I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it. - Albert Einstein.
Would the immortality of a human be more important than the immortality of a chimpanzee? I’ve never been a natural unbeliever, but the older I get the more some realities seem to strike home. I’m not saying I “know” anything, and once upon a time I fervently believed in immortality. I must be clear here, though, that the immortality I don’t believe in anymore is that my homo sapiens shape and structure will rise in some resurrection or even spiritual form, but that eventually it will completely cease to exist at some future point. Whether there’s some kind of “essence” or consciousness that continues on after death is a question I don’t have the answer for. My parents have been dead 22 and 18 years respectively, but I have no reason to believe they continue to exist because there has never been any type of after death communication. Not the slightest hint, except once in my imagination.
I even looked into EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) but according to the Journal for Scientific Exploration :
"While we did replicate EVP in the weak sense of finding voices on audio tapes, none of the phenomena found in our study was clearly anomalous, let alone attributable to discarnate beings. Hence we have failed to replicate EVP in the strong sense."
On thing that continues to puzzle me, however, is recorded in my earlier blog on a possible reincarnation in the strange case of James Leininger I don’t even know where to begin to find an explanation for this. Even if reincarnation does occur, though, we are not the same person we were in a previous life. And why there would be a need to experience different lives could be a topic of endless speculation, such as the possibility that we are in some sense an evolving consciousness, and learning from each incarnation. This is all metaphysical speculation, and I don’t intend to bat for any particular theory.
What doesn’t make sense to me anymore is the idea that the “I” who I am, will live forever. Like every other living organism it will return to the dust, never to exist again. Since consciousness studies are basically still in infancy and we know next to nothing about it, I guess we have to leave open for other possibilities in that area. I opened with a quote from Einstein, and I think it’s appropriate to end with another one:
We know nothing about [God, the world] at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. Possibly we shall know a little more than we do now, but the real nature of things, that we shall never know, never.
Or as Darwin said, “I feel most deeply that the whole subject is too profound for the human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton.”