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Imaginative HorizonsAn Essay in Literary-Philosophical Anthropology$
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Vincent Crapanzano

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780226118734

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226118758.001.0001

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Imaginative Horizons
University of Chicago Press

Psychoanalysts might say that their symbolism resonates with deepest unconscious concerns and desires. Existentialists would relate them to the structure of life-world: to being-for-death. The split between the historical world and the world-to-follow is absolute. Catastrophic images mark the transition, as they often do in rituals of passage in which the symbolic death of the initiate is followed by his or her “rebirth” into a new status. Given the complexity and at times seemingly contradictory nature of Hindu thought, death itself is conceived of not only in abstract mystical terms but quite concretely as a dissolution of life. Just as death is not an event in life, so the end of the world is not an event in the world.

Keywords:   psychoanalysts, death, rebirth, world end, existentialists

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