I woke up this morning thinking about death.
Not my own, don’t worry. I’m fine.
These thoughts originally arose because of a coming plot twist in my webserial. But no matter. That’s not what I’m talking about here.
I woke up thinking about how good death is.
Let’s say we invent immortality tomorrow (which, I’ve been led to understand, we may be in danger of doing). At some point, we’d all get bored — no new ideas, no new movements, no new generations, just the same old people living and living and living and living. Might take 10,000 years. Or 100,000 years. But eventually we’d want to die. I try not to take my philosophical talking points from pulp fiction, but I can’t help but think of Robert E. Howard’s immortal race of sorcerers, each of whom, one day, wakes up and decides it’s time to throw himself off a cliff. And nobody is surprised. That’s no good.
In the above I’m assuming, by the way, that we stop reproducing when we become immortal. I hope we do! Otherwise, though we’ll have new generations and new ideas, we’ll also fill up the planet, the solar system, the galaxy, and the universe in fairly short (for an immortal’s definition of “short”) order: deathless couple gives birth to deathless children who do the same in turn, and so do their children, and so on. That’s no good.
Or maybe we ration out immortality, give it only to a few — I guess using money, the way we manage all other scarce resources, as the gateway to godhood. That’s no good.
What do we mean by “immortal” anyway? Do we really mean that each and every one of us would be around for the heat death of the universe, floating in what’s left of space, gasping for air that doesn’t exist (though we can’t die), all billion billion billion of us and our immortal spawn, spiraling down the drain of the final black hole, where, by the way, we will continue not to die? No. That’s no good, either.
Death is good.