Page Number: 228

Two For One

January 16th, 2008

PAGE FOOTNOTES:  Many a romantic story has envisioned one partner giving up their life for another. But what if the sacrifice was not so tidy, so complete? What if one had to lose bits of oneself, even large swathes of oneself, of one's very identity and memory, for the sake of a beloved, and yet live on?

Actually, I don't think it is such a big deal, in a way. In any relationship we always must give up some of ourselves to make space for another, and in our human lives, we constantly lose memories, bits of ourselves, to time and age whatever we do. We already sacrifice ourselves in tiny bits in many ways. It is the nature of life, and of love.

It might be different, though, to a person inhabiting a machine body. To have an immortal body with perfect memory and instant access to information would be truly a treasure. Giving up information, memory, the web which underlies identity might be a much greater loss.

Losing something you are doomed to lose anyway is not nearly as horrible as losing something you could actually keep forever if you chose.

We, certainly, shall never know this kind of suffering, because in the real world, there is nothing that we cannot lose utterly. Everything will be taken from us, in the end, sooner, or later. As individuals, we have no hope, and we have no future.

But, what if there was a being who did?

I wonder if such beings would find it harder to give things up, and if, when they did, it would matter even more?


By Jennifer Diane Reitz

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