Andrei Gnezdilov: Death like birth

The hero of the film "Gladiator", a former Roman General Maximus in one of the scenes said the words that he heard from his friend: "All of us smiling death. We can only smile in reply».

And what, really, are we left with? Whether it is necessary throughout life to prepare for death? And how do we need to treat it? My opinion about this was expressed by Andrei Gnezdilov, a psychiatrist, a psychotherapist, hospice, specialist in clinical death.

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— Andrey Vladimirovich, saying memento mori — remember death. Remember, of course, not superfluous. But whether it is necessary throughout life to prepare for death? Or is it better not to think about it: on the principle of "as long as we exist, death is not, and when it comes, we will no longer be"?

— Remember about death still needed. Although everyone gets in their own way. Often people do not realize that the fears of death or impending diseases will exhibit it at a subconscious level, and considers itself insecure or overly anxious. And in fact, the memory of death arises in him in addition to his own will.

In my opinion, we can trust nature in the fact that thinking about death is necessary. Because they give us the responsibility for life. Conversely, when man forgets death, he disturbed the balance of justice. We speculated: what is considered fair on the part of fate, and what doesn't and what to try to rebuild?

Then the question of activity and passivity in our attitude towards death. What gives us the strength to face the fear of leaving this world? The realization that the time we have, in fact, very limited.


But should one have to be always ready for death? Is it possible psychologically?

— It all depends on the temperament and mood. We all want to put bad thoughts about death. But they still somehow appear accompanied by appropriate reactions of the organism. And of course, there are very important human attempts to understand the meaning of life.

Immortality, it turns out, cannot be understood without death. Life itself, too. Death is important for self-perception. It has not only negative. Perhaps there would not be such a tragedy in the death of a loved one or other loved beings, if not for the idea that with death everything dies. Therefore, it is important, for example, faith. We know that people who have experienced clinical death and saw "light at the end of the tunnel", more spiritually deep. And those who passed through life without much drama, without searching for the meaning of life and the meaning of privation to which they were subjected, often superficial, and life itself for them is less interesting.


— You once said that you asked and healthy and the sick the same question: "How would you like to die?". And as it turned out, people with different characters in its own created scenario of fear: someone wanted to die so that nobody saw his body, someone thought it impossible to lie quietly and wait will come to an end, and wanted to be able to somehow participate in this process. One hoped to die surrounded by loved ones, others were worried how they will look when I die. Some wanted to die at sunrise or at sunset, on the beach, in the mountains, etc. And whether it is necessary generally think about this? What's the point?

— The moment of death to chew does not make sense. Because how many lives, so many options of death. And here I agree with you — think about it. It is enough that the fear of death and so surely plays with our instincts.

It is human nature to depend on thoughts. And if he is the master of his thoughts, then he can interrupt the game. And if you allow yourself to be afraid of the negative experiences of this kind, then the circumstances would be stronger than him…


— Once you said: "Many people want to die in my sleep, quietly. But the beautiful death is an empty death." Why?

— To the question: "How would you like to die?"all respond differently. Is the scenery in which people want to look brave, for example. But I liked the answer of one monk, a young man who said: "I don't care under what circumstances it will happen. It is important that in these moments I would pray, thanking God for what he sent me life, and I saw her strength and beauty."

— You mean the significance of the last minute?

— Partly Yes. This moment gives an additional and very important point of the entire previous life.

From the point of view of Christianity, it is very important to die consciously. Before the eyes of the dying man passes the whole of life, and man reveals the truth. At the end of each gives a report to the conscience. And it must be clean. What's the meaning of that? We must pay all debts, to adequately complete their business. So, prepare for death may be the only person who fully understands their diagnosis.

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— Once again I quote you: "When a person dies, he sometimes thinks, "Well, I may die, but my family will be healthy, sickness will break on me and I'll pay the bills for the whole family." And so, having set such a goal, one gets a meaningful death... But often the will to live, figuratively speaking, conquers death — in severe disease, for example. It turns out, allowed himself have died and not allowed to — has lived in this world and maybe that had something to do for people…

— You yourself say that may be so, and maybe commercials. It all depends on the focus of the person — how he is in his life and lets the lives of loved ones. If they are more expensive than your own existence, then this person really be a great consolation that he his departure simplifies their lives.

— You mean the situation when a person becomes a burden, for example, due to a serious illness and helplessness?

— Part of it. Because it is very scary to be helpless. People who go out of life, often in the shower, the question arises: "What have I done and what is not?"there is a sense of guilt towards life, loved ones, yourself — because you think you spent time empty, instead of making something good. Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh said that no matter you live or die. It is important, for what you live and for what to die.


— A proverb says: "In the world, and death is red." But what if a person does the deed in the war... except sudden death in a battle worse than the one when you have some time to think about his past life?

— The phrase "In the world, and death is red" is quite large. At the same time in prayer there is the expression: "God forbid a sudden death." The man dying suddenly, did not have time to go through what him to survive would be. Therefore, the more opportunities those who have a and more time. In front of him at this point reveals that side of life, which for us is normally closed and which we put into the subconscious.


— Have you noticed that people who know about my severe and may be fatal diagnosis and trying to complete the most important things to pay off debts, live longer than those who hide the truth. That is, the person is mobilized to the right, he believes, to spend her last days, weeks, months, in the end, lives longer than he who dwells in the dark... So it turns out, still fighting with death, it is not accepting it as something natural?

— People will try to get out. It is the instinct of self-preservation, the most important. He is stronger than all our reasonings.


— They also say: "with much wisdom comes much sorrow." Maybe without the knowledge of the terrible truth is still better? And the man in this situation need a beautiful tale?

Maybe. This is especially true of children and those adults, in the soul which "stupid" the child continues to exist and actively participates in their lives.

The man who has experienced much grief, gaining wisdom. For example, a serious classical music quite often stores more any negative, heavy, maybe, heroic experiences, rather than light and airy, thoughtless.


— In youth we feel immortal — against the logic. Then it goes: we realize that the laws of nature — aging, decay and death apply to us too. But isn't "immortality of youth". Maybe this attitude to life and death should be encouraged to save?

— All right, but you are, in fact, talking about the "death of youth" as a tragedy. But it is not. Awareness of a young man of the transience of life, of course, often tragic. But, on the other hand, it helps to seek and find the true meaning of life. And it can be in very different moments — for example, social significance, the job where a person works, not sparing their forces. Understanding that in life he did a good job, giving him the possibility of a more peaceful acceptance of death.

— You are obviously talking about the moment of truth that comes at the end of each person's life?

Yeah, that's about it.

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— People subconsciously want to return to childhood, adolescence — that is, at a time when they are about death just wasn't thinking, just was afraid of her childish. Probably, this rod also has a special meaning…

Death is like birth. It is programmed at the time of conception. A kind of death experience a person acquires at birth. An example of this phenomenon is seen as a reasonable way life is. As man is born, he dies. Easy born, easy to die hard is born — dies hard. And the day of death as not accidental, as the day of birth.

It is no coincidence that when an elderly person is approaching the end of his life, he often falls into childhood. Many elderly people — the same children, didn't notice?


Also interesting: Vladimir Skulachev: old age is an illness which can be treated

The fourth age. As is the case with the French


— Often thoughts of death and poison people's lives. What place should they occupy in human life? How not to overreact and not to drive ourselves into depression? And on the other hand, do not be too frivolous?

— This is the most difficult question. It seems to me that life is always a certain rhythm, where the alternating excitation and inhibition, ebb and flow, sunrise and sunset, joy and sorrow. This duality of human nature and response, and our salvation. It is necessary to manifest the other, repressing nothing... Tyutchev said: "the Thought expressed is a lie". Man is much more than his thoughts. Here come to the memory of words said the wise Fox in the tale of Saint-exupéry's the Little Prince: "one sees clearly only with the heart. The main thing is not see."


Interviewed By Vladimir Voskresensky


P. S. And remember, just changing your mind — together we change the world! ©



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