Click for audio: The Quest for Immortality
Many metaphysical teachings suggest that the body need not be subject to the laws of time, space, and gravity, that there’s really no reason for the body to age, get ill, and perish. Some have even taught that we should be able to so align our consciousness with the regenerative properties of God, that we could live in the body forever.
Most who have sought the brass ring of perpetual youth – physical immortality – have taken a less philosophical approach. All one had to do was bathe in the proper healing waters, no consciousness-lifting required. In Jesus’ day, this was the pool of Bethesda. If you were first to make it to the pool after the angel’s disturbed the waters, you would be healed of your malady. And we’ve all heard of Spanish explorer, Ponce de Leon’s quest for the fountain of youth.
It’s estimated that by 2019, the global anti-aging market will be worth an astounding, $191.7 billion U.S. dollars. Beginning in 2012, pro-immortality political parties have organized in Russia, the United States, Israel, and the Netherlands whose aim is to provide political support to research and technologies focused on anti-aging and what they call, radical life extension.
All of this points to the obsession with the body-based self-image. The quest for physical immortality reveals a deep-seated fear that the loss of the body is equal to the annihilation of the soul, our true essence and identity. This fear is reinforced by modern science’s assumption that consciousness is a product of the brain. When the brain dies, so do we.
Because it is easier to identify with the body and its endless needs, we can easily lose sight of the truth that we, as spiritual beings, are by nature immortal. When Paul suggested that we will not all experience the sting of death, I believe he was referring to those who know who and what they are at the deepest level. Near-death research reveals that one of the most common elements of those who have had an NDE is the complete loss of the fear of death. This is because they have experienced the soul and found it to be immortal.
Our quest for immortality amounts to nothing more than a perceptual shift. We are not the body. The body is the physical interface we use to interact with the world. That which we are, the soul, is in this world, but as Jesus said, we’re not of it. We are expressions of the eternal Source of life we call God.
2 thoughts on “The Quest for Immortality”
I have thought a lot about the immortality of my soul lately. Knowing that none of us can conceive of “not being,” this seems to support the idea that we cannot die. It is the thought of leaving behind the body and all that I experienced that is hard for me to imagine. For me it will no longer exist, and when I take on a new body, “I” will be someone else!
Some believe that we have memories of past experiences, or feelings that we have known a place or person before. I can’t say this has ever happened to me, but once during an audition for a college play, after quieting my mind for a few seconds, I was suddenly able to read my speech with the emotion and voice projection of an experienced actress. When I finished, no one said a word for several seconds, and I was astonished. (I didn’t get that part–didn’t really want it, but worked on the play as part of the crew.)
So I am not afraid of “dying”–I just hope it is not too uncomfortable when the body stops functioning.
Based on the hundreds of NDE cases I have read, we have nothing to fear about leaving our body, and the life we have lived, behind. Most say they have never felt so alive and at home, and have expressed a great deal of trepidation about returning to their body, which seemed cramped and imprisoning.
The body-centered identity is not who we are, and trying to reconcile who we are from the basis of this identity (self-image) is like trying to understand the world from an armchair. But each person must work through all this in their own way, and in their own time. Love is a fundamental of this universe, and love will always be wherever we are, and in whatever way we express. Our current life was once a speculative endeavor. And here we are!