A student told me he had read that the famous futurist Ray Kurzweil is about to publish a new book titled The Singularity Is Nearer. Apparently, it is a development, or elaboration on ideas Kurzweil had presented in his earlier book, The Singularity Is Near. According to the article my student read, Kurzweil predicts that by 2032, ten years from now, medical technologies will be so advanced that we will be able to live forever. My student asked for my opinion on the prospect of eternal life.
Well, for the life of me, I cannot understand what is good about living forever. Besides the fuss that we make about dying, what benefits does it give me to never ever die?
I know that holy books tell us that in the Garden of Eden, there is eternal life, so if we can live forever, it will be heaven on earth. However, if no one dies, will this planet be heaven on earth? To me, it sounds like a sure recipe for creating hell on earth.
Also, if we live forever, what dreams and hopes will we have? What is the point of living if there is no pressure to achieve anything?
Life is given to us for a limited amount of time in order to use it to achieve something, to do something with it. Life is given to us so we will use our time here in order to attain spirituality, not to remain forever confined to the physical existence.
Spirituality means extending myself, reaching beyond the self and connecting with the common root of all of us. In simpler words, spirituality means feeling all of humanity, and eventually all of reality, as one body, or better yet, as one entity that has neither beginning nor end. It is the opposite of eternal physical life, where time stretches on indefinitely. Spiritual life means living without time at all.
Such a life can happen not when we perpetuate the body, but when we rise above it and instead of thinking only of ourselves, thinking of everyone else. Currently, we are absorbed in ourselves because we only want to serve ourselves. If we wanted to serve others, we would feel them just as we currently feel ourselves. When you feel others as tangibly as you feel yourself, you are no longer confined to your body. As a result, you are not confined to any of the body’s limitations, including life, death, or any concept of time.
This glorious future is not wishful thinking; it is the future of humanity. It will happen as soon as we stop thinking only of ourselves and begin to genuinely think about others. The sooner we change our state of mind, the sooner we will begin that blissful life. If we procrastinate, we will keep fighting until we realize that serving the ego does not pay and we will take to the spiritual path. If we hurry, we will take to the spiritual path without having to suffer first.
Photo Credit: Ed Schipul