A spinoff from a previous post:

Is it possible that every human concept, idea, invention is driven by a fear of death? I had thought this for a while, but didn’t know it was a real thing. Terror management theory proposes exactly that! It wouldn’t surprise me. Heck, death is scary. Nevertheless, if John Lennon wrote “Imagine” so he could remain immortal, maybe terror management isn’t always bad thing. Just as with everything else, we can bon-adapt or Mal-adapt, as described below, author Sandra Bloom described many individual’s response to 9/11. Maybe not a fun topic, but I still found it interesting. Besides, maybe if we talked more about our fears, it would lessen them…

“individuals and groups become altered, even outside of conscious awareness, by living with terror. Otherwise perfectly reasonable and healthy people tend to become more fearful, intolerant of difference, more prejudiced, more socially conservative, more supportive of leaders who support their worldview, more fundamentalist, and more punitive towards those who are disrupting or who threaten to disrupt their worldview. This is what has happened here, in the United States; and whether it is under the pressure of unconscious responses or deliberately manipulated by private interests, the results are the same.”

Discuss…




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  1. griz 1 week ago

    Death frames life. But one does not have to fear the frame. But if one does fear it that can lead to silly theories like terror management that grossly under-sell the human potential and experience.

    Terror has to do with the unknown; and with the mal-processing of the unknown. Fear in the face of the unknown is a natural biological response. The hero archetype is all about voluntarily confronting the fear before it can become immobilizing terror (a destructive psychological feedback loop). And it’s for good reason that the archetypical Dragon, the worst terror imaginable, has treasure. Overcoming fear before it turns to terror, and acting bravely despite it, brings many treasures like fortitude, confidence, competence, and the ability to act when others without this treasure just freeze.
    The upside of terrifying chaos, is creative potential. That is why in The Genesis narrative the Logos spoke Order into the Chaos, unleashing the creative potential (the treasure).

    The terror management people have no heroic Journey; no bravery; no competence.
    No treasure.
    Only a destructive psychological feedback loop.

    Great works of art exist within a frame. Even music. Are we fearful or even terrified when we reach the edge of the frame?
    We may be glad to reach the edge of the frame on a terrible work of art, glad that it’s over and can be forgotten.
    But a beautiful work of art exists beyond its frame.

    BTW, your final quote only covers part of the human spectrum; the part of the human response that never transcends the frame of fear.

    It covers neither the nihilistic nor the heroic. And it is in such times that heros arising, can take on Messianic proportions.
    Because they manifest what the masses lack.

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