I’ve wanted to write a novel ever since I could read them.
Last year I conceived of what I wanted to write about.
This year I started writing. It’s no where near done. Maybe it never will be.
I thought long and hard about publishing it. Publishing whatever I’d written.
Maybe to get feedback? To get a reaction that would prompt me to keep on writing? Maybe just to get a pat on the back that I’m trying? Maybe even to get someone to tell me they were interested in publishing it for me?
One can dream.
I’ve written five chapters so far. I haven’t written a word in months. I didn’t have it in me as of late.
Below is the prologue to the novel. I’ve decided I’ll start pushing out one chapter every week .
I think I’m really publishing it so I can have a reason to get back to writing.
So here we go…
Man has always searched for the superman. Whether amongst his kind or within himself. Immortality has practically been the trigger behind much of human advancements, particularly in the field of medicine. Many over the centuries may have felt it was a futile attempt, that man’s fate is to die, no matter how long his natural life could be prolonged. Many a philosopher and theologist from all corners of the world dabbled at the topic. Man’s immortality has always been and remains the “ultimate” quest; but why?
If you ask me, I think it’s because man has feared nothing more than the unknown. Our history as a species is a testament to this, you don’t have to go that far to see it. Just examine the past 100 years: Two world wars. Countless proxy wars. The rise and fall of globe-spanning superpowers. The creation of weaponry that could obliterate every atom in our galaxy, let alone our own planet. Man has developed a penchant for fighting his way through the unknown. Man does not like to leave things to chance, we speak of fate or kismet as though they were things truly outside of our grasp, but the truth is that man has been making his own fate long ago.
Why does he want to live forever? What happens after death is unknown to him, so fights it with everything he’s got. Why does he want to live forever? His temporal existence fading away into oblivion, leaving nothing but a name, a lineage, property or reputation, is not a notion that he can fully swallow. Some people, those who have chosen to place their faith in the idea of an all knowing, all powerful, omnipresent entity that has created and consequently rules our world — whether they refer to him as God, Lord, Allah, Krishna, or otherwise — have made peace with their mortality by attributing immortality as a god-like feature. Only one entity could be worthy of forever existing, forever functioning, and forever acting out its will onto others.
These people are proof of how easy it is for man to feed himself lies and believe them just to satiate his doubts. Now we have to give it up to “God” on this one, he knew how to keep his followers and adherents on their best behavior, promising an afterlife of everlasting joy, happiness, perfection and immortality. Quite the bargain for an average of 70 years of devotion for the cause, wouldn’t you say? These people didn’t want to make it much of a choice for others though, now did they? Otherwise, why bother coming up with mythical beasts who had attained immortality at a terrible price? Vampires, Werewolves, and countless others have taken on the weight of being immortal at the cost of being on the wrong side of the fight. They are doomed to be punished when the time comes, forever fighting, forever in struggle against the “devout man”.
All throughout history, those who could not accept their fate sought to find ways to reach their path to immortality. It was dotted all throughout literature, even the religious kind. The Ancient Egyptians had their “Book of the Dead”, which had the powers to bring back those who had passed. The Chinese had “Shangri-La”, whose waters could grant immortality to the drinker. The Europeans had the Elixir of youth. The Vikings believed it was by physically dying in battle that one is immortalized in Valhalla. The Native Americans had their spells. The Zoroastrians had theirs. Everyone, everywhere, all the time, wanted to make it last.
People who live lives where their actions, thoughts and decisions are constantly recurring are those who fear death the most. They try to trick their minds into not thinking about their mortality by approaching their life as though it were ever lasting. They don’t feel compelled to leave behind grand monuments of their existence. They don’t feel compelled to leave a legacy or a mark. Why would they? They shall live forever; or so they convince themselves.
Is man fit for immortality? To answer that, one must first ponder the burdens of immortality and the tasks presented to its sufferer.
Why does he want to live forever?