According to Ernest Becker in his book "The Denial of Death", one part of reality which we commonly refuse to confront is death. Most of us have no idea how we would react to impending death because we just don't want to think about it. And just as we fear the end of our finite existence, death, Becker maintains that we also fear the full experience of life.

One integral part of human life is the experience of pain -- our own and others. However, when someone cries, the most common response is, "Don't cry." It is probably good for people to cry, but most of us don't know how to handle tears.

When we cut off the experience of pain, we also separate ourselves from the full experience of the pleasures and the beauty of life. Their is so much excitement and stimulation in the world of reality that surrounds us that we are afraid of it. We are sure that we cannot handle it. We sense that we cannot cope with the charge of such high voltage. So we shut out much of reality and live a low-risk existence, with the sedations and distractions we need in order to cope with the limited part of the reality we are willing to confront. It is a question of using more of the capacity that we do have.


"The Denial of Death"
Ernest Becker



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