Ask anyone what they want to achieve in life and the eventual answer will lead you to one definite truth- “Everyone wants to be remembered”, Well reasons can be different-good or bad- duration can be different long or short- but the fact remains- people have this urge to be remembered and recalled and guess that is what is a hallmark of humanity- nothing wrong or right about this space- the real fun begins with the concept, the contextual relevance and the eventual reality of what “Immortality” really means and how it will in all probability manifest! Join me over the next few minutes in attempt to simplify and add clarity to this ambiguous space! to know and learn why, as humans we are the way we are!
To begin with the concept is as humorous it can be, I mean to be immortal essentially you have to die and the best part is once you are dead, you don’t ever know if you really have achieved what you had set out for while you are alive! Sounds weird right? but well that’s how plain stupid and ironic the whole shit is! But wait, in’st the world full of autobiographies and records of great people who have created or destroyed the world- Well sure it is, but if you dig deeper, you will realise the number of such documents only exploded exponentially since the mid- 1700’s once the ability to print and record became mechanical! Search any medieval time frame of history or even ancient records, you will always find that even the greatest of all civilizations that ever existed and flourished had a limited number of documented recordings (compared to the last 400 years) whether in text- or through inscriptions on the stones or whatever medium was possibly used! What does this tell you? A couple of things, firstly, majority of the people who got recorded in history in greater details- lived at a time when they were too brilliant or simply the finest among the best- either they weer surrounded by real idiots to look smarter or on that rare occasion (the period when science flourished early 18th century) you had a dazzling collection of the finest minds which catapulted the breakthroughs in science and technology almost simultaneously across Europe and the Atlantic! Secondly and most importantly, none of the people who came to be remembered for longer times post their departure, never lived their life pursuing “immortality” , they basically kept things as simple as they could for themselves and went through their lives doing what was best possible and the way they could create an impact with what they had within themselves and around themselves in terms of resources and competence! As they say- once you start acting to the best version of yourself the world aligns itself to serve you and your cause! Whether that is a good one or bad one – contextually differs and let’s leave it at that! So you may want to ask me around now, fine so what?
Well, the problem is that people, in today’s era go about their lives as if they are going to live forever and are so obsessed with the fallacy of creating so called “legacies at work”, “signature statements” and so on and so forth, without realizing that, given the level of complexities of our time, unless you don’t do anything which has a radical, immediate and sustaining value of creation for the greater good of humanity- you will too fade away as just another “death count” in the ocean of humanity! Perhaps you will be lucky enough if you your grand kids remember you, well that will be the maximum that you will earn- as far as your tryst with immortality is concerned! Consider this, each day whether you like of hate it- you will touch some form of plastic, nylon based material- how many of you would know the story about the people behind the invention of this material? We all know about the Wright Brothers and the first powered flight of humanity- how many of us know all the fine engineers and designers who went on to develop and build on those principles to shape the amazing machines that we fly today? Well, don’t panic neither do I know all of them, so even I am as blank as you are- this is exactly the point- you see many of these great people would have spent a major portion of their lives- at times their entire life- creating an amazing machine for humanity or some great technological value that made our lives so comfortable- but in their giving up of their whole life for this cause- what have they got in return? Unless you are some kind of driven by research and bitten by the “Why” bug, you will never want to walk into the library and find for yourself from the dusty books to learn what all transpired in those times, through the journals of science and know the efforts that went into making our lives what they are today! We are just fine with a search string on a search engine and more often then not quite happy with the unfiltered and unverified garbage that it throws at us!
As much as it is true that great inventors, innovator’s and fine people who aided and accelerated discoveries and contributed to make our lives the way they are today, never went after the maddening craze and urge to be remembered forever- by uploading selfies, writing and re-writing books or posting online videos etc– well, you may argue had the technology been there- they would have- well, who knows, may be you are right too! But the focus here is- critically about how they lived their lives- they lived their lives with a finite purpose and focus – and yes- except for those few lucky rich inventors and scientists a majority of them were average wealthy co-creators who were able to strike a balance between their work and personal lives even as they went about creating magic for the centuries ahead! So what is this telling you- Not to forsake your today for a tomorrow, especially when you are not going to be around to relish it! Well, don’t jump the gun and say, I am asking you to be selfish, I am just asking you to be honest and accept the fact that you will not be there forever- so for the time you are there- Learn to create more value and whatever that you want to create in the “now” of your time and not being bothered by anything else! Consider this, you may ace a new way to bake a chocolate cake- you use your today- each day two hours each day for a year to come up with this super wonderfully delicious chocolate cake- now you have two choices- either keep baking and serving people as long as you are alive and then the recipe dies with you or write a book – create a video and let the people relish the goodness of what they end up making for themselves! But if you try to start thinking how people will enjoy the cake over next three hundred years, after you are dead- well than you have a serious mental issue which is no more related to immortality but straight way exhibits hallucinatory streaks! These are the seemingly innocent spaces where, the misplaced understanding of immortality ends up damaging people beyond repair in their present! Want to know what immortality is really about? well read on!
If you see the classical texts of any religions or civilizations, chances are that the oldest, the finest and the most famous one’s have been written, inscribed anywhere between 5000-15000 years BCE and some of them are still revered as texts of great value- so if you now analyse the “content” of what these texts say, well they all in a way try to communicate the essence of way of living for humanity and albeit few of them would have created religious or spiritual pathways through the content created- few would be mere civilization documentations mentioning how they went about their daily lives- and whats was meant, how and why- eitehrways the common and the only thread that is unifying and found across all the continents within these seemingly “immortal” creations is the emphasis on “quality of human life, purpose, direction, way of living and societal construct”. So if you are aiming to be immortal- first and foremost your creation has to be at that caliber-that even after 5000 years from now, that work of your’s must hold good and true and if this initial challenge is not enough, you will need to have a mass followership and a real line of disciples who can continue to propagate the idea/thought in a structured manner on an ongoing basis -adapting the same with their tweaks as times evolves through the course of history!
So having given you this secret, if your business or office work- is not helping you come anywhere close to this what I just mentioned, you and I will be all, but a death count and the fallacy of immortality can rest within the confines of our families!- They too will remember if we have given anything to them of merit and value which they perceive! So if you have been wasting your present for those elusive awards, works of fiction, great business numbers and all that- thinking you will leave a legacy and people will remember you- well sorry to disappoint you- no one would really care enough! because we live in times when managing ourselves by itself has become a task unto itself and you too know it very well deep within! So what to do?
Well get a helpful dose of common-sense and start living your life by creating, co-creating experiences which will effect and lead to some value creation for the people around you and the people that you engage with! Stop hallucinating about the right and the wrong- see the context and measure what best can you deliver against the contextual frame that you operate from! If you frame is small and your delivery is large enough- who knows you may just become lucky and really be qualified enough to become an immortal soul! However like it is often the case, we move about societies wherein the societal frames are too wide and too deep and no matter how much we attempt to create a splash the water seldom causes a ripple beyond a small zone and before anyone even reacts/ reads those ripples your life is all but lost within the great history of humanity forever! Lasting fame which remains for the next century or so will be a huge achievement, if you were to ask me what constitutes to modern day equivalent of immortality! Well, and to share with you another secret, unless you work or associate with something that changes the fundamentals or builds further upon or creates value to them, rest assured all that you do or don’t will not go beyond your grand kids!
Living in the “now” to create lasting value makes more sense and is perhaps the only incremental way to achieve fame (although it may only last for a few generations), without wrecking your mind or the people around by pursuing immortality without any real context! Final words- Immortality is the domain of the fundamentals of human society which pivot on belief’s, religions, philosophies and allied areas- unless you don’t create a lasting disruption within these corridors- lasting immortality will not go beyond your third generation!
I will leave you with my thoughts here and urge you to reflect when you hold your next coffee and look away into the distant horizon, to really understand within yourself -for your own benefit- What is that you are pursuing in your “now”? Fame or Immortality or both? and importantly if you are in the right frame to grow large enough to make that count! Never wreck your today for an unchangeable past or an unknown future, the “now” alone matters and that’s the only thing that each of us has got! What we do with it alone maters!
Ciao for now, will be back soon with another article! Before I forget, thank you for your ongoing support and the mails that come in! Keep writing and do let me know what next you want to read here!