Sunday, June 30, 2013

Staring at the Sun - Irvin Yalom

“Some day soon, perhaps in forty years, there will be no one alive who has ever known me. That's when I will be truly dead - when I exist in no one's memory. I thought a lot about how someone very old is the last living individual to have known some person or cluster of people. When that person dies, the whole cluster dies,too, vanishes from the living memory. I wonder who that person will be for me. Whose death will make me truly dead?” ― Irvin D. Yalom, Love's Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy
“Life is a spark between two identical voids, the darkness before birth and the one after death.” ― Irvin D. Yalom, When Nietzsche Wept
“Religion has everything on its side: revelation, prophecies, government protection, the highest dignity and eminence. . . and more than this, the invaluable prerogative of being allowed to imprint its doctrines on the mind at a tender age of childhood, whereby they become almost innate ideas.” ― Irvin D. Yalom, The Schopenhauer Cure
“I think my quarry is illusion. I war against magic. I believe that, though illusion often cheers and comforts, it ultimately and invariably weakens and constricts the spirit.” ― Irvin D. Yalom, Love's Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy
“Death anxiety is the mother of all religions, which, in one way or another, attempt to temper the anguish of our finitude.” ― Irvin D. Yalom
“If we look at life in its small details, how ridiculous it all seems. It is like a drop of water seen through a microscope, a single drop teeming with protozoa. How we laugh as they bustle about so eagerly and struggle with one another. Whether here, or in the little span of human life, this terrible activity produces a comic effect” ― Irvin D. Yalom, The Schopenhauer Cure
“... sooner or later she had to give up the hope for a better past.” ― Irvin D. Yalom, Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Terror of Death
"To live life fully, one must accept that it ends" - Yalom
“[There is] a juncture to which full awareness inevitably leads. One stands before the abyss and decides how to face the pitiless existential facts of life. Of course, there are no solutions. One has a choice only to be ‘resolute,’ ‘engaged,’ courageously defiant, stoically accepting or to, in awe of mystery, place one’s trust in the providence of the divine.”— “Love’s Executioner”
“Of all the world’s wonders, which is the most wonderful? That no man, though he sees others dying all around him, believes that he himself will die.” — Yudhishtara answers Dharma, from “The Mahabharata”

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