Page:Freud - Reflections on war and death.djvu/73

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WAR AND DEATH

The smallest living philistine,
At Stuckert on the Neckar
Is much happier than I am.
Son of Pelleus, the dead hero,
Shadowy ruler of the Underworld.

It was much later before religions managed to declare this after-life as the more valuable and perfect and to debase our mortal life to a mere preparation for the life to come. It was then only logical to prolong our existence into the past and to invent former existences, transmigrations of souls, and reincarnations, all with the object of depriving death of its meaning as the termination of life. It was as early as this that the denial of death, which we described as the product of conventional culture, orginated.

Contemplation of the corpse of the person loved gave birth not only to the theory of the soul, the belief in immortality, and

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