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Ever since I was a little boy, I've been mad with a burning sense of curiosity for the unknown. Some of the subjects that confused me most were ideas that had not yet been uncovered. Such as, just how large was space? How did Dinosaurs die out?
As I grew up, the questions were never reduced, since they were never answered. Instead, I had even more questions than before. Some of them more deep than when I was a child, such as if different colors were viewed differently by others, as in is what I view as black, what you view as white (But we both call it the same name)? Or could God be scientifically proven, and if he could, what does he look like? Or does have no physical form, is he just the spirit that drives humanity forth, the insivisable spirit that appears in a different form in every existing religion?
All of those questions troubled me a great deal. However, the most important of my ponderings was the question that backed all the other questions: What happens after death? I tried picturing different ideas, such as being reincarnated like in the Buddhist religion or going heaven or hell.
I could never find an answer that satisfied me, so the idea of dying scared me a great deal. So I set my mind in my 5th grade year: When I grew up I would find the secret to immortality.
It was a mad, ungodly quest. I swore I would never be religious, because what I would do what be against every pricinple of every religion.
I started with the basics; finding how the different ways people died, and how to counteract each one. I started with the most natural one: Old age. People age because their hearts grow tired of beating, this much I knew. So in my mind, I formed the idea of a metallic heart that would never stop beating. This is different from artificial hearts existing today, because this was something that you carried with you, you don't have to be connected with a machine because it would be attached in one simple surgery.
And so, it began with the metallic heart I drew for my 6th grade science project (Draw and describe one invention you want to create) I drew a stereotypical heart, colored it red, and attached nails, metal boards, and different blinking lights to make it seem like a hybrid flesh and robot heart. My team teachers were completely befuzzled, even after I explained design to them.
I didn't stop with the heart. After hearing a story on the radio about how every single organ in the human anatomy could be replaced artifically, I went to on design in my mind and draw on paper a plastic liver, and fiber lungs. I replaced every part of the human system with something artificial that was more durable than flesh except for the brain. If I'd had my way, there would be a living, breathing, walking human with sprayed on ultra-hard skin, arms that weere like the replacement robot ones today, but working just as fluently as a normal flesh arm.
Everything could be replced or improvised except for the brain. For I had no idea how it would be possible to design a brain more durable than the one we already had, remove the current one, and attach the replacement without completely disabling the human.
First of all, it would be literally impossible for a human to design a human brain. The limits of how smart a man can be is how far his brain can go. And designing a second brain would just out of those limits, as nothing on earth can perfectly redesign itself (Or at least thats how I thought of it).
Second of all, everything in the body is connected to the brain. Every nerve, every vein, every muscle, can not move or feel pain without sending a signal to the brain. To cut all of those connections and reestablish them is impossible.
And so, ironically, the Human Brain was the dead end for my thoughts of immortality. How long a flesh brain could live is the limit of how long a human could ever possibly live. My 7th grade mind could not find any alternative. As I grew up, all through my school years and into my career, I tried to conquer the obstacle of the Human Mind. Eventually, I got to thinking that the Human Mind was the final stopper that God had set, so that the human life would never we indefinite. It was the last resort to keep nature to preserve its course.
As I write this on my deathbed, daignosed with a fatal case of brain tumor, I think back on how my life was wasted. If I had simply faced death as I do now, instead of fearing it and trying to avoid it, my life would have been so much more productive and would have had meaning.
D.L. Walker, Brain Neurologist. Gender: Male