Posted by Lewis on February 14, 2005
In Reply to: From ashes to ashes, dust to dust posted by Smokey Stover on February 14, 2005
: : : : This phrase, taken from Genesis, is well known.
: : : : But, in terms of our human origins, how accurate is it? Did we indeed arise from ashes, or did humanity truly emerge from dust? And, if it is true, how do ova and sperm fit into this scheme of things?
: : : : SL
: : : Purely allegorical. We arose from basic chemicals, via amino acids etc. Whether a Creator was involved is a matter of personal choice, but the chemistry is pretty clear - from simple to complex.
: : "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust -- A phrase from the English burial service, used sometimes to denote total finality. It is based on scriptural texts such as 'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return' (Genesis 3:19), and 'I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee' (Ezekiel 27:18).
: : Ashes to ashes and dust to dust
: : If God won't have him the Devil must.
: : According to Sir Walter Scott...that was the form of burial service given by the sexton to the body of the French spy Guiscard, who, in 1711, had attempted to murder Robert Harley." From "Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable" revised by Adrian Room (HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, 1999, Sixteenth Edition).
: : On a really personal note, that's how I would like to end my physical existence on the Earth. Absorbed back into the ground. But, last time I checked, the U.S. burial laws make it difficult to take that route.
: It's a good thing I had some musical education. One of the songs I studied started out:
: Many's the night I spent with Minnie the Mermaid, Down at the bottom of the sea.
: There among the corals,
: That's where I lost my morals,
: Gee but she was good to me, oh, oh, oh,
: Ashes to ash and dust to dust,
: Two twin beds and only one of them mussed ...
: It goes on from there for a bit. Ah, art! SS
Physically, we are made of chemicals - a carbon based life-form, so we come from the earth and when we die, we re-enter the carbon cycle. for our lifetimes we have a consciousness and many would say a spirit/soul as well as the use of atoms from planet earth - on death, our mortal remains naturally return our chemicals to the earth/system. The Bible and the burial service both reflect the transient state of human life in those words.
I can't see anything contentious in the expression.