Thursday, 31 January 2008

Parable of the Eternal Prisoner

prison
A devout Christian was about to die, and when the moment came, Death stood in front of the devout and said: "You have two options. The first is the one I would advise you to take, you will cease to exist. The second one is eternal life but I warn you to take this risk. Choose well!"

The devout had been very obedient and always had believed that afterlife would be the proper reward, and he said: "I take eternal life."

"Are you sure?" Death asked. "You can take it back now, but not later. Choose well."

The devout stuck with his decision, his body was burnt to ashes, and his mind survived, was transformed to an altered state. To his very surprise, he was transformed to multiple realities in an infinite number of parallel worlds.

In one of these, the devout was lost in six dimensions of superspace and two dimensions of supertime, looking at billions of galaxies, watching them come and go. The very first second of supertime was a shock for him. And, as you might suspect, a second in supertime never ends, being the same as billions of years. He felt like a prisoner, condemned forever, not even seeing a single stanchion that he could have grasped.

In another one, the devout has been sitting on a cloud, winged, playing harp. In this world, time went by, he invented a million tunes and played them over and over again until he realized that every prisoner on good old earth had a better life than he had and that execution would be a relief. But there was no such relief. The terrible but not deadly boredom went on, and on, and on.

In a third parallel world, the devout served as a guardian angel on earth until mankind was extinct sixty thousand years later, then he was deployed to guard Klingonians from evil but failed pathetically, so eternal shame came over him.

To sum up the rest of the parallel worlds, in all of these the devout ended up feeling like a prisoner in a horrible, painful, awful state that never ended. He never would have imagined that eternal life could be so terrible, and he cursed himself for having taken this decision.

Then, again, Death stood in front of the devout.

"Kill me, kill me, please, forever", whined the devout.

"Oh, sorry", said Death, "it is only a time duplication. This will be fixed and never happen again." And away he was.

Back to here and now: Is there anyone who will miss the second option when his last hour has come? For my part, I guess we all should be happy that there is no such option because many of us would be lured into a horrible false decision.

Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/tremeglan/377414293/

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