Category Archives: Death

The Denial of Death

This should be the name of every workout gym. Having upped the number of yoga classes I’m now attending I’ve been half-conscious that this renewed effort is in direct proportion to an underlying awareness that my days are numbered.
Reading Ernest Becker’s 1973 book, “The Denial of Death.” A thoughtful if still male-oriented interpretation of Freud’s genius. And so I go to the “Y” this morning more aware than ever that everyone here, young and old alike, is working on the same project: How Not To Die. From the gaily patterned tights and shorts to the intensity of the workout, everyone sweats off the reality and realization of death.
How do I react to this new level of unveiling? Look what’s happening in my heart center: the release from repression to a new (if tougher) level of awareness feels like the casting off of chains, a freeing. Yes, I will be in the grave – sooner rather than later at my age – but what is “I”? Surely not just the body, or even the physical brain.
So…to the challenge of “How long can I live?” I add the task, “What am I?” And the project continues…