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- Jul 2022
Both types of inauthentic existence involve running away from the awareness of death, not allowing the fact of death to penetrate into consciousness, not facing up to the human situation, and not undergoing the crucial moral catharsis. So Kierkegaard, Becker, and Socrates all agree: the denial of death is indeed at the center of human inauthenticity. Kierkegaard and Socrates would further insist that authentic human living–the open embrace of life structured by death–can only be rejected or embraced to begin with, because perishing meaning and non-perishing meaning co-constitute conscious existence.
Here we find Kierkegaard, Becker and Socrates all in agreement. Both types of inauthentic existence involves running away from death and disallowing the fact of our own death from penetrating into consciousness, and avoiding our human existential condition.
This also prevents us from reaching the next stage of moral catharsis. Denial of death lay at the center of human inauthenticity.
Hughes closes by saying that an open embrace of life structured by death is embraced when perishing and non-perishing meaning co-constitute our conscious existence. This is similar to the Buddhist principle of the middle way and the Stop Reset Go maxim:
To be or not to be, that is the question To be AND not to be that is the answer