2018-05-08 02:10:15 UTC
Immortality - one view from Arthur C. Clarke.
From page 81 in "Against the Fall of Night"
There is another thread ("YASID - looking for immortality")
going on. This is not an answer to that search, but
is is one different treatment from Clarke.
It seems to me connected:
A boy is born in a big, stagnant city. He yearns to travel
and explores out, and finds a suburban vibrant village.
He explores some, then wants to return home.
"You know one of the reasons for the isolation of our two races.
The fear of Invaders, that dark shadow in the depths of every human mind
turn your people against the world and made them lose themselves
in their own dreams. Here in Lys that fear has never been so great,
although we bore the burden of the attack. We had better reason
for our actions and what we did, we did with open eyes.
"Long ago Alvin men sought immortality and at last achieved it
they forgot their the world which had banished death must also
banishe birth. The power to extend his life indefinitely
brought contentment to the individual but stagnation to the race.
You once told me that you were the only child to be born in Daspir
for 7000 years but you have seen how many children we have here in
Airlee. Ages ago we sacrificed our immortality but Daispar still
follows a false dream that is why our ways parted and why they
must never meet again."
Although the words had been more than half expected the blow
seemed none-the-less for its anticipation. Yet Alven refused to
admit the failure of all his plans - half formed though they were -
and only part of his brain was listening to Serenis now. He
understood and noted her words but the conscious portion of his mind
was retracing the road to Diaspar trying to imagine every obstacle
that could be placed in his way. Sarantis was clearly unhappy her
voice was almost pleading as it spoke and Alvin knew that she was
talking not only to him but to her own son. Theon was watching
his mother with a concern which held at least more than a trace of
"We have no desire to keep you here in Lys against your will but
you must surely realize what it would mean if our people mixed
between our culture and yours is a gulf as great as any that ever
separated Earth from it's ancient colonies. Think of this one fact
Alvin, you and Theon are now of nearly the same age, but he and I
will have been dead for centuries when you are still a boy.
The room was very quiet.'