The idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else; it is a mainspring of human activity – designed largely to avoid the fatality of death, to overcome it by denying in some way that it is the final destiny of man.
Ernest Becker QuotesShowing all quotes
|Birth:||27th September, 1924|
|Death:||6th March, 1974|
|Profession:||Anthropologist, Psychologist, Writer|
I think that taking life seriously means something such as this: that whatever man does on this planet has to be done in the lived truth of the terror of creation, of the grotesque, of the rumble of panic underneath everything. Otherwise it is false. Whatever is achieved must be achieved with the full exercise of passion, of vision, of pain, of fear, and of sorrow. How do we know … that our part of the meaning of the universe might not be a rhythm in sorrow?
When we understand that man is the only animal who must create meaning, who must open a wedge into neutral nature, we already understand the essence of love. Love is the problem of an animal who must find life, create a dialogue with nature in order to experience his own being.
In seeking to avoid evil, [humanity] is responsible for bringing more evil into the world than organisms could ever do merely by exercising their digestive tracts. It is [our] ingenuity, rather than [our] animal nature, that has given [our] fellow creatures such a bitter earthly fate.
We now know that the human animal is characterized by two great fears that other animals are protected from: the fear of life and the fear of death… Heidegger brought these fears to the center of his existential philosophy. He argued that the basic anxiety of [humanity] is anxiety about being-in-the-world, as well as anxiety of being-in-the-world. That is, both fear of death and fear of life, of experience and individuation.
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