Limited lifetime or Eternal lifetime, which would you go for? This is always a very good debate to really gauge on how we are looking at our life and how should we take action with our very own belief system.
The Learning Points
How would be an eternal life be?
This is an interesting imagination work that we can do. An eternal life, none of us would need to worry about one thing "natural death". Unless we get diseases or accident, we need not worry about ageing. I remembered well about a movie called "IN TIME" featuring Justin Timberlake where they are living in a world where people do not age after 25. Then, people will need to earn their living through work and earn "time" to keep them alive. For the rich, they literally have centuries to spend. While for the poor, they are struggling with hours and even minutes to survive.
Imagine we are all at the rich side of the graph and no one is poor. What will we be doing? All the important position in the society or businesses will be permanently or eternally owned by the guy who founded the company. No one will want to take the risk as they can live eternally, just stay safe at home and live peacefully. Without the risk, there is no innovation and changes happening in the world. And without changes, society is in a stagnant situation. That would even affect childbirth where there may be overpopulation and there will be no more babies allowed.
Being in such a world, I do not think that there is an incentive for us to pursue this direction. Similar to how Dracula tales were told that eternal life is a curse and not a blessing. There is a price to pay whereby we need to see people whom we loved pass away and there is nothing that we can hold dear of as time will eventually age them off.
Being able to live eternally is against the thermodynamics second law that states: The second law of thermodynamics requires that, in general, the total entropy of any system can't decrease other than by increasing the entropy of some other system. In other words, when we gain in age, another part of the system which in this case our physical body would be decreased in the entropy (losing functionality and efficiency). Thus, it is impossible to achieve a biological eternal life. Yet, we are looking at possibilities of "uploading" our conscious onto the web and that would elevate us into another whole new being.
Value of Restriction
Limited lifetime has given us a restriction in many ways. The biggest part is that we all will have a limited time to do whatever we would like to do in our lifetime. Majority of us are given a fair amount of time to play around. Another form of restrictions can be like wealth, resources, knowledge and physical health. All of these in one way restricted our accessibility to a "comfort life". Again, back to the previous argument that if we were to achieve eternal life, we will not need to worry about all these restrictions as we have time that would eventually get us enough wealth, resources, knowledge and health. With that life, we will lose the purpose of being a human being, the sense of urgency and the urge to create valuable things to pass down for our new generation.
Hence, the value of restriction has been always a motivation for humans to work hard in the present, create better value solutions to remove the restriction for the future generation. Of course, we would not be able to achieve total restriction removal as there will be always new restrictions coming at us. Again, that is how we will cherish our life and this is how we can appreciate love.
A place called comfort
In our limited lifetime, we may feel tired and lost when we are fighting through the restrictions to obtain breakthrough. There will be a need for us to set a state of mind where it reflects "comfort" to us. It is where we can slow down, have security, and recharge. Without "comfort spot" in life, it is hard for us to continue and eventually, we will hit a breaking point that would cause us to have bad and dark thoughts.
Such a place can be formed by different elements like people, specific geographical location, specific buildings or even a state of mind (like meditation). Thus, it is important for us to build this place and have some time off in this zone before we are off to the ever-changing world to continue break through the restriction and make the best of our life.
Like what is mentioned in my previous note, being alive has been a blessing for all of us. However, Buddhism had categorized being alive is kind of like being destined to suffer. Life is full of suffering rather than enjoyment as all the temptation and desire we have is just a temporary thing. When we are obsessed to chase all these temptations, we become greedy and lose our comfort ground. To me, I would say that having the desire is good in one way that we are building something for ourselves and really get to experience what the world has to offer with our limited resources. With the knowledge of knowing that at one point in my life, all of the power, fame, wealth would mean nothing but only legacy matters.
Yet, when we put our legacy into a much macro view like 100 years. What we created can be very minuscule in such scale as time will eventually erode the memories. An achievement like how Confucius had or like Albert Einstein, leaving back a concept or a breakthrough, that would be something that can stretch through time. Still, it is vulnerable to become obsolete as it may not be relevant to the present or future time anymore.
Thus, to me, it is about building a legacy that can impact people's lives in our lifetime. Plus a point to take in which is not expecting any reward by doing with a free open heart. By then, we are really free from all of the restriction and really take life as an enjoyment than suffering.
Being able to discuss and think about this topic lead me to understand more about what I should be doing now and in the future. I should be held accountable for what I do and how I spend the resources that were given to me when I was born. It is interesting to see myself from time to time, wasting away the time by not doing something beneficial to my future self. Sometimes, I even do something destructive and stupid. Thus, with the understanding of restriction, I should be more aware and proactive in building the comfort space and legacy for myself. In the end, is all about life satisfaction and I do not want my old self to be ended with regret. And that is the reason why I should be aware of this and take action now.
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