People create the reality they need in order to discover themselves.1.
Synchronicity is the merging of reality’s multiple screens onto one over-lapping exposure. I'm reading Ernest Becker’s, The Denial of Death, in the doctor's waiting room. I just turned 50. I am having blood work done to determine if the symptoms I am experiencing are the result of being pregnant. I need to know now, not in two weeks. Reading Becker, turning 50 and the possibility of carrying new life, brings the contemplation of life and death to the forefront. It is both thrilling and alarming - the space in which a life can change direction. The mystery and the responsibility of creating our own lives and the birth of others' -:
Here I read,
The questions about sex that the child asks are thus not – at a fundamental level about sex at all. They are about the meaning of the body, the terror of living with a body. When the parents give a straightforward biological answer to sexual questions, they do not answer the child’s questions at all. He wants to know why he has a body, where it came from and what it means for a self-conscious creature to be limited by it. He is asking about the ultimate mystery of life, not about the mechanics of sex. ….. We might say that modern man tries to replace vital awe and wonder with a How To Do It manual. 2.
The Denial of Death, organizes a chronological field of the development of human psychology and ontology. Those must have been heady times, the mid 1800's, distinguishing the relationship between man and God; man and inner self and the identification of Ego.
Kierkegaard, Freud, Rank, Jung. Each reflected moments of truth, personal and universal, consciously and in the absence of his own conscious awareness. Each developed theories on the maladies of the western mind relating to the fear of death, God and the unbound creative force of life living within us.
The Denial of Death searches for symbolic meaning through a window which specializes in existential anxiety. 3.
As Kierkegaard taught us, anxiety lures us on, becomes the spur to much of our energetic activity: we flirt with our own growth, but also dishonestly. This explains much of the friction in our lives. We enter symbiotic relationships in order to get the security we need, in order to get relief from our anxieties, our aloneness and helplessness; but these relationships also bind us, they enslave us even further because they support the lie we have fashioned....It is fateful and ironic how the lie we need in order to live dooms us to a life that is never really ours. 4.
“I’m a Black Star, not a pop star.”
“Not a porn star not a wandering star.”
“At the center of it all”
The sincerity of his creative voice!
The Denial of Death, is a search for meaning past the symbols of traditional religion and towards science’s approval of the psychoanalytic theory. Becker's conclusion is that the search never ends. Like the lines of nature, there is always a continuation. The psyche, when not under the obligation to live within time and space and the fears of Ego, perceives this life as immortal and is unafraid of death.
Though I disagree with the book's overtone, that life is a strenuous puzzle for figuring out and that if one is content, they are either repressed, asleep or have bought into the mainstream programming. I side towards a meaning of life impregnated with death that flows as a continuous wave phenomenon. Ego has its entry with gripping fear - as always - though there are moments for all of us when a deeper sense of Being to takes presence. When relaxed we see death everywhere. The open hand that holds it all.
Society wants to be the one to decide how people are to transcend death; it will tolerate the “causa-sui” project only if fits into the standard social project. 5.
Collective memory creatively categorized.
Art soothes anxiety.
But Rank understood that the idea of God has never been a simple reflex of superstitious and selfish fear, as cynics and “realists” have claimed. Instead it is an outgrowth of genuine life-longing, a reaching out for a plentitude of meaning. 6.
Thank-you David Bowie.
1. Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death (NewYork: The Free Press) p.158.
2. IBID p. 164
3. IBID p.124
4. IBID p. 56
5. IBID p.46
6. IBID p. 153