Notes Psychology

Chapter 1: Human Nature and the Heroic (The Denial of Death)

We live in a time when easy answers are given to complex questions about man’s purpose in life. Embedded in every society is a hero system.

This system can be religious or secular, it can be political or economic, but its function is the same – to give the individual the feeling that they are cosmically significant. This feeling can be earned by carving out an edifice in nature that represents human value – this can be a totem pole, cathedral, skyscraper, or a family that spans three generations.

People do not like to admit this need for heroism. To become conscious of it is the main self-analytic problem of life.

Everything painful and sobering in what psychoanalytic genius and religious genius have discovered about man revolves around the terror of admitting what one is doing to earn his self-esteem.

But is the concept of heroism empirically true?

"Silence is the best expression of scorn" - G.B. Shaw

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