image of butterfly
Certainly, according to what they say about her, Kubler-Ross is a profile in courage and confidence in herself. Say what you will, she never caved in. Some say though, that she suffered from loose screws (long before her massive stroke) with her belief in spirit-guides, after-life and similar notions that made the scientific world shiver. That she was a highly credentialed part of that world made matters worse, casting a curious shadow on her extremely important contributions.

The irony of her current condition makes no one happy, least of all Kubler-Ross herself, who doesn't much care for hanging around in that ailing body of hers. Her "transition," as she refers to it, is long overdue, and she's not exactly being saintly about waiting for God to do his will. According to her belief system, she has no choice, though, but to wait as reincarnation protocol would place her back here again (if she took matters into her own hands). She's had it with earth, and has been assured, that for her, this is the last go-round.

Like all of us, her choices are constricted by conviction. And when you come right down to it, how can any of us consider her misguided or pathetic in her persistence, when we tend to do the very same thing with regard to our own belief systems?

Everyone has to believe in something, even if it is nothing. And whether it is something or nothing, it all rests on faith anyway, as there is simply no way to access verifiable evidence. THAT applies to the believer and non-believer alike. Having said that, I do wonder if a more clarifying light directed toward her last thirty years of functioning might not come from her infancy. Yes, I know, this is a very old concept itself, but when critics and colleagues talk of her drift into new age domains, they chalk it up to one hell of a burn-out after all those years of working with the dying.

More edifying might be the respectful but rigorous excursion into character structure which could suggest functioning on the self- absorbed level of narcissism. This kind of personality make-up is found in many visionaries, leaders and saints (notice she identifies with these) and is probably a prerequisite for these kinds of creative and risky ground breaking endeavors where one has to lead and inspire followers.

She was great when she was in her wonder years. She took a lot of hits. She stuck to her guns.

So she reached a point where she needed some reassurance and started to spin magic.



The Wheel Of Life has recently been published. It is Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's autobiography.

Copyright 1997 The Courage of Our Confusion. All Rights Reserved. Comments? E-mail
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