Friday 16 December 2011

How could humans cope with immortality?


Life would be bearable only if cyclical, like Tolkien's primordial unfallen Wood Elves.

Each day the same, no planning, no history, not going anywhere - waking to a day of hunting, eating, singing, love of nature - then sleep.

No ageing nor sickness, no necessity of death - everything governed by instinct and custom.

No sense of the years passing, no accumulation of sorrows and regrets; no big projects, no purpose - just more and more of the same until the (unanticipated) end.


A life ultimately non-attached.

No meaning, no purpose - instead absorption.

A non-reflective life, an unaware life.

A life strikingly similar to non-Christian Heaven.  


Something missing?

Something big missing?

The human bit?

Yes, that's how it seems to me too.


To imagine a kind of timeless human perfection is therefore to reveal that to be merely human is fundamentally unsatisfactory, it is intrinsically wretched.

To be human is to be wretchedly incomplete, to be an animal is not to be human; to be truly human entails becoming a god - which (if to be a god is not to be merely an immortal human) requires God.

To be an immortal god is wretched unless in communion with God.


Thus human destiny - like it or not, choose it or not.



The Crow said...

That's a peculiarly Christian view of living.
Immortality is eminently possible within this very life, there for the experiencing, and nothing like you describe. That you describe it thus, reveals your inability to experience it.

What is immortality anyway? An endlessness?
Is such a state a purely subjective thing? It may be.
I lived a lifetime in Mexico, but in linear terms, it amounted to five and a half years.

Eternity is a non-linear state. One in which moments are not delineated into sixty second slices. All is encompassed in a moment, and a moment in all things. Consciousness itself is a state.

There is an outside to time, and one may move outside of it. I have. I do. I will. My state will change, when it changes, and eternity will redefine itself, subjectively. Biut until then, immortality is the state I choose, if only for the reason that it enables me to accomplish those long-term things I need to get done.

It's all a bit like a belief in God.
You'll never know Him unless you believe in Him.
And you'll never believe in Him unless you decide to.
And you'll never decide to without a compelling reason.

Immortality is not as you describe.
You can't know what it is until you know what it is.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Crow - I'm afraid what you're saying does not make sense to me - you seem to be describing a series of distinct immortalities in the same person...

Also, I am talking about humans with consciousness, memory, anticipation etc - the human condition. Not animals.

The Crow said...

I know. What I describe is meaningless until it isn't.
Maybe just read it and leave it be.
It is what it is.
Nothing more.