What people understood by word ‘immortality’
Years ago, I wrote a school paper on what people understood by the word immortality.
I spoke to religious people and those involved with philosophy and psychology. I spoke to scientists, artists and people in trade and government.
Devotional people often spoke of the soul as a vehicle to a place of subtle matter. This state was achieved by obedience to certain texts and dogmas, and through submission to the revealed will of a primary creator.
Philosophers and psychologists spoke of a soul-like essence, but either did or did not name it soul. They spoke of self, mind, consciousness or psyche as potentially everlasting. Their path included knowledge, mindfulness, virtue and reason.
Scientists were the most interesting. Those who were not skeptical confused me with thoughts about the heightening of one’s frequency; purifying, brightening and intensifying the light of one’s being, or the evolution of consciousness. Others spoke of new technologies, scientific methods, medicines and the creation of life itself.
That reminded me of something I read in an Eastern Scripture: When man discovers the secret of life, the world will end. But why?
Artists, tradesmen and statesmen seemed to be satisfied to be known after their death by lots of anonymous people. They believed that philanthropic activities, great art or an unusual reputation would preserve their names historically. Yet, to be remembered for a short period of time is not immortality.
Immortality requires a “persistent personality with continuous memory.”