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Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization

Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization (New)

by Cave, Stephen

Publisher: Random House

Binding: Hardcover with dust jacket

Book ID: 9780307884916, 0307884910

$25.00

Usually available in 3-5 days

Description

A fascinating work of popular philosophy and history that both enlightens and entertains, Stephen Cave's Immortality investigates whether it just might be possible to live forever and whether we should want to. But it also makes a powerful argument, which is that it's our very "preoccupation "with defying mortality that drives civilization.

Central to this book is the metaphor of a mountaintop where one can find the Immortals. Since the dawn of humanity, everyone - whether they know it or not - has been trying to climb that mountain. But there are only four paths up its treacherous slope, and there have only "ever "been four paths. Throughout history, people have wagered everything on their choice of the correct path, and fought wars against those who've chosen differently. While Immortality takes the reader on an eye-opening journey from the beginnings of civilization to the present day, the structure is not chronological. Rather it is path driven. As each path is revealed to us, an historical figure serves as our guide.

In drawing back the curtain on what compels humans to "keep on keeping on," Cave engages the reader in a number of mind-bending thought experiments. He teases out the implications of each immortality gambit, asking, for example, how long a person would live if they "did "manage to acquire a perfectly disease-free body. Or what would happen if a super-being tried to round up the atomic constituents of all who've died in order to resurrect them. Or what our loved ones would really be doing in heaven if it "does "exist. Or what part of us actually "lives" in a work of art, and how long that work of art can survive.

Toward the the book's end, we're confronted with a series of brain-rattling questions: What would happen if tomorrow humanity discovered that there is no life but this one? Would people continue to care about their favorite sports team, please their boss, vie for the title of "Year's Best Salesman"? Would three-hundred-year projects still get started? If the four paths up the Mount of the Immortals lead nowhere -- if there is no getting up to the summit -- is there "still" reason to live? And can civilization survive?

Immortality is a deeply satisfying book, as optimistic about the human condition as it is insightful about the true arc of history.

LIBER SPIRITUUM: A Compendium of Writings on Angels and Other Spirits in Modern Magick LIBER SPIRITUUM: A Compendium of Writings on Angels and Other Spirits in Modern Magick
Forrest, Adam (ed)
Azoth Press

Book is limited to 500 hand numbered hardcover copies printed in two colors and bound in faux leather silk-touch cloth, 252 pages, Foil stamp on both the front and back boards with a full color frontispiece by acclaimed artist Caniglia and sewn in satin bookmark.

About the book:

For Liber Spirituum: A Compendium of Writings on Angels and Other Spirits in Modern Magick, Azoth Press has assembled a group of nine of the foremost writers in the field of ceremonial magick, representi...
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Price: $59.00

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Clemens, Raymond
Yale University Press

Many call the fifteenth-century codex, commonly known as the Voynich Manuscript, the world s most mysterious book. Written in an unknown script by an unknown author, the manuscript has no clearer purpose now than when it was rediscovered in 1912 by rare books dealer Wilfrid Voynich. The manuscript appears and disappears throughout history, from the library of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II to a secret sale of books in 1903 by the Society of Jesus in Rome. The book s language has eluded deciphe...
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Price: $50.00

The Luminous Stone: Lucifer in Western Esotericism (Western Esotericism in Context) The Luminous Stone: Lucifer in Western Esotericism (Western Esotericism in Context)
Schulke, Daniel A. (ed)
Three Hands Press

Limited to 800 copies

The Arcanum of the 'fallen angel' Lucifer evokes such concepts as heresy, rebellion, pride, liberation from the bonds of demiurgic oppression, and impetus for human evolution. Meaning 'light bearer', Lucifer has, from his earliest origins, been hailed by religious and artistic countercultures as a patron saint of enlightenment -- the essential quality embodying overthrow of ignorance and the inspired process of revelation. Allied to ancient Gnostic cosmological concepti...
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Gaiman, Neil
W.W. Norton & Co. Inc.

Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales.

In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin's son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki--son of a giant--blood brother to Odin and a trick...
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Price: $25.95

The Accidental Shaman: Journeys with Plant Teachers and Other Spirit Allies The Accidental Shaman: Journeys with Plant Teachers and Other Spirit Allies
Charing, Howard G
Inner Traditions / Bear & Company

After surviving a serious elevator crash in London, Howard G. Charing found he had developed healing touch as well as the ability to hear voices and experience visions--just as a healer in Italy had predicted only a week before the accident. He began using his abilities to heal but felt he needed more guidance and training. He first connected with a national spiritual healing organization, only to be told he was doing everything wrong. Then, through a friend, he discovered shamanism.

Sharin...
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Price: $16.95