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drichard's picture

I've been thinking about

I've been thinking about death, wanted to offer an alternative understanding. I'm part of an ongoing discussion on identity and the construction of the life narrative.

We spend a great deal of our lives "finding ourselves," or, in my mind, "creating ourselves." There is an author within each of us responsible for the creation of meaning. As we determine what is meaningful we create an identity for ourselves: we enable phrases like "I like" or "I love." We could look at death as a disruption of our authorship, of our free will. Our fear of death could be an existential, egocentric frustration centering around our authorship. Conversely, our love of life could be viewed as a perverse distortion of our love for ourselves, of our capacity to create ourselves.

In this way, modern medicine becomes an authorial aid, another mirror reflecting narcissus' gaze. Even when we fight to keep other people alive, we do it because our author has deemed them "meaningful" (or else we recognize and respect their narcissism and can put ourselves into their dying shoes - this recognition would revolutionize this proposition. I'm not sure I believe it though).

Why else would we want to prevent a natural, necessary process? We still haven't any answer to this question, except for maybe the idea that what comes after death is "uncertain." Well, why do we fear uncertainty? I believe it is because we love ourselves.


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