A Desirability for Immortality
May 17, 2011 by Stacy Chen
To live forever for fear of death. To live forever for selfish reasons. To live forever just because we can.
There are many options to consider when thinking about immortality. Is it simply being impervious to death? Is it living continuously through multiple lives that are reincarnated? Is it spending eternity in heaven or hell after life on earth? Everyone has their own understanding of immortality, and in a way, we all live on through family bloodlines and through lives we’ve touched and influenced. But for some that isn’t enough.
Using immortality as defined to mean defying death, the idea of immortality might be appealing if one could forever be in the prime of their physical and mental state, and of course, surrounded by loved ones. You would no longer have to worry about the concept of time and not having enough of it. You could learn all the things you’ve always wanted to learn, visit all the places you’ve always wanted to see, and much more. But if everyone were immortal, in the most basic biological sense, would there be a reason to reproduce? If we no longer had to worry about the sustenance and survival of our species, what, then, would be the purpose of this indestructible life?
I find balance as a key to understanding our lives. Is it possible to understand the world without binary oppositions? Do we not know good because of evil? Can we know love without hate? Do we not cherish life because of death?
If you had the option to live forever, would you choose to? Is living forever, or long enough to be forever, a gift or a curse? Some may think it a blessing never to fear death while others may find never-ending breath painful.
It’s not just about the quantity of years you live, but the quality you put into each year lived… And death could be just as wonderful as life, for as Hamlet puts it:
“To die, to sleep–
To sleep–perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.”