On Immortality

Who do you think you are?

There is no immortality.

Immortality is impossible.

Everything dies.

Writers who claim to immortality by their body of work?

Two generations tops.

But what if you’re a great writer?

Your work could last hundreds of years.

If you are truly great, a thousand years.

The culling process of time is cruel and relentless.

What about Plato, the Bhagavad Gita, the Tao Te Ching?

They have lasted millennia.

But nothing can be saved forever.

One day the library will burn.

There were great works, immortal works, before these were written.

Mankind has long existed

And long has it thought

And of these thoughts

We know nothing.

They are dead.

But

The ideas renew in us.

Stories are reinvented, retold

Concepts are worked out anew

The same mistakes get made

Over

And over

It is a parent’s pain

To watch a child stumble through life

It is our pain

That each generation must live a war

It is a country’s pain

To bloat, to weaken, to topple

It is a people’s pain

To forget.

In the end the sun will burn us out.

After that the universe will collapse.

And some say

A new universe will be born

And the same mistakes made over again.

 

We will all be forgotten.

We all only have one life.

We can’t even impress who we really are

On our closest friends.

An identity is transient

It changes with each emotion.

How then can a life be remembered?

How can a great work of art

No matter how perfect

No matter how true

No matter how it affects the people

Each person will read into it

What matches their feelings at the time.

One may read the same book

Two, three different times

And feel something different each time.

Nobody knows exactly what you felt when you wrote it.

No one can ever know.

You don’t even know.

Every new thought, your old thought dies.

Every new cell, your old cells die.

You want immortality?

You with the ever changeable identity

Which you deem so important?

You, who are already dead?

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