How close are we to immortality?
According to Raymond Kurtzweil, our life spans will increase by more than a year every year around 2030. His reasoning is exponential increase in technology, including biological control.
But is aging really a biological function or is it a mental one?
There is a big difference in bringing a dead body back to life and actually returning the consciousness from death. There is a typical sci-fi story where cryogenically frozen people are encountered in the distant future and easily revived. Sometimes the whole person comes back, sometimes it’s a shadow personality, and sometimes it’s a monster.
The monster is always a result of scientific arrogance.
So we have to know that we’re dealing with more than just a body. How do we go about retrieving the consciousness?
A Practical Application of Carl Jung’s Account of Life After Death
What is it like to be resurrected?
Something between scientific and spiritual is recounted by Carl Jung. Jung’s personal experience of death and return to life is described in Memories, Dreams, Reflections. Here’s an abbreviated version of the main points:
At the beginning of 1944 I broke my foot, and this misadventure was followed by a heart attack….
I hung on the edge of death… It seemed to me I was up high in space. Far below lay Ceylon, in the distance ahead of me India. Far away a broad expanse—the reddish-yellow desert of Arabia…
Something new entered my field of vision. A dark block of stones about the size of my house. As I approached the steps leading to the entrance into the rock, I had the feeling that everything I aimed at or wished for or thought, fell away—an extremely painful process.
Something else engaged my attention. As I approached the temple I would at last understand what historical nexus my life fitted into. My life as I lived it had often seemed like a story that has no beginning and no end. Why had it taken this course? Why had I brought these assumptions with me? What had I made of them? What will follow? I felt sure I would receive and answer to all these questions as soon as I entered.
Something caught my attention. From below, from the direction of Europe, an image floated up. It was my doctor, Dr. H—or his likeness, framed by a golden chain or a golden laurel wreath.
Dr. H had been delegated by the earth to deliver a message to me, to tell me that there was a pretest against my going away. I had no right to leave the earth and must return. The moment I heard that, the vision ceases…
In the book Stingers, Austrian Tyrol and three child prodigies hijack a space shuttle to the international space center, where Austrian is shot and killed. The kids escape, and reason that they might need to keep his body, so they stow it in a capsule and put in in orbit around the earth.
Six months later, Austrian’s body is retrieved and Dr. Diana St. Sommers is given the task of resurrecting him. The story uses Jung’s first person account as its model:
Diana reached forward, placed her hands on either side of Austrian’s head, and thought the Saint Sommers Formulas. She made no sound but quickly, a vibration could be felt through each object in the room. The water in the tank began to stir and small fountains sprung into the air. Then Diana saw the path, and was swept into the void.
Her mind was blue. There was blue light. That dominated for a time, then she saw the green, and to her left and right, red. Red deserts. Her notion that she was somehow above Earth quickly changed. Before her stood a doorway. It was a hexagon. The entrance to a honeycomb.
As she stepped over the entrance, she was aware that a long stinger protruded from the entrance. The stinger was a translucent red, slightly curved at the end like a claw. It was a deadly stinger. If she touched it, it would kill her. Not just kill her life, but the source of her life. It was an extension of a great suffering.
The stinger was Austrian.
She felt drawn into the warm glow of the honeycomb. Inside was the universe of her thoughts. A full immersion into what she had only scratched the surface of in life, in her meager attempts to realize the Saint Sommers Formulas.
It was a feeling of bliss, then ecstasy. She could never return. This was too ultimate and whatever she had left behind was insignificant and fleeting. Life was like waking from a dream you try to remember, but the more you think about it, the further it slips from your grasp.
Diana moved closer to the honeycomb, carefully avoiding the stinger. The golden light touched her and great spirals of sparkling light began to swirl around her being.
Diana was melding into contemplation when suddenly another presence was felt. From below, from the image of the cavern below came an image, floating framed in gold.
The image was of Theodora Devereaux.
It was not malevolence so much as a warning. Theodora had been delegated by the living consciousness to make Diana aware of a great protest against her going away. She had no right to leave earth and must return.
The moment Diana heard that message, the image of the honeycomb was gone. She was being ripped away, violently pulled back. In that savage and brutal field of energy, Diana held one image in mind and held it tightly within her. The image of the stinger.
Diana opened her eyes and gasped. She was back in the chamber, standing with Austrian’s head in her hands. She suddenly let go.
Austrian’s body began to lean to one side but Jordan Bliss roughly caught him and jerked him back up.
Austrian opened his mouth. He croaked a small sound. Then he saw Penny and Danny. “Mom? Dad?” he said in a weak rasp. Austrian looked around, looked at the pool he was sitting in.
Diana spoke. “Austrian, do you know what is happening?”
“Yes,” Austrian answered. “How long have I been dead?”