Why are we afraid of death? Strange question considering the answer can be an infinite possibilities. Our human mind is amazing and we throughout all of history have wondered this question. Has our thinking though helped calm the fear or feed it’s greedy nature to turn us into sobbing children. Fear is so powerful so much bigger than anyone and just like anything it has it’s own layers. If we were to peel the layers of fear back like an onion, I am assuming that the fear of death would be the biggest layer. Now, not because it’s the most frightening thing in the universe but because we as a species have put so much more thought in it than anything else. The more thought you put into something the scarier it becomes, say you’re at a horror movie and you’re having a good time then ‘Based on a true story’ pops up on the screen. Everything about that movie has become ten times scarier.
Is it our fault though that death has such an impact on us as humans, and do animals feel the same way as us or do they not focus on the end. Cats run and hide when they die maybe it’s just something about the animal, but maybe it’s because they know that we are going to be effected. If we give death so much hold on our lives by stopping us from living then what is the point? Maybe, the better question is how did we allow this masked maniac to have such power?
With the ideas of religion and philosophy there is always some kind of question that is made because of the fear in death. Religion most of the time come up with two possibilities for you Heaven or Hell, and depending on which one you end up in fall on the kind of person you are. Then why do the people that know they are headed to heaven, continue to be afraid? Being a twenty years old I have yet to have to imagine what death would be like and hope I shouldn’t have to for awhile. It is interesting to think about though, is it the unanswered question that causes the fear to continue to fester? Isn’t it funny that the more you think about it the more question come to mind. All the questions answered with maybes and not a single one with yes or no. You can’t give a definite answer to the unanswered questions, so why focus on the ones that you can’t answer and rather try and focus on ones you can.
Philosophy throughout history though has mostly try to answer one simple question, what is the best life to live? Even though this question does not announce death within it, it’s still effected by it. If you were not afraid of death then you would just live, you wouldn’t contemplate if the life you are living is a sufficient one. You wouldn’t run around trying to find the best life to live, you would just live your life no matter what. Trying to figure out the best life to live is one of the many ripple effects caused by this initial fear.
That is the power that we hand death, to dictate our lives and question how we live them and how we ourselves should be living. That fear though sometimes pushes us to do certain things that without it we would probably let pass us by, this post isn’t meant to be negative. This fear can be the fire that you need, the shove that you need to further your life for the better. If it is that is wonderful, but I just wonder why we are afraid.
When do we even realize this fear? Is it caused by the first time in a hospital, or the first funeral you go to, from maybe watching someone important in your life be there one day and not the next. Now stepping away from religion and philosophy and their inputs into the whole design. Without those options that have been places of heaven and hell what else is there? Imagination? Mystery? Is that what fuels the fear of death? That no matter what we imagine happens after we die the end result is random. That we never can truly know what is after this life on earth, that mystery of the unknown is what may be the core of the fear. Throughout history we have tried to understand and discover what this world is made of and what exactly is out there in the dark reaches of space. That no matter what we find in this universe, no matter how big it is in its perplexity, death is infinitely bigger. That is the most frightening thing about it to me.