Psychology

If and why we Fear Death



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"If and why we Fear Death"
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Somehow it appears to be a natural instinct for us as humans to want to survive. When we are born, we gasp in our first breath, we cry when we are hungry or uncomfortable, because we have a self-driven / built-in mechanism to want to live.
I think, and I speak from experience, that most people think about death and dying, when they first encounter some or other intense form of suffering, so we are drawn towards that which we know to be the ultimate guillotine to all our sorrows, death. We toy with the idea, but when truly confronted by it as a person, our built-in mechanism to survive kicks in, and we say to ourselves, oh, perhaps another day, i think i still want to have kids, or maybe, i still havent become famous yet, or, i don't want to hurt my family. Those who've suffered intense hurt / loss, just like me, will know what i'm talking about.
As an individual, I can honestly say that I do not fear death, only that it will come at an untimely moment, or that it will be intensely painful, those are things that could inspire me to fear it. Other than that, I do think of it as the ultimate form of escape.
We all need some form of escape from the thrills and chills which life chucks our way. Sometimes we read a book, others chat online, some smoke a joint and others drain a bottle hoping to find a message...
We all have our means of finding sweet escapes, some people yearn for the escape of death, but as a whole, most people become so familiar or accustomed to life that they probably see it as some final insult to their lives when death sets in, at a moment which they probably feel they've just cracked the code to understanding this
thing called life. So understandably, death becomes an object to be feared, they see it as the illusive all-powerful, inexorable, mystical THING which creeps up on you when you least expect it, to bang down the guillotine on your unsuspecting vulnerable little long-suffering neck. It becomes in a sense that thing that exists in the core of darkness, which comes to life and takes you off to a place only you and it / he / she will ever see, to do with you as it / he / she wishes, with no regard for whether or not you might find it objectionable that you couldnt bring along a friend, to hold your hand while you suffer that which is beyond the suffering of life.
So life offers a semi-solution to the problem and allows one to become old, and ignored, and a burden, and so to speak - a natural solution to the impending threat of loss you might otherwise have posed on other members of the family. The ageing process therefore aids in helping others to focus on getting on with their own lives, and you with yours, tucked away in some or other little old age home biding away the time...
But since death doesnt always act according to plan, that is to say, it doesnt always strike when one is old, it may and often can and do strike when we least expect, like an enemy that creeps up you when you least expect, then doesnt take no for an answer, *that* is what makes chicken sh*t of many a person's resolve to not fear death. If most people were to sit back and analyze death, it really isnt all that powerful, it does in fact has its advantages, despite what we may all think. If we all lived to be 200 years and beyond, our planet might have gone to pot a lot sooner than we are inclined to kick the bucket. Death is therefore necessary to ensure that when one thing begins, another ends to take over the reigns. Ever watched a flower head fall off and fertilize the ground with its dead petals? A new one grows right back in its place. Such is life, something ends, something begins. Perhaps, if we all allowed our ego's to die back a bit, we might not need fear that our selves are suffering some ultimate K.O. By accepting that death is inevitable and that others, who ultimately take over, other's like our children, their children, are what forms a little piece of our own immortality, and yes, they carry on refreshed and strengthened in the knowledge we've imparted to them, to form what is hopefully, a wiser world.

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More about this author: Dalene West

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