We are now in a position to attempt some broader integrations and extrapo lations of the material presented in the preceding chapters. Let us begin by reviewing the major points that have emerged. A central idea that was de veloped is that persons learn that being human means experiencing sharp contradictions and catastrophes. Illness, death, loss, and adaption to meaning less demands are unavoidable. Such inescapable conditions pose an ever present threat and probably stimulate neutralization efforts based on adopt ing wishful, optimistic notions. It is presumed that existence is manageable only if self-deceptive and pretense-based fictions are cultivated, which reas suringly dampen the intensity of what is only too obviously lurking “out there.” Death anxiety has been particularly singled out (e.g., Becker, 1973) as a fact of human biological fate that, in its raw unblunted form, would make a mock ery of existence for humans who are so uniquely and exquisitely self-aware.