The Denial of Death – Earnest Becker

This book has been referenced a lot on Richard Beck’s blog and on Some quotes and ideas from the book below:

“The man of knowledge in our time is bowed down under a burden he never imagined he would ever have: the overproduction of truth that cannot be consumed. For centuries man lived in the belief that truth was slim and elusive and that once he found it the troubles of mankind would be over. And here we are in the closing decades of the 20th century, choking on truth. There has been so much brilliant writing, so many genial discoveries, so vast an extension and elaboration of these discoveries – yet the mind is silent as the world spins on its age-old demonic career. (this is then contrasted by the proof of our priorities)…This year the order of priority was again graphically shown by a world arms budget of 204 billion dollars, at a time when human living conditions on the planet were worse than ever.”

“…for the time being I gave up writing – there is already too much truth in the world – an overproduction which apparently cannot be consumed!” – Otto Rank (disciple of Freud)

Becker tries through this book to unify or harmonize the plethora of views on man and the human condition. He attempts to strip away the exaggeration and distill the arguments to the core truths they contain. It is his bid for the peace of his scholarly soul that has struggled for many years to successfully harmonize valid truths from disparate philosophies. He calls it his first mature work. He argues for a merger of phsychology and mythico-religious perspective, holding Kierkegaard in high esteem as representing the development of psychology following Freud. He heavily follow’s Otto Rank’s work in this attempt at a merger.

He refers to a book of Otto Rank’s “Art and Artist” that Frederick Perls referred to as “beyond praise” and agrees with him.