If you think about the plight of Christopher Reeve, you can see one reason why you will one day be so happy to discard your body.
The story of Christopher Reeve is very simple. He fell off a horse and broke his neck. In the process he became a quadriplegic. This account describes his situation:
These days, he often doesn't wake until the alarm goes off at eight, and then it's straight into his morning routine: he takes a bucketful of vitamins, and then his nurse and a helper flex his legs and arms for at least an hour, keeping them supple and helping to stop them leaping about in uncontrollable spasms. They tape electrodes to his limbs and stimulate his muscles for another hour - he tries to eat breakfast at the same time - and then they wash and dress him and lift him into his wheelchair, strapping his arms down to the arm-rests and adjusting the padded support which cradles his head and neck. They connect a pipe to his throat and hook it up to a ventilator, and they attach a valve that collects his urine in a tube concealed in his right trouser-leg. By this point, it's usually getting on for noon. [ref]
Now, imagine yourself in that same predicament. If you fell one day and found yourself trapped helplessly in a quadriplegic state, would you discard your body if you had a chance? Of course you would. To be trapped like that is a hopeless situation. If your body is useless, why not get rid of it?
Death of body, death of mind
If you think about it a bit more, you will realize something even more important. Reeve's body died at the age of 52, just 9 years after the accident that paralyzed him. Although his brain was fine, his incapacitated body was so damaged that it could not hang on.
In other words, Reeve's brain was murdered by his body.
There are millions of people who face this same type of trap every day. Their bodies fail, and their imprisoned-yet-completely-functional brains die because of it. Their bodies are wracked by cancer and other deadly diseases, and there is nothing they can do. Despite the fact that their brains are completely normal and in perfect health, their brains needlessly die when their bodies fail.
This is tragic. Each time a human brain dies, we lose an incredible wealth of memories, experiences and relationships. Each human brain contains an immense expanse of knowledge and information. Losing all of that knowledge because of something silly like a horseback riding accident is absurd.
The death of Oprah
At that moment, Oprah is COMPLETELY gone. All of her talent, all of her memories, all of her experiences and loving relationships evaporate. Millions of people will mourn her passing. All because her brain is trapped inside a human body.
You could die tomorrow just as easily. Your body could be crushed in a car accident. It could accidentally fall down a flight of stairs. It could be shot by a stray or intentional bullet. It could slip into a swimming pool or pond and drown. It could be struck by lightning. It could be trapped in a burning building. It could be poisoned either accidentally or intentionally. It could have a heart attack or an aneurism. It could be blown up by a suicide bomber.... The list is nearly endless. Thousands of human bodies die every day in accidents like these. In each case, their brains die needlessly. That is the trap that your biological body creates for your brain. Your biological body is remarkably fragile, and when it dies your brain dies with it.
There are other traps that your body creates for your brain. One of those traps involves the appearance of your body...
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The Teenager's Guide
© Copyright 2005 by Marshall Brain. All rights reserved.