get consent for organ donation from a Shinto family, because the religion views injuring a dead body as a serious crime.
Kami, shin, or, archaically, jin (神) is defined in English as “god”, “spirit”, or “spiritual essence”, all these terms meaning “the energy generating a thing”. Since the Japanese language does not distinguish between singular and plural, kami refers to the divinity, or sacred essence, that manifests in multiple forms. Rocks, trees, rivers, animals, places, and even people can be said to possess the nature of kami.
The wide variety of usage of the word kami can be compared to the Sanskrit Deva and the Hebrew Elohim, which also refer to God, gods, angels, or spirits.
We all know by now that life is something we cling to. Even in our most depressive states, even in the most painful portions of life, we cling to it. This can be described as a “hope that trauma will pass” and life will soon be bearable again.
When organs fail, or when a loved one dies, we have a desire for life to continue. And so there is an agreement made between the one who wished to live, and the family members who wish for some part of their loved one to continue living. Often, these organs are rejected in the transplant process, and sometimes accepted, with life long drug treatment to maintain the acceptance.
With the racism in the world, the hatred of other ethnicities, I am quite surprised at the willingness of someone who is ill to accept anothers organ into their body. After all, they do not really know what they are getting. Crazy how we have trouble living with each other while all are in body, but in the face of death, people literally take another into their own body.
I suppose this is a case, or cases, where people aren’t really aware of the deeper issues, they only see that there is possibility of keeping someone elses heart beating.
Many people during life go to therapy seeking ‘soul retrieval’. Throughout life, we leave bits and pieces of our spirit self with others, and it can often leave one feeling depleted, somewhat lifeless. There is the process of cutting cords and reclaiming ones self, a detaching.
Once we accept anothers body part, or a piece of our own is surgically implanted into another body, this is a bond which cannot be undone. The two are now one. Making decisions about organ donation without fully understanding this is irresponsible.
I’m curious about the real motives for this research and surgeries …
When a loved one dies, a family may wish to donate their organs, not understanding that they have now made their loved ones incomplete … a portion of their soul has been taken from them. Perhaps it is desired because the family just can’t let go, or perhaps because they just aren’t informed.
In life, as much as we’d like to help others it is important to first help ourselves, for if we are not whole and healthy, we are no good to anyone. Does this rule of thumb also pertain to the afterlife? When should we say it is time to ‘let go’?