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4/23/09

Whistling Past The Graveyard: Overcoming The Fear of Death

There was a time when we were not: this gives us no concern—why then should it trouble us that a time will come when we shall cease to be? I have no wish to have been alive a hundred years ago, or in the reign of Queen Anne: why should I regret and lay it so much to heart that I shall not be alive a hundred years hence, in the reign of I cannot tell whom? (On The Fear of Death, by William Hazlitt (1778-1830))

Here is a lively and entertaining discussion of the subject ;-). Check out psychiatrist and novelist Irv Yalom, author of Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Terror of Death. He is interviewed for Philosophy Talk before a live audience at The Marsh theater in San Francisco. A good listen for every thanatophobe. Even for thanatophiles, if there are any. (Of course, there is Ella Fitzgerald singing, "I'll be glad when you're dead, you rascal, you!" But that is not about one's own death.)

A post on Near-Death Experiences (NDEs) can be found here. People who have experienced an NDE lose much of their fear of death, and this loss isn't temporary. Surveyed decades later, they still feel the same. They say they have found meaning and purpose in life, are less competitive and are more compassionate.

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