Fear of death and fear of life are two psychological forces that are important in driving human behavior. The understanding of these forces may help therapists to better identify the underlying dynamics of their client’s behavior and responses. This article proposes a conceptual framework that puts both fears into a broader, psychological, anthropological, and philosophical context. The article explains why fear of life and fear of death may be universal and presents arguments supporting the notion that they have prenatal origins.
The main perspective of this writing is that the development of psychoanalysis occurred in Central Europe within the context of a change of mindset from imperial rule in the 19th century to the democratically oriented 20th century. In short, the shift was from an authoritarian orientation to an orientation of self-experience. The prenatal dimension of experience is given specific focus.