Posted: Fri, June 06, 2014 | By: Indefinite Life Extension
by Chong Yi Ng
My grandfather passed away when I was 10. Even though I was already 10, I never really understood the concept of death. As a kid, my relatives just said it was something like ‘falling asleep’. But when I was facing my grandfather’s coffin, my parents told me that my grandfather, who was obviously lying in front of me, has moved on to a place called heaven. A wonderful place he can rest in. Bullshit. My grandfather’s body, his decaying brain, are all in that coffin. Consciousness is a result of neuron arrangement and interaction in the cerebral cortex; once his brain stopped functioning, he ceased to exist. Everything he has ever experienced disappears, replaced by a never ending void. Nothingness. That’s the most logical and likely hypothesis to what comes after death. That, is all that is left for my grandpa, who had spent the past few years suffering from stroke and leukemia. Not Heaven; something made up by humans to comfort themselves. That is just… sick. Maybe it was from gaming, or just a misconception I held since young; but it seemed so unthinkable to me that life ends. It was natural for me all along that life goes on indefinitely. I am not supposed to Die. It’s unreasonable. It’s just so perverse to have everything taken away from you.
These thoughts were left to sink in the next few years, and they haunt me every day.
At first I wanted to be a doctor, so I could treat illnesses, save lives. But then I soon realize that even that is futile, for what a doctor can do is limited, and every patient still eventually dies.
It was only until a few years ago, when my senior mentioned Turritopsis dohrnii; the immortal jellyfish, that I gained hope. If a mere jellyfish can do it, surely we can engineer the human body to. Of course, it’s not as easy as that, but I think that biological immortality can be achieved by humans. I want to be an immortalist, simply because Death is wrong. Or rather, Death is UNACCEPTABLE. It is something cruel we need to eliminate.
I don’t want to die. Dying means having my brain erode to nothingness, and have everything I experienced erased. Dying means eternal, absolute nothingness, where everything disappears because my perspective ceased to exist. It makes everything pointless, as my universe will cease to exist to me when I cease to exist. It’s deeply frightening not being able to think anymore, it’s unacceptable that everything I have will cease to exist. This cruel, meaningless cycle of illness and death we see around us everyday should not exist.
I want to live to see the day we build a utopian society, a real heaven, a place like elven cities in fiction, where people have all the time in the world to invent and create, where we are no longer bound by petty greed and motivations. I want to live through countless lifetimes, as a movie director, an architect, a physicist, a pilot, a mathematician, a farmer, a pop star, an engineer. I want life to be an endless pursuit of fun and beauty. I want to live, I want to invent and create for all of eternity.