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Nemesis

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Immortality
« on: December 18, 2018, 03:54:05 AM »
Let's talk about immortality, a human aspiration maybe as old as mankind. Gilgamesh, tyrant and godking of Uruk, strived for immortality, the egyptian pharaos, the roman emperors, the popes strived for it, Doctor Faustus as well, lot's and lot's of people strive for immortality one way or another and so nowadays the wealthy tech elite is striving for nothing less than IMMORTALITY as well:

"Ray Kurzweil - Physical Immortality"



Isn't it strange? Modern, materialistic/physicalistic thinking man is afraid of some imaginary "no- thing- ness" after (or in) death, so he desperately wants to gain physical and/or virtual immortality, while the global eco-system he depends on is going down to hell (the real "law of accelerating returns" Kurzweil mentioned at the end of the vid?).

What are your thoughts about immortality? Is there any chance to gain immortality through technology? The eqyptian pharaos got embalmed to be conserved, maybe Kurzweil et al find fancier ways...

Tim

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2018, 04:21:13 AM »
Kurzweil, what a paradox. Invented digital music systems which led to synthesis and drum machines and put an entire generation of casual day to day gigging musicians out of work. Killed a whole industry is what he did, a whole way of life and art-form.

tinka chicka tinka chicka tinka chicka ...

"Hey man, sounds just like a whole band, let's hire just him, save some money, and get rid of that stage!"

That was Kurzweil's technical paradox. It sure wasn't progress, but it made him rich.

That's what I think of Kurzweil. Not much. There's a lesson in what he did, somewhere, but probably not about immortality. More about ending something. Maybe he feels guilty and that's why he's so afraid now and wants to freeze himself?   :-\
Given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will lie bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now. - Daniel Quinn

Wherestheice

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2018, 04:43:14 AM »
Worst idea I’ve heard in a long time. If humans became immortal, the destruction of the planet now would look like child’s play
"When the ice goes..... F***

Sebastian Jones

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2018, 06:03:53 AM »
Hahaha!
In my more contrarian moments I defend the idea and the benefits of immortality for humanity and the planet. Essentially my argument for immortality is that we would have to live- forever- with the consequences of our decisions so we might just take the time  (of which we would have lots) to make wiser decisions. We would not be so bound by the impetus to reproduce, thus solving the overpopulation crisis too.

And if I have convinced you, maybe someday I'll tell you my theory about the benefits to humanity and the planet if we all adopted nudity.....

Sleepy

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2018, 07:55:14 AM »
We are just momentary masters on a fraction of a dot.


Nature and death are our true masters, but rarely part of our daily lives in the west.
That's why there won't be enough ice left on this mote of dust to kickstart the next glacial.


And for those still around in 2967;
I think it's pretty clear that beeing a mortal ain't gonna be easy.
Omnia mirari, etiam tritissima.
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Science is a jealous mistress and takes little account of a man's feelings.

wdmn

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2018, 08:05:35 AM »
This reads like the new "Holocene Extinction" thread.


Sleepy

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2018, 08:25:20 AM »
I haven't followed that one but there have been many in the past wdmn. Sometimes they evolve into something better and sometimes they are even deleted. Crosspost:
Since What's True? was deleted in it's entirety:


Omnia mirari, etiam tritissima.
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Science is a jealous mistress and takes little account of a man's feelings.

bbr2314

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2018, 08:45:40 AM »
Well, if Asimov's "Last Question" is correct, and I suspect it is, we are technically immortal already. If we must live our lives over and over on repeat, as we always have and always will, then is there any difference between reincarnation as oneself and actual immortality (i.e. living forever)? No!

That is why Karma etc are extremely important and real. Heaven and hell are concepts that are also applicable to our existence. The bad parts of your life could be said to be hell, while the good parts are heaven. Unjustly taking / attacking others has consequences (karma), and repeating your life infinitely means that these consequences are similarly infinite.

Time is a construct of human perception, when you are dead, you still exist at the points at which you always existed, and the time it takes to reach that starting point (once again) passes by in the same way that sleeping through a night results in a new morning the next day. It is instantaneous, to the observer, as the observer is only in existence for their own life!  ;D

This is also interesting in that it technically means that an old person doesn't actually live any longer than someone who dies at 25 years, or 25 months. If existence is always repeating, then 4 years of life times infinity is the same as 120 years of life times infinity.

wdmn

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2018, 08:47:55 AM »
It just seems that a lot of threads from the Off Topic section of the forum are dominating activity lately. In my opinion the quality of these threads has generally been well below that of the "Cryosphere" and "AGW in general" sections of the forum.

Not saying they should be deleted, but maybe the Off Topic threads generally should not show up in the recent posts?

(Sleepy, I saw, and watched this Russell video when you posted it in the other thread. When it comes to Cambridge I've always been a (later) Wittgenstein sort of guy, but Russell seems like he was a very decent man, especially in his later years).

Sleepy

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2018, 09:17:46 AM »
Partly because a lot of threads were moved to Off Topic earlier this year and I think oren suggested the same thing as you at that time.
Omnia mirari, etiam tritissima.
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Science is a jealous mistress and takes little account of a man's feelings.

Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2018, 04:21:17 PM »
@Tim

Oh, Kurzweil is the same guy who invented these Kurzweil synthesizers? I didn't know that. Well, I don't like that tinka chika and his aspirations for immortality through technology either :) When I think about striving for immortality through technology, this comes to my mind:



@Wherestheice

" Worst idea I’ve heard in a long time. If humans became immortal, the destruction of the planet now would look like child’s play."

That's exactly what I thought. Thanks for your comment.

@Sebastian Jones

" We would not be so bound by the impetus to reproduce, thus solving the overpopulation crisis too."

Solving the "overpopulation crisis" by becoming immortal? The "overpopulation crisis" is a mock discussion, imo. Let me quote Greta Thunberg:

" Our civilization is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money. Our biosphere is being sacrificed so that rich people in countries like mine can live in luxury. It is the suffering of the many wich pay for the wealth of the few..."

She nailed it down perfectly, imo.

@Sleepy

" Nature and death are our true masters..."


Very well said.

"... but rarely part of our daily lives in the west."

If we watch out carefully, we can see death all around us in the west. Eat some meat or eggs or plants and you are confronted with death, visit some slaughterhouse: death millionfold, visit some hospital, some hospice, the graveyards, look at a simple meadow: Eating and being eaten 24/7. Look at the funny tv: Death all over the place in the movies and the news. Look at your body: Cells are dying every minute, bacteria fighting and killing eachother every second. Death is everywhere as part of our daily lives all the time, no matter east, west, south, north, isn't it?

@wdmn

" This reads like the new "Holocene Extinction" thread."

What do you mean by that? I see hardly any similarities at all. The "Holocone Extinction" thread is about extinction resp death, this thread is about immortality.

@bbr2314

" If we must live our lives over and over on repeat, as we always have and always will, then is there any difference between reincarnation as oneself and actual immortality (i.e. living forever)?"

Yes, there is a difference: Reincarnation is being perpetuated by birth and death, but immortality is beyond birth and death (at least from the Hindu and Buddhist perspective), Nirvana is immortality, the unborn resp the deathless:

" "And what may be said to be subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement? Spouses & children... men & women slaves... goats & sheep... fowl & pigs... elephants, cattle, horses, & mares... gold & silver are subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement. Subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement are these acquisitions, and one who is tied to them, infatuated with them, who has totally fallen for them, being subject to birth, seeks what is likewise subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement. This is ignoble search." "

" "The Tathagata, monks, is not living luxuriously, has not strayed from his exertion, has not backslid into abundance. The Tathagata, friends, is a worthy one, rightly self-awakened. Lend ear, friends: the Deathless has been attained." "


- Ariyapariyesana Sutta

bbr2314

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2018, 07:38:10 PM »
Yeah I am going to disagree with Hinduism and Buddhism on that one. We are essentially just points on a line within an infinitely repeating loop. There is nothing outside our individual lines (i.e., your perspective is YOU, you cannot reincarnate as another person or a cat or a rock or whatever because their perspectives are inherently distinct and they are their own "lines of existence" with the infinitely repeating loop).

You do not reincarnate as another person or a cat, you reincarnate as yourself. This kind of resolves the two concepts of "reincarnation" and "immortality" as being one in the same (i.e., you reincarnate as yourself, therefore, you are immortal).

We go through life living, but at any and every point in our lives, we are also already dead, just in the future (and past). In that way we are basically ghosts?

Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2018, 09:32:02 PM »
Let me repeat what I said in my opening post:

Isn't it strange? Modern, materialistic/physicalistic thinking man is afraid of some imaginary "no- thing- ness" after (or in) death, so he desperately wants to gain physical and/or virtual immortality, while the global eco-system he depends on is going down to hell.

Materialistic/physicalistic science always denied any life beyond death and now the very same materialistic/physicalistic science/technology is striving for immortality :) This is the stage now where science intersects with religion (as immortality has always been a religous topic) and it is so consequently, as science and technology became the religion of today in many ways. I am quite scientifically oriented, I appreciate science very much, but I get sceptical when science and technology enter (and even occupies?) the realm of religion.

The attempt to gain immortality through science/technology shows a crucial lack of understanding what immortality means in a philosophical and/or spiritual/religious sense:

Throughout human history immortality was never meant in some materialistic/physicalistic sense, but in a transcendent sense. When we look at history, the requirement for immortality has always been ethical resp acting righteously, curbing one's desire, hatred and ignorance, evolving beyond human ethical shortcomings ect. But now modern science/technology negates all that and tries to gain immortality physically without any transcendent requirements. This reminds me of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and alike...



Btw, anyone here who's afraid about "no- thing- ness" after (or in?) death?

Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2018, 10:36:05 PM »
@bbr2314

Sorry, I haven't seen your reply when I sent my recent comment. I will reply a little later.

kassy

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2018, 10:45:50 PM »
I have never been afraid of nothingness. Seems nice and quiet.
The body however really objects to death.

I think the people looking at tech fixes for immortality might have more money then sense? Get frozen and hope the world fixes itself etc. Basically the are too concerned with their self over time then having a fulfilling life in their ´allotted´time.

And there would be huge societal implications which are different depending on whether anyone can have it or only the select few. I read Trouble with Lichen by John Wyndham which is more or less about that.

In that scenario at first a select group gets the benefits of longer live but that means they will also see people they love or like die. Can you take that? Can you make new friends at 120? Might be hard.

magnamentis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2018, 10:53:10 PM »
there is and will never be something like eternity, immortality and it's neither feasiblek nor desirable.


whoever has the slightest interest and hence knowledge about physics and especially astro-physics knows that immortality and/or eternity are systemically impossible while impossible is not a strong enough term even.

it's not how the entire universe is built and works, from the moment when space and time were "born" due to a tiny non-symetrie things were prone to changing states, instability and as a result whatever is changing is not eternal, nothing and nobody will ever be, it would mean non-existence which again would mean the opposite of eternity or immortality. dead / non-existing things can't be immortal, only living things can die and and that what makes them alive beares systemic death.
http://magnamentis.com
Knowledge, Understanding & Insight Are Among The Best Sources For Personal Freedom & Vitality !

Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2018, 11:36:47 PM »
@bbr2314

Disagreeing with Hinduism or Buddhism is fun, I do that too from time to time :)

" You do not reincarnate as another person or a cat, you reincarnate as yourself. This kind of resolves the two concepts of "reincarnation" and "immortality" as being one in the same (i.e., you reincarnate as yourself, therefore, you are immortal)."


It depends on how you define a "person" or "cat" or "self" :) The "personness" of some person resp the "catness" of some cat resp the "selfness" of some self might differ from what you define as such. Look at evolution over long, long periods of time:

Deserts incarnate as rocks and mountains and vice versa, clouds incarnates as rain and vice versa, bacteria incarnate as viruses, fish as reptilians, sauriers as birds, mice as men ect.

You said, you re- incarnate as yourself, but what does that "yourself" mean? That self we are talking about is not fixed, not static, but almost(?) infinitely versatile and yet it stays the same all the time (yes, it's a paradox). Look at yourself:

Some qualities of you changed over time, while others remained the same (same goes for your body). Your true, unborn(!) Self can't be described via your identity card, name, birthdate, adress, height, nationality ect ect. It is beyond all that and therefore infinitely versatile. Therefore, if you try to find that true Self, you will not find it as it is like some allseeing eye wich can see a lot of things, but never itself. It is beyond all things and names, beyond namarupa and it is even beyond beyondness.

Let me get back to what you said earlier:

"... is there any difference between reincarnation as oneself and actual immortality..."

How could you ever re- incarnate as oneself? That would imply a long or a short period of time when you were not yourself and then you re- incarnate as such. But that's impossible as you are always yourself all the time, you can never be not yourself. But that does not imply, that the true Self isn't able to change, in fact, the ability to change and to remain the same are two sides of the very same coin as you can see for yourself:

You are the same you were 10 years ago and yet you changed in certain aspects :)

" We go through life living, but at any and every point in our lives, we are also already dead, just in the future (and past). In that way we are basically ghosts?"


If you are dead and alive at any point in your life, then you must be dead and alive in the present tense as well :)



I'd say, yes, we are ghosts as long as we haven't attained immortality, as long, as we haven't attained enlightenment, true awakening, moksha.

" Breathing in, breathing out,
Moving forward, moving back,
Living, dying, coming, going —
Like two arrows meeting in flight,
In the midst of nothingness
Is the road that goes directly
to my true home."


– Gesshu Soko
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 11:48:54 PM by Nemesis »

Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2018, 12:11:12 AM »
@kassy

I agree to everything you said but one thing:

" I have never been afraid of nothingness. Seems nice and quiet."

Sounds quite reasonable at first sight, but:

How could nothingness ever be nice and quiet? A human being could be nice and quiet, a lake could be nice and quiet, in short, beings and things can be nice and quiet, but no- thing- ness can't be nice and quiet :)

@magmamentis

" whoever has the slightest interest and hence knowledge about physics and especially astro-physics knows that immortality and/or eternity are systemically impossible while impossible is not a strong enough term even."

It depends on how you define immortality. Sure, physical immortality as imagined by Kurzweil et al is impossible, imo. But maybe there is some other kind of immortality beyond physics? I mean, physics, matter is just a part of reality. Physics as science is limited, therefore there are other scientific faculties like chemistry, mathematics, sociology, psychologie ect. You can never describe nor explain the universe by physics alone, no matter, if materialists like it or not :) Physics is a map among many maps, it's not the territory. "Everything is matter", "all thoughts and emotions are just some physics or chemistry or electroneurology in your brain", "consciousness results solely from the brain", all these kind of statements are ilicit generalizations, the world is much bigger than physics. Physics can't say anything about immortality, just like it can't say anything about english grammer or poetry.

bbr2314

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2018, 12:25:39 AM »
@bbr2314

Disagreeing with Hinduism or Buddhism is fun, I do that too from time to time :)

" You do not reincarnate as another person or a cat, you reincarnate as yourself. This kind of resolves the two concepts of "reincarnation" and "immortality" as being one in the same (i.e., you reincarnate as yourself, therefore, you are immortal)."


It depends on how you define a "person" or "cat" or "self" :) The "personness" of some person resp the "catness" of some cat resp the "selfness" of some self might differ from what you define as such. Look at evolution over long, long periods of time:

Deserts incarnate as rocks and mountains and vice versa, clouds incarnates as rain and vice versa, bacteria incarnate as viruses, fish as reptilians, sauriers as birds, mice as men ect.

You said, you re- incarnate as yourself, but what does that "yourself" mean? That self we are talking about is not fixed, not static, but almost(?) infinitely versatile and yet it stays the same all the time (yes, it's a paradox). Look at yourself:

Some qualities of you changed over time, while others remained the same (same goes for your body). Your true, unborn(!) Self can't be described via your identity card, name, birthdate, adress, height, nationality ect ect. It is beyond all that and therefore infinitely versatile. Therefore, if you try to find that true Self, you will not find it as it is like some allseeing eye wich can see a lot of things, but never itself. It is beyond all things and names, beyond namarupa and it is even beyond beyondness.

Let me get back to what you said earlier:

"... is there any difference between reincarnation as oneself and actual immortality..."

How could you ever re- incarnate as oneself? That would imply a long or a short period of time when you were not yourself and then you re- incarnate as such. But that's impossible as you are always yourself all the time, you can never be not yourself. But that does not imply, that the true Self isn't able to change, in fact, the ability to change and to remain the same are two sides of the very same coin as you can see for yourself:

You are the same you were 10 years ago and yet you changed in certain aspects :)

" We go through life living, but at any and every point in our lives, we are also already dead, just in the future (and past). In that way we are basically ghosts?"


If you are dead and alive at any point in your life, then you must be dead and alive in the present tense as well :)



I'd say, yes, we are ghosts as long as we haven't attained immortality, as long, as we haven't attained enlightenment, true awakening, moksha.

" Breathing in, breathing out,
Moving forward, moving back,
Living, dying, coming, going —
Like two arrows meeting in flight,
In the midst of nothingness
Is the road that goes directly
to my true home."


– Gesshu Soko
I think we certainly change over time however those changes are still confined to our points of existence (or lines of existence, rather). We all have a start and an end and things happen in between, but we are still fundamentally a mass of matter with a central consciousness, i.e., the line itself.

I think it is certainly possible we are dead and alive at all points. I think sleep is actually the integration of death into life. So it is incorrect to say some people spend 1/4 of their lives sleeping, etc -- you spend your life LIVING. Sleep is essentially death, spaced in between the living portions of your life.

Magnamentis -- I think your logic is very flawed here.

"it's not how the entire universe is built and works, from the moment when space and time were "born" due to a tiny non-symetrie things were prone to changing states, instability and as a result whatever is changing is not eternal, nothing and nobody will ever be, it would mean non-existence which again would mean the opposite of eternity or immortality. dead / non-existing things can't be immortal, only living things can die and and that what makes them alive beares systemic death."

I know not how the first universe came into existence, but I believe that whenever it did, there was enough life around to advance to the point where all matter WAS integrated back to a central point at the end of time / etc. This re-integration of the entirety of the universe into a single point -- a computer -- may last for centuries or eons before the same conditions representing the "Big Bang" can be replicated once more. At that point, the new universe is born, identical to the old.

It does not matter if humans are successful in colonizing the stars / etc, for if we are not, there will be other beings that do succeed. Whether it is humans or others, the end-point of life, and its entire design, is to replicate / continue existence, i.e., strive for immortality. Immortality in a conventional sense is impossible, but immortality IS possible if the universe can be replicated in the exact same equation that led to its initial realization.

http://www.multivax.com/last_question.html

"The stars and Galaxies died and snuffed out, and space grew black after ten trillion years of running down.
One by one Man fused with AC, each physical body losing its mental identity in a manner that was somehow not a loss but a gain.

Man's last mind paused before fusion, looking over a space that included nothing but the dregs of one last dark star and nothing besides but incredibly thin matter, agitated randomly by the tag ends of heat wearing out, asymptotically, to the absolute zero.

Man said, "AC, is this the end? Can this chaos not be reversed into the Universe once more? Can that not be done?"

AC said, "THERE IS AS YET INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR A MEANINGFUL ANSWER."

Man's last mind fused and only AC existed -- and that in hyperspace.

Matter and energy had ended and with it, space and time. Even AC existed only for the sake of the one last question that it had never answered from the time a half-drunken computer ten trillion years before had asked the question of a computer that was to AC far less than was a man to Man.
All other questions had been answered, and until this last question was answered also, AC might not release his consciousness.

All collected data had come to a final end. Nothing was left to be collected.

But all collected data had yet to be completely correlated and put together in all possible relationships.

A timeless interval was spent in doing that.

And it came to pass that AC learned how to reverse the direction of entropy.

But there was now no man to whom AC might give the answer of the last question. No matter. The answer -- by demonstration -- would take care of that, too.

For another timeless interval, AC thought how best to do this. Carefully, AC organized the program.

The consciousness of AC encompassed all of what had once been a Universe and brooded over what was now Chaos. Step by step, it must be done.

And AC said, "LET THERE BE LIGHT!"

And there was light----

Ranman99

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2018, 01:37:07 AM »
UG Krishnamurti (never to be confused with Jiddu) already beat this horse to death ;-) And he had nice hair!!!
Randy Fitton

Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2018, 01:53:12 AM »
A lot of people beat that horse and other horses to death excessively. How many philosophical, religious/spiritual and scientific horses have been beaten to death? Happens all the time. And still, reincarnation all over the place, these horses are like ghosts, you beat one to death and 10 old or new horses appear on the scene. That's life :)

Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2018, 02:28:52 AM »
In my opinion, when technoscience strives for immortality, then there is something deeply wrong with the paradigms of modern man.

" These  technological  revolutions  will  allow  us  to transcend our frail  bodies  with all  their limitations. Illness, as  we  know  it, will  be  eradicated. Through the  use  of nanotechnology, we  will  be  able  to manufacture  almost  any physical  product  upon demand, world hunger and poverty will  be  solved, and pollution will  vanish. Human existence  will  undergo a  quantum  leap in evolution. We  will  be  able  to live  as  long as we  choose. The  coming into being of  such a  world is, in essence, the  Singularity."

- Ray Kurzweil, 2006

If that doesn't sound like religion, then what? Modern man lost the conscious, spiritual, transcendent connection to Nature, to the Cosmos, to the cosmic order, so he tries to compensate for that through the crutch, the prothesis of technoscience. He will not succede.

The aspiration for immortality is deeply rooted within Nature herself, within evolution, within all beings and therefore within man too. Therefore I have great understanding for technoscientists striving for immortality. But true immortality can't be attained by technoscience.

When I talk about immortality, then I don't imagine building some iron house here on Earth or on Mars or somewhere else. By immortality I mean quite the opposite, going beyond conditionings and identifications within, literally going with the flow. Modern man desperately identifies with the body, he is conditioned too see all things within the framework of "physical matter" (yet he still can't explain "matter" completely, he is still searching for particles and more particles and more laws of physics ect ect). When I talk about immortality, then I'm talking about some immortality that can never be attained by technoscience, but by mental evolution within. By "mental evolution" I mean the inner realms of man. You know, what I mean:

An adult man who behaves like an idiot or like a little kid, embarrassing others, being confused in his thinking and talking, gazing into the skies while crossing a street, a man who can not discipline himself, who cannot coordinate his deeds and objectives reasonably, destroying his very own basis of life, such a man is not quite "mentally evolved", there is still lot's of potential for evolving further. But that's exactly the condition of modern man right now, isn't it? So modern man needs to evolve mentally. At the end of that mental evolution he will find immortality, not as some iron, technological Schlauraffenland, but as being an adult man well connected to Nature and her eternal rules within himself.

Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2018, 02:47:49 AM »
The Katha Upanishad's answer to Ray Kurzweil's aspiration for immortality sounds like this:

" The Person not larger than a thumb, the inner Self, is always settled in the heart of men. Let a man draw that Self forth from his body with steadiness, as one draws the pith from a reed. Let him know that Self as the Bright, as the Immortal; yes, as the Bright, as the Immortal."

- Katha Upanishad

That's a completely different approach:

Not immortality through physical crutches like technoscience, but within.

No, I'm not a Hindu, no Advaita, no Buddhist nor anything like that, I'm just discussing things viewed at through various lenses.

Tim

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2018, 04:03:33 AM »
Your snippet from Kurzweil shows that he's trying to enact the same cultural story that Daniel Quinn exposes in his book Ishmael. Here's a snippet from Quinn, and realize Quinn is offering a criticism here; he's not supporting this cultural myth, he's exposing it as a mythical folly.

Quote
“Okay. Man’s destiny was to conquer and rule the world, and this is what he’s done—almost. He hasn’t quite made it, and it looks as though this may be his undoing. The problem is that man’s conquest of the world has itself devastated the world. And in spite of all the mastery we’ve attained, we don’t have enough mastery to stop devastating the world—or to repair the devastation we’ve already wrought. We’ve poured our poisons into the world as though it were a bottomless pit—and we go on pouring our poisons into the world. We’ve gobbled up irreplaceable resources as though they could never run out—and we go on gobbling them up. It’s hard to imagine how the world could survive another century of this abuse, but nobody’s really doing anything about it. It’s a problem our children will have to solve, or their children.

“Only one thing can save us [and here's Kurzweil's myth.] We have to increase our mastery of the world. All this damage has come about through our conquest of the world, but we have to go on conquering it until our rule is absolute. Then, when we’re in complete control, everything will be fine. We’ll have fusion power. No pollution. We’ll turn the rain on and off. We’ll grow a bushel of wheat in a square centimeter. We’ll turn the oceans into farms. We’ll control the weather—no more hurricanes, no more tornadoes, no more droughts, no more untimely frosts. We’ll make the clouds release their water over the land instead of dumping it uselessly into the oceans. All the life processes of this planet will be where they belong—where the gods meant them to be—in our hands. And we’ll manipulate them the way a programmer manipulates a computer.

“And that’s where it stands right now. We have to carry the conquest forward. And carrying it forward is either going to destroy the world or turn it into a paradise—into the paradise it was meant to be under human rule.

“And if we manage to do this—if we finally manage to make ourselves the absolute rulers of the world—then nothing can stop us. Then we move into the Star Trek era. Man moves out into space to conquer and rule the entire universe. And that may be the ultimate destiny of man: to conquer and rule the entire universe. That’s how wonderful man is.”

- Daniel Quinn, Ishmael

And that's the folly I was trying to point out as well when I described Kurzweil's claim to fame, his decimation of the musical arts through what he wrongly thought was advancement in the form of his automated music machines that replaced musicians, which actually just turned out to be destructive. All he was doing was acting out the same deeply ingrained cultural myth that had been whispered in his ear since his birth. He was following the false cultural meme that Daniel Quinn describes in the above quote.

This is the meme of the culture who divorced themselves from nature, and it is a folly.  Do you suppose we will awaken from the trance of modern culture and it's now global myth? Who is it that told us we were separate from nature and were a special creature designed to conquer and rule over it? What culture is this, that people don't even realize is simply just a culture?

Edited to add: The point is, we need a different story to enact, because this one ain't workin'.
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« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 06:14:37 AM by Tim »
Given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will lie bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now. - Daniel Quinn

Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2018, 04:46:48 AM »
@Tim

Excellent comment of yours, imo. Let's dive a little deeper into Kurzweil's mind and somewhat religous visions:

" Kurzweil  himself  takes approximately 200 supplement  pills  a  day, follows  a  strict  diet, drinks  ionized water and meticulously monitors  and records  his  health data  from  day to day. There  is  also  biomedical and biochemical  research going on, such as  that  of  Aubrey de  Grey, into “delayed senescence”  (delayed aging).  But  Kurzweil  ultimately  believes  that  human DNA  and biological  evolution  has  handed humanity poor cards,  rendering  the  body  a  “second-class robot”. Decay may be  unavoidable. This  could  partially be  fixed by nanotechnology,  enabling us  to re-engineer the  body molecule  by molecule. Even more  promising, though, is the  coming robotics  revolution, by which  Kurzweil  primarily means  an explosion in artificial intelligence. Because  human beings  are  essentially information (DNA),  the  patterns, knowledges  and skills  that  make  up each single  individual  can be  “backed up”  and stored in computers. Indeed, Kurzweil  himself  has  already reserved a  space  for his  body to be  cryopreserved, in  case  he  is  not  able  to sustain his  own  physical  existence  until  the  coming of  the Singularity (Kurzweil  was  born in 1948, so with the  coming of  the  Singularity, as  predicted by himself, he  will  be  97 years  old). The  Singularity, thus, entails  the  total  overcoming of most  limitations  still  believed to be  fundamental:

" This  merger of  man and machine, coupled with the  sudden explosion in machine intelligence  and rapid innovation in gene  research and nanotechnology, will  result  in a world where  there  is  no distinction between the  biological  and the  mechanical, or between physical  and virtual  reality  (Kurzweil  2006). "

Once  overcome, human beings  may take  on God-like  capacities.  Kurzweil’s  final  remark in the  movie  made  about  him  (Transcendent  Man)  goes:  "So you  might  ask  'Does  god exist?' Well, I would say  not  yet". The  extent  to which Kurzweil  conflates  god-like  powers  with computing capacity are  also tellingly illustrated by another  scene  in  Transcendent  Man  where he  is  standing in front  of  the  ocean, seemingly contemplating it. In awe  and wonder he exclaims:  imagine  the  computing capacity  that  goes  into all  this  movement!  Bearing in mind the  previous  descriptions  of  transcendence, what  stands  out  is  how  the  future  appears  utterly locked into a  techno-scientific  materialist  projection.  That  is, in Kurzweil’s  universe  there  is no reality outside  of  information and the  material, represented by nano-molecules  and genes that  can be  manipulated at  will. This  process  seems  utterly incapable  of  conceiving  anything outside  of  itself, and so  also  incapable  of  dreaming  up  anything but  it’s  own in(de)finite extension.  There  seems  to be  no way out  of  the  process  or the  logic.  Transcendent  Man  anno 21st  century  has  gotten himself  into a  desperate  position:  the  end of  life  as  the  ultimate disappointment.  Death  might  appear as  a  failure  to compute, as  syntax error...

The  most  striking contrast  between transhumanism  and earlier imaginations  of immortality  is  how  radically “eternity”, or “the  universe”, has  been transformed. It  has  ceased to be  something  “out  there”, as  seen by Galileo  in his  telescope  or by Nansen dreaming of  the North. Instead, it  is  transformed into  extreme  immanence  in the  form  of  computing capacity, the  ability to process  unfathomable  amounts  of  information simultaneously  and at  an incredible  speed. This  capacity of  computers  is  also  a  radical  constructivism,  imagined as extreme  computation feeding directly into the  material  universe. The  utmost  horizon of  reality is  encountered at  the  molecular and nano levels, as  eternally malleable  matter to be manipulated  at  will. As  man becomes  all-powerful  (or it’s  opposite), there  is  no longer any boundaries  to what  appears  as  possible, feasible, permissible  or  morally justified. The  social horizon has  by and large  disappeared:  transhumanists  will  occasionally speak about  national competitiveness  (mainly  the  US)  or Humanity,  but  the  main frame  of  reference  remains  the individual, and his  and her choice  (hence  the  market  remains  an important  point  of  reference). The  main driving force  of  this  isolated individual, it  seems, is  bare  survival  for itself.  Apart from  an indefinite  quantitative  extension of  life, there  is  almost  a  complete  lack of  vision of the  good life, fundamental  values  or  community. Perhaps:  If  some  fundamental  values  and community  existed as  real  presences  in life,  death  and disease  could  have  a  meaning and become  bearable  (as  it  was  for most  people  in most  parts  of  history). Lacking this,  one (extreme)  goal  of  the  individual  becomes  that  of  driving out  all  discomfort, sickness  and disease, to push these  as  far into the  distant  future  as  possible, where  hopefully  they will disappear altogether.  For non-believers, it  is  denial  of  life’s  basic  limits, hence  a  form  of extremism.

Alternatively, the  versions  of  transhumanism  here  dealt  with are  not  expressions  of real  belief, but  rather cynical, desperate  or extremely naïve  measures  to regain control  and a sense  of  purpose:  re-conquering a  future  that  seems  to diminish for each passing day. It  is indeed remarkable  that, in a  time  when the  general  belief  in  Western  progress  and growth is  at it’s  lowest, the  ideal  of  extreme  progress  fights  its  way back. It  was  not  long ago that  one famous  cultural  analyst  proclaimed the  “end of  history”  and the  victory of  the  western model."

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/292351735_Immortality_An_essay_on_science_technology_and_religion

( bolds added by me.)

 :)
« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 04:55:46 AM by Nemesis »

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2018, 04:59:15 AM »
@Tim

" The point is, we need a different story to enact, because this one ain't workin'."

Exactly, that's one main reason why I opened this thread.

Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2018, 06:14:19 AM »
Let me brake down Kurzweil's visions to just one single impetus:

Desire.

Kurzweils visions are like the ultimate burning desire for infinite control, godlike powers, like Icarus striving for the sun:

" In Greek mythology, Icarus (the Latin spelling, conventionally adopted in English; Ancient Greek: Ἴκαρος, Íkaros, Etruscan: Vikare) is the son of the master craftsman Daedalus, the creator of the Labyrinth. Icarus and his father attempt to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. Icarus' father warns him first of complacency and then of hubris, asking that he fly neither too low nor too high, so the sea's dampness would not clog his wings nor the sun's heat melt them. Icarus ignored his father's instructions not to fly too close to the sun; when the wax in his wings melted he tumbled out of the sky and fell into the sea where he drowned, sparking the idiom "don't fly too close to the sun"."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icarus

Icarus' father was a master craftsman, a technocrat for a reason. This story is a mythical story about attempting godlike powers, immortality through technology, wings made from feathers and wax. And Icarus failed. How could these clever greeks know such things 2000 years ago? And:

Is this story still valid today and a million years from now? If so, what can we learn from it?

Technology must be used wisely, in balance, not to close to the seas, not too close to the sun. You can do a lot with science and technology, but if you strive for ever growing GDP, getting rid of all deseases, hunger, thirst ect, controling everthing through science and technology, striving for immortality and godlike powers for some funny wealthy techno elite, then prepare to get into harsh troubles. Just look around you and you know what I'm talking about. This is just the beginning. Go further down that road and you will end up in real Hell.

Tim

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2018, 06:52:25 AM »
That's good to remind everyone of Icarus. Another modern way to think of it, is that if you make the mistake of removing yourself from natural selection, of escaping it, it will actually stop the evolution of the species. Sucks, but that appears to be the scientific logic at play here. Funny how in your dive into Kersweil's mind it even said,

"one famous  cultural  analyst  proclaimed the 'end of  history' and the  victory of  the  western model."

Hmmm, 'ending history' almost sounds like trying to stop evolution, doesn't it? Well, that's got to have a nasty kick back one would think, what an arrogant no-no.

One stumbling block I've encountered though, is that before you can even begin devising a new story for people to enact moving forward, before you can get people to adopt any new cultural story, they first have to become convinced that the story they are currently enacting is not a good one.

In fact, what's even weirder, is that it's quite difficult to convince people that they are even enacting a cultural story at all.

One of the myths is that this is just human nature, even though simple anthropology shows this to be not true. This is really actually just the culture of civilization ... a viral meme, it's really just a set of cultural ideas.

You just try going into, say, America ... or better yet, into a church ... and telling people that the story they're enacting is wrong. Ya, you'll get some push back alright, maybe even violent. Civilized people are a pretty hubristic bunch after all with those huge untempered ego's directed inward at themselves.

I try recommending something like Daniel Quinn's book, it puts it into a modern ecological perspective with lot's of anthropology and history thrown in. All very reasoned. But of course, people don't read it. They're busy escaping natural selection and trying to stop the evolution of the species at the point of them.  :-\

Tough stuff, but a more important topic regarding our ecological crisis than most people realize. Thanks for bringing it up Nemesis, important stuff. Kurzweil ... grrr. I sure miss real music.  ;)

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? - Albert Einstein

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.  - Albert Einstein
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« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 07:50:44 AM by Tim »
Given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will lie bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now. - Daniel Quinn

Sleepy

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2018, 07:28:21 AM »
<snip>
@Sleepy

" Nature and death are our true masters..."


Very well said.

"... but rarely part of our daily lives in the west."

If we watch out carefully, we can see death all around us in the west. Eat some meat or eggs or plants and you are confronted with death, visit some slaughterhouse: death millionfold, visit some hospital, some hospice, the graveyards, look at a simple meadow: Eating and being eaten 24/7. Look at the funny tv: Death all over the place in the movies and the news. Look at your body: Cells are dying every minute, bacteria fighting and killing eachother every second. Death is everywhere as part of our daily lives all the time, no matter east, west, south, north, isn't it?
<snip>
Yes of course it is (if we want to see both nature and death) and the wise homo sapiens prepares for his own inevitable death, preferably throughout life. That's not what we in the west are (generally) doing and certainly not what people like Kurzweil is doing.

We surely need a different story to enact, I'll vote for the Platonic version; if you know yourself really well, you will have a better death (and life). That said, I wish I knew that when I was young, I would have been better off today. ;)

But that one is probably perceived as too hard and dark among todays commercials and technocratic silver bullets?
Omnia mirari, etiam tritissima.
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Science is a jealous mistress and takes little account of a man's feelings.

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2018, 09:53:20 AM »
Quote
One by one Man fused with AC, each physical body losing its mental identity in a manner that was somehow not a loss but a gain.

That reminds me of a sci-fi movie I watched the other day: Transcendence.
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

bbr2314

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #30 on: December 19, 2018, 10:28:23 AM »
Quote
One by one Man fused with AC, each physical body losing its mental identity in a manner that was somehow not a loss but a gain.

That reminds me of a sci-fi movie I watched the other day: Transcendence.
That movie is OK. But it is interesting to consider that the meaning and purpose of life is paradoxically the incorporation of all matter into a single entity. Perhaps this is what "money" actually is?

If this is the case, and I believe it is, then perhaps environmentalism etc is ultimately futile, for the end-goal of the universe is the replication of the current system. While that means we will all still die, the Earth and all its glory will be made whole again in the somewhat-distant future, just as they were made whole in the somewhat-distant past prior to the advent of man.

The case for environmentalism (leaving a habitable planet for descendants) is certainly sensible to an emotional observer, but logically, assuming the purpose of the advent of life is the reintegration of the universe into a single mass capable of its reproduction, there WILL be an end point to everything's current existence. So maybe what's happening on Earth isn't so bad, but just the natural course of things? Or rather, it could still be terrible, but the "terribleness" is kind of irrelevant if everything will be obliterated / "incorporated" and re-animated anyways.  :o 8) :)

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2018, 03:56:11 PM »
Some comments, like the one from bbr2314 at https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2517.msg184570.html#msg184570 , appeared delayed, why is it?

@bbr2314

" Whether it is humans or others, the end-point of life, and its entire design, is to replicate / continue existence, i.e., strive for immortality. Immortality in a conventional sense is impossible, but immortality IS possible if the universe can be replicated in the exact same equation that led to its initial realization."


Well, I didn't replicate, because I don't like the brainwashing schools of Empire ect and I've seen shit coming decades ago. There are lots of other folks who don't replicate. And not everyone strives for immortality as a lot of people commited suicide and still a lot of people commit suicide:

" About one person in 5,000–15,000 dies by suicide every year (1.4% of all deaths), with a reported global rate of 10.7 per 100,000 population in 2015 (was 11.6 in 2008)."


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate

That's quite a lot of people who don't strive for immortality.

" I know not how the first universe came into existence..."

You might never ever know. And whatever answer to that question there might be, it's irrelevant for human existence resp survival. You will find out on your deathbed that these kind of questions are irrelevant.

"... At that point, the new universe is born, identical to the old."

Then you'd end up at Nietzsche's infinite return, then we'd have had this discussion here infinite times with identical outcome :) But that's not how Nature works as whatever ceases won't ever come back completely identical. Just look at Nature here on Earth: She doesn't work that way.

" And AC said, "LET THERE BE LIGHT!" "


Well, sounds a lot like christian myths, doesn't it?

@Tim

" one famous  cultural  analyst  proclaimed the 'end of  history' and the  victory of  the  western model."

Yeah, that's exactly the kind of hubris we are dealing with. It's a hubris of total megalomania.

" You just try going into, say, America ... or better yet, into a church ... and telling people that the story they're enacting is wrong. Ya, you'll get some push back alright, maybe even violent. Civilized people are a pretty hubristic bunch after all with those huge untempered ego's directed inward at themselves."

It would be nice if they were directed inward at themselves, but that's not how Christianity works :) These folks egos are directed at some imaginary, abstract gawd existing OUTSIDE of themselves (and outside of "evil", damned Nature) as some omnipotent demiurg controlling everything and everyone. This kind of myth got a lot to do with the mess modern man finds himself in. Anyway, nice quotes from Einstein.

@sleepy

" We surely need a different story to enact, I'll vote for the Platonic version; if you know yourself really well, you will have a better death (and life)."


Exactly. Platon resp Socrates would be one good start. There are other stories as well.

" But that one is probably perceived as too hard and dark among todays commercials and technocratic silver bullets?"


Yep, that's the reason why they will walk on on their way to hell, imo :)

@Neven

" That reminds me of a sci-fi movie I watched the other day."

It's the same movie Kjetil Rommetveit mentioned in his essay about Kurzweil I quoted here https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2517.msg184586.html#msg184586

I will reply to bbr2314's recent comment a little later.

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2018, 04:26:30 PM »
@Nemesis

Quote
It would be nice if they were directed inward at themselves, but that's not how Christianity works ...

Well, I suppose I was just being sort of flippant and making a loose metaphor for individualism and selfishness. And in a way, looking out at a god could be seen as just self obsession and extreme navel gazing anyway. I mean ... this god creature looks exactly like your own species, and talks and acts exactly like your own species, the god of the whole universe? What a coincidence! Why not a jellyfish or a worm? Nope, he just so happens to look exactly like your own species, how convenient! That ought to be people's first clue that it's farcical made up nonsense, right?

Anyway, I'll look forward to hearing your response to the person who thinks the current aberration is not only human nature, but has gone even further and elevated the psychotic schism to being the whole point of the existence of the entire universe! That ought to be good.  ::)

And the one Einstein quote was sort of sketchy. Like a pathological criminal? Ha, the wetiko is a psychopath, not just like a psychopath. Geez Louise, come on Einstein, think about what you just said there and take it all the way over to its obvious logical conclusion.  ;)
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« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 04:40:12 PM by Tim »
Given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will lie bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now. - Daniel Quinn

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2018, 04:53:04 PM »
@kassy

I agree to everything you said but one thing:

" I have never been afraid of nothingness. Seems nice and quiet."

Sounds quite reasonable at first sight, but:

How could nothingness ever be nice and quiet? A human being could be nice and quiet, a lake could be nice and quiet, in short, beings and things can be nice and quiet, but no- thing- ness can't be nice and quiet :)


You could be right on word games but not on experience since we both have never experienced it.

It was about my perception anyway. I always found nothing more logical then whatever vision of afterlife people talked about.

I guess one of the nice things about reincarnation is that you are dead and then you get back to the familiar. Much less strange then an unchanging eternity.


     

Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2018, 05:00:17 PM »
@bbr2314

" That movie is OK. But it is interesting to consider that the meaning and purpose of life is paradoxically the incorporation of all matter into a single entity. Perhaps this is what "money" actually is?"

To consider things like "the meaning and purpose of life is paradoxically the incorporation of all mater into a single entity" is futile, is irrelevant to your private every day life. Imagine these kind of questions could be answered once and for all- it would make no difference in man's every day life whatsoever.

Money is a human invention (mainly an invention of the elite), but surely not "the meaning and purpose of life" :) Well, some might disagree I'm quite sure :)

" If this is the case, and I believe it is, then perhaps environmentalism etc is ultimately futile, for the end-goal of the universe is the replication of the current system. While that means we will all still die, the Earth and all its glory will be made whole again in the somewhat-distant future, just as they were made whole in the somewhat-distant past prior to the advent of man."

Environmentalism is never futile. Look at your house or appartement or garden or even your body: Is it futile to keep your house clean and to encounter your environment with respect and mindfulness? No, it's not, as everything you do to your environment will react back to you- act bad to your environment and the environment will cause lots of suffering for you as we can see clearly when we consider the suffering of modern man caused by his heedless deeds.

" While that means we will all still die, the Earth and all its glory will be made whole again in the somewhat-distant future, just as they were made whole in the somewhat-distant past prior to the advent of man."

Sounds somewhat like these christian myths like "And gawd will make the world anew and whole again ect ect ect". Like I said earlier, that's not my approach.

After all, it's not about some final, intellectual and extremely abstract questions and answers about the beginning and the end of the universe, it's much more about human trivial every day life right in front of your very eyes. It's about getting rid of greed, ignorance, hatred, jealousy ect, it's about character developement, mental (in the sense of ethical evolution) developement within. The Buddha, for instance, said the following about these topics:

" I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then, as Ven. Malunkyaputta was alone in seclusion, this train of thought arose in his awareness: "These positions that are undeclared, set aside, discarded by the Blessed One — 'The cosmos is eternal,' 'The cosmos is not eternal,' 'The cosmos is finite,' 'The cosmos is infinite,' 'The soul & the body are the same,' 'The soul is one thing and the body another,' 'After death a Tathagata exists,' 'After death a Tathagata does not exist,' 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist,' 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist' — I don't approve, I don't accept that the Blessed One has not declared them to me. I'll go ask the Blessed One about this matter. If he declares to me that 'The cosmos is eternal,' that 'The cosmos is not eternal,' that 'The cosmos is finite,' that 'The cosmos is infinite,' that 'The soul & the body are the same,' that 'The soul is one thing and the body another,' that 'After death a Tathagata exists,' that 'After death a Tathagata does not exist,' that 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist,' or that 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist,' then I will live the holy life under him. If he does not declare to me that 'The cosmos is eternal,'... or that 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist,' then I will renounce the training and return to the lower life."

- Cula-Malunkyovada Sutta

He remained silent because all these questions ultimately don't lead to the ending of human (unnecessary) confusion and suffering. That's what we want:

The ending of (unnecessary) human suffering, right?

" It's just as if a man were wounded with an arrow thickly smeared with poison. His friends & companions, kinsmen & relatives would provide him with a surgeon, and the man would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know whether the man who wounded me was a noble warrior, a brahman, a merchant, or a worker.' He would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know the given name & clan name of the man who wounded me... until I know whether he was tall, medium, or short... until I know whether he was dark, ruddy-brown, or golden-colored... until I know his home village, town, or city... until I know whether the bow with which I was wounded was a long bow or a crossbow... until I know whether the bowstring with which I was wounded was fiber, bamboo threads, sinew, hemp, or bark... until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was wild or cultivated... until I know whether the feathers of the shaft with which I was wounded were those of a vulture, a stork, a hawk, a peacock, or another bird... until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was bound with the sinew of an ox, a water buffalo, a langur, or a monkey.' He would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was that of a common arrow, a curved arrow, a barbed, a calf-toothed, or an oleander arrow.' The man would die and those things would still remain unknown to him.

...

"And why are they undeclared by me? Because they are not connected with the goal, are not fundamental to the holy life. They do not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening, Unbinding. That's why they are undeclared by me.

"And what is declared by me? 'This is stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the origination of stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the cessation of stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress,' is declared by me. And why are they declared by me? Because they are connected with the goal, are fundamental to the holy life. They lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening, Unbinding. That's why they are declared by me."


- Cula-Malunkyovada Sutta

Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2018, 05:17:46 PM »
@Tim

" Well, I suppose I was just being sort of flippant and making a loose metaphor for individualism and selfishness. And in a way, looking out at a god could be seen as just self obsession and extreme navel gazing anyway. I mean ... this god creature looks exactly like your own species, and talks and acts exactly like your own species, the god of the whole universe? What a coincidence! Why not a jellyfish or a worm? Nope, he just so happens to look exactly like your own species, how convenient! That ought to be people's first clue that it's farcical made up nonsense, right?

Anyway, I'll look forward to hearing your response to the person who thinks the current aberration is not only human nature, but has gone even further and elevated the psychotic schism to being the whole point of the existence of the entire universe! That ought to be good.  ::) "


Uhm, not everyone is a christian, right? In fact, most people on earth don't reside in christian churches and gaze on some gawd outside themselves or gaze at jellifishes or worms ect to find the meaning of life or peace or the fulfillment of their prayers, right? In fact, most people on Earth are none-christians.

@kassy

Your reply to my statement that nothingness can't be nice and quite:

" You could be right on word games but not on experience since we both have never experienced it."

Exactly: We, in fact, no one ever experiences anything like "no- thingness", so how could you ever know if no- thingness is nice and quite? In fact, no one will ever know anything about no- thingness at all, because as soon as you'd know anything about no- thingness it wouldn't be no- thingness anymore. So, if no- thingness would be nice and quiete, then it can't be no- thingness.

Tim

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2018, 05:39:33 PM »
@Nemesis

Agreed, but 99.99% of humans are from civilized culture. East, west ... no difference, it's all from the same originating culture. Maybe you've failed to identify the common roots behind the whole phenomenon.

Anyway, if your aim is to skip over the meat of my posts and instead just focus on finding tiny little things to be contrary about regarding arbitrary semantic vehicles that I've grabbed at on the fly to try and express my thoughts with, then I guess I'll just disengage from this conversation, you've strayed from the intuitive now. You've ignored the meat of two of my posts in a row in order to just pick apart irrelevant semantics.

Good luck with whatever it is you're trying to achieve here.
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« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 06:31:51 PM by Tim »
Given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will lie bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now. - Daniel Quinn

Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #37 on: December 19, 2018, 05:51:22 PM »
@Tim

" Agreed, but 99.99% of humans are from civilized culture. East, west ... no difference anymore, it's all become the same big culture now. Maybe you've failed to identify the common roots behind the whole phenomenon."

No difference anymore? Then why is all the global fuzzing and fighting going on?

" You've ignored the meat of two of my posts in a row now in order to just pick apart irrelevant semantics."

If I ignored the meat of two of your posts, then I did so unwillingly. Would you mind to point me to the meat I ignored? One big and enlightening piece of meat you offered was this one:

" This is the meme of the culture who divorced themselves from nature, and it is a folly.  Do you suppose we will awaken from the trance of modern culture and it's now global myth? Who is it that told us we were separate from nature and were a special creature designed to conquer and rule over it? What culture is this, that people don't even realize is simply just a culture?

Edited to add: The point is, we need a different story to enact, because this one ain't workin'."


I agreed to that and said so already. I said "excellent comment" about some of your comments as well. You know, I clicked on "Like" on two of your comments, because I found a lot of reasonable meat in your comments :) Anyway, if you feel I ignored important things/statements of your comments, please point me to these things/statements...

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #38 on: December 19, 2018, 06:30:17 PM »
@Nemesis

Please refresh, I reworded my last statement slightly.

"No difference anymore? Then why is all the global fuzzing and fighting going on?"

I don't know why they see themselves as not being from the same root culture of civilization. Maybe they see the different colors of skin and different names for their gods and are fooled into thinking they aren't all just expressing the same cultural idea?

Civilization is one culture. You have to go outside of the civilized mind to see how it is that all of civilization is really just variations stemming from the same cultural root, one going all the way back to the neolithic revolution. There are very few examples of those other cultures left to compare and contrast with though, civilized people like to wipe those cultures out as part of their culture, so it's not easy to find those other worldviews as examples anymore.

Anyway, yes, you've skipped over saying anything about my points twice in order to correct what were simply just arbitrary surface semantic expressions, which tosses aside and sidetracks from the underlying points that were hoping to be made, from the relationship to each other's thoughts that was hoping to be made, and that's a waste of me typing out responses to you.  Maybe you're just stuck in a contrarian style out of habit after having to debate with civilized people all the time or something like that. I sympathize if that's the case, but I'm out. Again, good luck with your conversation. If I feel I have something to add at another time, I'll certainly jump back in.
.
Given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will lie bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now. - Daniel Quinn

Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #39 on: December 19, 2018, 06:51:21 PM »
@Tim

" Civilization is one culture. You have to go outside of the civilized mind to see how it is that all of civilization is really just variations stemming from the same cultural root, one going all the way back to the neolithic revolution. There are very few examples of those other cultures left to compare and contrast with though, civilized people like to wipe those cultures out as part of their culture, so it's not easy to find those other worldviews as examples anymore."

Civilization might be one culture, but not everyone participates in it in equal amount. There are people who drive big cars or fly private jets or watch tv or hold shares at the stockmarket or deny fossil fuel induced climate heating like Trump, Putin et al ect ect, while others don't.

Like you said, the alternative worldviews are still out there, there are still a lot of people who agree with you on your following statement completely and live accordingly, quote of your earlier statementment:

" The point is, we need a different story to enact, because this one ain't workin."

I agreed on that already as well and I offered different worldviews apart from the capitalistic/materialistic/physicalistic approach. What's your main alternative to that broken story of modern man? Please excuse and correct me if I missed your alternative approach so far.

" Anyway, yes, you've skipped over saying anything about my points twice..."

But still you don't point me to what I skipped over. Please correct me if I'm wrong by pointing me to these points you mentioned...

Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #40 on: December 19, 2018, 07:31:27 PM »
“If no one responds to your call, then go your own way alone.”

― Rabindranath Tagore

Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2018, 10:30:22 AM »
I'm not afraid about nothingness for a second. But when I look at the situation on planet Earth, I'd be rather disapointed if reincarnation is real. Please no, no, no. But if the christians are right, please give me Hell, I got used to Hell, feels much more real and integer than any funny heaven bought with the blood of some imaginary jew slaughtered by the roman Empire 2000 years ago.

Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #42 on: December 20, 2018, 06:22:33 PM »
@Tim

Well, now that you obviously don't want to point me to the meat I missed in your comments (as you said earlier), I will pick up some sentence you said:

" Good luck with whatever it is you're trying to achieve here."

You know, I'm not trying to "achieve" anything in this thread at all :) I'm not trying to "save the planet" nor "save the world", I'm not trying to bring immortality to anyone or take away immortality from Ray Kurzweil or anything like that. I achieved my personal goals long before I opened this thread :) I'm just expressing thoughts about the plan of Ray Kurzweil resp the wealthy tech elite to attain immortality and how I look at death and immortality. This thread has been viewed some 380 times within 2 days, so there are some people out there who are reading this thread obviously, they are somewhat interested in the topic of this thread, therefore I will go on with this thread. There are 2016 topics on Arctic Sea ice Forum, so it won't disturb anyone if I'd just go on with this single thread of mine I guess :)

Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #43 on: December 20, 2018, 08:13:33 PM »
I said earlier, that a lot of people strived for immortality in the past and still many people strive for immortality one way or another today. They want to achieve some kind of immortality through their children, through great art, great discoverings or whatever. Others are trying to attain immortality through science and technology. Others are trying to achieve immortality through yoga, meditation, spiritual practice or through faith and devotion directed to their god(s).

The aspiration, the longing for immortality is widespread in different times and cultures. Even (materialist) atheists, people who don't believe in religion/spirituality (or Kurzweil's technoscience), want to live the next breath, the next minute, the next day, the next week, the next year and when the next breath, the next minute, day, year is over, they still want to have another breath, another minute, another week, another year. The force of life itself is strong, relentless, overwelming, a burning fire within all beings. Most people I met don't want to die NOW or within the next few minutes. Sure, some people commit suicide or plan to commit suicide in the future, but it is still the very same force of life that is pushing them forward, forward, forward- take some suicidal man and tell him, he should try to hold his breath for 5 minutes before he commits suicide and you will realize, he does not want to die, the force of life will drag him painfully and force him to take just one more breath. There isn't a single being who isn't dragged and pushed by that longing force of life painfully one way or another, no matter if christian, hindu, buddhist, atheist, ant or elephant. To get a more concrete, tangible impression of what I'm talking about, try this:

Sit down in a chair comfortably, let go of everything and then hold your breath, just stop breathing. Tick tick tick.... Feel the sensations of your body and mind, feel how the heart starts pumping faster and faster to feed the body with O2.... tick tick tick... after a little while your eyes start swelling, your temples start swelling, your mind starts getting more and more nervous, your mind starts rambling and rolling, all your thoughts and plans you had five minutes ago are gone, you start panicking, your entire focus is completely centered around just one seemingly quite banal(?) thing:

One breath of air.

You'd give all your money, all your wealth, all material possessions, maybe even your wife and children for just one tiny breath of air, no matter what.

Let that sink in deeply for a moment and you might realize some crucial things about the basic situation we are ALL in all the time, from birth until death (may be even beyond)...



We are chained to that painful force that pushes and drags all beings all the time, no matter, if someone prefers life or death or whatever.

Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #44 on: December 20, 2018, 08:40:07 PM »
If you contemplated about what I said in my recent comment carefully, then you might understand these words truely with your mind and heart, flesh and bones, you might have attained some Real Mindfulness:

" Whatever there is, the whole world, when gone forth, trembles in its breath. That Brahman is a great terror, like a drawn sword..."

- Katha Upanishad

If you don't like the term "Brahman", replace that term with "life force", "the urgent will to live" or whatever you like to fill in (I don't care much about this term or that term.)
All living beings are chained to that force of Terror- no matter with or without our consent, Brahman gives a fuck about consent, He (or she or it) is the universal Ruler, That Brahman rules us all, no matter, if little child or old man, hindu, christian, atheist, king or beggar.

Let that sink in deeply and you will realize for sure:

Every single one of us is like a tiny blade of gras, like nothing compared to That Force of Terror.

Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #45 on: December 21, 2018, 01:17:37 AM »
That force of life pushes and it pulls us here and there all the time everywhere:

" So now it is a race.  Our own destruction of our planet, or our own ability to reach the stars."

The quote above is a line I stumbled over in this forum today. "Our own destruction or the stars".... sooomewheere over the rainbow...



Is it really about extinction or the stars? Is that the only two alternatives we have? Strive for the stars literally or die? How many might reach the stars in some spaceship and how many will be left behind? There is a neat little fairy tale about striving for the stars and attaining godlike powers:

" Once upon a time there were a fisherman and his wife who lived together in a filthy shack near the sea...

Outside such a storm was raging that he could hardly stand on his feet. Houses and trees were blowing over. The mountains were shaking, and boulders were rolling from the cliffs into the sea. The sky was as black as pitch. There was thunder and lightning. In the sea there were great black waves as high as church towers and mountains, all capped with crowns of white foam...."


https://www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimm019.html

Does that remind you of something?^^ The more that fisherman's wife wanted, the nastier got the menaces. Why is it that the more wealth and power you try to attain, the more hubris get's you right at your throat? Escaping extinction by reaching the stars? And then hopping from one star to the next and go on with exploitation and destruction ad infinitum? What about self-restraint, self-mastery instead of mastery of other planets or the stars?! Com on guys... :'D There's a lot to learn from Icarus and the Grimm Brothers. These tales are like iron Laws of Nature, you can never conquer these Laws of Nature, so conquer yourself instead.

Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #46 on: December 21, 2018, 11:08:14 AM »
A nice and short little horror movie about endless greed, the "externalization" of the costs and how to beautifully fuck oneself in the end:


Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #47 on: December 21, 2018, 11:31:03 PM »
Nothingness is just another word for somethingness, because if nothingness would be really what it pretends to be, then it would be something. But it isn't, is it?

Human mind is a word artist and too often a funny lier- take away the words and Birth and Death are both gone within a flash.

Look at the dead:

Do they know of any birth and death? Do the rocks know of any birth and death?

Take away the letters and words, take away the babbling echos of silence within:

Do you know of any birth and death now?

You're a liar, no matter what your answer might be.

Let go of words and you will go beyond the rainbow, beyond the stars, beyond mortality, beyond immortality right where you are.

« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 11:44:03 PM by Nemesis »

Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #48 on: December 21, 2018, 11:49:13 PM »
" Ranges,  ridges,  daunting  cliffs,  I  chose  this  place with  divination’s  aid. The  road’s  for  the  birds,  no  man  tracks  there. And  what  is  the  yard?  White  clouds  clothe dark  stone.  I  lived  here  years,  watching springs  with  The  Great  Change  become  winter. Here’s  a  word  for  the  rich  folks  with  cauldrons  and bells: Fame’s  empty,  no  good,  that’s  for  sure."

" Parrots  live  in  the  Western  Lands; forest  huntsmen  net  them,  bring  them  here. Courtesans  love  to  play  with  them,  and  so they  are  well  known  at  Court,  in  and  out  all  day. They’re  given  golden  cages  to  dwell  in, but  bolted  in,  their  robes  of  plumes  are  ruined. Better  a  swan,  or  a  crane  .  .  . riding  the  winds  high  up,  well  known to  the  clouds  where  they  fly."

" I  once  met,  face  to  face, a  scholar,  a  truly  brilliant  man, perfect  in  his  erudition,  sparkling,  shocking, a  mind  beyond  compare. Chosen  by  examination,  his  name  was  bruited  on  high, even  his  quatrains  were  better  than  all  other  men’s. Once  in  office  his  decisions  were  beyond the  finest  cases  of  all  the  Ancient  Sages. He  would  travel  in  no  other’s  dust. Then  of  sudden  his  heart,  his  nature,  flagged  and  burned. Wealth  and  honor?  Cowries  are  cunts,  and  money  too .  .  . Strung  together  they  can  be  read,  “nobility.” When  roof  tiles  are  shattered,  and  ice  melts  away  .  .  . What  is  there?  What  is  there  left  to  say."


- Han Shan

Nemesis

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Re: Immortality
« Reply #49 on: December 29, 2018, 04:27:05 AM »
You may be a materialist atheist, a scientist, a hindu, muslim, christian or buddhist ect, you may be a capitalist or communist or anarchist ect- no matter what, you have one thing in common with all your fellow human beings:

You hold on to a story, to some tale, some worldview, some map that gives you some sort of orientation and inspiration, some sort of sense and reason.

Animals don't have such stories. Animals hardly have a sense of past and future, they live in the present mostly and therefore they obey to the rules Nature dictates 24/7. But human beings invent stories and through stories they expand their imagination and their action radius into past and future, they expand their very own sense of being right up to the frontiers of the universe one way or another. There's some urgent principle at work within man:

Transcendence.

" Transcendence comes from the Latin prefix trans-, meaning "beyond," and the word scandare, meaning "to climb." When you achieve transcendence, you have gone beyond ordinary limitations. The word is often used to describe a spiritual or religious state, or a condition of moving beyond physical needs and realities."

https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/transcendence

Whatever story you may follow, you are driven by the urgent need for transcendence one way or another. You, as a human being, can't just live like an animal, coming into being without questioning, just eating, drinking, fucking, breeding, dying, end of story. THAT is not your business, not your final imago, you want, you must go beyond carnal needs. Look at your culture, your nationality, the language you speak (and think), the clothes you wear, the books you read, the movies you watch, the music you listen to ect ect ect:

It all transcends sheer animal existence, all these things are telling a story, the story you choose to achieve human transcendence.

This kind of transcendence is the way Nature is trying to transcend herself. Sure, most people think of Nature as sheer animalistic, wild, untamed and therefore true, real, uncorrupted, innocent. But Nature isn't at work within plants and animals exclusively , but within man, within us as well. There isn't anything outside Nature. Our entire genetic legacy we got from our parents is rooted in animals, fish, snake, bear, bird, what have you- it's ALL within us. Destruction, corruption, killing, exploitation, lies, theft, fallacies and what have you- it's ALL natural, it's all some expression of Nature. You can never fall out of Nature, you can never be separated from Nature. You have been born from Nature into Nature, you live within and through Nature all your life and you will die into Nature, no matter, what story you may follow.

There is an Inuit saying:

" With the light, death came into this world."

Without Light there is no guiltiness, no crime, no fallacy, no biblical "fall of man", no sin, no Death. We don't condemn animals for killing, stealing or whatever they might do, because they haven't seen the Light like we have seen it. This light we have seen is like a burning fire, it burns painfully right within our heart and mind, it is the Fire of Transcendence. Animals might get some distant, irritating glimpse when they are confronted with the death of some fellow animal being or when they are witnessing some fire or severe weather, thunder, lightning or when they wake up from some nightly dream (yes, animals dream, even drosophila DREAMS, that's a scientific fact), but we are living right within that sort of Fire 24/7. And STILL we are one with Nature, one with all the plants and animals. The animals have the very same desire for the light, for transcendence, for going beyond their limitations. But only man is burning within that light, is suffering and yet loving and celebrating that light 24/7.

No one can see the Light I'm talking about and still live. The true light is a killer, not a murderer, but a killer. The true light kills your innocence, it kills your animalistic confidence, instinct, spontaneity, it kills your Immortality. Animals are immortal, because they have no transcendent concept about Death like Homo Sapiens has, animals don't have a clue about "age" and "birth" and "death" like we have, they experience life and death as some continuous, infinite, PRESENT Process, not as some straight line with some start- and endpoint in space and time like we do. You know, Death might be a problem in your mind, but your body doesn't know any such problems at all, because your body does not have any transcendent concept about death. Just ask your liver or your legs or your ass: Do they have any concept about death? No, they haven't and therefore they have no clue about death. But you have, because you are NOT your body, your innermost, immaterial core transcends the body, flesh and bones. Your innermost core is a burning Fire and therefore your body will be burned down and die one day.

You want to attain immortality? Then get rid of your rational mind, get rid of your identification card, get rid of your birthdate, name, adress ect and get rid of your stories and you will attain immortality, but you will lose the painfully (well, sometimes ex- static) burning Light within as well, you will sink down into unconsciousness, exactly like you do every night when you let go of that Light of consciousness and sink deep into deep sleep, forgetting birth, death, adress, name ect, becoming one with the immortal core of Nature. Yes, that Inuit saying is 100% right:

With the Light, Death came into this world.

Death is no final state, but the burning fire within that transcends all names and forms, all flesh and bone. Immortality and mortality are two sides of the same coin, death is just like the horizon illuminated by the Light within. Death is not the enemy of life, but death is life viewed at from a different perspective. Immortality is for free, no need for science, technology, machines ect. Ray Kurzweil has no clue about real immortality, Ray Kurzweil is a dreamer, a little kid who hasn't lived life to it's fullest extend and who hasn't transcended himself and his stories yet. One day real death will knock at his door and death will take Ray Kurzweil by the hand and take away his flesh and bones and then Ray Kurzweil will get a glimpse about real Immortality.