By Stephen Batchelor
Everyone who knew John Snelling through his Buddhist connections soon learned that he had leukaemia. This disease, which was diagnosed in 1975, became his inseparable companion in dukkha. Although he raged against it, countering it with cocktails of chemicals and all manner of complementary care, in the end he let it run its course. ‘I want to die organically,’ he said with a wry smile in the weeks before his death, and restricted his treatment to herbs, massage and good meat dinners. Those of us around him expected that this time too, as so often before, he would bounce back to life. In the Bristol Cancer Centre it was said of John that he didn’t just recover from his bouts of cancer, he reincarnated.
Well, this time he didn’t — at least not in this world.
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