Societies are standardized systems of death denial. "
Humans hide from mortality in many ways. We hide our dead. We hide our waste. We hide our bodies. We hide our foods origin. We are hiding from the knowledge that we are animals too.
The Animal is eaten. The Animal dies into oblivion. That is why Darwin and Evolution have been a source of contention for cultural apologists because culture is the imaginary boundary to protect the human species from the reality of the animal kingdom. "I am not an animal" the human proclaims to deny death and to deny the fragility of life. Culture gives the human the illusion that it will rise above the fate of the animal.
What would the average man do with a full consciousness of absurdity? He has fashioned his character for the precise purpose of putting it between himself and the facts of life; it is his special tour-de-force that allows him to ignore incongruities, to nourish himself on impossibilities, to thrive on blindness. He accomplishes thereby a peculiarly human victory: the ability to be smug about terror. Sartre has called man a "useless passion" because he is so hopelessly bungled, so deluded about his true condition. He wants to be a god with only the equipment of an animal, and so he thrives on fantasies. As Ortega so well put it in the epigraph we have used for this chapter, man uses his ideas for the defense of his existence, to frighten away reality.