The Universal Fear of Death Essay

The Universal Fear of Death expands upon the thoughts Elisabeth Kubler Ross and Ernest Becker sing the psychological science environing decease. and the societal concepts designed to extenuate its influence on our mind. These thoughts focus on different cultural positions environing the way to immortality/transcendence. how civilization assists us to cover with our decease angst ( anxiousness ) . and in a dialectical manner. convey about a inquiry ; “Is the fright of decease universal? ”

In the introductory subdivision subdivision the inquiry is asked ; Is the fright of decease Universal? ” Ernest Becker argues that the really idea of decease is “the mainspring of human activity. ” He explains that this fright of decease thrusts us to make myths about immortality. apparently to deny that a physical decease is the terminal of life. Death anxiousness and denial are said to hold two beginnings: innate animate being inherent aptitude ( fight or flight ) or “cultural conditions that may give rise to the fright of death” ( Charmaz ) . Modern philosophers Feder. Hinton. Gordon. and Malinowsky believe that this anxiousness is unconditioned. that it derives from the features that make separate us from other species. or what makes us human. One quotation mark from Gordon provinces “it is our interactions with other worlds that complete our being and give our lives intending. ” This is important because if our actions and relationships are what gives our life significance. so decease is the devastation of all things meaningful. Death is disputing for worlds to understand because its the antonym of what we strive to achieve during life. In contrast. other bookmans aren’t convinced that the fright of decease is unconditioned. instead it is perpetuated through civilization.

They explain that decease fright is higher in civilizations that focus on individualism and ego. In contrast. rural and crude civilizations do non experience decease anxiousness as strongly. What this means is that the fright of decease is “subject to manipulation” by cultural concepts. There are many different cultural responses to the fright of decease. The text states that worlds are symbolic existences and we construct systems to continue the significance of life such as art. music. architecture. literature etc. These cultural phenomena are wholly created as a manner for us to go on our bequest in the face of decease. This besides includes ascendant worship and spiritual systems. These systems “bridged the divide between the dead and the life and portrayed decease non as an terminal. but as a passage to another universe that is still really much connected to an earthly one. ”

The 2nd subdivision of the article explains how early and preliterate worlds responded to decease. Herzog suggests “the most basic response to decease is flight from it. ” He states that this impulse to fly from the sight of a dead homo is a consequence of “sheer horror. ” and the inability to explicate the fortunes of how one was one time living but is now dead. Subsequently. the one time horror-stricken crude people began to bury the deceased with foliages instead than merely flying. This holds great significance because it highlights an of import bend in their psychological development. “Only by facing decease. could humans bit by bit get down to incorporate the construct of decease into their apprehension of the natural strategy of significance. ” Malinowsky explained that this changeless confrontation with decease began to bring forth emotional responses such as fright and loss. In bend. early worlds began to develop rites environing cadaver disposal. This allowed them to asseverate some control over decease which farther integrated it into society. This was the birth of modern burial rites that are still of import for all worlds today.

Though the patterns differ in each civilization. the intent is the same: to convey understanding and peace out of something that is apparently inexplicable and helter-skelter. It is here that animism and immortality myths begin to emerge. The impression that all worlds live on after decease becomes cosmopolitan. Malinowsky states that early worlds were “incapable of conceive ofing decease as the obliteration of being. ” intending decease merely serves as a agency to the hereafter. All of these ideas are said to deduce from the complexness of the human encephalon. Our ability to reflect on the yesteryear. conceive of the hereafter. dream and visualize our asleep loved 1s are thoughts that form the footing of our decease denying rites. To explicate the hereafter and our ain frights of the dead. preliterate worlds attempted to make a agencies to pacify and command them.

Malinowsky stated that this brought on two new cultural concepts: faith and thaumaturgy. Religion offered its followings a manner to pacify their Gods in hopes to protect themselves and their ascendants whereas charming offered control over these unobserved forces that affect human lives. The 3rd subdivision of the article “Religion and the Fear of Death. ” explains that the basis of all civilisations is faith. The cultural facets environing decease and the thoughts of the afterlife signifier the footing of all faiths. “Of all beginnings of faith. the supreme and concluding crisis of life–death–is of great importance. ” Malinowsky attributes faith to being “as instinctual a response as the fright of decease which underlies it. ”

Harmonizing to Durkheim. the simple significance of faith is the belief in liquors ; faith is a agency for worlds to interact with these religious existences through “prayers. forfeits. proprietary rites. etc. ” Religion offers many things to human civilization. this includes order. societal organisations. and a clear differentiation between right and incorrect. This creates a span between human society and the spirit universe. supplying a agency to achieve life everlastingly. “Underlying faith is power. and the foundation of power that of life over decease. ” With the power of life over decease. faith has been efficaciously able to guarantee obeisance and asseverate its control over a society.

Section four of the article suggests that killing by early worlds is a direct response to the fright of decease. “Killing energizes the slayer. ” leting him “to confront decease instantly and deliberately. and with that comes a sense of power. ” This violent death allows the slayer to go decease ; to come face to face with it and get the hang it. In another visible radiation. violent death was a agency of endurance. In crude folks. the aged. sick. or deformed were frequently killed to profit others in the group. In some civilizations. it was even frowned upon for kids to allow their parents dice of natural causes. Though these cases of killing were a agency of endurance. they frequently caused guilt and unhappiness. Early worlds frequently performed rites to cleanse themselves or “cancel out the event of decease. ” In some instances. ceremonials and rites were performed before the violent death. This is thought to hold provided these early people with a manner to relieve anxiousness before the act.

“The forfeits of the other ‘lessens the fright of the ego’” and “through the decease of the other. one buys oneself free from the punishment or deceasing. of being killed. ” Through the act of killing. people began to see that decease was connected with life. they came to see that decease was apart of 1s life rhythm. “Beneath the thought of forfeit is power. ” power that exploits the groups natural fright of decease. In decision. I feel that the fright of decease is profoundly rooted in the human mind. All during our lives we are taught to populate our life to the fullest. make our best. eat our veggies. wash behind our ears etc. and though its ne’er said outright. these expressions all imply that we merely live one time and we should desire to populate the longest. healthiest. and most memorable lives that we can ; go forthing a bequest that preserves these societal norms for future coevalss.