It is said that the thirst for immortality drives civilization. The desire for it lies at the heart of some of history's greatest achievements. Immortality is the focus of the earliest known work of literature, The Epic of Gilgamesh, written some 4000 years ago, while today's scientists are hard at work on the task of extending human life beyond its current natural limits. The quest to live forever continues.
But why do we want to live forever? And is immortality even possible? It seems easy to imagine it (at least at first!), but after considering the idea a little more carefully, problems become obvious. Boredom, loneliness, and the effects (or ravages) of time on the body and the mind might all take their toll as the ages pass.
These subjective problems, together with the more objective question of how a body might live forever, are all considered in this audiobook. Though short, it is a survey that explores mythology, philosophy, anthropology, religious ideas, and futurist speculations in an attempt to understand the true meaning of immortality and whether or not we have reason to hope for (or dread) it.
If you could sum up Waiting in Joyful Hope in three words, what would they be?
A Mind-boggling Load! Newland does a masterful job of introducing and explaining Man's effort to understand his existence and place in the unfolding cosmos.
What did you like best about this story?
Excellent detail and explanation, as well as a balanced, logical approach to the philosophical questions: Why am I? Why do I exist? Will I continue to exist?
Which character – as performed by Sean Schroeder – was your favorite?
There are no characters per se, just the author's logical thought process as he illustrates the evolution of Man's identity and place in the world.
What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?
the Indian philosophy of reincarnation and its conflict with latest views about quantum physics.
Any additional comments?
This could easily be a very well written doctoral thesis and, as such, may find a limited audience. It is a difficult subject to get your mind around, specifically as it conflicts with Man's eternal hope that we matter on an eternity scale.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I greatly enjoyed this book and the wide ranging sources drawn upon to discuss immortality. The only comment that I would make is that there should be a longer pause at chapter end and where the next one begins. I listen in my car and like to pause upon getting to the end of a section. It is tough to do this quickly while driving. The narrator is great clearly enunciating every word.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful