Archive for the ‘eternal life’ Category

if I could believe in the immortality business, the world would indeed be too good to be true

January 27, 2014

“Yes, if I could believe in the immortality business, the world would indeed be too good to be true; but…the sods cover us, and the worm that never dies, the conscience, sleeps well at last.” Man “can tell himself this fairy tale of an eternal tea-party; and enjoy the notion…that his friends will yet meet him. But the truth is, we must fight on until we die, and…resumption into—what?”

Robert Louis Stevenson, letter to Edmond Gosse, 1886

Notice his certainty about an state of existence he has no knowledge of. How can he know the ‘conscience sleeps well at last’?

January 5, 2013


A woman came to Oskar Schindler on behalf of her Jewish parents:

My parents are in Plaszow. They say, and I believe it, that coming to Emalia is the same as being given a Lebenskarte—a card of life. I have nothing I can give you; I borrowed clothes to get inside your factory. Will you bring them here for me?

Thomas Keneally, Schindler’s Ark, p.235


December 16, 2010

There was a famous painter who had a son. Father and son often painted together and were each other’s inspiration. When World War I erupted, the son was sent to fight in the war, and was killed. When the father heard of his son’s death, he was distraught, the grief tearing him into a thousand pieces. He became a shell of his former self and spent years limping through life. One day the father heard a knock at the door and opened to find a young soldier standing there who, breaking out in tears said, “Sir, I am the reason your son died.” The father replied, “Well, what do you mean?” The soldier said, “I was in front of a rifleman, and as the gun went off your son threw himself in front of me and died in my place. I am so sorry, but I want you to know that I esteem your son above all things and all people.” He continued, “Look sir, I always wanted to learn to draw, and while we were in the foxholes your son tutored me. I know you’re a famous painter and I’m just beginning to learn, but I painted this picture of your son and he means so much to me that I would really appreciate it if you would take this picture.” The father said, “Of course I will!” So the father took the painting of his son and, despite its crudeness, framed it in the best frame he could find and gave it the centre place in his gallery. A few years later the father died and all the great art dealers of the world came to his house excitedly, hoping to buy from his great collection. The auctioneer said, “The auction shall begin and it shall begin with this piece.” The piece was unveiled, revealing the soldier’s painting of the great painter’s son. Everyone laughed and scoffed, and some even got angry, saying, “Look, we didn’t come across the ocean to have jokes played on us! We didn’t come here to bid on this nonsense! Get this out of the way and let the real auction begin!” But then came a voice from the back; the voice of the young soldier. “Sir, I only have a soldier’s pay, but that painting means more to me than anything upon the face of the earth. That was his son, and he died for me. I’ve only got eight pounds here and a few pence, but I’ll give everything. Don’t throw the painting away, give it to me. I’ll work, I’ll do anything, just please give me the painting.” It was then that the auctioneer struck down the gavel and said, “Sold, for eight pounds!” Everyone sighed with relief and said “Finally, now let’s get on with the auction.” But the auctioneer slammed down the gavel once more and said “This auction is over!” “What! How can it be over?” exclaimed the art dealers. And the auctioneer stood back and said “I shall now read the last will and testament of the father.” He opened the paper and read: “THE ONE WHO TAKES MY SON GETS IT ALL.”

from Puritan fellowship

“And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life [eternal]; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. .” (1 John 5:11-12) Do YOU have the Son?

A card of life

September 5, 2009

They say that coming here is the same as being given a Lebenskarte – a card of life.

The woman Perlman to Oskar Schindler, Schindler’s List, Tom Keneally, p.225

Guilt and the pursuit of eternal life

August 30, 2009

The first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang Di (d.210 B.C.), surrounded his tomb with thousands of terracotta warriors to protect him in death from attacks by the ghosts of the thousands he had had killed during his lifetime. During his life’s search for immortality he employed hundreds of shamans and alchemists to try to find magic mushrooms, elixirs of life and pills of immortality. He sent boatloads of people off into the oceans to try and find the magical islands of Peng Lai where the ingredients for the pill of immortality could be obtained.

Following the advice of one of his advisors, who said he would live forever if he was never seen by his people, Qin Shi built over 70 miles of covered corridors linking his various palaces. He venerated the gods and goddesses of Tai Shan in Shandong, greatest of all the sacred mountains of China – all to no avail.

The historian SI Ma Qian (1st C. B.C.) comments: all the emperors were obsessed with the quest for immortality.