The Gilgamesh Project
The Gilgamesh myth is about King Gilgamesh of Uruk, who could defeat anyone in battle. One day, Gilgamesh best friend, Enkidu, died. Gilgamesh sat by the body and observed it for many days, until he saw a worm dropping out of his friend´s nostril. At that moment Gilgamesh was gripped by a terrible horror, and he resolved that he himself, would never die. He would somehow find a way to defeat death. Gilgamesh then undertook a journey to the end of the universe, killing lions, battling scorpion-men and finding his way into the underworld.
There he shattered the mysterious stone “things” of Urshanabi, the ferryman of the river of the dead and found Utnapishtim, the last survivor of the primordial flood. Yet Gilgamesh failed in his quest. He returned home empty-handed or -minded, as mortal as ever, but with one new piece of wisdom after all. When the gods created man, Gilgamesh had learned, that they set death as man´s inevitable destiny, and man must learn to live with it.
So of all mankind´s ostensibly insoluble problems, one has remained the most vexing, interesting and important: the problem of death itself.
Before the late modern era, most religions and ideologies took it for granted that death was our inevitable fate. It was a meaning of life. Religions taught people and still do that they must come to terms with death and pin their hopes on the afterlife, rather than seek to overcome death and live forever here on Earth. The best minds were busy giving meaning to death, not trying to escape it.
Today the leading project of The Scientific Revolution is to give humankind eternal life….at least for the people that can affort it. For men of science, death is not an inevitable destiny, but merely a technical problem. People die not because the gods decreed it, but due to various technical failures – a heart attack, cancer, an infection. And every technical has a technical solution.
Today we are developing new medicines, revolutionary treatments and artificial organs that will lengthen our lives and might one day vanquish the Grim Reaper himself.
How long will the Gilgamesh Project – the quest for immortality – take to complete? Genetic engineers have recently managed to double the average life expectancy of Caenorhabditis elegans worms. Could they do the same for Homo Sapiens? Nanotechnology experts are developing a bionic immune system composed of millions of nano-robots, who would inhabit our bodies, open blocked blood vessels, fight virusses and bacteria, eliminate cancerous cells and even reverse ageing processes.
Perhaps soon we will become A-Mortal, not immortal, because we can still die of accidents.
This will bring a whole new dimension to Earth and to Homo Sapiens. Today one of our biggest challenges is overcrowding. The “Gilgamesh Project” will only make it worse…
I will leave this physical life when I am ready. I hope that day I will be ready for it. I see a purpose in it. I think my spirit will live on somewhere and I will meet all the friends and family members that has lived too. I will live on in all the remaining people on Earth that has been close to me. It is my mission to leave all the best in their minds, so that they can bring it on to the future generations. I do only believe in immortality in the good spirit.
Thank you for the inspiration Yuval Noah Harari.
Love, Health And Wisdom