«In 1915, Freud wrote a paper called “On transience”, where he discussed the ephemeral nature of beauty. Should we prevent ourselves from enjoying the beauty of something because we know it will ultimately die? On the contrary says Freud, the ephemeral nature of things give them value. Protesting against this is “an attitude mostly determined by the mind’s inborn tendency to avoid pain”.
Lacan is more provocative. In 1972, he said to students at the University of Louvain, among many other things : “You are right to believe that you will die, it supports you. Do you think you would be able to endure life if you didn’t believe in death?” That’s a shocking idea but I believe there’s truth in it. My interpretation is that, sometimes life is so difficult that we accept to live because of a moral duty and only on the condition that one day it will end.
Does it mean there is no desire for immortality? Surely not, otherwise scientists won’t be doing these researches on the human body. But what could be behind this desire? There might be a link with the oedipus complex. Immortality can be seen as the end of the differences between generations. If there is a 30-year gap between you and your parents, that difference becomes negligible if you are both more than 200. The difference between generations is at the core of the oedipus complex. Erasing this difference would be a breach against the taboo of desire for the parent of this other sex» (The future of humanity in the light of psychoanalysis, Ronan_FR).