Academic journal article Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health

Fear of Life and Fear of Death – A Cross Cultural Study Part II: Multiple Single Case Analysis in Malaysia and the Netherlands

Academic journal article Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health

Fear of Life and Fear of Death – A Cross Cultural Study Part II: Multiple Single Case Analysis in Malaysia and the Netherlands

Article excerpt

In Part I of this study, the author has provided strong arguments for the hypothesis that fear of life and fear of death are universal fears that can be found across all ages and cultures (Moonen-Budhi Nugroho, 2017). Part I also presents reasons to support the notion that the origins of fear of life and fear of death are already part of the prenatal psychological development of people. Specifically, the following arguments are presented:

- F ear of life and fear of death are universal fears that can be found across all ages and cultures and which are possibly of an archetypal nature.

- F ear of death is usually associated with a desire to prove oneself, to be successful or to "live on the edge," etc. and thus to be defiant of death. Fear of life, on the other hand, is typically linked to feelings like being afraid not to measure up to the expectations of others, being afraid to fully be oneself, inability to fully enjoy pleasurable experiences, fear of reaching out to others and/or to fully commit oneself, fear of rejection, sexual anxiety.

- F ear of death of other people and fear of life of other people can be interpreted as projections of these fears of the subject himself or herself.

- Recent neuro-scientific findings show that the psychological development of people already starts before birth. This opens up the possibility that the origins of fear of life and fear of death can also be found in the prenatal development of people.

The current paper presents the results of the author's initial clientbased investigation based on multiple single cases, using retrogressive analysis. This initial investigation is of an exploratory nature and should be considered as a basis from which a subsequent more extensive research program into the subject can be developed. It aims to gain some first insights into the way in which fear of life and fear of death might have been embedded in the unconscious mind. More specifically, the author wants to investigate whether we humans already carry the feelings of fear of life and fear of death within us when we enter the world at birth. Although limited in number, the multiple single cases, collected and analyzed across cultures in Malaysia and The Netherlands, provide strong indications to support this idea. Moreover, certain patterns of prenatal experiences (as stored in the unconscious mind) have been found that are strongly connected to fear of life and fear of death. These patterns appear to result from the transference of feelings from the mother to her unborn child. Therapists who recognize and understand these patterns may be able to use them to decide on their approach for the therapy of a particular client.

Research Framework and Method

The purpose of the research is to analyze how the feelings of fear of life and fear of death have been embedded in the unconscious. Specifically, this investigation aims to answer the following questions:

- Is it possible to identify fear of life and/or fear of death in the human subconscious or unconscious mind?

- If this is possible, can it be shown that fear of life and/or fear of death might develop before birth?

- Can the presence of fear of life and/or fear of death be demonstrated to occur in humans in general?

- Is the nature of fear of life and/or fear of death such that it can be considered archetypal?

To find some initial answers to these questions, the client-based investigation conducted by the author has taken the form of analyzing eleven individual cases to assess the presence of fear of life and/or fear of death in the subjects. The multiple single cases cover clients with different backgrounds (academic, non-academic; high social status, average social status); cultures (Western and Southern European, Malaysian Chinese, Malaysian Indian, Indonesian Chinese); age groups (from teenager to 70+ years); and gender (female and male). The author has conducted ten sessions or more with every client in each case. …

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