The Raw form of immortality

Maybe you rubbed a lamp and got a genie out of it. 3 wishes you say.

“Genie, I make my first wish! I wish… for IMMORTALITY”.

How will you verify that you’ve got the “ideal” scenario as per what you wanted?

I think there’s several forms of immortality. But I have difficulty in believing the logic of an “immortality serum” or “I wish for immortality!” or suchlike. Let me explain what I mean. I think the easiest way to define it would be though the ‘level of comfort’ each form of immortality offers.

The most fundamental, if you will, is one that permits you to live forever. So I guess survival through the memory of others is one way to do this; create an event so awesome that you’re remembered forever.

The next kind perhaps is one that allows the brain to survive forever. Let’s call this Scenario #1. Presumably this would some limitations: Aging will continue, so past maybe the 80s you’d be a decrepit walking corpse suffering from the troubles of aging – endlessly, until consumed by disease or physical damage. Perhaps even after this the brain would continue to function – so being buried would mean you’re stuck in a dark box forever, or being burned would mean you actually feel the burning & pain as your brain is destroyed by the fire… I.e. possibility of a post-death suffering scenario.

Painful & distasteful. I agree. But this is likely the most primitive and most basic form of immortality possible (if at all it is possible).

The next – more comfortable form – Scenario #2 – is likely one that prevents aging. Of course disease and accidents can still cause death (in which case the post-death suffering scenario can still happen). Also you won’t get to choose your body’s effective age; if you consume the immortality thing at age 80 your body would remain 80 for as long as you live.

An even more comfortable form – Scenario #3 – of this would preventing aging and include immense regenerative ability. That is – injuries would heal rapidly, and infinite protection from virus, cancer, auto-immune disorders or other life threatening diseases and conditions would be granted. This is the one they speak of in works of fiction like Highlander of course.

Now… Imagine you’re given a vial of clear fluid and told “This is an immortality serum. Drink it and be immortal!”. What would you do?

Or to be more specific – how do you verify the claim of immortality granted by the serum? Would you take the risk of (for example) killing yourself to verify if it works? What if you end up in scenario #1 – stuck at the bridge between life and death until every neuron rots away?

On the flip side, if you choose not to undertake the “risky self-assessment” – and instead have a test subject imbibe the substance for you, how many years will you wait before you’re “sure”? And in that case if you wait till age 80 (and are convinced when your test subject does not age or die) – will you then quaff the pretentious potion yourself and risk a Scenario #2? You know – the one where you remain the same age as when you drank the serum.

What would YOU wish for. And if you did chance upon the desire to live forever, what would you do when you find your loved ones dying around you – and then 100+ years in the future start seeing your kids, grandkids, etc fading away before your very eyes.

Sucks to live forever, don’t it.

A Dharmic Discussion

I was discussing about the 4 classes defined in the Hindu dhrama as traditionally followed. My friend was under the impression that the Brahmins are priests, Kshatriyas were kings, Vaishyas were merchants and Shudras were lowly servants.

In my mind, this is a drastic oversimplification-to-the-point-of-stupidity. In fact the whole meaning of Hindu heritage is lost if this is the foolishness being taught / spread by the so-called modern ‘educated’ common man.

Now here’s the truth as I understand it. Naturally this may not agree with your perception… That’s fine, it’s my thoughts alone.

Brahmins are fundamentally the intellectuals. As we know today, this includes doctors, teachers, philosophers, theologians – keepers and givers of specialist knowledge. Quite clearly these are the most respected group of people in today’s world irrespective of religion.

Kshatriyas are fundamentally the politicians. I don’t mean the corrupt bucket of greed that we see around – a real Kshatriya would be expected to govern a vast land, manage and maintain a protection/expedition force (army), prepare advisories for the common people in the matters of economy and so on. Heck even today the President is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces in most countries!!! It’s exactly the SAME, again irrespective of religion!!

Vaishyas are fundamentally the managers, innovators, entrepreneurs. YES, ancient India had a special class called “entrepreneurs” – and they used to create, manage and operate businesses. They had a good sense for numbers and could create trades around currency or commodities (today: forex, stock exchange, commodity exchanges), in addition to creating organizational structures for each vertical, marketing the products, warehousing and supply chain management – and they did this at an ASIA-WIDE level (they travelled as far Arabia to the west and China to the east – the northern scope of the travels remains somewhat a mystery). You get these across all religions as well! No surprise there.

Shudras are the working class, the salaried class. The nearest equivalent word in modern Hindi is “Naukar” and this classification includes anyone who works for a salary (i.e. they have a ‘Job’ or a ‘Naukri’). The concept is similar to the concept of the Salary man. The usual difference is that the job undertaken used to be passed on from generation to generation… Some scum even undertook slavery – but this is an abnormality that I believe detracts from the core concept.

Possibly, in today’s world, we have possibly more freedom to transition between these categories. However it may not surprise you to know that 70-80% of people (across religions) take up salaried jobs. And even historically, the Shudras were the largest category – simply because they were the salaried class as we have today.

Naturally the all went to the Brahmins to learn core skills. The Kshatriya wanted to learn literature, martial arts/self defence, psychology, and management. Vaishyas wished to learn mathematics & statistics – and possibly transport management methods. Shudras wished to gain knowledge that would help them progress in their specific job – whatever the job was assigned by their reporting manager.

Likewise everyone visited the Kshatriya for his guidance on regional governance or political clout (i.e. ‘connections’) assistance. For example a Vaishya starting a new trade route. Shudras requested job opportunities in governance roles. And the Brahmin asked for methods to both gather & disemminate knowledge (eg. ‘temples of learning’ – that we know today as schools)

A Vaishya was the quintessential trader – he would help the Brahmin find the best rates to build their local temple, assist the Kshatriya in getting (for example) quality manufactured goods, and transportation for it. The Shudra would provide the manpower – transportation, wares display, moving material to/from the warehouse – for example. Naturally everyone would buy food / clothing from a Vaishya somewhere….

A Shudra had the most important job of all – they were the staff key to any business, or venture – and Vaishyas always had a never-ending need for good staff. Everyone genuinely needed their help as guides & interpreters, huntsmen & farmers, builders & artisans. Yes, a Vaishya would get the contract – but the actual carving / construction was done by his staff. Kshatriyas and Brahmins alike needed staff for various things – from fetching milk (handyman/gofer) to taking care of the elderly (nurses/caretakers).

So I say – nothing has changed. Everyone whether they realize it or not fall into these categories by their own choice.

I agree that a lot of bad stuff happened – some merchants got greedy and exploited their staff, some corrupt politicians robbed the people of quality governance, and some corrupt educators denied people their right to education. Ego, vanity, greed, and all the other vices as we know them today…. Sadly they have corrupted our knowledge of a fairly well-structured economic model.

As you can also plainly see, the distinctions are entirely self-made, and go beyond the concept of religion, race or anything else – they exist even today across the world, and there’s not a single thing we humans do that cannot be classified as per this way-of-life.