The Assumption of Death

“Contemplations on the Myth of Death”

Review by Joey Madia

Just prior to this review, I reviewed another, much different book on the misconceptions and myths surrounding the survival of consciousness after the death of the physical body. Dr. Terry Gordon’s No Beginning… No End is written from the point of view of a crisis cardiologist with a highly spiritual focus. Anthony David Vernon’s The Assumption of Death, while also highly spiritual, is written by a poet. In place of case studies, we have meditations on classic works on death. Instead of a physician’s scalpel, we have a poet’s. Together, the two books prove that, from numerous angles, death as conceived and sold by religion and the medical field is by and large a lie and, in the words of Ram Dass, “Dying is perfectly safe.”

The poems in this collection vary in length from a few lines to several pages of poetic prose. These longer poems are sometimes presented as parables. The opening poem is in many ways representative both structurally and thematically:

“Chained –”
Existence is a chain
Its links are life and death
Its materials depend on the welder

The closing line of the second poem, “The Most Common Assumption,” lays out the meat of the matter: “Yet, the idea that to live is to die is neither unquestionable nor based upon ubiquity but rather assumption.” Continue reading