Last Updated on October 19, 2022

The Denial of Death

I just started reading Ernest Becker’s The Denial of Death and I’m currently obsessed with it. It’s one of the most interesting philosophical works I’ve ever read. I’m already posting about it and I am not even half way through.

The irony of man’s condition is that the deepest need is to be free of the anxiety of death and annihilation; but it is life itself which awakens it, and so we must shrink from being fully alive.

Man cannot endure his own littleness unless he can translate it into meaningfulness on the largest possible level.

On the shortness of life

(from Macbeth, spoken by Macbeth)

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

To the last syllable of recorded time;

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.