Life isn’t a struggle for survival. It’s the struggle against decay. Our body and brain are constantly fighting against degradation when we sleep, eat, go to toilet or solve global problems. We don’t explicitly feel this struggle. However, if this struggle ends, so does our life.
Once we learn about this struggle we have a choice either to start consciously helping our body and brain in their resistance against decay or to keep doing nothing about it and just staying engaged in customary activities in spite of the fact that such indifference brings our death closer.
Conscious support of our body and brain in their struggle for survival is not about wellness or mindfulness. It is a nontrivial job because for doing it we need first to know what is life. Genius scientists, Erwin Schrodinger and Karl Friston gave their answer to this question in scientific terms: negative entropy or minimization of free energy. To my simplistic understanding they both speak about the creation of knowledge because the creation of knowledge from the potential not yet existing information dissipated across the environment is the only way to counter the entropy that is destroying knowledge and dissipating information striving to reach the absolute informational zero as its ultimate destination. Knowledge materialises into food and shelter. Without knowing what threat is how can we avoid it?
The above are the simplest examples. If you look around now, you will see that life everywhere from micro level to macro level and at every given moment of its existence uses information and knowledge to maintain and to reproduce itself.
We inherit and obtain a lot of knowledge from other people, ancestors, parents, teachers and peers. Such recyclable knowledge plays pivotal roles in our reproduction, metabolism, social and economic life. However the recyclable knowledge doesn’t play the same role in the resistance of entropy as the created knowledge does because only knowledge derived from the information dissipated by entropy across the environment resists decay to the maximum entropy or absolute informational zero. Recyclable knowledge can only slow down the decay but can’t revert it as can only the process of knowledge creation do.
Without the creation of knowledge as a source of energy of life, these processes will be terminated as surely, as coals in a fire will be extinguished, if one stops throwing more branches of wood into it. The process of extinction can be long and, even, in some way beautiful. But this vector leads inevitably to only one final destination where only dust and ashes remain.
Therefore, when I say, following the ridiculous cardboard heroes of my graphomaniacal novel, that immortality is a state of the soul, and not of the body, I mean precisely this, the immortal soul tirelessly throws the branches of knowledge into the fire of life, so that it never fades. This is another vector that allows us to feel ourselves immortal for any period of time, from a moment to eternity.
It happens, a man comes to the fire, made for him by his ancestors, and sits down to get warm near it as if nothing has to be done. The firewood burns out. Coals cool. And he freezes to death. Someone throws just a couple of twigs and falls asleep by the fire. Another draggs a hefty pack of firewood but only once. Anyway, the firewood burns out. He stands and curses the flame of life: why are you so gluttonous?
But there are people who regularly leave the light and heat of the fire and go into the cold darkness of the forest, and bring more firewood, then more and more. Their fire continues to burn brightly in the night, when neighboring lights have died out for a long time. So it turns out that immortality is the soul’s work, not a gift of fate or high technologies.
By the way, immortality can’t be obtained collectively. This is a purely personal choice of everyone. Immortals, however, often unite because walking together in a dark forest is not so frightening as doing it alone. Three or four together can break off a bigger branch, and there is someone to give a helping hand if you falls into a pit in the dark.
But each immortal has her or his own fire. And when the immortals gather together to shed stories and utter the meaning of life, then they make a sea of lights, but not one giant fire, which heats only those who made the way closer, although the wood was collected by all.
Such a thing is immortality. If immortal souls want to make immortal bodies, then today all technologies for this already exist. Therefore, the book is full of them. But if so many people manage to starve their souls to death by not feeding them with knowledge even before their body dies physically, then what kind of life in an immortal body can they be talking about? Only the life of walking dead. Then who may envy them? I had an acquaintance who said that he did not need immortality. I used to think that this was a cheap posturing, but now I doubted: what if he just had a dead soul already then?
The heart of our brain, a seahorse of the hippocampus, impartially and independently of our will records the history of our lives on the tables of autobiographical memory. Only as long as we create knowledge that is worthy to be inscribed in this story, it will continue. Who is interested in writing a book, where each next page does not differ from the previous one? Reading such book also has no meaning. God becomes bored and he turns away.
Now the spoiler: During summer holidays I’ve re-edited two of my first books about immortals written in 2016 and combined them into one 500-page volume called The Immortals 2.0. A Beginners Guide to Practical Immortality. The name is chosen with a simple play of words: the immortals with the definite article means gods of Olympus, not any abstract immortals. Immortals, after all, are all-powerful, if you think about it, because they have an eternity at their disposal to realize any, even the most incredible dream.
The book is a mix of cyberpunk, hardcore science fiction, erotic romanticism and many more genres. I do not know how much of the above thoughts are really present in the book, but they came to my mind when I was reading the texts that I had almost forgotten. forgotten. Judge for yourself. The book is available at amazon.com in print and kindle.
The book can be also downloaded in ePub format absolutely free of charge at the new online store that my daughters are launching. You just need to go through this link, add the book to the basket and enter the promotional code ‘test’ in the basket. The price will be reset to zero and the download link will come to you by mail after the checkout is completed. The offer is valid for the first 50 people.