November 9, 2016

bible study imageSubject: Immortality

Cheating mortality seems to be a popular past-time for human beings these days. Death and aging are avoided as if physical immortality is possible.

But isn’t an “immortal mortal” an oxymoron?

Nonetheless, science keeps inventing ways to slow down the aging process and push death to outer limits. New hearts, livers, and kidneys replace old ones. Botox is injected into the body to make the flesh look younger.

But there is more to life and we know this intuitively.

In light of falling birth rates and rising life expectancies, a Pew Research Study gives a peek into what Americans think about extended mortal lives. Here are a few quotes from the study, titled, Living to 120 and beyond: American’s views on aging, medical advances and radical life extensions:

“The U.S. population is rapidly aging. By 2050, according to U.S. Census Bureau projections, one-in-five Americans will be 65 or older, and at least 400,000 will be 100 or older.1

“At this early stage, public reaction to the idea of radical life extension is both ambivalent and skeptical. Asked about the consequences for society if new medical treatments could “slow the aging process and allow the average person to live decades longer, to at least 120 years old,” about half of U.S. adults (51%) say the treatments would be a bad thing for society, while 41% say they would be a good thing.

“Most Americans also foresee other negative implications. About two-thirds agree that ‘longer life expectancies would strain our natural resources’ and that ‘medical scientists would offer the treatment before they fully understood how it affects people’s health.’ And about six-in-ten (58%) say ‘these treatments would be fundamentally unnatural.’

“Opinion is more divided over whether ‘our economy would be more productive because people could work longer;’ 44% agree, while about half (53%) reject this idea.”

By reading the entire Pew report, one can see that people are indeed contemplating the idea of immortality. Either directly or indirectly. Moreover they know the value of infusing ethics and spirituality into the contemplation.

Most of us know that with more older people will come more social and economic problems. Elderly people will need to be sheltered, fed, and clothed.

Fairness is also an issue of concern. Probably only the rich people could afford anti-aging treatments.

Immortality is mentioned a few times in the Bible. Read, I Corinthians 15:53-54 and II Timothy 1:9-10.

The word, immortality, in the Corinthian verses, was assigned to the Greek word, athanasia, meaning deathlessness. In II Timothy, the word immortality was interpreted from the Greek word, aphtharsia, meaning incorruptible, unending existence, genuineness, and sincerity.

Using both Greek words, an expanded definition of immortality releases us from the seduction of physical immortality. We can rather see immortality as linked to spiritual qualities, rather than the constant need to pop pills or get another heart.

We want the death of outgrown and false beliefs and traditions.

Though scientific knowledge is useful, it runs up against its own limitations. It may provide new knees, but it can’t provide new inspirations, new talents, or new forgiveness.

It is our access to spirituality and its immortality that genuinely presents a sense of ongoing goodness, a sense of pure immortality, available to everyone.

American musician and author of award winning comic book series, The Umbrella Academy, Gerard Way, was quoted as saying, “Oh how wrong we were to think immortality meant never dying.”

We learn that resisting death doesn’t promote immortality. Just as death of the mortal body doesn’t affect immortality.

Read Proverbs 12:28

While watching the 2015 film, Age of Adaline, written by J. Mills Goodloe and Salvador Paskowitz, the question of physical immortality versus spiritual immortality is staged.

The movie is about a young woman, Adaline Bowman, born early 1900s. She becomes a wife and mother, however, at the age of 29-years old, she’s in an accident, albeit weird and unrealistic, but the result keeps her at a constant 29-years old, and constantly running away from relationships.

After eight decades, Adaline’s daughter had out-aged her. But the storyline takes us to how Adaline finds out that love never dies.

Directed by Lee Toland Krieger, the starring actors, Blake Lively (portraying Adaline), Michiel Huisman, and Harrison Ford, show the setbacks, snags, and loneliness that comes with ageless human mortals. And the power of immortal love.

Fortunately, Adaline is involved in another accident, again weird and unrealistic, but she comes out of it as able to age. The gist of the story and the good acting, showed relief and an ability to accept mortal death while getting on with life.

The immortality of spiritual life and love was evidenced in this film.

From 21st Century Science and Health

We must be willing to surrender mortal thoughts in order to walk securely on the only practical road to immortality.

You may dream that you see a flower—that you touch and smell it. You learn that the flower is a product of the human mind, a formation of thought rather than of matter. With a greater imagination, you may see landscapes, auras, chakras, men, and women. The images even simulate mind, life, and intelligence. We learn that these are images which human mind embraces, evolves, and manipulates. These lessons of the imagination teach us that the human mind and material particles are not the image or likeness of God and that immortal Mind is not directly or indirectly in anything changeable.

Though the grass seems to wither and the flower to fade, they reappear. Erase the figures which express numbers, silence the tones of music, give the human being called person to the bacteria, and yet the producing, governing divine Principle lives on, in the case of people as truly as in the case of numbers and music. All this is true despite the laws of human mind which define people as mortal. Though the problems resulting from limited perspectives hide the harmony of Science, these problems can’t destroy the divine Principle of Science. In Science, our indestructibility depends on that of God, good, and follows as a necessary consequence of the immortality of good.

We have overwhelming proof that the human mind pretends to control every organ of the mortal body. But, this mind is a myth and must by its own consent yield to Truth. Although the human mind throws its weight around, it is powerless. The immortal divine Mind takes away all the human minds assumed expertise and saves human mind from itself.

I knew a person who when quite a child adopted a whole wheat and vegetarian diet to cure indigestion. For many years, he ate only bread and vegetables and drank nothing but water. His dyspepsia increasing, he decided that his diet should be more rigid. So, he ate only one meal every twenty-four hours, a meal consisting of only a thin slice of bread. His physician recommended that he should not moisten his parched throat until three hours after eating. The person passed many weary years in hunger and weakness, almost in starvation. The skill of the doctors was exhausted and they kindly informed him that death was indeed his only alternative, so he finally made up his mind to die. Then divine Science saved him and perfect health was restored without a reminder of the old complaint.

This person learned that suffering and disease were the self-imposed beliefs of mortals and not the facts of being. He recognized that God never decreed dis-ease—never ordained a law that fasting should be a means of health. Hence semi-starvation is not acceptable to wisdom and it is equally far from Science, in which being is sustained by God, Mind. These truths opened the sufferer’s eyes, relieved his stomach, and he ate without suffering, “giving God thanks.” Though disciplined by self-denial and divine Science, he never enjoyed his food as he imagined he would back in the day when he was constantly hungry.

This new-born understanding that neither food nor the stomach, without the consent of human mind, can make us suffer, brings with it another lesson, that self-indulgence, gluttony, or bulimia, are sensual illusions and can’t give satisfaction. These phantasms disappear as we better understand our spiritual existence and walk the line of a balanced life.

Expanded mindsets can see immortal goodness.

When understanding modifies the standpoints of life and intelligence from a material to a spiritual basis, we gain the reality of Life. Spirituality allows us to experience the control of Soul over temporal sense and perceive Truth in its divine Principle. This must be the climax before our harmony and immortality is felt and our capabilities revealed.

Progress comes from experience. Humanity is improved as the mortal is dropped for the immortal.

 

 

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