The Psychology of Death in Fantasy and History
This volume investigates the impact of death consideration on such phenomena as Buddhist cosmology, the poetry of Rilke, cults, and apocalyptic dreams, Japanese mythology, creativity, and even psychotherapy. Death is seen as a critical motivation for the genesis of artistic creations and monuments, of belief systems, fantasies, delusions, and numerous pathological syndromes. Culture itself may be understood as the innumerable ways that societies defend themselves against helplessness and annihilation, how they mould and recreate the world in accordance with their wishes and anxieties, the social mechanisms employed to deny annihilation and death. Whether one speaks of the construction of massive burial tombs, magical transformations of death into eternal life, afterlives or resurrections, the need to cope with death and deny its terror and effect are the sine qua non of religion, culture, ideology, and belief systems in general.
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adaptive aggression annihilation Aum Shinrikyo awareness Becker behavior Beit-Hallahmi belief systems birth Black Death body Brahma Kumaris Branch Davidians Buddhism castration child Christian Identity conflict conscious creative cultural Dance dead death anxiety death-related decay deep unconscious defense denial of death destruction Dogen doll dreams dynamics emotional Ernest Becker evil existential experience external fanatic fantasies fear of death feelings Freud guilt Hitler human humor ideal ideas illusion immortality individual interpretation Japanese Jews killing laughter leaders living means moral mother narcissistic nature neurosis one's ostracizing Otto Rank pain patients person Piven Princess Kaguya psyche psychic psychoanalysis psychological reality rebirth religion religious reliving repression Rilke Rilke's ritual sacrifice salvation Samyutta Nikaya sense sexual Shinto social spiritual suffering super-ego symbolic terror terrorist therapist tion transcendence transference objects traumatic uncanny University Press victims violence wishes women writes York