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Climate Change

6Day FourMan, as a species, developed the mind as a weapon defence against the overwhelming threats which he experienced. Our mind developed as a reflex response to our disadvantage as a species in the face of other species. As a consequence, our civilisation was based on the development of psychological reflexes which ward off (but do not provide a solution to) the pain which stems from the sense of inferiority and the fear of death. This heritage of ours is an imprisonment, a challenge for us to achieve liberation, and sustainability.

Surrender to fear is not a healthy reaction to the useful information with which the instinct of self-preservation supplies us. The elevation of political and economic power, and of other forms of power over other people and nature as the supreme ideal is the worst primeval solution provided by man to the pressure of the fear of death. It is natural that the less man changes his attitude towards death, the more non-sustainable models of civilisation will be reproduced and the more even the wiser theoretical economical or political models will be undermined in practice. Is it pure chance that the re-examination of this primeval error is missing from the political agenda? Might it not be that the quest for liberation from the fear of death and the correct answer to the primeval disadvantage are the greatest revolutionary act of all? (editorial team of solon.org.gr)

The typology of the fear of death

The transition of man to a sustainable civilization - economically, environmentally, and politically - can come from one fundamental fact.[i] The study of the typology of the fear of death is, therefore, of the greatest interest.

First of all, there is its biological causation, the certainty of death, of the triple disconnection of matter, of the dissolution of consciousness, of the de-identification of consciousness - life, and of chemical entropy.

The primitive consciousness, from which the fear of death took its origin, had an inert character in its experience of life. It experienced the impulse for life in its permanence, in its relativity.

The certainty of death calls forth, primarily, a profound sense of inferiority. And then the inferiority of death is repulsed much more than the Oedipus complex. It is perhaps the 'ancient event' of Freud. The primitive subject, as a reflex action to the experience of the inferiority caused by the fear of death, manifests a propensity towards ensuring security. But this option does not cure the disadvantage. As a consequence of this psychological immaturity, the building up of the fear of death begins.

This process of evolution of the fear of death renders the fear indirect when we attempt both to repel it and objectify it. As a result, the fear has a stability in its existence and so the fear of death does not die, as it has been objectified, and is not seen as a subject.

The pursuit for security leads to the quest for it on the part of the species in collective defence, and in the artificial construction of the environment. We arrive at the social institutionalisation of inferiority and of defence which is not psychological. Because, at a psychological level, it cannot annul fear and death, it pursues social elimination.

At the same time, inferiority, the economy of life, and its staticisation also takes on a social form. It is a compromise for us to accept fear and death; the shock goes beyond our powers, the surprise attack upon us goes beyond the bounds of our consciousness. Inferiority leads to systematisation of vampirism, and the orgy is a projection of a fantasy, counterfeit re-union with life which has no naturalness, inwardness, or conscious awareness.

The stages of the fear of Death and of the absence of Life

In order to avoid facing up to the repulsion of the fear of death,[ii] its social institutionalisation, and inferiority, denial of the inner process, which is anything but integral, is produced, and flight from inwardness is accomplished and is firmly established. As we saw from the beginning, a perilous development has been created through man's consciousness deficit as to existence. And then, the domination of the dynamic features which divest man’s life of its psychological dimension, and the domination of customs, of economic life, and of lifestyle made its appearance.

However, this subconscious participation in alienation cannot be maintained without a new psychological factor being formed. This new psychological factor must be created through self-preservation and the building up of psychologicity. Nothing goes forward with a vacuum, and the fear of dissolution in the void leads to a new psychological involution.

1. First of all, sensibility is repelled and marginalised, and then desire grows. The more incapable of sensibility man is, the more he clothes his emotional disadvantage in desire.

2. Subsequently, the sense of time intensifies, both subjectively and objectively, as alienation of the inner dimension of space, of experiencing of the functional content.

3. All lucidity is lost, so that it does not supply points of restoration to inwardness and its perspective. Now everything is codified, and the semiotic insulation which is completed in the structuring of divisiveness takes place. The causes and the nature of the structures can no longer be touched. The avoidance of any psychological intervention, both at the subjective and at the objective level, becomes stronger with the models of mimesis, which, in essence, reverse it.

Philosophical or religious systems, for example, have been perverted by the mimesis of fearlessness on the part of their founders towards death. This mimesis, not having been subjectified, was distorted by the fear of death, the creation of which are mummies, resurrection of bones (identification with the body, which instead of being symbolism, was taken literally), the mountains of rice in paradise, burial instead of cremation of the dead, but most of all that power-hungry psychological make-up which exists in all religions, authority, intolerance, etc.

4. The models of reverse mimesis also work very effectively in the world of politics - and anywhere else; they are the vehicle of incorporation and reversal. Consequently, tension, arrogance, and the emergence of a core of violence, the founding of everyday life on its forte - which is, however, a flight from life by means of its imitation - loom up.

5. Everyone now regards as utopia the emergence of the inner nature, of ideals, of psychoanalytical lucidity. They deny even the possibility of returning each stage of involution to the previous one, which was more developed and open. They tread the pathway of deterioration and involution, making each of its steps even firmer.

Because the balances, both internal and external, are capable of acting catastrophically on the falsified situation, they are defused in their entirety so that there only established forms.

6. The penultimate stage of the fear of death is the false acceptance of the cause in a way which cancels out the following of a reverse course. At the same time, we are familiarised with a Mithridatism, and fascistic closeness and sincerity, cruelty, attenuates even the last discomfort with enclosing man and society in a shell, away from the fear of death.

The state, and the powerful, systematise fear, and, particularly, the fear of death as if it were the last point of resistance to the lack of civilisation, and to power. Thus the apprehension of the situation is thematicised, and the language of communication, both at the inner and at the external level, operates against knowledge, against psychoanalysis, and as a release.

7. The incorporation of the void and of the lack of genuineness as a feature of false identification with death operates as a malignant surrender in the form of an unfulfilled, never-ending death in life.

Up to the present, mankind has followed a course through all the stages of the fear of death and the absence of life. The instinct of reproduction, libido, sexuality, are vehicles of self-preservation, of the stance of extending ourselves in another person, subjecting the new life to us.

The fear of death in the genders, classes, and civilisation

The two genders respond in a differing way to the influence of the fear of death. In women, a fear of being overlooked and a sense of emptiness predominates, and this is garnished both psychologically and socio-somatically so as to attract attention and to avoid the sense of the void. In men, there is identification with the sense of substance, with a false, static, naturalness, with refusal of the capacity for evolution.

This is the field of relations which extend both to their sexual and social relations. And objectivisation and the fascination of the void is none other than the initial aspect of the fear of death.

Furthermore, this fear is specialised differently according to age, class, and every space organised by man - for example, education, sport, etc. In effect, the whole of today's civilisation is a masking of the fear of death, and from this neither the way of thinking nor science is excepted - but this is not the subject of the present analysis.

Conceptually, emotionally, and in terms of behaviour, there is a differentiation and categorisation of the fear of death. But let us look at a central point: the production of surplus value.

Surplus value is one aspect of the creation of the void - of the void appearing to be creative, The concept of profit, that inexorable concept of economic self-interest, is exactly the same. The autonomisation of the 'totem' from the subjects is the surplus value of the ritual society.

We believe that political and psychological surplus value should be at the very centre of coming developments in the direction of a change in the attitude of human beings towards ecology, as well as towards today's major problems.

Ioannis Zisis, writer

[i] Zisis, Ioannis, Historical Review of the Relation of Man with the Environment [in Greek].

[ii] Zisis, Ioannis, 2010, The Fear of Death, Appropriation - Property & Their Transcendence [in Greek].


The above text is part of the essay ENVIRONMENTAL THEORY AS A BASIS FOR A HOLISTIC, SYNTHESIS, AND PLANETIC SCIENCE deals with the need for there to be New Sciences, with different characteristics. The alienation of knowledge from the life of the scientist, the expropriation of its use in society because of the alienation of people and economic and political vested interests, as well as the deficit in knowledge on matters concerning the modern world impose upon us the formulation of the proposal for the development of those New Sciences which will bridge the gap between the alienation of technologies and the psychic depth of life and the human Being.

The essay will be published in stages. We believe that by the present series of publications we are contributing to the dialogue on a quest for a sustainable civilisation, looking to the future.


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