Is there a philosophical explanation behind the following statement:

All fear is ultimately the ego's fear of death.

I heard this phrase in Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth. I am having difficulty understanding or accepting the idea, although I feel like it's true. What kind of explanation does philosophy have to offer here? How can a fear of heights or a fear of clowns be related to fear of death?

Further, (presuming the statement is true) if one categorically identifies and eradicates his fears one by one, will he will conquer the fear of death?

closed as off topic by Joseph Weissman Jul 16 '12 at 11:40

Questions on Philosophy Stack Exchange are expected to relate to philosophy within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    This is probably more of a psychology concern than a philosophical one. See death anxiety and Terror management theory. Those two links alone will give you a really great starting point on the topic; the articles provide examples of both psychologists and philosophers who write on the topic. – stoicfury Jul 14 '12 at 18:40

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.