Deathlessness: 60 Poems of Temporal Death & Everlasting Life


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Return to Book Page. Preview — Deathlessness by Patrick P. Death touches everyone and leaves no life untouched. We can elude it for a time, postpone it for many a while and sometimes even pretend it does not exist. But it touches us even when its grim icy fingers fall upon another. And those whom it touches leave behind them the memories of who they were.

Our love for them is what we remember. Our hope and faith that they continue Death touches everyone and leaves no life untouched. Our hope and faith that they continue on after death is what we pray for. For no one gets out of life alive. Yet new life can and does await each of us! At least that is what this poet believes. Deathlessness is about experiencing life's many travails and death itself, and suffering the aftermath of those we lose to death.

Grief and sorrow are two of its byproducts. But so can be strength and courage, and renewed hope in the deathlessness of the human soul! This is also about the loss of faith and hope and other great human qualities. But likewise, about finding new faith and new hope and all that make us more than human.

They are the qualities of kindness and charity and compassion, and goodness and love. These things too, survive death! To those who never give up, who fight the good battle, who seek goodness and love and to make the world a better place, while embracing the spirituality that is life, I assign this book to reading. May it make you sense and confront the sublime and the terrible that is sometimes life. But may it also inspire you to embrace the profound and the reverent that is the deathlessness of the human soul and spirit, and all that's right with the world.

After this point, the human body could be treated as an optional accessory and the program implementing the person could be transferred to any sufficiently powerful computer. Another possible mechanism for mind upload is to perform a detailed scan of an individual's original, organic brain and simulate the entire structure in a computer. What level of detail such scans and simulations would need to achieve to emulate awareness, and whether the scanning process would destroy the brain, is still to be determined. An uploaded mind would only be a copy of the original mind, and not the conscious mind of the living entity associated in such a transfer.

Without a simultaneous upload of consciousness, the original living entity remains mortal, thus not achieving true immortality. Whatever the route to mind upload, persons in this state could then be considered essentially immortal, short of loss or traumatic destruction of the machines that maintained them. Transforming a human into a cyborg can include brain implants or extracting a human processing unit and placing it in a robotic life-support system.

Even replacing biological organs with robotic ones could increase life span e. Some people believe that such modifications would make one impervious to aging and disease and theoretically immortal unless killed or destroyed.


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As late as , the editorial staff of the Syntopicon found in their compilation of the Great Books of the Western World , that "The philosophical issue concerning immortality cannot be separated from issues concerning the existence and nature of man's soul. Immortality in ancient Greek religion originally always included an eternal union of body and soul as can be seen in Homer , Hesiod , and various other ancient texts. The soul was considered to have an eternal existence in Hades, but without the body the soul was considered dead. Although almost everybody had nothing to look forward to but an eternal existence as a disembodied dead soul, a number of men and women were considered to have gained physical immortality and been brought to live forever in either Elysium , the Islands of the Blessed , heaven, the ocean or literally right under the ground.

Some were considered to have died and been resurrected before they achieved physical immortality. Asclepius was killed by Zeus only to be resurrected and transformed into a major deity. In some versions of the Trojan War myth, Achilles , after being killed, was snatched from his funeral pyre by his divine mother Thetis, resurrected, and brought to an immortal existence in either Leuce , the Elysian plains, or the Islands of the Blessed. Memnon , who was killed by Achilles, seems to have received a similar fate.

Alcmene , Castor , Heracles , and Melicertes were also among the figures sometimes considered to have been resurrected to physical immortality. According to Herodotus' Histories , the 7th century BC sage Aristeas of Proconnesus was first found dead, after which his body disappeared from a locked room. Later he was found not only to have been resurrected but to have gained immortality.

Deathlessness: 60 Poems of Temporal Death & Everlasting Life - Patrick P. Stafford - Google Книги

The philosophical idea of an immortal soul was a belief first appearing with either Pherecydes or the Orphics , and most importantly advocated by Plato and his followers. This, however, never became the general norm in Hellenistic thought. As may be witnessed even into the Christian era, not least by the complaints of various philosophers over popular beliefs, many or perhaps most traditional Greeks maintained the conviction that certain individuals were resurrected from the dead and made physically immortal and that others could only look forward to an existence as disembodied and dead, though everlasting, souls.

The parallel between these traditional beliefs and the later resurrection of Jesus was not lost on the early Christians, as Justin Martyr argued: Jesus Christ, our teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propose nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you consider sons of Zeus. The goal of Hinayana is Arhatship and Nirvana. By contrast, the goal of Mahayana is Buddhahood. According to one Tibetan Buddhist teaching, Dzogchen , individuals can transform the physical body into an immortal body of light called the rainbow body. Christian theology holds that Adam and Eve lost physical immortality for themselves and all their descendants in the Fall of Man , although this initial "imperishability of the bodily frame of man" was "a preternatural condition".

Wright , a theologian and former Bishop of Durham , has said many people forget the physical aspect of what Jesus promised. Part of this will be the resurrection of all the dead , who will 'awake', be embodied and participate in the renewal. Wright says John Polkinghorne , a physicist and a priest, has put it this way: Hindus believe in an immortal soul which is reincarnated after death.

According to Hinduism, people repeat a process of life, death, and rebirth in a cycle called samsara. If they live their life well, their karma improves and their station in the next life will be higher, and conversely lower if they live their life poorly. After many life times of perfecting its karma, the soul is freed from the cycle and lives in perpetual bliss.

There is no place of eternal torment in Hinduism, although if a soul consistently lives very evil lives, it could work its way down to the very bottom of the cycle. There are explicit renderings in the Upanishads alluding to a physically immortal state brought about by purification, and sublimation of the 5 elements that make up the body. For example, in the Shvetashvatara Upanishad Chapter 2, Verse 12 , it is stated "When earth, water fire, air and akasa arise, that is to say, when the five attributes of the elements, mentioned in the books on yoga, become manifest then the yogi's body becomes purified by the fire of yoga and he is free from illness, old age and death.

Another view of immortality is traced to the Vedic tradition by the interpretation of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi:. That man indeed whom these contacts do not disturb, who is even-minded in pleasure and pain, steadfast, he is fit for immortality, O best of men. To Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the verse means, "Once a man has become established in the understanding of the permanent reality of life, his mind rises above the influence of pleasure and pain. Such an unshakable man passes beyond the influence of death and in the permanent phase of life: A man established in the understanding of the unlimited abundance of absolute existence is naturally free from existence of the relative order.

This is what gives him the status of immortal life. An Indian Tamil saint known as Vallalar claimed to have achieved immortality before disappearing forever from a locked room in The traditional concept of an immaterial and immortal soul distinct from the body was not found in Judaism before the Babylonian Exile , but developed as a result of interaction with Persian and Hellenistic philosophies.

Accordingly, the Hebrew word nephesh , although translated as "soul" in some older English Bibles, actually has a meaning closer to "living being".


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The only Hebrew word traditionally translated "soul" nephesh in English language Bibles refers to a living, breathing conscious body, rather than to an immortal soul. This doctrine of resurrection is mentioned explicitly only in Daniel New theories arose concerning Sheol during the intertestamental period. The views about immortality in Judaism is perhaps best exemplified by the various references to this in Second Temple Period. The concept of resurrection of the physical body is found in 2 Maccabees , according to which it will happen through recreation of the flesh.

The New Testament claims that the Pharisees believed in the resurrection, but does not specify whether this included the flesh or not. Rabbinic Judaism claims that the righteous dead will be resurrected in the Messianic Age with the coming of the messiah. They will then be granted immortality in a perfect world. The wicked dead, on the other hand, will not be resurrected at all. This is not the only Jewish belief about the afterlife.

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The Tanakh is not specific about the afterlife, so there are wide differences in views and explanations among believers. A list of good deeds and sins are tallied to determine whether or not a mortal is worthy. Spiritual immortality in this definition allows the soul to leave the earthly realms of afterlife and go to pure realms in the Taoist cosmology. Zoroastrians believe that on the fourth day after death, the human soul leaves the body and the body remains as an empty shell. Souls would go to either heaven or hell; these concepts of the afterlife in Zoroastrianism may have influenced Abrahamic religions.

The Persian word for "immortal" is associated with the month "Amurdad", meaning "deathless" in Persian, in the Iranian calendar near the end of July. The month of Amurdad or Ameretat is celebrated in Persian culture as ancient Persians believed the "Angel of Immortality" won over the "Angel of Death" in this month.

Alcmaeon of Croton argued that the soul is continuously and ceaselessly in motion. The exact form of his argument is unclear, but it appears to have influenced Plato, Aristotle, and other later writers. Plato 's Phaedo advances four arguments for the soul's immortality: Plotinus first argues that the soul is simple , then notes that a simple being cannot decompose. Many subsequent philosophers have argued both that the soul is simple and that it must be immortal. The tradition arguably culminates with Moses Mendelssohn 's Phaedon. Theodore Metochites argues that part of the soul's nature is to move itself, but that a given movement will cease only if what causes the movement is separated from the thing moved — an impossibility if they are one and the same.

Avicenna argued for the distinctness of the soul and the body, and the incorruptibility of the former. The full argument for the immortality of the soul and Thomas Aquinas ' elaboration of Aristotelian theory is found in Question 75 of the First Part of the Summa Theologica. Descartes does not address the possibility that the soul might suddenly disappear. In early work, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz endorses a version of the argument from the simplicity of the soul to its immortality, but like his predecessors, he does not address the possibility that the soul might suddenly disappear.

In his monadology he advances a sophisticated novel argument for the immortality of monads. Moses Mendelssohn 's Phaedon is a defense of the simplicity and immortality of the soul. It is a series of three dialogues, revisiting the Platonic dialogue Phaedo , in which Socrates argues for the immortality of the soul, in preparation for his own death.

Many philosophers, including Plotinus, Descartes, and Leibniz, argue that the soul is simple, and that because simples cannot decompose they must be immortal. In the Phaedon, Mendelssohn addresses gaps in earlier versions of this argument an argument that Kant calls the Achilles of Rationalist Psychology. The Phaedon contains an original argument for the simplicity of the soul, and also an original argument that simples cannot suddenly disappear. It contains further original arguments that the soul must retain its rational capacities as long as it exists.

The possibility of clinical immortality raises a host of medical, philosophical, and religious issues and ethical questions. These include persistent vegetative states , the nature of personality over time, technology to mimic or copy the mind or its processes, social and economic disparities created by longevity , and survival of the heat death of the universe. Physical immortality has also been imagined as a form of eternal torment, as in Mary Shelley 's short story "The Mortal Immortal", the protagonist of which witnesses everyone he cares about dying around him.

Jorge Luis Borges explored the idea that life gets its meaning from death in the short story " The Immortal "; an entire society having achieved immortality, they found time becoming infinite, and so found no motivation for any action. In his book Thursday's Fictions , and the stage and film adaptations of it, Richard James Allen tells the story of a woman named Thursday who tries to cheat the cycle of reincarnation to get a form of eternal life. At the end of this fantastical tale, her son, Wednesday, who has witnessed the havoc his mother's quest has caused, forgoes the opportunity for immortality when it is offered to him.

In the anime Casshern Sins humanity achieves immortality due to advances in medical technology; however, the inability of the human race to die causes Luna, a Messianic figure, to come forth and offer normal lifespans because she believed that without death, humans could not live. Ultimately, Casshern takes up the cause of death for humanity when Luna begins to restore humanity's immortality.

Old English Psalms

In Anne Rice 's book series The Vampire Chronicles , vampires are portrayed as immortal and ageless, but their inability to cope with the changes in the world around them means that few vampires live for much more than a century, and those who do often view their changeless form as a curse. In his book Death , Yale philosopher Shelly Kagan argues that any form of human immortality would be undesirable. Kagan's argument takes the form of a dilemma. Either our characters remain essentially the same in an immortal afterlife, or they do not.

If our characters remain basically the same—that is, if we retain more or less the desires, interests, and goals that we have now—then eventually, over an infinite stretch of time, we will get bored and find eternal life unbearably tedious. If, on the other hand, our characters are radically changed—e. Either way, Kagan argues, immortality is unattractive.


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The best outcome, Kagan argues, would be for humans to live as long as they desired and then to accept death gratefully as rescuing us from the unbearable tedium of immortality. If human beings were to achieve immortality, there would most likely be a change in the worlds' social structures.

Sociologist argue that human beings' awareness of their own mortality shapes their behavior. The world is already experiencing a global demographic shift of increasingly ageing populations with lower replacement rates. Although some scientists state that radical life extension, delaying and stopping aging are achievable, [65] there are no international or national programs focused on stopping aging or on radical life extension.

In in Russia, and then in the United States, Israel and the Netherlands, pro-immortality political parties were launched. They aimed to provide political support to anti-aging and radical life extension research and technologies and at the same time transition to the next step, radical life extension, life without aging, and finally, immortality and aim to make possible access to such technologies to most currently living people.

There are numerous symbols representing immortality. The ankh is an Egyptian symbol of life that holds connotations of immortality when depicted in the hands of the gods and pharaohs , who were seen as having control over the journey of life. Most symbolic representations of infinity or the life cycle are often used to represent immortality depending on the context they are placed in.

Other examples include the Ouroboros , the Chinese fungus of longevity, the ten kanji , the phoenix , the peacock in Christianity, [67] and the colors amaranth in Western culture and peach in Chinese culture. Immortality is a popular subject in fiction , as it explores humanity's deep-seated fears and comprehension of its own mortality. Immortal beings and species abound in fiction, especially fantasy fiction, and the meaning of "immortal" tends to vary. The Epic of Gilgamesh , one of the first literary works, is primarily a quest of a hero seeking to become immortal.

Some fictional beings are completely immortal or very nearly so in that they are immune to death by injury, disease and age. Sometimes such powerful immortals can only be killed by each other, as is the case with the Q from the Star Trek series. Even if something can't be killed, a common plot device involves putting an immortal being into a slumber or limbo, as is done with Morgoth in J. Storytellers often make it a point to give weaknesses to even the most indestructible of beings.

For instance, Superman is supposed to be invulnerable, yet his enemies were able to exploit his now-infamous weakness: See also Achilles' heel. Many fictitious species are said to be immortal if they cannot die of old age, even though they can be killed through other means, such as injury.

Modern fantasy elves often exhibit this form of immortality. Other creatures, such as vampires and the immortals in the film Highlander , can only die from beheading. The classic and stereotypical vampire is typically slain by one of several very specific means, including a silver bullet or piercing with other silver weapons , a stake through the heart perhaps made of consecrated wood , or by exposing them to sunlight.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Immortal disambiguation. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. June Learn how and when to remove this template message. Elixir of life and Philosopher's stone. List of long-living organisms. Eternal life Christianity , Christian conditionalism , and Christian mortalism. Chiranjivi and Naraka Hinduism. This article relies too much on references to primary sources.

Please improve this by adding secondary or tertiary sources. Chinese alchemy , Taoism and death , and Xian Taoism. Greater Cleveland Veteran's Memorial, Inc. Archived from the original on Retrieved 14 November Retrieved 11 May The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Deathlessness: 60 Poems of Temporal Death & Everlasting Life Deathlessness: 60 Poems of Temporal Death & Everlasting Life
Deathlessness: 60 Poems of Temporal Death & Everlasting Life Deathlessness: 60 Poems of Temporal Death & Everlasting Life
Deathlessness: 60 Poems of Temporal Death & Everlasting Life Deathlessness: 60 Poems of Temporal Death & Everlasting Life
Deathlessness: 60 Poems of Temporal Death & Everlasting Life Deathlessness: 60 Poems of Temporal Death & Everlasting Life
Deathlessness: 60 Poems of Temporal Death & Everlasting Life Deathlessness: 60 Poems of Temporal Death & Everlasting Life
Deathlessness: 60 Poems of Temporal Death & Everlasting Life Deathlessness: 60 Poems of Temporal Death & Everlasting Life
Deathlessness: 60 Poems of Temporal Death & Everlasting Life Deathlessness: 60 Poems of Temporal Death & Everlasting Life
Deathlessness: 60 Poems of Temporal Death & Everlasting Life Deathlessness: 60 Poems of Temporal Death & Everlasting Life

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