Abstract

Out of the fear of dying, Anna Ivanovona asks Yurii Zhivago about consciousness and the experience of death. He responds, "Your consciousness is you in others; you have always been in others and you will remain in others." Since consciousness does not become extinct, there is no death in this sense and, hence, nothing to fear. Ivanovona is comforted by these remarks, but what do they mean? Can we make sense of them? Possible interpretations are mentioned, and I discuss Zhivago's argument in terms of Buddhist and modern philosophy. I conclude that it is best treated metaphorically rather than literally and that the Buddhist reading is the best interpretation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-7809
Print ISSN
0021-8510
Pages
pp. 53-58
Launched on MUSE
2017-05-04
Open Access
No
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