Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tapping Summary: Death

  • Rory described death as an experience that was both communal and radically subjective.  Death is communal for humans to the extent that everyone dies, but also radically subjective in the sense that no one can experience death with you.  
  • Rory also seemed less concerned with an actual experience of death than our relation to death.  Several different relations were suggested, including fear, anxiety, anticipation, and welcoming.
  • We also stumbled onto the topic of the deaths of others.  Avni asked how we feel about massive deaths, and I replied that I think people feel the same way about massive deaths as they do when the stock prices drop.  Reports on massive numbers of dead people remain purely quantitative in comparison to the experience of losing a friend.  Perhaps a little less harshly put, being indignant about genocide, being sad about the loss of a friend, and indifferent towards the prospect of your own death, are all different ways of relating to death.
  • Sam argued that different cultures conceptualize death differently, and that the fear of death was not something present in all cultures, making reference to buddhist treatment of death as reincarnation.
  • I argued against this point claiming that there is an experience of fear that is foundational to human existence when confronting death.  It is this experience that actually drives this cultural phenomenon to be constructed in the first place, so that people are able to operate efficiently without fear in a societal context.

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