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Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Cycle of Life and Death

"Death, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and when death is come, we are not.” 

- Epicurus

I have always considered death as the ultimate calm; a state of perfect serenity; the blackness that covers all the light; an eternal night. But now I have started to think of death as something more. Life and death are the two alternate roles we play. These are not opposites but complementary to each other and feed on each other to survive. Think of someone who has been buried into the ground after dying. They are decomposed by microorganisms and converted to soil. The nutrients from the soil are absorbed by the plant in order to make it grow. In the process the soil itself becomes alive by being a part of a living part of the plant. When the plant is harvested for its fruits, vegetables and grain, a part of the plant dies again. And it soon becomes alive when it is eaten by someone and forms the basis for all our body parts including the brain and the heart.

Death is certainly not the eternal oblivion we make it out to be. It is a transition between lives. A person disintegrates into a billion parts and each part is transferred to a new body. This is how we live forever as parts of a whole. We see this process of dead being resurrected to life everyday around us. In this view, life is death for the dead.

Our DNA contains all the information on how to convert the nutrients into a living organism. Given the advances in cloning, the future in which we will be able to use the algorithm hidden in our genetic code to resurrect someone who has died does not seem far. But since memories form an important part of a person’s identity, we first need more research about how information is stored in the brain so that the person with the same characteristics and identity can be resurrected. This is one of the roads that we can follow to achieve immortality.

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