I’m crawling out of my holiday reading chair to pose an existential question. I am re-reading Norwegian writer Jostein Gaarder‘s book Maya for the umpteenth time. This book is one of my all time favourites and my edition happens to be small and convenient to bring to the park or the beach.
There is an interesting passage where John, a publisher from Croydon, England asks Frank (the main character) the hypothetical question that if Frank lights his lighter, he will be able to live forever, under the condition that it can never be reversed. Frank lights the lighter without much hesitation and there follows a philosophical discussion about life that makes this book so wonderful.
Every time I read this passage, I wonder what I would have done, and I am not so sure I would light the lighter. I often feel there is so much to do and so little time to do it. On the other hand though, I do think there is a reason we die, beyond the physical that our organs would not cope to live forever. My hesitation is if my brain or consciousness (soul if you want to call it that) would coop living forever. Just imagine how psychologically tired you would be.
What would you do? Would you light the lighter?