The Ego’s Desire for Deathlessness

September 21, 2020


I just watched a movie on Netflix called HOPE FROZEN, about a family in Thailand whose two year-old daughter died of brain cancer, and they have her cryogenically preserved. It makes a powerful statement about science vs. spirituality, family dynamics and complicated grief. I had a very strong emotional (and socio-political) reaction to it.
At the beginning of the film, the narrator refers to death as “a problem,” and later in the film, the little girl’s father suggests that even if she is revived many decades from now, her parents may not have aged, because “science may have solved the aging problem by then.”
I have nothing against science, but the perception of aging and death as “problems” disturbs me greatly. So does the concept of “deathlessness,” which the father proposes in the film. He is a scientist enamored with cryogenics. He also admits that he cannot accept the idea of his daughter’s death.
At one point the family (which is Buddhist) becomes famous because this child is the youngest person to ever be frozen. The father is interviewed on news programs throughout Asia, and many of the interviewers criticize him for trapping her soul and stopping it from moving forward in its journey (from a Buddhist perspective). There is also a science-minded older son who is tasked with the caretaking of his frozen sister… after he becomes initiated as a Buddhist monk so he can look after her soul. . I found so many things disturbing about this story it’s hard to know where to begin. From a grief counselor perspective, this family is experiencing complicated grief, unable to accept the death of their child. In fact, they later have a new baby — a daughter — and they name her after the frozen one.

Toward the end of the movie, the son speaks with one of the leading researchers in this field, who tells him that there is only a 0.1% chance that anybody can be restored from this procedure. . You can find it on Netflix by searching for  “Hope Frozen.”  I’d love to hear your comments.

Terri Daniel


  1. Jeanne on September 29, 2020 at 5:54 am

    I believe the fundamental difference in our country today is found in the premise of the movie, faith in God and acceptance that we are souls in imperfect human form vs a purely material atheistic world view. Those with faith acknowledge free will and freedom as a means to reaching human potential AND faith in God connects them to their soul and knowledge of eternal life, often leading to moral choices and respect for others to make their own way. Athists or humanists (who were Christian originally which led to freedom in USA) or marxists, seek power and social engineering to create a “better world” all based on a fear of death and a lack of trust in fellow humans to do good.

  2. Constance on September 29, 2020 at 8:50 am

    I’m so glad to read your comments. While I have not seen this film, the fear and rejection of death is an issue I consider all the time. So many of us know that humans on earth are only a small part of the universe, and our beliefs about a rich and complex afterlife, as detailed by the millions of NDE reports, is such a beautiful part of life. That some humans reject this most interesting and mysterious part of life is so troubling, and yet still somewhat understandable. But this is where I keep questioning: why do so very many hate and fear death, when many others are fully able to accept it and even welcome it? Not wanting to be judgmental, but why, truly why, is death hated so very much? Is this pure evolution, pure biology? Or something more? The ego, so powerfully controlling us throughout the life cycle, simply is not capable of allowing for its own demise? I wish I could hear wise folks talk deeply about this weird hatred of death, but I have not been able to find such a resource.

  3. Beth Miller on September 29, 2020 at 11:27 am

    My name is Beth, and I constantly go back and forth about whether there is life after death, especially since my 22 year old daughter died so needlessly. I am terrified of death and have been my whole life. Even as a child, as far back as I can remember, I was afraid of dying and thought about it a lot. I am going to be 62 in 12 days and want more than anything to believe that I will see my daughter and parents again. I understand we have to die, but the idea of no longer having an existence, especially when it comes to how hard I have worked towards my goals, horrifies me. I am not a fan of frozen. There simply is not enough known about it, kinda like death…? I don’t have Netflix, nor do I have time to watch movies. I work two jobs, and am studying to take the last state exam so that I can do my student teaching, graduate, and become a teacher in Special Education. I’m babbling, just want more answers than I will probably ever get.

  4. Anderson Andrews on September 29, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    People really need to stop worrying so much about death. It’s organic and natural…we do not need to create artificial means to extend our lives. Yes, science will continue to discover ways to live longer, but by the same token, nature will continue to come up with ways to decrease the population until we find more room for humanity to thrive. Instead of all the worry, we need to learn to embrace dying as the most important part of our life, and to have a meaningful death experience. Please read … New Book of the Dead, Transformation for the Afterlife, by Anderson Andrews …

  5. Raeleen on September 29, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    First, I did watch the show up to the “frozen” part and struggled to understand the parents thinking for doing so. Second, I am a Spiritualist, struggling to understand the purpose of freezing the”body” since the “body” has died and it is my belief that when the body dies the soul returns home to God and lives on. When and if this child is cured of her illness and brought back to life, I can’t imagine whose soul will be given to the child since her own has moved on and perhaps even been born again in a new life. I also imagine the many questions that will come as a result of being frozen in time like, what happens to the memories, what will life be like waking from the memory of motor cars to flying saucers and on and on and on.

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