The Immortals and Time

Christopher G. Moore in CulturMag:

The word “immortals” is entwined in my mind with the Jorge Luis Borges’ story titled The Immortals. The story is an exploration of immortal beings imprisoned in the infinite and seeking to understand their condition. This passage in particular speaks a truth about our ideas of immortality.

“Indoctrinated by a practice of centuries the republic of immortal men had attained the perfection of tolerance and almost that of indifference. They knew that in an infinite period of time, all things happened to all men. Because of his past or future virtues, every man is worthy of all goodness, but also of all perversity because of his infamy in the past or future.”

Over the years I’ve gone back and reread the story. Each reading demonstrated that a different “I” was reading the story than the person who years before had processed the same words. The words had not changed. However, my perception and processing of the words had changed in ways that revealed the separation of that prior self from the current one reading the story. Having again reread The Immortals recently, I’ve collected the thoughts of the contemporary “I” on the subject of immortality.

More here.