Some theological views about immortality I read today...
Immortality (Czech: Nesmrtelnost) is a novel in seven parts, written by Milan Kundera in 1988 in Czech. First published 1990 in French. English edition 345 p., translation by Peter Kussi. This novel springs from a casual gesture of a woman, seemingly to her swimming instructor. Immortality is the last of a trilogy that includes The Book Of Laughter And Forgetting, and The Unbearable Lightness Of Being.
The immortal soul doctrine goes on to assert that "life is incompatible with death just as equality is with inequality." (Giesler 216). In other words, "opposite ideas may appear to co-exist but they do not" (Jowett 168). Socrates said it yet another way – the soul is not in communion or "harmony" with the body, but in conflict with it (Jowett 236-37, Pringle-Pattison 170). This is so because the soul cannot have qualities which are opposed to it. For example, the body lusts after the desires of the flesh while the soul knows truth from lies or right from wrong. The soul remains pure "having never voluntarily had connection with the body, which she is ever avoiding... gathered into herself" (Jowett 219). This means if the body suppresses the soul, the result is evil. It also means if the body gives in to the soul, the result is good and "returning to herself, the soul passes into purity, eternity, immortality, and unchangeableness" (Jowett 163, 217).
Thoughts of immortality generally pose more questions than they do answers. Fortunately, however, the prospect of immortality does not rest entirely on religious shoulders. There are many theorists who have grappled with what happens when we leave this world, and in fact, four main doctrines have forged themselves in the annals of time. You don’t need a Ph.D. or a dictionary to understand these doctrines, but you might find it difficult to hear what they’re saying above the white noise of philosophy. Be still my heart and listen!
Incarnations uses its premise to ponder questions regarding the nature of life. As each character goes from a mortal life to the "office" of an Incarnation, they are forced to contemplate their actions on a daily basis. Each Incarnation may use their office, within limits, as they see fit. This system humanizes what would otherwise be impersonal forces, leading to both extensive considerations of the effects of the incarnation's work and the impact it has on not only humanity but also the other offices of immortality as well.
The idea that we can't imagine our own death is familiar. In the 20th century, Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, discussed the topic of willingness to die to secure immortality. In an essay provoked by World War I, Freud took it to be a disturbing and telling fact that men are so willing to go to war because, Freud maintained, they are convinced of their own immortality.
The Lord of Yen heard of a man who new the secret of immortality. He sent a messenger to fetch the secret but the messenger dawdled on the way and the man died before he arrived. The Lord of Yen was furious and was about to execute the messenger. One of his ministers protested "That man died, so how could he possibly have passed on the secret of immortality to you?
The belief in existence or non-existence or eternal existence is all in the brain. Some people with psychiatric disorders may believe they do not exist at all. In severe psychotic depression, some patients may believe they are dead or their body is decaying and disintegrating or that inner organs are non-existent. Such fixed belief in non-existence is called a nihilistic delusion or delusion of negation. Another similar known neuropsychiatric disorder (Cotard's syndrome) in which people who have an injury to their parietal lobe of the brain hold a delusional belief that they are dead and do not exist. In rare instances, it can include delusions of immortality.
In Greek mythology, Tithonus was a Trojan by birth, the son of King Laomedon of Troy by a water nymph named Strymo ("harsh"). Eos, the Greek goddess of the dawn, abducted Ganymede and Tithonus from the royal house of Troy to be her consorts. When Zeus stole Ganymede from her to be his cup-bearer, as a repayment, Eos asked for Tithonus to be made immortal, but forgot to ask for eternal youth. Tithonus indeed lived forever but grew ever older. In later tellings, Eos eventually turned him into a cricket to relieve him of such an existence. In the poem however, it is Eos, and not Zeus, who grants Tithonus immortality
From Ancient Egypt to modern-day New York City, humans have been obsessed with the quest for immortality. Many may call it the Fountain of Youth, the Water of Life, or the Elixir of Immortality. There were legends written about a secret spring or fountain that restores youth to those who drink of its waters. Even the Greek Mythology is full of stories about the god's mythical place where no one ages or dies. Reality Check: We All Age and Die Grim as it is, our biology dictates that we grow older with time's passing, making us vulnerable to the signs of aging. Unhealthy lifestyle and choices today, on top of free radicals damage, have contributed to premature aging these days. One can only ask: Has the fountain of youth come of age? 16th Century: The Start of an Obsession Did you know that there was an actual quest on the fountain of youth which started all these buzz? It started in the 16th century with a Spanish explorer named Juan Ponce de León, first Governor of Puerto Rico. He went on his quest to a place we now call Florida, which the fountain has been frequently linked with. Fountain of Youth: A Big Joke? This may be the oldest joke in the books of those who have lived more than a century. What are their secrets? Is it something with the food they eat? Or, did they really find the holy grail of youth? If you visit your local drugstore or cosmetics counter, you'll be bombarded with plenty of anti-aging products promising to erase all those wrinkles and fine lines. We spend millions each year on these tonics, lotions, and creams. Sadly, it is our genetic makeup that dictates how we age and how long we will live. Lucky are those with good genes, making them look younger than what their actual age dictates. Elixir of Youth: A Possibility in the Year 2012 Scientists claim that by the year 2012, their research on the anti-aging process will be complete, which means doubling the lifespan we have right now. Currently, medicines help people extend their lives, especially those with chronic diseases. Then, there were news of a super drink created by North Korea. This miracle potion can multiply a person's brain cells and stop the skin aging process. The secret is a mix of micro-elements from 30 plant species. The Art of Aging Gracefully The first thing you need to do to feel younger is simply to think that you are. Positive thoughts help keep you happy, which makes your face look brighter and younger. Unless you're turned into a vampire, there's no such thing as physical immortality and the only way you can age gracefully is by choosing healthy. Eat the right foods, exercise daily, avoid bad habits, sleep well, and hydrate. Water is Your Body's Elixir of Health!