Would you want to live forever?

I have asked this question to quite a number of people.

But surprisingly few people want to live forever.  And even those who say they would, (like me) hedge the idea by saying “just a long time” or “if I can choose when I die.”  But most people flat out don’t want to live forever.

What I find interesting about this is that most religions are based on the concept of eternal life.  Life forever.  And western religions seem to espouse the fact that you will be you during the eternity, maybe not bodily, but essential you will exist.  Reincarnation doesn’t do that.  It gives you a clean memory and you get a fresh start.  Although, eventually I think you end up in an eternal heaven of some kind.  But not western religions.  You are stuck with yourself – forever.

I always assumed that eternal life was one of the features that drew believers into fold.  But upon consideration, I suppose its probably the blissful eternity that draws people who are currently living in misery.

Still, to me, bliss forever seems less appealing than dealing with the messiness of life here on earth.  Yeah, we struggle in the mire of our weaknesses, but we triumph in the shining moments.  Eternal Bliss is ultimately eternal sameness.  Nothing is different.  Uniformity of everything.  I think… NOT for me.

I think the change is what life is.  I don’t want eternal sameness.  I want the winding road of struggle and triumph.  Of laughter and tears.  Of smooth and rough.  I like the chaos.  I like the complexity.  Bliss is Beige for Ever.

This lifetime’s miseries are not sufficient to appreciate an eternity of bliss. Surely after a couple hundred years we will forget what misery is.  And then its just boredom for billions and billions of years.

No, I would prefer to live a very long life and choose my time for death.  And then it will just be over.  No more me. No more awareness.  No more.

Too bad its not a choice.

5 thoughts on “Would you want to live forever?

  1. You should read Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven by Mark Twain sometime. Twain also found the idea of ‘eternal bliss’, along with the trappings of traditional Christianity of the day (i.e. halos, harps, perpetual singing of praise, etc.) more than a little ridiculous. While not as scathing as some of the remarks he made, especially in the material that wasn’t published until after his death, I suspect he would have shared many of your feelings.


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