'It made me rethink the roots of our deepest fears and insecurities, and why we often disappoint ourselves in how we manifest them' Bill Clinton, Guardian 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. The book argues that human ...
'It made me rethink the roots of our deepest fears and insecurities, and why we often disappoint ourselves in how we manifest them' Bill Clinton, Guardian 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. The book argues that human civilisation is a defence against the knowledge that we are mortal beings. Becker states that humans live in both the physical world and a symbolic world of meaning, which is where our 'immortality project' resides. We create in order to become immortal - to become part of something we believe will last forever. In this way we hope to give our lives meaning. In The Denial of Death, Becker sheds new light on the nature of humanity and issues a call to life and its living that still resonates decades after it was written.
My childhood friend, with whom I've been best friends since we we 18 months old, is going through what he calls "gut-wrenching anxiety." He lost a sister and his father last year to death, and never sufficiently processed these losses. I have been a psychotherapist for 30+ years, and Becker's book is an important contribution to our understanding of the ubiquity of 'death anxiety' in our lives, and how greatly it affects most people in almost everything they do. I recommend it highly.
Mar 7, 2011
would I dare recommend?
Wow. This is a bewildering psychological treatise on man's fear of death and the behaviors that the awarenessof mortality begets. I think for any student of psychology, this would be a must read. For a mere mortal like me, their were nuggets found here and there that were very valuable; most of the book was enlightening, but partswere beyond my level of interest, if not my level of comprehension. In truth, I would have to use this book as a springboard for much more indepth study in order to grasp even a fraction of the insight it reveals. I have some friends to whom I would never consider recommending this book (I listened to audio version - very well done), but there are others who are curious enough about why we are the way we are who just might find it life changing. To them I will pass it along.
Mar 6, 2008
last chapter worth it
If you can get the book cheap enough to warrant just reading the last chapter, i would recommend it. The book was too "text-booky" for my preference, but he did pull together some interesting insights in the last chapter.
Jan 31, 2008
Book was not new
I thought I was ordering a new book, but when I received the book it was clear that the book was not new. Although it was plastic wrapped and the cover and pages do not appear worn; the pages are an almost dark yellow. I was disappointed because just looking at the pages one can plainly see that the book is very old.
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