what if i told you you could live forever.
and there was no magic, or scientific, cure. it was just willpower. think about it and live. unendingly. only there was no going back. you want to live, you live forever.
what would you say to that? would you want it? try it? and then fall into despair at your mistake?
it’s a moot point anyway, is what you would really say. anything that lives must eventually die so this conversation is over.
the turritopsis dohrnii is a jellyfish that lives indefinitely. hence its other name: the immortal jellyfish. its secret, in the simplest of terms, is to revert back to its sexually immature state. it does this again… and again… and again. forever.
death is no longer a certainty; not to all things living. but, more importantly, the preservation of a juvenile state isn’t, either.
this isn’t about the beauty of youth. this is about the conservation of wonder. of always wanting to know more, because what we have isn’t enough. of looking at things with bright eyes because sights are always unseen, and are therefore always the source of awe. the preservation of youth isn’t important because it means living forever. it’s the continuation of a life lived in constant amazement.
the immortal jellyfish got it right, and not because they have the key to immortality. not exactly. what they have is the undying youth. unending immaturity. if humans were given such a feat they’d remain in a state of awe for the duration of their immortal lives.
when we’re young we know everything. when we grow old, we remember nothing. the world tosses its soils unto mankind as time passes, peeling our knowledge from us bit by bit until we are left only with certainty and no truth.
i’d rather be uncertain and knowledgeable than certain and ignorant.