Jason Silva: Dealing with Death

Uploaded by thnkrtv on 01.07.2012

JASON SILVA: Ernest Becker, who won the Pulitizer Prize in 1973 for his book, "The Denial of
Death", talks about three illusions that mankind has devised to deal with the fear of death.
JASON SILVA: The first one he calls the religious solution. In the religious solution, we get
to live forever. We're absolved from our..from our mortality. All our loved ones will be
with us in heaven and so on and so forth. But as mankind has become sort of more advanced
and the scientific method etc. etc. has made the religious impulse or the religious solution
less...less...it doesn't work, basically. Then he talks about the romantic solution
which is where we diefy our lovers. We make them our saviors, right. She's like the wind.
She's like the sun. She's my salvation. But inevitably when our lovers reveal their clay
feet we are reminded of our own frailties and of our own mortalities and that's why
relationships ultimately fail. And then the third solution to the problem of death according
to Becker is the creative solution. The creative solution, of course, has to do with creating
transcendent work, creating transcendent art. Something that will live on beyond you, right.
The the statue, the legacy, the transcendent music, transcendent architecture, etc. etc.
And this is probably the noblest endeavor that we can undertake. The creative solution
atleast leaves something of value even though it's ultimately not a solution to the death
problem. You're still, ultimately, food for worms, you know. And what happens if after
those three solutions to the problem of death that Ernest Becker talks about, there's this
fourth solution which is like technology and creativity to actually transcend our boundaries,
not metaphorically, but for real. What an epiphany that is.