Immortality


Immortality

Immortality (or eternal life) is the concept of living in physical or spiritual form for an infinite length of time. [(cf Concise Oxford Dictionary]

As immortality is the negation of mortality—not dying or not being subject to death—it has been a subject of fascination to mankind since at least the beginning of history. The "Epic of Gilgamesh", one of the first literary works, dating back at least to the 22nd century BCE, is primarily a quest of a hero seeking to become immortal.]

According to the book of Enoch, the righteous and wicked await the resurrection in separate divisions of sheol, a teaching which may have influenced Jesus' parable of Lazarus and Dives. ["New Bible Dictionary" 3rd edition, IVP Leicester 1996. "Sheol".] Christians believe that every person that believes in Christ will be resurrected; Bible passages are interpreted as teaching that the resurrected body will, like the present body, be both physical (but a renewed and non-decaying physical body) and spiritual.

Specific imagery of resurrection into immortal form is found in the Pauline letters:

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. —

Physical immortality has also been imagined as a form of eternal torment, as in Mary Shelley's short story "The Mortal Immortal", the protagonist of which witnesses everyone he cares about dying around him. Jorge Luis Borges explored the idea that life gets its meaning from death in the short story "'The Immortal"; an entire society having achieved immortality, they found time becoming infinite, and so found no motivation for any action.

Desirablity of immortality

Many religions promise their faithful an eternal paradise in an afterlife. These presume perfection, as they are part of a divine plan, and are categorically desirable.

Physical immortality is considered desirable over its counterpart, death, which to date has been inevitable for all human beings. This presumes tolerable living conditions as an incentive for perpetual life, as the prevalence of suicide demonstrates.

ymbols

There are numerous symbols representing immortality. Pictured here is an Egyptian symbol of life that holds connotations of immortality when depicted in the hands of the and pharaohs who were seen as having control over the journey of life, the ankh (left). The Möbius strip in the shape of a trefoil knot is another symbol of immortality. Most symbolic representations of infinity or the life cycle are often used to represent immortality depending on the context they are placed in. Other examples include the Ouroboros, the Chinese [http://www.threeemperors.org.uk/index.php?pid=24 fungus of longevity] , the "ten" kanji, the phoenix, and the colors amaranth (in Western culture) and peach (in Chinese culture).

Fiction

Immortal beings and species abound in fiction, especially fantasy fiction.

ee also

*List of life extension-related topics
* Actuarial escape velocity
* Amaranth
* Ambrosia
* Amrita
* Bioethics
* Biogerontology
* Chiranjeevin
* Alex Chiu
* Consciousness
* Crown of Immortality

* Cryonics
* Elixir of life
* Eternal youth
* Holy grail
* Immortal DNA strand hypothesis
* Immortalist Society
* Immortality Institute
* Immortality test
* Indefinite lifespan

* Infinity
* Internal alchemy
* Henrietta Lacks
* Lich
* Life extension
* List of immortal people
* Longevity
* Methuselah Mouse Prize
* Molecular nanotechnology
* Omega Point (Tipler)

* Organlegging
* Posthuman
* Queen Mother of the West
* Real death
* Rejuvenation (aging)
* Simulated reality
* Suspended animation
* Technological singularity
* Nikola Tesla
* Xian (Taoism)

References

Further reading

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External links

cientific and engineering prospects for immortality

* [http://www.methuselahfoundation.com/ The Methuselah Foundation] Aubrey de Grey's non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for aging
* [http://www.kurzweilai.net/ KurzweilAI.net] Ray Kurzweil resource site
* [http://immortalityonline.org/ Immortality Online] News feeds on immortality and human life extension
* [http://pimm.wordpress.com Pimm - Partial immortalization] Blog of Tulane research scientist Attila Chordash
* [http://www.biologicalgerontology.com BiologicalGerontology.com] Chris Smelick's Biogerontology site
* [http://www.vitaeinstitute.org/ Vitae Institute] Chris Smelick's non-profit organization
* [http://www.imminst.org/ Immortality Institute] Scientific and sociological discussions, activism, research

Religious and spiritual prospects for immortality

* [http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/cgi-local/DHI/dhi.cgi?id=dv1-76 "Death and Immortality"] "Dictionary of the History of Ideas", etext at the University of Virginia Library
* " [http://www.wlsessays.net/authors/V/VogelImmortality/VogelImmortality.PDF The Immortality of the Soul and the Resurrection of the Body] " Lecture by Heinrich J. Vogel
* [http://www.wlsessays.net/authors/M/MeyerEternity/MeyerEternity.PDF "Eternity: Christ’s Return, Chiliasm, Resurrection of the Dead, Judgment, Hell, Luther on Eternity, Heaven"] J. P. Meyer, "The Northwestern Lutheran", August 22, 1954, Vol. 41, # 17 to April 14, 1957, Vol. 44, #8
* [http://christianity.com/Christian%20Foundations/Becoming%20a%20Christian/11528905/ "How you Can Have Eternal Life"] Jack Graham, PowerPoint Ministries, Christianity.com
* [http://www.gotquestions.org/eternal-life.html Got Eternal Life?] Got Questions Ministries
* [http://www.personaltao.com/tao/immortality.pdf Immortality] Taoist essay, personaltao.com

In literature

* Mary Shelley's " [http://wondersmith.com/scifi/mortal.htm The Mortal Immortal] "


Time Topics


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  • Immortality — • By immortality is ordinarily understood the doctrine that the human soul will survive death, continuing in the possession of an endless conscious existence Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Immortality     Immortality …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Immortality — «Immortality» Sencillo de Pearl Jam del álbum Vitalogy Lado B Rearviewmirror (Interpretada por The Frogs) Formato CD, casete, Vinil Grabación Marzo a Abril de 1994 en los estudios …   Wikipedia Español

  • Immortality — Im mor*tal i*ty, n.; pl. {Immortalities}. [L. immortalitas: cf. F. immortalit[ e].] 1. The quality or state of being immortal; exemption from death and annihilation; unending existance; as, the immortality of the soul. [1913 Webster] This mortal… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • immortality —    Immortality is the property of not being subject to death. Traditionally, Christian philosophers have not hesitated to attribute this property to God. Nevertheless, there is a problem with so doing: Christians believe that Jesus was divine and …   Christian Philosophy

  • immortality — [n1] endless life athanasia, deathlessness, endurance, eternal life, eternity, everlasting life, perpetuity, timelessness; concepts 539,798 immortality [n2] enduring fame celebrity, fame, famousness, glorification, glory, greatness, lasting fame …   New thesaurus

  • immortality — I (deathlessness) noun athanasy, canonization, commemoration, continuity, deathlessness, endless life, endlessness, eternal continuance, eternity, everlastingness, imperishability, indestructibility, infinity, perpetuation, perpetuity, undying… …   Law dictionary

  • immortality — (n.) mid 14c., deathlessness, from O.Fr. immortalité (13c.) and directly from L. immortalitatem (nom. immortalitas) deathlessness, endless life, from immortalis (see IMMORTAL (Cf. immortal)). Sense of everlasting fame is from 1530s …   Etymology dictionary

  • immortality — /im awr tal i tee/, n. 1. immortal condition or quality; unending life. 2. enduring fame. [1300 50; ME immortalite < L immortalitas. See IMMORTAL, ITY] * * * ▪ philosophy and religion       in philosophy and religion, the continuity of human… …   Universalium

  • immortality — The condition of being exempt from death or destruction, of living for ever. Personal immortality entails that after our death (as identified by others) we ourselves shall enjoy experiences, possibly after an interval, and shall live another life …   Philosophy dictionary

  • immortality — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ personal (technical) ▪ Some religions include a doctrine of personal immortality. ▪ baseball, cinematic, literary, sporting (BrE), etc. ( …   Collocations dictionary


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