—–The fear of death is the fear that survives death. That fear you have is of course not of any kind of death itself, but of the unbearable thought that nothing exists beyond death; that it could ever be that you are gone. Utterly missing. This fear is already focused on something beyond life, which it cannot imagine. Thus it becomes a fear of somehow existing in nothingness, like cut loose in the sky, abandoned by life. It inhabits a void, a lost personality, a spark in the cold that could easily be extinguished. You entertain in fear the idea of being nothing. It is the fear of losing one’s personal self, that self that is the only sure thing you have carried. But look–this fear is already surviving what it fears, for it thrives in someone who virtually owns it. Say it is not death you are afraid of, but say you are afraid of what death might mean. Say you are involved in a dire exercise to find meaning in existence, upon threat of extinction. This fear exists before death, and whether death comes now or later, or not all as you imagine it. And the key is, this fear is not exhausted, by the event. It has exactly what it takes to survive death! In fact that is precisely what this fear is: the survival of what it fears. This thought is an exaltation. A revelling in its grasp of a void in life, a question, the mystery that plagues and exalts us–that there is something left out of an equation which, yet, seems like a complete equation, as if life and death were all the song, the only dance, no chorus above.  Dance of an awestruck spectator who is most profoundly described, spinning in place, as in a state of fear. It is the triumph of consciousness, this fear.
——I look up into the black trees and I fear everything, for this is a terrifying fate to be so alive. The slash of a single telephone wire is more fearful still, and the photograph must be like (and, alas and for luck, it is only like) my epitaph.

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