“What if you can live forever?” What if you can see the seasons of life from spring, summer, autumn and winter for a thousand years or more? Some say that it’s a curse while billions around the world dream or aspire to have it in an attempt to cast out their own mortality and fear of death. The beliefs and versions vary. Some say you’d float in the sky in a white shining beam of light and be reunited to your creator, but that’s another form of immortality. That is immortality through an afterlife. Some view it as an oasis where milk and honey flow overabundantly in rivers. Some view it as a place where 70 virgins prance around to give you immeasurable pleasure but only if you do their bidding first in this life.
Some view it as a reunification with loved ones long gone and missed. But for me, immortality has two levels:
Conceptual: Some luminaries long gone, become immortal through their words, sacrifices or actions.
Practical: Science fiction and vampire novels come to mind.
Now you may be asking why this blog post is about immortality when I should be writing about trying to quit smoking. Our finite nature in this universe all hinges upon the fact that our organs fail. That’s why when somebody dies, people always ask what they died from. Heart attack, lung cancer, prostate cancer, liver damage, etc. All of the causes of death have to do with the failure of one or more organs. I am imagining a near future where scientists would one day be able to develop organ replacement techniques that are infallible. Maybe through stem cells or through nanobots.
Once they’ve done this and made it affordable and universally accessible, then we would no longer have to worry about a bevy of things that we should not be worrying about. At this very moment, my grandfather is slowly dying from cancer. When I came to visit them last week, they told me that what I am asking for was a miracle and miracles don’t happen in this world. What they needed was a practical solution, a solution of which I could not provide – nobody could. The conversation would have been different if the technology or the procedure was more readily available. Our conversation would have been about which star each would love to go to next, what robot models were being developed right now, the latest music or movie, how my daughters are learning how to code and play the guitar. In short, we would have been discussing living this life now.