Would You Opt for Immortality?

#21
(Mar 9, 2018 02:23 AM)elte Wrote: The answer to that question is it's because I always had a longing for a real heaven instead of being totally gone.  

Speaking of grandiose imaginations, let’s do a thought experiment, okay? Try to design it. Try to create a perfect place in your head, but it has to be a real one, or one that's possible, not just a moment, or a slice of some fantasy.  No, it has to be one that can sustain the amount of peace and happiness that you desire for all of eternity.  

What would it be like?  

When I first did this thought experiment in my early twenties after my father’s death, I knew then that no such place existed or ever could exist. I could not come up with one single scenario that could fulfill even my own desires, much less all of mankind’s.  

Everyone wants to be known and understood, which, in and of itself, is extremely difficult, given the fact that to "know thyself" is often misleading and deceptive.  To sidestep this dilemma, most people insert an all knowing creator, a highly intelligent alien, or some sort of artificial intelligence, take this scene from A.I. Artificial Intelligence for example. This is, of course, very similar to what Yuval Noah Harari alluded to in his new book—an A.I. that will know you better than you know yourself.

Shortly after my father’s death, I had two dreams about such a place.  Oddly enough, they both contained some of the same earthly elements that Tarkovsky used in his 1972 film "Solaris," and this was way before I had even seen the film.  

In one, I was hiking with a neighbor.  We came upon a woman crying and digging up objects in the dirt, e.g., toys, family memorabilia, etc.  I asked him if we should tell her that they only represent cherished memories and that they’re not important.  He said, no, she needs time to figure it out herself.  He pointed to a tree where my grandparents were standing.  I ran to them and fell into my grandfather’s arms.  My grandmother was with a group of women, who were whispering things about me.  She was embarrassed of me.  They kept asking her why I didn’t know.  My grandfather was more sympathetic, telling her to cut me some lack.  On the way back, there was a group of older men sitting around a campfire.  I asked my neighbor if I should put another log on it.  He said, no, they’ll tend to it.  

The other one was in my grandparent’s barn, a family reunion, but the air was stale, and the food had no flavor.  I was trying to get my grandmother’s attention knowing that my time there was limited, but father kept telling me to be patient, she’ll come around.

My own mental projection, not real at all.

There’s a scene in "Solaris" that reminded me of your empty cup.  Most of his films contain water in various forms.  In the beginning, there’s a shot where it’s pouring rain and the camera focuses in on a teacup filling up with rain.

There's this great quote from his book "Sculpting in Time". 

"Modern mass culture, aimed at the 'consumer', the civilization of prosthetics, is crippling people's souls, setting up barriers between man and the crucial questions of his existence, his consciousness of himself as a spiritual being."

His film "Solaris" is based on Lem’s book.  The book contains a quote from Stanislaw Lem that sums it up quite nicely.

"We are only seeking Man. We have no need for other worlds. We need mirrors. We don't know what to do with other worlds. A single world, our own, suffices us; but we can't accept it for what it is. We are searching for an ideal image of our own world: we go in quest of a planet, of a civilization superior of our own but developed on the basis of a prototype of our primeval past."

Take a look at me now...

"You're the only one who really knew me at all."

Maybe that’s why Phil Collins has had, not only one, but three divorces.  Big Grin

Good day to you, elte.
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#22
Good day Secular Sanity.  Sorry about your dad.  I am in a place in life where stories like that film depict lose interest. Losing interest in film and music happens to almost everyone sooner or later.  It is why I said that I used to like Phil Collin's song.   

The answer to that second question is the only thing that matters with heaven is it would be pure happiness forever.  Some say happiness would get boring, so therefore the modifier pure to mean perfect and unending.  Yes pure imagination.  But sometimes, that is all that one has.
I was raised in a culture of Catholicism.  Though it was pretty liberal, it was pretty much mainstream Christianity.  So, as a mental reaction to the gore of human existence,  Christianity was imagined and developed over the centuries.   A religious "bone" is built into humans.  That bone was exercised greatly in my previous years.   Theory suggests that it was a side effect of how mammals need to see agency in their environment as a safety measure against predators.

In Catholicism in recent history, unlike some other religions, heaven is equal for men and women.

Maybe you are in a good place in life right now, which would be fortunate, and hopefully the case.  A lot of us feel to be in another situation.
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#23
(Mar 9, 2018 07:17 PM)elte Wrote: I am in a place in life where stories like that film depict lose interest. Losing interest in film and music happens to almost everyone sooner or later.

Someone else said something similar to me recently.  She thought it was a natural part of aging but I doubt that.

elte Wrote:The answer to that second question is the only thing that matters with heaven is it would be pure happiness forever.  Some say happiness would get boring, so therefore the modifier pure to mean perfect and unending.  Yes pure imagination.  But sometimes, that is all that one has.

What if pleasure and displeasure were so tied together that whoever wanted to have as much as possible of one must also have as much as possible of the other — that whoever wanted to learn to “jubilate up to the heavens” would also have to be prepared for “depression unto death”?—Nietzsche

Like I said earlier, I don't want to go out the way I came in.  I want to know more about it, me, and my surroundings.  Happiness is not going to provide that.

Besides, it's like what Allen Wheelis said, we’re all plunging down a cataract, and what’s important is to call out.  Not for help, there is no help.  Not in despair—what can anyone do but shrug, look away?  But to give a signal.  A gesture of love and humor to acknowledge drowning so others who drown will know they are not alone.

elte Wrote:Maybe you are in a good place in life right now, which would be fortunate, and hopefully the case.  A lot of us feel to be in another situation.

Yeah, not so much, but I'm not one for comparing war stories.  I don't think we should turn suffering into some sort of competition. I’m not heroic. I’m not evening challenging your views.  I just want to know them.  

Thanks for sharing them with me, elte.
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#24
Your'e welcome Secular Sanity.

I think it's natural as one sees the end approaching. Certain things look more like unaffordable luxuries in the time sense. I noticed very much of it with the people nearest their end.
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