Denial of death
Ernest Becker's book "The Denial of Death" was a significant source of inspiration for this project.
"The Denial of Death" is a seminal work in the field of psychology and philosophy, written by cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker. In this book, Becker explores the fundamental human fear of death and how it influences our thoughts, behaviors, and societies. He argues that the awareness of our own mortality creates existential anxiety and leads to the development of cultural worldviews, which serve as a defense mechanism against this fear. Becker contends that these worldviews provide us with a sense of meaning and purpose, but they also create a paradoxical situation where individuals are simultaneously empowered and limited by their cultural beliefs.
Becker's book had a significant impact on the field of psychology and contributed to the development of terror management theory, which explores how individuals cope with the fear of death. It also influenced various fields such as sociology, anthropology, and philosophy. "The Denial of Death" challenges us to confront our mortality and recognize the ways in which we are influenced by cultural worldviews. It provides a profound insight into the human condition and offers a compelling argument for the importance of creating meaning and purpose in our lives. The book has been widely praised for its clarity, originality, and interdisciplinary approach, and it continues to inspire researchers and thinkers across different fields.
“Man is out of nature and hopelessly in it; he is dual, up in the stars and yet housed in a heart-pumping, breath-gasping body that once belonged to a fish and still carries the gill-marks to prove it. His body is a material fleshy casing that is alien to him in many ways—the strangest and most repugnant way being that it aches and bleeds and will decay and die. Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with atowering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order blindly and dumbly to rot and disappear forever.”
- Ernest Becker, The denial of death, 1973