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David Cumes: Death is Just a Ticket

David Cumes: Death is Just a Ticket to a New Destination



In August of 2010, Dr. David Cumes gave a talk in Santa Barbara, California titled "Death is Just a Ticket to a New Destination." Those who attended discovered that his talk was as much about living well as it was about dying. Dr. Cumes speaks from a perspective that marries wisdom from a variety of sources, including African Shamanism, Kaballah, Judaism, Buddhism, and Christianity. His common sense approach, based on the commonalities of so many belief systems, offers a sense of comfort and takes much of the mystery and fear out of death.

Cumes grew up in South Africa and earned his medical degree in 1967, later moving to California to begin his practice as a surgeon. There he married and raised four children. He was the epitome of the successful, Westernized medical doctor. But when he began taking trips back to South Africa, the shamans there told him repeatedly that he had an additional destiny to fulfill. He began training with the sangomas, spending time over a number of years living in the bush, learning about plant medicine, trance states, and indigenous wisdom. He was eventually initiated as a sangoma and now gives lectures and offers private divinations on African healing technologies.

His death lecture is the ultimate primer for those who are curious about the afterlife, and perhaps anxious about the prospect of dying. Cumes reassures us that even medical evidence supports the idea of an afterlife, and explains the typical "near death" experience. He reaffirms the ideas of a life/afterlife/life continuum designed to test us and help us fulfill our individual destiny. But he also provides cautions about troublesome "intrusive spirits" who may be distracting our lives, and explains how to deal with them, and avoid becoming one.

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