The prime byproduct of our sentience is a high incidence of mental sickness, which inflicts most people to varying degrees. The mind recognizes its own existence, and simultaneously, the lack of absolute control over that existence. For existence itself is surrender; it is a lack of absolute control, and for humans, a lack of very much control at all. If sickness takes hold to some degree, it becomes the fearful mind; its functions become tainted, and its every action is affected by the underlying plague. Term it nonexistence throwback, death reversion or ragnarism.
The death fantasy comes into play here as the ultimate expression of antilife desire. At its core is the underlying tenet of the fearful mind: namely, that the world is a place of imperfection, impurity and fear. As such, to end the fearful uncertainty, the world must be destroyed.
Life fights against this antilife. One of the most potent tools is, of course, instinct, which can keep even the most zealously sick minds acting in facially normal ways. The swirling, random energies of love, desire and self-perpetuation; the social instincts of family, friends and community; the fear of pain and nonexistence that itself sparks the sickness: all these things work against destruction.
But the sick mind will be invariably drawn to death fantasies. Even if never to attempt to carry them out, they are a security blanket for the mind; an imaginary friend with very large fists who will destroy the fearful impurity of the lesser world.
Rapture, resurrection: mainstream examples. Monotheism, and its traditional obsession with absolutes and order, is the polar opposite of life. This is why the major monotheisms are obsessed, in varying degrees, with godly holocausts and eternal punishment. Christianity, which dominates America and American thought, is a necromancer's dream. Everything which exists is tainted by virtue of being part of the lesser world. God "loves" it, but He will destroy it and bring people away from life on Earth to Heaven, in which there will be an undead paradise; immortals who endure with "everlasting life," but who are not actually alive on Earth. The use of the term everlasting "life" helps one overlook the fact that death will occur on Earth. Death itself is the end goal; Christianity the fantasy that you will someday die, and be the better for it.
In fact, everyone will die: Christians will die and go to Heaven, and non-Christians will die and go to Hell. Jesus' death and rebirth is exalted, and hymnals of meeting him, and speaking to him someday, are love songs for the death on Earth that will bring the Christian to a better place.
Smaller groups have a long, deadly, documented history of this type of behavior, often linked to larger monotheistic movements. Having had their minds sickened by St. John's Revelations and cultural approval of Christianity, people in Christianized countries easily make the leap from believing that Jesus may return and start the Rapture at any time, to believing that some other force wants them to exit the world now.
In the meantime, life struggles against it--getting the better of most mainstream Christians. Love, family and community tug against the death fantasy. Good Christians waiting for the rapture still feel for their children, families and friends. But death is always there, calling to them and waiting in the shadows--or under the brightest lights.
All casually accepted. Conversation is peppered with little reminders. "God, what a day." What does it mean? That there exists a perfect God, the existence of whom marginalizes the importance of this petty lesser life. And so, ragnarism wins: the fearful mind spends its life believing that life is something lesser; a means to an end.
What a day indeed--what a terrible way to frame an outlook on the world. No wonder, then, that religious fervor so often goes hand in hand with war.