Preparing for my lecture this Sunday on Death. No, I am not depressed at all. In fact I am elated. I can’t wait to tackle it. Sadly, the topic remains taboo among most of us. We are so uncomfortable with the subject that we just deny its power over us.
The fear that we suppress will re-surface as a phobia. Our inability to deal with the reality of death results in rather strange, unintended and unrecognized consequences. Ernest Becker believed that the denial of death resulted in much of the attitudes and aspirations of modern society. The desire to become rich, famous, successful. The desire to have children. The pre-occupation with materialism, the use of alcohol and drugs–all could be seen as mechanisms for denying the metaphysical truth of our own mortality.
Facing death, especially for those who understand that there is a spiritual dimension to reality, is surprisingly liberating. Facing our secret fears allows us to realize that we can survive them. They loose power over our subconscious when we face them down and see them evaporate like mist before our eyes.
Discussing death is not morbid at all. It is like discussing birth or any of the developmental steps in between. It is reality and why should we live a delusion? Facing death gives meaning to every precious moment of this life.
Knowing that existence and love survive death is an added plus.