I want to live…

How one goes from this morning’s post on Charlie Brown and Snoopy and being-grateful-for-everything-dancing-and-whooping-it-up in the morning – to this topic in the evening – should give you a sense of my day.  And it should also give you a sense of what I was reading on my train ride home from work.  Yes, I question my own judgment on my forms of stress relief.  Nonetheless, I made a commitment to me that I would post what was on my mind. So, this post is related to the “LIVE” part of “LEAD, LEARN, LIVE.”  LIVE in capital letters.  LIVE Forever.

WTMI* Factoid 1:
I am maniacal on subject of self-help and finding it in self-help books.  (He who needs lots of help, hungrily seeks it out.)

WTMI* Factoid 2:
I’m a MWMC.  (That’s Man-With-Mortality-Complex).  I’m sayin’ like anxiety attacks – cold sweat – darkness. Fear of not waking up.  THE END.

Conversely, there are few (very few) bouts of light on the subject.  The most recent light being tied to a Steve Jobs story.  (See Post Oh Wow, Oh Wow, Oh Wow.)

So, when I saw a pre-release version of Stephen Cave’s new book: Immortality-The Quest To Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization – I thought maybe…just maybe, I tripped into the Holy Grail.

You know the pitch.  Face your fears head on – and only then do you grow.  Or Dorothy Thompson: “Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.”

Well, this is no fear of skydiving, rock climbing, or public speaking.  This is the big one.

I can feel anxiety levels climbing.


Like a Moth to Flame.

HERE WE GO…with a few soft lay-up excerpts from CHAPTER 1 (and I’m sure more to follow in future posts):

“…We, like all living things, are driven to pursue life without end, but also how we, alone of living things, have in the process created spectacular civilizations, with stunning artworks, rich religious traditions and the material and intellectual achievements of science.  All of this we have done in order to defy death.

…All living things seek to perpetuate themselves into the future, but humans seek to perpetuate themselves forever.  This seeking – – this will to immortality – is the foundation of human achievement…”

“…The quest to live forever is the hidden motivator of all we do – the wellspring of religion, the muse of philosophy, the architect of our cities, and the impulse behind the arts.  It is embedded in our very nature, and its result is what we know as civilization.  But underlying this quest, despite, the apparent diversity, are just four basic strategies.  The four paths up the Mount of Immortals are: (1) staying alive (whether through magic or medicine); (2) being resurrected (with help from the divine – or more recently, cryonics); (3) persisting as a soul (either in heaven, in hell, or in reincarnated form on earth); (4) or living on through one’s legacy (such as through genes, art, or fame).”


*WTMI = Way too Much Information

Related Posts:

1) Oh Wow, Oh Wow, Oh Wow

2) 30 Lessons for the Living


  1. big ups on the commitment to self to post where you’re at 😉


  2. I just started really reading ur blog today…a very interesting topic … immortality. I have never thought of any possibility of immortality. Wow is all I can think of right now. Good job at stirring this old brain!


  3. It makes me feel better reading that I’m not the only one with MWMC. Thanks for the post.


  4. “So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
    So long lives this and this gives life to thee.”
    Very interesting topic: Immortality. I do hope there will be future installments to this post. 🙂


  5. LaDona's Music Studio says:

    Deep breath…

    At the risk of bringing up what could potentially be an unwelcome topic (I haven’t read your blog long enough so I really don’t know), it sounds like you’re struggling with what Blaise Pascal called the God-shaped vacuum in the human heart. All the gratefulness for the created is without meaning unless it is also directed towards the Creator.

    And in response to your most recent post – I love the video that came via Francine. And thank YOU, Dave, for all the times you’ve hit that like button on my blog. It makes my day!


    • Thank you LaDona. I haven’t read Pascal. Any suggestions where to start?


      • LaDona's Music Studio says:

        Not off the top of my head. I’ll ask people who I know would know and get back to you.


      • LaDona's Music Studio says:

        So here’s the thing – Pascal is difficult to trudge through. I found a downloadable copy of his Pensees – (“Thoughts”) – http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pascal/pensees.pdf. I haven’t read it and likely won’t, but this is where he has put down all his thoughts and ideas about Christianity. In this case, I’m not sure if your inability to not finish a book is a good thing or not!
        A much easier but really good and deep book is Soul Survivor by Philip Yancey. Completely disillusioned by the church but seeking God he turned to some of the great writers of the past. This I’ve read and would recommend.
        All the best in this. LaDona


  6. You have such a good kind and loving heart. I am praying that you find answers to your fears and are led to the place where you can find peace for your soul. I think you know where that peace can be found. Not with the mind but with the heart.



  7. As I read your post, I too felt mt heart begin to pump harder, my palms got sweatier and I admit to wondering where a xanax was when I need it. The prospect of ‘not being’ has caused panic attacks in me since I was a kid. I’m over the panic attacks, but the reaction in my late middle years is no less profound. I just want to know that my soul lives on and that I’m aware of where I’m going next – is that too much to ask? Thank you Dave – for touching the souls of many. Would that that were enough. 🙂


    • You read my post – “your heart pumps harder.” I read your comment my anxiety soars. OMG. I need to get off this topic quickly and get to work. Thanks for sharing MImi. Touching souls will need to be enough… 🙂


  8. This is a timeless issue.
    I think the author of Ecclesiastes captured it well:
    “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of people; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
    It is an issue we must all come to terms with at some point in our life.

    Keep plugging forward. I enjoy your blog. You have a lot of great material and I like that you are willing to tackle the big issues.


  9. richardkanigan says:

    And then you step off the curb and get hit by the bus while responding to that very important email. Dance like Snoopy and Charlie!


  10. Richard, every breath we ever breathe lives on somewhere, somehow! The more we can feel at one with the universe right now, the more we will be assured of our “foreverness”!


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