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Excerpt from What We Leave Behind

Immortality (p. 107)

From chapter "Plastic"

I have seen the results of this culture’s quest for immortality, and these results are not pretty. We have achieved a sort of immortality, and its name is plastic.

This quest for immortality is wrong, not only because life requires death, not only because we must be eaten just as we eat, not only because it manifests wrong thinking and wrong being in the world, and not only because it is killing the planet, but also because it stems from a fundamental confusion about what will continue. Like all toxic mimics, it takes a truth and distorts or perverts it.In this case it confuses the continuation of the living landbase with our own personal (and cultural) continuation.

Maybe, I think, it would help if we would drop our narcissism, drop our precious pretense that everything is here for us and that we are the point or even the star of this heartbreakingly and stunningly beautiful show— and somehow transfer our allegiance back to our natural communities, transform our longing to them, transfer our desire for continuation to them and to the ever-surprising processes of life itself.

The point is not to freeze ourselves or anyone else in time, like so many insects stuck in so many clear plastic paperweights, but to fall into the heartbreaking and joyful processes of living.