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The Denial of Death
Author: Ernest Becker
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 141659034X
Pages: 336
Year: 2007-11-01
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Winner of the Pulitzer prize in 1974 and the culmination of a life's work, The Denial of Death is Ernest Becker's brilliant and impassioned answer to the "why" of human existence. In bold contrast to the predominant Freudian school of thought, Becker tackles the problem of the vital lie -- man's refusal to acknowledge his own mortality. In doing so, he sheds new light on the nature of humanity and issues a call to life and its living that still resonates more than twenty years after its writing.
The Denial of Death
Author: Ernest Becker
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0684832402
Pages: 314
Year: 1997-05-08
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Drawing from religion and the human sciences, particularly psychology after Freud, the author attempts to demonstrate that the fear of death is man's central concern
The Denial of Death
Author: Ernest Becker
Publisher: Souvenir Press
ISBN: 0285640070
Pages: 338
Year: 2014-05-01
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Winner of the 1974 Pulitzer Prize and the culmination of Ernest Becker’s life’s work, The Denial of Death is one of the twentieth-century’s great works. In it Ernest Becker’s passionately seeks to understand the basis of human existence. Addressing the fundamental fact of existence as man’s refusal to acknowledge his own mortality, Becker sheds new light on humanity and the meaning of life itself. Becker views human civilisation and achievement as an attempt to transcend a sense of mortality as mankind seeks heroic acts (a sense of heroism is the central fact of human nature) to become part of something eternal; even though the physical body will die one day life can still have meaning and a greater significance. In the modern world much conflict between religions, nations and ideologies are the result of contradictory ‘immortality projects’ (Becker’s term for an attempt to create something eternal) but Becker looks for new and more convincing immortality projects that can restore the heroic sense, as well as bringing about a better world. Drawing together an astounding array of fields, from psychology and philosophy to religion and the human sciences Ernest Becker’s work has had a lasting cultural impact.
Denial
Author: Ajit Varki, Danny Brower
Publisher: Twelve
ISBN: 1455511927
Pages: 384
Year: 2013-06-04
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The history of science abounds with momentous theories that disrupted conventional wisdom and yet were eventually proven true. Ajit Varki and Danny Brower's "Mind over Reality" theory is poised to be one such idea-a concept that runs counter to commonly-held notions about human evolution but that may hold the key to understanding why humans evolved as we did, leaving all other related species far behind. At a chance meeting in 2005, Brower, a geneticist, posed an unusual idea to Varki that he believed could explain the origins of human uniqueness among the world's species: Why is there no humanlike elephant or humanlike dolphin, despite millions of years of evolutionary opportunity? Why is it that humans alone can understand the minds of others? Haunted by their encounter, Varki tried years later to contact Brower only to discover that he had died unexpectedly. Inspired by an incomplete manuscript Brower left behind, DENIAL presents a radical new theory on the origins of our species. It was not, the authors argue, a biological leap that set humanity apart from other species, but a psychological one: namely, the uniquely human ability to deny reality in the face of inarguable evidence-including the willful ignorance of our own inevitable deaths. The awareness of our own mortality could have caused anxieties that resulted in our avoiding the risks of competing to procreate-an evolutionary dead-end. Humans therefore needed to evolve a mechanism for overcoming this hurdle: the denial of reality. As a consequence of this evolutionary quirk we now deny any aspects of reality that are not to our liking-we smoke cigarettes, eat unhealthy foods, and avoid exercise, knowing these habits are a prescription for an early death. And so what has worked to establish our species could be our undoing if we continue to deny the consequences of unrealistic approaches to everything from personal health to financial risk-taking to climate change. On the other hand reality-denial affords us many valuable attributes, such as optimism, confidence, and courage in the face of long odds. Presented in homage to Brower's original thinking, DENIAL offers a powerful warning about the dangers inherent in our remarkable ability to ignore reality-a gift that will either lead to our downfall, or continue to be our greatest asset.
Birth and Death of Meaning
Author: Ernest Becker
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1439118426
Pages: 228
Year: 2010-05-11
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Uses the disciplines of psychology, anthropology, sociology and psychiatry to explain what makes people act the way they do.
The Worm at the Core
Author: Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, Tom Pyszczynski
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 067960488X
Pages: 288
Year: 2015-05-12
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A transformative, fascinating theory—based on robust and groundbreaking experimental research—reveals how our unconscious fear of death powers almost everything we do, shining a light on the hidden motives that drive human behavior More than one hundred years ago, the American philosopher William James dubbed the knowledge that we must die “the worm at the core” of the human condition. In 1974, cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker won the Pulitzer Prize for his book The Denial of Death, arguing that the terror of death has a pervasive effect on human affairs. Now authors Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, and Tom Pyszczynski clarify with wide-ranging evidence the many ways the worm at the core guides our thoughts and actions, from the great art we create to the devastating wars we wage. The Worm at the Core is the product of twenty-five years of in-depth research. Drawing from innovative experiments conducted around the globe, Solomon, Greenberg, and Pyszczynski show conclusively that the fear of death and the desire to transcend it inspire us to buy expensive cars, crave fame, put our health at risk, and disguise our animal nature. The fear of death can also prompt judges to dole out harsher punishments, make children react negatively to people different from themselves, and inflame intolerance and violence. But the worm at the core need not consume us. Emerging from their research is a unique and compelling approach to these deeply existential issues: terror management theory. TMT proposes that human culture infuses our lives with order, stability, significance, and purpose, and these anchors enable us to function moment to moment without becoming overwhelmed by the knowledge of our ultimate fate. The authors immerse us in a new way of understanding human evolution, child development, history, religion, art, science, mental health, war, and politics in the twenty-first century. In so doing, they also reveal how we can better come to terms with death and learn to lead lives of courage, creativity, and compassion. Written in an accessible, jargon-free style, The Worm at the Core offers a compelling new paradigm for understanding the choices we make in life—and a pathway toward divesting ourselves of the cultural and personal illusions that keep us from accepting the end that awaits us all. Praise for The Worm at the Core “The idea that nearly all human individual and cultural activity is a response to death sounds far-fetched. But the evidence the authors present is compelling and does a great deal to address many otherwise intractable mysteries of human behaviour. This is an important, superbly readable and potentially life-changing book.”—The Guardian (U.K.) “A neat fusion of ideas borrowed from sociology, anthropology, existential philosophy and psychoanalysis.”—The Herald (U.K.) “Deep, important, and beautifully written, The Worm at the Core describes a brilliant and utterly original program of scientific research on a force so powerful that it drives our lives.”—Daniel Gilbert, Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of Stumbling on Happiness “As psychology becomes increasingly trivial, devolving into the promotion of positive-thinking platitudes, The Worm at the Core bucks the trend. The authors present—and provide robust evidence for—a psychological thesis with disturbing personal as well as political implications.”—John Horgan, author of The End of War and director of the Center for Science Writings, Stevens Institute of Technology From the Hardcover edition.
The Creative Myth and the Cosmic Hero
Author: Ronald V. Evans
Publisher: Lang, Peter, Publishing Incorporated
ISBN:
Pages: 145
Year: 1992
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Staring at the Sun
Author: Irvin D. Yalom
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0470894016
Pages: 320
Year: 2010-06-10
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Written in Irv Yalom's inimitable story-telling style, Staring at the Sun is a profoundly encouraging approach to the universal issue of mortality. In this magisterial opus, capping a lifetime of work and personal experience, Dr. Yalom helps us recognize that the fear of death is at the heart of much of our anxiety. Such recognition is often catalyzed by an "awakening experience"—a dream, or loss (the death of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job or home), illness, trauma, or aging. Once we confront our own mortality, Dr. Yalom writes, we are inspired to rearrange our priorities, communicate more deeply with those we love, appreciate more keenly the beauty of life, and increase our willingness to take the risks necessary for personal fulfillment.
Dealing with Doctors, Denial, and Death
Author: Aroop Mangalik
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1442272813
Pages: 274
Year: 2017-01-13
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This guide for patients facing serious illnesses for which the path to wellness is unclear explains some of the influences that may prompt physicians to recommend futile treatments and describes specific ways of obtaining information to get a clear idea of all available options.
Life Against Death
Author: Norman O. Brown
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
ISBN: 0819570532
Pages: 387
Year: 2012-04-15
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A shocking and extreme interpretation of the father of psychoanalysis.
Death and Denial
Author: Daniel Liechty
Publisher: Praeger Publishers
ISBN: 0275974200
Pages: 301
Year: 2002-01-01
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Analyzes the impact of the theory of Generative Death Anxiety on the humanities and social sciences.
The Slavery of Death
Author: Richard Beck
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN: 1620327775
Pages: 146
Year: 2013-12-23
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According to Hebrews, the Son of God appeared to "break the power of him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil--and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death." What does it mean to be enslaved, all our lives, to the fear of death? And why is this fear described as "the power of the devil"? And most importantly, how are we--as individuals and as faith communities--to be set free from this slavery to death?In another creative interdisciplinary fusion, Richard Beck blends Eastern Orthodox perspectives, biblical text, existential psychology, and contemporary theology to describe our slavery to the fear of death, a slavery rooted in the basic anxieties of self-preservation and the neurotic anxieties at the root of our self-esteem. Driven by anxiety--enslaved to the fear of death--we are revealed to be morally and spiritually vulnerable as "the sting of death is sin." Beck argues that in the face of this predicament, resurrection is experienced as liberation from the slavery of death in the martyrological, eccentric, cruciform, and communal capacity to overcome fear in living fully and sacrificially for others.
Art and Artist
Author: Otto Rank, Charles Francis Atkinson
Publisher: W W Norton & Company Incorporated
ISBN: 0393305740
Pages: 431
Year: 1989
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Explores the human urge to create, in terms of art, religion, mythology, and social institutions, and seeks to understand the relationship of art to the individual and to society
My Father's Wake
Author: Kevin Toolis
Publisher: Da Capo Press
ISBN: 0306921456
Pages: 288
Year: 2018-02-27
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An intimate, lyrical look at the ancient rite of the Irish wake--and the Irish way of overcoming our fear of death Death is a whisper for most of us. Instinctively we feel we should dim the lights, pull the curtains, and speak softly. But on a remote island off the coast of Ireland's County Mayo, death has a louder voice. Each day, along with reports of incoming Atlantic storms, the local radio runs a daily roll call of the recently departed. The islanders go in great numbers, young and old alike, to be with their dead. They keep vigil with the corpse and the bereaved company through the long hours of the night. They dig the grave with their own hands and carry the coffin on their own shoulders. The islanders cherish the dead--and amid the sorrow, they celebrate life, too. In My Father's Wake, acclaimed author and award-winning filmmaker Kevin Toolis unforgettably describes his own father's wake and explores the wider history and significance of this ancient and eternal Irish ritual. Perhaps we, too, can all find a better way to deal with our mortality--by living and loving as the Irish do.
The Day That Went Missing
Author: Richard Beard
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 0316418463
Pages: 288
Year: 2018-11-06
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"Spellbinding, terrifying, deeply moving, Richard Beard's The Day That Went Missing is a masterpiece" (Joanna Rakoff), an unflinching portrait of a family's silent grief, and the tragic death of his brother not spoken about for forty years. Winner of the PEN/Ackerley Prize 2018 On a family summer holiday in Cornwall in 1978, Richard and his younger brother Nicholas are jumping in the waves. Suddenly, Nicholas is out of his depth. One moment he's there, the next he's gone. Richard and his other brothers don't attend the funeral, and incredibly the family returns immediately to the same cottage - to complete the holiday, to carry on, in the best British tradition. They soon stop speaking of the catastrophe. Their epic act of collective denial writes Nicky out of the family memory. Nearly forty years later, Richard, an acclaimed novelist, is haunted by the missing piece of his childhood, the unexpressed and unacknowledged grief at his core. He doesn't even know the date of his brother's death or the name of the beach where the tragedy occurred. So he sets out on a pain-staking investigation to rebuild Nicky's life, and ultimately to recreate the precise events on the day of the accident. The Day That Went Missing is a transcendent story of guilt and forgiveness, of reckoning with unspeakable loss. But, above all, it is a brother's most tender act of remembrance, and a man's brave act of survival.