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Are Us Mere Mortals Immortal? A scientific life-line reading – by OTA-Berlin blog contributor Jörn Meyer

April 6th, 2012

Defying Death: Sunny picnic in the cemetery/ Photo Jörn Meyer

The 64.000 dollar question of all times: Do we live forever? Forever, ever, forever, ever, Ms. Jackson? I don’t mean to make your daughter cry by posing such a heavy question. No, it is Stephen Cave who looks into the subject of immortality through the eyes of the doctor of philosophy, Cambridge lecturer, British writer and diplomat that he is.

He also is a Berlin resident and friend of a friend, and has just had his book Immortality: The Quest To Live Forever And How It Drives Civilisation launched in the German translation (Unsterblich…, published by S. Fischer Verlag).

I remember the Sunday brunch at Al Hamra (Raumerstr.16) a few years back when he told me about his paperback project. With his hard-to-cover book on the way and his push-chair baby in the way of everyone at the Prenzlauer Berg cafe he was well into his quest. ‘Legacy’ in form of fathering a child or a piece of literature is one of four ways to becoming immortal in his book, after all (albeit a cop-out in mine).

The most legitimate and hardest to fathom one that Stephen states, surely must be reincarnation or resurrection, as perfected by Jesus and believed in by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike – in variations. While best or never aging via pills and brews is another method of dissing the reaper that since the times when we lived in caves has been tried and tested, according to Cave. Plus today or in the future there are biotech and transhumanism, which allow you to either deep-freeze your body or copy your brain onto a hard drive to survive after life.

No matter which path you believe in or opt for, this, for us mere mortals, should be an essential read – one that we might need indeed.

Please also lift your spirits by reading the following article:




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