Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Would you like to live forever?

I watched a documentary on Channel Four last night about the worlds oldest people. It was amazing to see a 100 year old woman in Japan who still grew her own vegetables and ran a shop and a 100 year old man in England who lives on his own and still uses coal to fuel his furnace. However, for every lucid able bodied centurion, there were plenty who were the more familiar picture of old age - crippled, deaf, unable to communicate and suffering from the unfortunate decrepitude that awaits for us all. Why some people age better than others is a mystery - it is all in God's hands - and there seemed to be no common link in diet or exercise between the various people who were interviewed. There was a difference in attitude however. Some were happy to have achieved such a great age (usually the more able bodied people) while the others longed for release from this mortal coil. One of the most poignant was a woman over 100 living in the US who was wheelchair bound and much distanced from the world, but who would sing when her nurse started to sing into her ear. It is one of the worst consequences of original sin that old age reduces our bodies to cages where we are can only respond to the strongest of stimulus. With this thought in mind, I asked myself the question - Would I like to live forever? It is a question I have often asked myself throughout the years and, bouts of depression aside, the answer has always been yes. There is so much in this world to learn about, study, see, explore and experience, so many people to get to know and to help, so many monsters to discover (and by monsters I mean creatures of the deep, Nessie, living dinosaurs etc) that our brief allotted time has never seemed enough. However, I long for the never ending life that was intended for us before the Fall. Living to a great age when you still have health and autonomy does have some attraction, but I am afraid I baulk at the thought of years of ill health, surviving all your loved ones and living in a home. However, it is not up to me to decide these things and, while I spend the years finding out my fate, I can explore the implications of immortality and mortality in my writing, as many authors have done before me.

6 comments:

Pamela said...

i dont want to live for ever. i look forever to Heaven - hopefully i will make it. however as you so rightly put all is in Gods hands.

Anonymous said...

I want to learn how to fly - high!

Broken Wing said...

a interesting thought provoking and philosophical blog. truly, ageing illness and death are the horrible results of the fall. On the other hand they can be a great source of merit and love can mask and soften the worst aspects. I suppose its the kind of life you live that is more important than its lenght.

Inkpot said...

To Pamela - It is good to set your sights to Heaven and the eternal reward. :)
To Anon - I hope you find the fame you are looking for! :)
To B.W - Very good point. Of course suffering can earn great merit and often people have to suffer greatly from illness long before they succomb to the age of diseas.

Inkpot said...

or the disease of age, which is what I meant! I wish I could edit my comments after I posted them.

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