... millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
It is wrong to bear children out of need, wrong to use a child to alleviate loneliness, wrong to provide purpose in life by reproducing another copy of oneself. It is wrong also to seek immortality by spewing one's germ into the future as though sperm contains your consciousness!
People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura oflife which bears no relation to true immortality but through which theycontinue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. Itis as though they were traveling abroad.
Study, along the lines which the theologies have mapped, will never lead us to discovery of the fundamental facts of our existence. That goal must be attained by means of exact science and can only be achieved by such means. The fact that man, for ages, has superstitiously believed in what he calls a God does not prove at all that his theory has been right. There have been many gods – all makeshifts, born of inability to fathom the deep fundamental truth. There must be something at the bottom of existence, and man, in ignorance, being unable to discover what it is through reason, because his reason has been so imperfect, undeveloped, has used, instead, imagination, and created figments, of one kind or another, which, according to the country he was born in, the suggestions of his environment, satisfied him for the time being. Not one of all the gods of all the various theologies has ever really been proved. We accept no ordinary scientific fact without the final proof; why should we, then, be satisfied in this most mighty of all matters, with a mere theory?Destruction of false theories will not decrease the sum of human happiness in future, any more than it has in the past... The days of miracles have passed. I do not believe, of course, that there was ever any day of actual miracles. I cannot understand that there were ever any miracles at all. My guide must be my reason, and at thought of miracles my reason is rebellious. Personally, I do not believe that Christ laid claim to doing miracles, or asserted that he had miraculous power...Our intelligence is the aggregate intelligence of the cells which make us up. There is no soul, distinct from mind, and what we speak of as the mind is just the aggregate intelligence of cells. It is fallacious to declare that we have souls apart from animal intelligence, apart from brains. It is the brain that keeps us going. There is nothing beyond that.Life goes on endlessly, but no more in human beings than in other animals, or, for that matter, than in vegetables. Life, collectively, must be immortal, human beings, individually, cannot be, as I see it, for they are not the individuals – they are mere aggregates of cells.There is no supernatural. We are continually learning new things. There are powers within us which have not yet been developed and they will develop. We shall learn things of ourselves, which will be full of wonders, but none of them will be beyond the natural.]
She had lost herself in this old work, her personality dissolving into it, so that she had been set free. The immortality of the soul lies in its dissolution; this was the cryptic comment that so frustrated Olivier and which Julien had only ever grasped as evidence for the history of a particular school of thought. He had known all about its history, but Julia knew what it meant. He found the realization strangely reassuring.
Tell me something. Do you believe in God?'Snow darted an apprehensive glance in my direction. 'What? Who still believes nowadays?''It isn't that simple. I don't mean the traditional God of Earth religion. I'm no expert in the history of religions, and perhaps this is nothing new--do you happen to know if there was ever a belief in an...imperfect God?''What do you mean by imperfect?' Snow frowned. 'In a way all the gods of the old religions were imperfect, considered that their attributes were amplified human ones. The God of the Old Testament, for instance, required humble submission and sacrifices, and and was jealous of other gods. The Greek gods had fits of sulks and family quarrels, and they were just as imperfect as mortals...''No,' I interrupted. 'I'm not thinking of a god whose imperfection arises out of the candor of his human creators, but one whose imperfection represents his essential characteristic: a god limited in his omniscience and power, fallible, incapable of foreseeing the consequences of his acts, and creating things that lead to horror. He is a...sick god, whose ambitions exceed his powers and who does not realize it at first. A god who has created clocks, but not the time they measure. He has created systems or mechanisms that serves specific ends but have now overstepped and betrayed them. And he has created eternity, which was to have measured his power, and which measures his unending defeat.'Snow hesitated, but his attitude no longer showed any of the wary reserve of recent weeks:'There was Manicheanism...''Nothing at all to do with the principles of Good and Evil,' I broke in immediately. 'This god has no existence outside of matter. He would like to free himself from matter, but he cannot...'Snow pondered for a while:'I don't know of any religion that answers your description. That kind of religion has never been...necessary. If i understand you, and I'm afraid I do, what you have in mind is an evolving god, who develops in the course of time, grows, and keeps increasing in power while remaining aware of his powerlessness. For your god, the divine condition is a situation without a goal. And understanding that, he despairs. But isn't this despairing god of yours mankind, Kelvin? Is it man you are talking about, and that is a fallacy, not just philosophically but also mystically speaking.'I kept on:'No, it's nothing to do with man. man may correspond to my provisional definition from some point of view, but that is because the definition has a lot of gaps. Man does not create gods, in spite of appearances. The times, the age, impose them on him. Man can serve is age or rebel against it, but the target of his cooperation or rebellion comes to him from outside. If there was only a since human being in existence, he would apparently be able to attempt the experiment of creating his own goals in complete freedom--apparently, because a man not brought up among other human beings cannot become a man. And the being--the being I have in mind--cannot exist in the plural, you see? ...Perhaps he has already been born somewhere, in some corner of the galaxy, and soon he will have some childish enthusiasm that will set him putting out one star and lighting another. We will notice him after a while...''We already have,' Snow said sarcastically. 'Novas and supernovas. According to you they are candles on his altar.''If you're going to take what I say literally...'...Snow asked abruptly:'What gave you this idea of an imperfect god?''I don't know. It seems quite feasible to me. That is the only god I could imagine believing in, a god whose passion is not a redemption, who saves nothing, fulfills no purpose--a god who simply is.
Pride and power fall when the person falls, but discoveries of truth form legacies that can be built upon for generations.
It goes without saying that even those of us who are going to hell will get eternal life—if that territory really exists outside religious books and the minds of believers, that is. Having said that, given the choice, instead of being grilled until hell freezes over, the average sane human being would, needless to say, rather spend forever idling in an extremely fertile garden, next to a lamb or a chicken or a parrot, which they do not secretly want to eat, and a lion or a tiger or a crocodile, which does not secretly want to eat them.
As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all - the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.
And I despise your books, I despise wisdom and the blessings of this world. It is all worthless, fleeting, illusory, and deceptive, like a mirage. You may be proud, wise, and fine, but death will wipe you off the face of the earth as though you were no more than mice burrowing under the floor, and your posterity, your history, your immortal geniuses will burn or freeze together with the earthly globe.
Most sane human beings’ chances of being alive in a thousand years’ time are a hundred times higher than their chances of being sincerely happy for at least ten consecutive days.
Yet some men say in many parts of England that King Arthur is not dead, but had by the will of our Lord Jesu into another place; and men say that he shall come again, and he shall win the holy cross.
Hope is the last thing that dies.Maybe because hope is one of those dratted things that is truly, honestly, genuinely immortal.
One spiritual writer has observed that human beings are born with two diseases: life, from which we die; and hope, which says the first disease is not terminal. Hope is built into the structure of our personalities, into the depths of our unconscious; it plagues us to the very moment of our death. The critical question is whether hope is self-deception, the ultimate cruelty of a cruel and tricky universe, or whether it is just possibly the imprint of reality.
Some pirates achieved immortality by great deeds of cruelty or derring-do. Some achieved immortality by amassing great wealth. But the captain had long ago decided that he would, on the whole, prefer to achieve immortality by not dying.
I'm wishing he could see that music lives. Forever. That it's stronger than death. Stronger than time. And that its strength holds you together when nothing else can.
But thy strong Hours indignant work’d their wills,And beat me down and marr’d and wasted me,And tho’ they could not end me, left me maim’dTo dwell in presence of immortal youth,Immortal age beside immortal youth,And all I was, in ashes. - Tithonus
We carry the dead with us only until we die too, and then it is we who are borne along for a little while, and then our bearers in their turn drop, and so on into the unimaginable generations.
Let me go: take back thy gift:Why should a man desire in any wayTo vary from the kindly race of men,Or pass beyond the goal of ordinanceWhere all should pause, as is most meet for all?...Why wilt thou ever scare me with thy tears,And make me tremble lest a saying learnt,In days far-off, on that dark earth, be true?‘The Gods themselves cannot recall their gifts.’- Tithonus
My life closed twice before its close; It yet remains to seeIf Immortality unveil A third event to me,So huge, so hopeless to conceive, As these that twice befell.Parting is all we know of heaven, And all we need of hell.
Glenn used to say the reason you can't really imagine yourself being dead was that as soon as you say, 'I'll be dead,' you've said the word I, and so you're still alive inside the sentence. And that's how people got the idea of the immortality of the soul - it was a consequence of grammar.
Bones are patient. Bones never tire nor do they run away. When you come upon a man who has been dead many years, his bones will still be lying there, in place, content, patiently waiting, but his flesh will have gotten up and left him. Water is like flesh. Water will not stand still. It is always off to somewhere else; restless, talkative, and curious. Even water in a covered jar will disappear in time. Flesh is water. Stones are like bones. Satisfied. Patient. Dependable. Tell me, then, Alobar, in order to achieve immortality, should you emulate water or stone? Should you trust your flesh or your bones?
Dying is the fastest route to fame for an aspiring rock star. The dead man’s melodies become profound, acquiring deep mystery and rising into a realm beyond the reach of human criticism. In the stopping of a heartbeat, the rocker is transformed from decadent, depraved hedonist into misunderstood genius. Aye, death and musical stardom go together like Scotland and rain.