Friday, October 10, 2008

The Denial of Death

It is interesting to read in this book by M. Scott Peck that he quotes Ernest Becker in his book The Denial of Death ascribing most human evil as the attempt to avoid consciousness of mortality.

I could think of an interesting piece of performance art that can be put on the streets of any city: Take a busy road, say Orchard Road in Singapore, have a bunch of actors dressed in plains clothes, an executive, a student, a middle aged woman, an attractive lady all positioned at different points. Then choose a target. As the target walks along Orchard Road, your actors suddenly become "possessed" and then point to your target, look them in the eye and calmly but firmly say, "You are going to die!" Then they break back into their characters and walk off as if nothing had happened. It would probably scare the living daylights out of someone who gets 5 different people suddenly saying that to him/her. But it could change some lives. It would be nice to videorecord the reactions of people who get targeted.

We don't think of death very much. But Ecclesiastes 7:2 says "It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart."

And you know, it's true. A lot of people party, they get drunk because they want to avoid facing up to the realities of life.

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