Who's afraid of death?

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boagie
 
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2008 03:35 pm
@TickTockMan,
Smile

Procreation, relative immortality, the spark of life passed on, the eternal flame. It is interesting this idea that other emotions might have a like singular origin, conrrelations I think the term was, anybody have any speculations on love, lust ect...
 
Gwyniviere
 
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2008 07:12 pm
@boagie,
I'm still not convinced that fear and fear of death are the same. Is it not possible to conceive of someone who may fear immortality? Some fear shame; some people fear being alone. Or are we talking about anxiety? I still maintain that not all fear is based upon the threat of the cessation of life.
Unlike other forms of life, we have the ability to reason. I highly doubt we'll find a herd of deer, or a school of fish having a discussion about the "meaning of life". Much of our fears and anxieties arise from our ability to question our existence.
 
boagie
 
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2008 07:27 pm
@Gwyniviere,
Gwyniviere,Smile

Yes I know it seems remote for some of these examples of what some call anxiety, but the whole idea is the linking back, for how did this multifaceted fear come about, when there is but one fear in nature. Shame you mentioned, fear of being lowly evaluated, what might that mean other than rejection, in our biological history as hunters and gathers say, to be rejected by the group, tribe and/or family would have meant death. You do see what I mean, it may not be easy to make the link, but its there.
 
Gwyniviere
 
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2008 07:37 pm
@boagie,
OMG Shame? How you twist my words. We moved from shame to rejection. I don't think they mean the same thing. One can feel shame without being shamed, thus avoiding public rejection; but we are digressing.
 
boagie
 
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2008 07:49 pm
@Gwyniviere,
Gwyniviere,Smile

Shame is often a reaction to rejection, it is the result of a low evaluation by your peer group/society/family. I am somewhat of an expert on the topic being the black sheep of the family. Right, give me an example of a fear that you most definitely do not believe involves any connotation of death. As far as your analogy with the animal kingdom goes, they fear death, not public speaking. Actually they say the public speaking is feared more greatly/ by more people than the fear of death, makes one wonder does not?Smile
 
Ennui phil
 
Reply Fri 31 Oct, 2008 02:08 am
@BrightNoon,
When a person is down by a chronic disease,amid dire sufferings,then the person will perceive he/she is not afraid of dying,in their mind dying is the remedy.Irrevocably.

If a successful,affluent,gleeful person,devoid of any chronic disease,he will be petrified of dying.

This is the fundamental answer.
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Fri 31 Oct, 2008 04:05 pm
@Ennui phil,
Ennui;30544 wrote:
When a person is down by a chronic disease,amid dire sufferings,then the person will perceive he/she is not afraid of dying,in their mind dying is the remedy.Irrevocably.

If a successful,affluent,gleeful person,devoid of any chronic disease,he will be petrified of dying.

This is the fundamental answer.


Not always so.

I'm reasonably happy (most of the time), I have enough money to pay my bills and buy a treat now and then, and other than having a head cold and sore throat today, I'm healthy.

I'm not afraid of dying.

I would rather die when I'm having a good day and have no contention with the world about me than when I am miserable and out of harmony.
 
ariciunervos
 
Reply Fri 31 Oct, 2008 04:11 pm
@TickTockMan,
TickTockMan wrote:
I'm not afraid of dying.


Do you wait for your moment of death like you used to wait for Christmas when you were a small kid ?
Or maybe instead like waiting for that really hard exam you had to pass ?
Are you indifferent ? I don't believe you Very Happy
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Fri 31 Oct, 2008 04:45 pm
@ariciunervos,
ariciunervos;30694 wrote:
Do you wait for your moment of death like you used to wait for Christmas when you were a small kid ?
Or maybe instead like waiting for that really hard exam you had to pass ?
Are you indifferent ? I don't believe you Very Happy


Okay, let me rephrase: I'm not afraid of death, though now and then I am troubled by the manner in which death might come. I would prefer not to be burned alive. Nor would I want to die in a hospital bed all full of tubes and doped up.

If I cash it in doing something I love, such as hiking, kayaking, martial arts, or riding my motorcycle, that's just fine with me. I would just prefer to go out, when it's that time, without a lot of flopping around and screaming.

The fact of the matter is though, one could go at any time, from any cause. Or as poet Richard Shelton said, "Anything that can happen, can happen to you."

I was electrocuted once by lightning when I was in college, and that pretty much forever changed all my ideas about fate and mortality. Also, it changed my hairstyle, but thankfully that was temporary.

Regards,
Tock
 
Gwyniviere
 
Reply Sat 1 Nov, 2008 02:51 pm
@BrightNoon,
you know what...no matter how we think, or how we try to explain death...it is there waiting for us. I guess the best we can do is LIVE while we can
 
boagie
 
Reply Sat 1 Nov, 2008 03:50 pm
@Ennui phil,
Ennui,Smile

It may well be true, that those who are world weary look at death as the final grace but, that does not explain all the varied forms of fear, stress and aniexty that can find no reasonable object of their fear. My premise is that no matter how far removed it seems, the core of that fear,stress or aniexty, is the fear of death. Again there is only one fear in nature and that is the fear of death, so how did it get so abstracted that the victums of today cannot identify the object of their fear/s?
 
Gwyniviere
 
Reply Sat 1 Nov, 2008 04:36 pm
@boagie,
Boagie
Are you confusing the will to grow with the fear of death?
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Sun 2 Nov, 2008 11:16 am
@Gwyniviere,
boagie;30802 wrote:

My premise is that no matter how far removed it seems, the core of that fear,stress or aniexty, is the fear of death. Again there is only one fear in nature and that is the fear of death


I think you are correct here, Boagie, regarding the fear of death.

boagie;30802 wrote:
so how did it get so abstracted that the victums of today cannot identify the object of their fear/s?


Fear is what kept our primitive ancestors alive. Primitive humans didn't have the luxury of ambling about in a carefree manner slapping each other on their hairy backs and remarking on how jolly good everything was. Every moment was a struggle to simply stay alive in an environment that was extraordinarily hostile.

We may think we have things tough these days (and granted, for many people around the world staying alive is a daily struggle . . . take Darfur, for example), but imagine if you will being out in a blizzard, wearing a rabbit skin thong, and trying to bring down a wooly mammoth with a sharp rock tied to a stick while a couple of saber-tooth tigers roam the perimeter.

The difference between then and now is that primitive humans could not afford to allow their fear to overcome their ability to function - to survive. So instead of collapsing in despair, they turned their fears into challenges to be overcome, and developed language to bring ideas together, weapons, hunting skills, clothing, better shelter building methods, means of food and water storage, medicine, laws. Gods and myths were developed to explain the unexplainable and give comfort in the darkness and to set their moral compasses toward true north.

Fear has become abstracted these days, in part I think, because most of us don't really have as many day-to-day physical dangers to overcome. However, that primitive part of our brain that controls our instincts continues to remain in a state of vigilance for threats to our well-being. Looking around, it sees few actual threats, but being that it has a job to do, it often starts making things up.

The rational part of our brain hears a branch rubbing against the side of our house in the night and identifies it as such. That other part of our brain often perks up at this point however and says, "Maybe it's branch . . . but maybe it's (fill in your favorite fear here)."

99 times out of 100, it is just a branch. What the instinctual part of our brain is preparing us for, with the release of adrenaline and various endorphins, is that one time when it's not. This, in and of itself, is actually a good thing. It's our brain's way of preparing our body for action. It becomes a bad thing when the rational part of our brain is unable to recognize when action is not required, and simply roll over and go back to sleep.

Separating the "what could be" from the "what is" is often easier said than done.

This is a bit simplistic perhaps, but I think it is largely at the root of abstract, unidentifiable, fear and its symptoms of various stress/anxiety disorders.

The real question is how do we eliminate that fear without eliminating the fear signals that are necessary for our survival?

*Please note that I have an unpleasant cold with a low-grade fever, and that I wrote much of the above while under the influence of cold medicine, so if it's a bit rambling that's why. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.*

Regards,
Tock
 
boagie
 
Reply Sun 2 Nov, 2008 11:49 am
@Gwyniviere,
Gwyniviere wrote:
Boagie
Are you confusing the will to grow with the fear of death?


Gwyniviere,Smile

Not really, how indeed does the topic of the will to grow enter into this? How could one confuse it with the fear of death?
 
boagie
 
Reply Sun 2 Nov, 2008 12:03 pm
@boagie,
TickTockMan.Smile

Your ramble seems very reasonable to me, the cough medicine seems not to have diminished your power of reason. I guess the most interesting thing about this concept is the linking back of verious fears and anxieties to the key reality. Example, why is it such a profound fear with most of the population, that of public speaking. Linking it back perhaps it could be understood as a fear of community rejection, as hunter gatherers that would have meant death to the individual. It seems the straightforward concept of the fear of death, is metaphorically shattered into many many pieces. I am not sure this understanding, I mean the knowing, that these puzzling fears, stresses and anxieties are from the root cause of the fear death would disarm the said fears, perhaps it might help.
 
Gwyniviere
 
Reply Sun 2 Nov, 2008 12:08 pm
@boagie,
I've been giving this quite a bit of thought, and I do see your logic. It's pretty hard to argue with it, but I'm still not convinced that all fear arises from the fear of death. I'm leaning more toward fear of the unknown. (Please be patient with me...I am new to this.) None of us know death, or what may or may not happen to us once we die.
 
Gwyniviere
 
Reply Sun 2 Nov, 2008 12:09 pm
@boagie,
I'm not sure where I was going with that one either Boagie. When i figure it out I'll elaborate.
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Sun 2 Nov, 2008 11:02 pm
@Gwyniviere,
Gwyniviere;30918 wrote:
I've been giving this quite a bit of thought, and I do see your logic. It's pretty hard to argue with it, but I'm still not convinced that all fear arises from the fear of death. I'm leaning more toward fear of the unknown. (Please be patient with me...I am new to this.) None of us know death, or what may or may not happen to us once we die.


Fear that something in the unknown may cause death? It all seems to come back to fear of death.

Fear of the unknown is pointless, really, in the sense that it's not helpful to our cause.

Which might lead one to the conclusion that fear of death is also pointless, and a waste of valuable living time.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 05:21 am
@TickTockMan,
TickTockMan wrote:
Which might lead one to the conclusion that fear of death is also pointless...


... or that it helps to keep one alive.
 
boagie
 
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 05:25 am
@Khethil,
Khethil wrote:
... or that it helps to keep one alive.


Khethil,Smile

Not only does it keep one alive, it also keeps us from many a foolish enterprize. Unfortunately it sometimes keeps us from living a full life, so, as I have said before, it can be a two edged sword.
 
 

 
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