more from E.M. Cioran

Single Idea 19633

[catalogued under 18. Thought / D. Concepts / 2. Origin of Concepts / a. Origin of concepts]

Full Idea

It is the use of concepts which makes us master of our fears. We say: Death - and this abstraction releases us from experiencing its infinity, its horror. By baptising events and things, we elude the inexplicable.

Gist of Idea

We use concepts to master our fears; saying 'death' releases us from confronting it


E.M. Cioran (A Short History of Decay [1949], 3)

Book Reference

Cioran,E.M.: 'A Short History of Decay', ed/tr. Howard,Richard [Penguin 2010], p.125

A Reaction

I like this idea. I'm struck by how weird our lives would become if people no longer had names. They are so deeply embedded in our experience that we don't notice them. Imagine if it were taboo to ever name death.