Immortality.

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Immortality has fascinated me from a young age, the thought of enduring and accumulating so much knowledge, knowing so many extraordinary people and outliving them all.

When it comes down to it, I guess I’d want the ageless version of immortality, not the regenerative kind. I mean, the regenerative kind would be slightly impractical. Real life is not like Heroes or Highlander, where having a regenerating power requires you to die in some way to save the day. You’d be unable to be killed by most means, and it would be slightly useless. Of course, you could become a superhero, but with what power? “It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Oh, it died.” You could take a bullet for someone, but it would lose any nobility or elements of the heroic sacrifice that it otherwise would have. It’d be nobler to die, for God’s sake. Your mates could also start killing you in cruel ways, with the excuse, “Oh, you can heal, shut the hell up, you whiny girl!”

Whereas with the ageless kind, you have eternal youth, and in the unlikely event it all gets too much, you can kill yourself. I can’t see why it would get too much, as there will always be new experiences (but only if you go and seek them. Otherwise it will be same old, same old.) for you to find and enjoy, plus you’d go down great at parties with anecdotes no living person could match. For example: “I was the one that told Hitler to kill himself,” or “I have a dodo skeleton in my house (which could work as a chat-up line for historians and animal lovers).” Plus it would make for a damn entertaining autobiography. I’d certainly read it.

I guess part of the attraction of immortality is being so old and having seen so much history go past you. I always think of it as a waste when any immortal fictional character dies in a television show or book. It’s weird that even though they are fictional, I still feel that regret. I think that’s how I’d feel if I had it happen in front of me for real.

Obviously, some of this stems from a fear of death, but a lot of what we do stems from fear. Fear of failure drives us to work harder in what we do, fear of dying alone pushes us to find people and companionship, fear of heights stops us falling off roofs, fear of spiders pushes us to run like girls and so on. And fear is obviously an useful evolutionary response to the world around us. I mean, if we didn’t feel fear, we’d be constantly taking risks and doing stupid things, like those people on Jackass or suchlike. This is also the reason we have cautionary tales. Such as any sentence finishing “…and that’s why that boy should never have read Batman.”

I believe that the ageless kind of immortality will be possible in my lifetime, hopefully before I’m halfway through. I think the key to having a happy immortal life is sharing it with other people, whether it be like a talk with dear friends, or finding a way to use it to teach people, or, and I believe this is the best way, finding a way to make others agelessly immortal. If they want it, of course.

I don’t know about you, but I’d certainly be honoured to meet any immortal man. I mean, I’d feel envy, but to us non-immortal beings, life’s too short to hold grudges, isn’t it? Live and let live an extremely long life, that’s what I’d say. So my question of the day is, if you could become agelessly immortal, would you?

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