The philosopher Rochefoucauld stated you cannot stare straight into the face of the sun, or death. Psychiatrist Irvin Yalom took te first part as title to his book about facing death: Staring at the Sun. Yalom gave two wonderful interviews about his findings to Wise Counsel and to KQED Forum.
Even though Yalom is an existentialist and personally doesn't cherish a religious belief, he respects his patients' inclinations, because their wellness is central. But his own inspiration is largely taken from the Greek philosopher Epicurus. Just as Epicurus, Yalom proposes that death is not to be feared. At least, death should not be feared that it takes over life - in the way of an anxiety.
He hopes to show, the face of death can even trigger an inclination to life; life in the Epicurean sense: a life that is as much as possible free from fear and pain and as much happy and tranquil. He emphasizes also that even though life doesn't go on, we pass on our traits and not just through our off-spring.
Other guests on Wise Counsel were a.o.:
David H. Barlow,
More KQED Forum: