2007-01-01

The Taboo of Death

I have added the following text to "Death and Satanism" by Vexen Crabtree:

We divert our attention from disease and death as much as we can; and the slaughter-houses and indecencies without end on which our life is founded are huddled out of sight and never mentioned, so that the world we recognize officially in literature and in society is a poetic fiction far handsomer and cleaner and better than the world that really is.

"The Varieties of Religious Experience" by William James, p103



The psychologist William James, above, spoke 100 years ago that normal Human beings hide death away. We clinicalize death, so that only trained professionals have anything to do with the practical side of slaughter, bodies, funerals and burials [Clark, 1993]. This denial of reality extends far and wide amongst the masses. Dead bodies do not litter the floor of battlefields in films, in computer games also corpses fade away majestically, and one's future death is hardly featured in public angst, except where the subconscious, desperate, finds expression in dreams.

The invisibility of death, the taboo of it, and the strong (largely) subconscious desire to avoid it during our reproductive years, fuels popular religion. The major religions of the world do, and always have, denied death and comforted people with the lie that we survive death. Hades, Heaven, Paradise and Nirvana are all names for the afterlife, despite the theological and philosophical impossibilities that arise.

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