Marks and Remarks
Food for the Mind and Eye

No. 0087, August 4, 2015


The Immortal "I"

Copyright 2015 by S. W. Paul Wyszkowski

     "Oh-oh," says Prickles. What? "The dreaded mandala," she says, "this means a metaphysical treatise, right?" Quite right. We're going to consider the horror of immortality. "You mean the intolerable boredom of endless life?" she guesses. Worse. Much. "Now you got me interested," she says. Then consider this:

     The one thing that is necessarily truly immortal - because existence is impossible without it - is consciousness. According to "Elements of Existence" (a famous investigation into the nature of existence by an eminent metaphysician) the universe is a creation of consciousness. In the case of a complex organism, such as you and I, consciousness is "contained" in the shell of our mortal persona. Once that shell disintegrates, consciousness - the universal "I" - is released to continue to experience/create the world in all its infinite variety, albeit fragmented among countless "personas": from quarks and electrons, through stars and planets to bacteria, worms, lizards, apes and self-conscious beings of every kind. All that boundless experience lies in our immortal "I's" future. Horrifying, isn't it?

     "Not at all," says Prickles, cool as a cucumber. "Don't forget you can experience the world from only one point of view at a time. So you don't have to fear having all the world's experience dumped on you all at once." True but still, there are some points of view I'd rather not experience at all. "Well then." she says, "I would suggest doing whatever you can to eliminate those points of view from the world." She has a point.

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