The philosophers of the 20th century mainly discussed the idea of death owing to the ramifications of the world wars. Heidegger, for instance, viewed death in two diverse standpoints: objective and subjective. Subjective perception implies that at any single day of one’s life, death can occur at any moment and therefore there is no necessity of living another day. He prefers the subjective view since it makes people to be cognizant with the fact that time is not on our side and therefore altering the meaning of our lives might not be possible (Killici, 2008). Heidegger asserted that the human beings may face death at any moment of their life. Death is not an incident that can only take place in the future, but has the likelihood of taking place at any moment. The objective perception of death on the other hand implies that one cannot think about death and, regularly, get hindered in the goals and problems of one’s life. It is asserts that death will happen to one someday save for now.” (Killici, 2008). Heidegger claims that this perception thwarts people from taking life seriously and therefore not becoming decision-makers.
Yalom puts death above all critical worries. He posits that an inherent fear of death occurs at every stage of human knowledge, from the deepest depths of the unconscious to the intellectualized and the most conscious, which exists as death anxiety. Occasionally, there has been such a big proportion of anxiety that a substantial level of a person’s life potential is hence consumed in the limitation of death. “The fear of death contributes to our innermost experience; it haunts than anything else; it growls endlessly under the surface; it is a shadowy, disturbing existence at the rim of awareness” (Yalom, 1980).
At all times, Existence in life is facing the dread of inexistence. Kierkegaard claims that calm in the face of Existence is going to be vanished in the giving in to man’s status. This dread prevents the falling of existence into despair. The human situation of all is being returned to its state of abandonment and in a sense the status of related anxiety notwithstanding pass as well as a sense of availability. The human situation of “being with” other creatures is detached by dread, and dread makes humans responsive to the original sour facet in existence. The fear of death awareness is in fact the most genuine condition of human beings (Kierkegaard,2004).
When anxiety is experienced regardless of death, the only possibility left to be overtaken is Existence. That anxiety is transformed to the dread of the forthcoming events. Besides, anxiety as dread is confusing and is viewed as a weakness that Existence with confidence has to be conversant in. For one to triumph over Existence with most of its associates, they have to nurture indifference of that kind (Heidegger, 2014). In Heidegger’s philosophy, one of the factors of anxiety is to know that the world is a frightening and empty environment. This dread exists, and via how one feels as well as one’s human existence, he reveals his life and location.
Death is dependent on all other feasible rules and abruptly put them down since at the same time that they are selected, they become too profound; as a result, if I may possibly die, it was not necessary for me to exist. There is the existence of one among the two in existences that is real, and the whole thing becomes worthless. The essential therefore becomes nothingness and impossible possible. Death extends and prolongs life in the existence of death. According to May (1950/1996), panic gain access into the most severe layers of human existence, the concern that is unlimited. With a world that lacks all attachment accessories, one feels that it is endangered (May, 1950/1996).
Even though there is a natural relationship between death and normal anxiety, the most outstanding death-related worries are related to neurotic anxiety. For this reason, when individuals display significant worries about death, it is logical to presume that neurotic elements do exist. Neurotic death anxiety is and emotionally and mentally incapacitating, as it often a manifestation of depression. It brings about feelings of extreme susceptibility to apparent threats, frequently making individuals to be frightened by some environments or situations (May, 1950/1996).
Kierkegaard (2004) views death as an inspiration to individuals to think about their responsibility for their moral decision in their daily life. We, therefore, are at liberty to choose what we want to accomplish and make the best of our lives since death is unstoppable and will ultimately come into every individual’s life. There is a popular saying by Sartre that goes, “existence proceeds essence” meaning the fact that humans individual firstly subsist then create their quintessence through their actions. He affirms the initiative that ” Man creates himself”. He also asserts that human beings are condemned to be free (Flynn, 2006). The folks have to choose to be free, with their ramifications of their anguish, choices and anxiety comes out. By means of their deeds as well as with conscious awareness concerning their freedom and limitation, they strive to make what they do to have an important effect. Like the abovementioned philosophers, Sartre maintains the notion that an individual may subsist in authentically or authentically.
To sum up, Death is a self-possibility of Existence, implying that if one is capable of existing, then he can own it completely. The experience of meaninglessness and isolation brings about experience of nothingness. This comes from the awareness that we will pass on. Death cannot be predicted and causes existential anxiety, just like freedom, building meaning and isolation. The anxiety developing from the fact that we shall cease to be some day gives us our power to put into life. It inspires us, keeps us alive and generally gives a lot of enthusiasm to a life that otherwise would be dead.
- Flynn, T. R. (2006). Existentialism: a very short introduction. New York: Oxford.
- Heidegger, M. (2014) What is Metaphysics? Siavash Jamadi Translation. Phoenix Publishing, 2014
- Kilicci, E. (2010). J.D. Salinger’s Characters as Existential Heroes En countering 1950s America. Saarbrucken: VDM Verl Dr. Mu ller, Print.
- Kierkegaard, S. (2004). The sickness unto death: A Christian psychological exposition for edification and awakening (A. Hannay, Trans.). London, England: Penguin Books Ltd. (Original work published 1849)
- May, R. (1996). The meaning of anxiety. (Revised ed.). New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. (Original work published 1950)
- Yalom, I. D. (1980). Existential psychotherapy. New York, NY: Basic Books.