Staring at the Sun

Staring at the Sun

Overcoming the Terror of Death

Book - 2008
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Written in Irv Yalom's inimitable story-telling style, Staring at the Sun is a profoundly encouraging approach to the universal issue of mortality. In this magisterial opus, capping a lifetime of work and personal experience, Dr. Yalom helps us recognize that the fear of death is at the heart of much of our anxiety. Such recognition is often catalyzed by an "awakening experience"-a dream, or loss (the death of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job or home), illness, trauma, or aging.

Once we confront our own mortality, Dr. Yalom writes, we are inspired to rearrange our priorities, communicate more deeply with those we love, appreciate more keenly the beauty of life, and increase our willingness to take the risks necessary for personal fulfillment.

Publisher: San Francisco :, Jossey-Bass,, [2008]
Copyright Date: ©2008
ISBN: 9780787996680
Branch Call Number: 155.937 YA
Characteristics: pages cm


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Oct 07, 2017

Super interesting and easy to read. How an experienced, erudite, generous, empathic, secular psychiatrist treats people with overt or underlying fear of death. Dr. Yalom is also a novelist and a superb storyteller; it shows in his case presentations. Five stars.

Mar 27, 2013

- "Death is everything
And it is nothing
The worms crawl in and the worms crawl out"

What a way to start a book!
And what an excellent book it was! - and on a topic that most people would not readily want to read about - death. But, as I discovered, the book was certainly more that just about death - it is also about living, friends and about influencing others.

I was particularly intrigued with chapter 4 and Epicuris's arguments:

1. The mortality of the soul (the soul is mortal and perishes with the body)
2. The ultimate nothingness of death ("why fear death when we can never perceive it" - because we are dead and have no consciousness)
3. The argument of symmetry ("our state of non-being after death is the same state we were in before our birth),

Other interesting notes:
- the "remembered"dead and the "truly"dead- country cemeteries (pg. 179)

I like Yalom's discussion about religion, meaning and morality which he explains that religion does not hold an exclusive right to the concepts of meaning and morality.


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