I will be continuing the series on leadership started in the previous post, but in the meantime, I wanted to share with you a little conversation on the concept of immortality (an idea popularized in our current day by vampires, Tuck Everlasting, and stories involving Greek gods).
This is a conversation between my main character, Raiballeon, and Lev, a man who is truly immortal (He can’t die and can’t be killed. At all. Period). For background, look at these posts that tell the story of how Lev became immortal, and to understand the things they refer to: Creation; The Pond and the Lake.
The sun goes down, but the sky is still light. Lev and I have sat here for at least a half hour, lost in our own thoughts, not saying anything. I break our silence to ask a question that has been on my mind since I met him.
“What’s it like?” I want to know. “Eternal life? Immortality?”
He gives a short, humorless laugh. “That depends,” is all he says.
I don’t think he’s going to answer my question, so I keep talking. “Life–it stinks. There is so much suffering and…loneliness. I’ve only lived twenty-one years, and sometimes I can’t wait for it to end. But you…I just don’t understand. It seems like the Lake of Living Water carried worse consequences than the Pond of Separation.”
He sighs. “Eternal Live–it was not a curse. When I drank, in Elcedon–then, living forever was the greatest blessing imaginable. Everything was perfect. Every day I was in the presence of Thaies. My family–we were at peace. There was so much love and joy all the time. Eternal Life in Elcedon–that is the greatest gift of all creation.”
“But we aren’t in Elcedon,” I point out the obvious.
“Oh, indeed, no. And immortality in this fallen world is quite the opposite. Living forever with no hope of being at peace with Thaies, forever trying to escape the toil and hardship and chaos and pain of this world but forever failing, stuck here with no escape in death. Immortality in the world since the Pond of Separation is, as you think, a curse. I simply meant to show you that eternal life is not inherently a curse.”
“I’m so sorry for you,” I tell him sincerely.
“Oh, but those are not the only kinds of immortality, my girl,” he says. “True post-Pond immortality is bleak; but at least it has no point of comparison. Pre-Pond immortality is blessed, knowing nothing of this suffering. But you see, there is a third kind: a combination.
“Now, to have known Elcedon, and to now be living forever in this broken world–that, Raiballeon, is the ultimate curse.”
What are your thoughts?