This paper explores a perceived split between body and soul, between romanticism and reality and between fantasy and the experience of life. The split is most vividly encountered in the experience of death. The vehicle for this exploration begins with Simone de Beauvoir's book, A Very Easy Death in which her existential theories are removed from their theoretical paradigm as she is confronted with a “Pandora's Box” of emotions and thoughts. The pivotal point of this paper is the notion of death, especially the dissonance experienced most clearly in the death of a loved person as it confronts one with the prospect of one's own death. The paper concludes with an account of a near death experience of the Jungian analyst Marion Woodman, her reflections on the impact of that experience and her struggle to understand and integrate it into her living.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/quadrant/63/