Last night, I watched the movie “The Age of Adaline” and it left me ruminating on the nature of immortality. Would I ever like to live eternally at one particular age? What would the ideal age be? When are we at our most desirable? 29 years such as Adaline? Or is this more about attitude than age? This could be an interesting discussion!
There are certainly pros and cons! Firstly, life in one particular place would be fleeting. You could never allow anyone to get too close for fear of your secret being revealed. You’d never get bored or perhaps you would get bored? You’d never have to stress about getting old. You’d never have to plan for the future. Every few years you could start again. You’d be invincible from sickness and ailments. However, your children would be normal mortal people who live and die naturally. Or you’d have extended life at the expense of children and therefore no legacy to leave behind. I personally couldn’t bear the thought of having no children.
You’d gain more knowledge, wisdom and experiences. But you’d never have stability. You’d flutter from one job to the next; one house to the next; one state or country to the next… Would you get tired of constant change? Would your brain be able to preserve and store all your memories and magical moments?
You’d witness the pain and suffering of the world over and over again. Or you could ignore these things you can’t change or control. You’d be stuck in a time warp! Perhaps you’d do what you’ve always done and always get what you always have got? You may become lazy because you have so much time to achieve your goals. Alternatively, you could have a greater tendency to procrastinate? Then you’d go through life on auto-pilot. Would you be more inclined to take active steps in improving yourself and working on your weaknesses?
Maybe you’d have the opportunity to design your ideal life. But can’t we do that now? Would you appreciate the little things and be awestruck by the wonders and beauty all around you? Or would you take it all for granted? Wouldn’t you be more susceptible to feelings of loneliness and isolation? What would truly matter in life? Being mortal allows us to appreciate how precious life is and those special people in your inner circle. We need feelings and relationships.
You’d have a chance to live the life you’ve always dreamed of or live it again. You would have more chances, more opportunities to try new things, more time, more adventures. You’d overcome your fear of failure because through failure you’d enter a higher level of development and growth. You’d learn to succeed. You’d experience the world as it transforms. People are so afraid of death, perhaps the thought of living a long, long life would be appealing?
It really comes down to potential happiness vs the potential suffering of eternal life. If it could imaginably be so, I’d choose an extension of my life expectancy but never immortality! However, lets embrace a short lifespan, live life to the fullest and leave a legacy.
The Dalai Lama, when once asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered,
“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die and then dies having never really lived.”
Stay inspired and adventurous in life!