Methuselah's Daughter

Musings of an immortal being

Friday, May 30

Joe Bowers asks a very reasonable question in the comments to my previous entry:

I happened across your post; you have some interesting tales. Have you "ran across" others of your kind?

The short answer is “no”.

I need to clarify a number of issues:

My early life is a mystery to me as I came to consciousness in the lodge of Gtochk after having been taken as loot in a raid on a band of wanderers. Many had chided Gtochk for carrying away an obviously dead girl, no matter how comely, but I recovered from the terrible head wound and became his prized possession. That is the beginning for me, and most of that itself is lost to the mists of ignorance. I had no inkling of my nature for several hundred years. This might seem absurd, but I was not terribly intelligent then and I seemed to have a natural talent for relocation every fifteen or twenty years. Perhaps an innate understanding that to remain in any one location for too long would be ill advised?

Enough on that.

When I realized that I remained as others withered and passed, that my life spanned the rise and fall of Kings and Empires, I assumed I was some sort of lesser god. Mythologies are rife with the offspring of the dalliances between the Gods and mortals- it was not an unreasonable deduction. I became an acolyte and minor priestess to more than one odd deity before I came to understand that whatever validity (or lack thereof) might adhere to any cult, none of them had anything to do with me.

Most of my life I spent in bondage of one kind or another- I seem to have a knack for catching the fancy of powerful men. I can read others in a way that those who know of my nature swear is nearly telepathic. In reality it is just a manifestation of millennia of experience in dealing with mankind. I am terrible at prognostication in regards to those I have never met, but let me speak with you in person for ten minutes and I can predict you with relative ease. It is simply experience; there is nothing mystical or supernatural about it. It serves me well and I leverage it for my own comfort, and lately to build my own wealth.

I began to actively seek evidence of others such as myself some sixteen centuries ago. I have encountered more than one trail of evidence, but never anything that gave me any realistic hope. In a way, it makes perfect sense. Immortality is a dead end for any species. It brings the evolutionary engine to a halt. I am sterile (trust me on this) therefore if my condition is due to mutation the genetic defect is absolutely detrimental- no reproduction, no benefit of genetic replication.

So, that constitutes the long answer. I suspect I am alone. Perhaps this very unusual activity of mine, placing my thoughts and words in a forum for all to see is merely a final attempt to settle the very question Joe raised: am I alone?

Friday, May 23

I am not a terribly spiritual individual and I suspect that is a natural consequence of my unnatural condition. After reading some of the more methodical and non-proselytizing descriptions of atheism I find myself forced to admit that I am not an atheist, either. It is not that I believe in a God or assorted gods which hold supernatural sway over the events, debacles and progress of humanity, rather it is that from my perspective mankind does indeed seem to be moving towards something and that in itself begs the questions: towards what, and why?

Those two questions never cease to fascinate me. From a purely Darwinian perspective I suppose one could argue that the seeming progression of the species is simply a factor of homo sapiens sapiens which led it to become the dominant large land mammal on the planet. Indeed, Occam’s Razor would seem to demand such a conclusion as it very neatly obviates the need for any further consideration of the topic. Mankind moves forward because moving forward makes mankind what it is. Simple, neat and understandable.

Yet still…

I have seen good and evil in Man. I have seen peasants stand and fight and die in the face of impossible odds. I have seen warriors leave the field of battle on a whim. I have seen the innocent triumph and I have seen them slaughtered without thought or cause or care. I have seen the religious lift the dumb and pitiful from the depths of despair and I have had the religious condemn the pious to the sword. I have seen the face of evil upon the land, crushing the hopes of generations only to fall in the end to the inevitable march of human progress. In short, I have seen torturous manifestations of this thing people have created which we call civilization and overall the trend is towards the better.

This does not mean that I suffer under the delusion that the entire world is now at a better place than earlier in history, nor do I suppose that things are perfect, nor do I presume to claim that Western Civilization is the best course to follow, though I might be tempted to wager on the last assuming I could find another who would be around in half a millennia to settle the bet.

So, how does this lead me astray from a purely mechanist view of the world? It is simply that I feel that the past lingers with humanity far more than as a mere collection of facts. Race memory? I would hesitate to call it such. Perhaps I am foolish enough to believe in something such as the soul, or perhaps something even more metaphysical. Can an entire species share a common “soul”?

I do not spend sleepless hours in such consideration, but when I do turn my thoughts in this direction I always end the same way: questions, and no answers.

Wednesday, May 21

It seems that I may yet have both the time and the inclination to begin posting again