Our fiction often says there’s a catch to immortality. Having already done everything before, the immortals find their long lives tedious and become unhappy. We expect it to be that way, based on our perspective with one short life. Does it turn out that your people have this problem, or do you find ways to deal with it?


There’s a very old parable that’s included in many of the religions here on Darisa that is relevant to your question.

Possum is a hard worker, as all possums are. They work every day, and toil to feed their children. Ostrich is wealthy and lazy, and eats all they please every day. Ostrich looks down on Possum and their children, kicking dirt on them when they pass in the road.
Possum’s children ask them, “Why does Ostrich eat when we are hungry? We work hard and deserve more!”
Possum looks lovingly to their children and replies “It is good that we are hungry, as it teaches us to appreciate food.”
Days pass, and it is now raining. Possum has no house, while Ostrich lays comfortably on warm bedding beneath a freshly tarred roof. Possum’s children ask them “Why does Ostrich sleep in comfort when we lie in the rain and mud? We could all be warm beneath their large roof, but they keep it to themself!”
Once again, Possum speaks with love to their children, “Ostrich will never know the relief of coming to warmth from cold. We should feel sorry for them.”
Months pass, and the great moon brings terrible tremors in the ground below. Possum is injured, and walks with a limp that will not heal.
Their children ask “Why can you not buy medicine? Ostrich sends for the finest doctors and salves when they get a tiny scratch!”
Possum takes their children into a great embrace and reassures them, “Poor Ostrich can never find strength of will as this lame leg is now giving me. Truly, we are blessed.”
Possum’s children grow, and they heed the words of their parent. Today, the children believe the words. Time passes and today they believe the words more. Time passes, and today, they believe the words so greatly that each prays on them.
They pray to their gods, “Please send us hunger that we may know appreciation. Please send us hardship that we may know relief. Please break our bodies that we may know strength of will.”
Their gods answer these prayers. Possum and their children die. Ostrich does not take notice.

The story makes a number of points. It is arrogant to presume that you must be blessed, and that therefore your experience must be the best of all possible experiences. It is arrogant to presume to know the will of the gods; perhaps they are blessing the unworthy for reasons that are beyond you. The most important moral, however, it this: There is folly in false hope. Find true hope.

You live in a world of unmitigated horror. I understand that this must drive you to incredibly twisted logical ends just to find the strength to face it. But you are like Possum. No matter how hard you work and no matter how worthy you might become, you will never escape this if you look at your wretched position and tell yourself that it is grand. If nothing else, spare your children this madness. If you have to accept that you are doomed yourself, then at least look at the truth of the matter so that the people you care about might have some chance.

Your biology might not allow you to persist, but look for something. Find some technology, some biological manipulation. You are not blessed. You are dying. You are standing broken and hungry in the mud and looking to a well fed and healthy friend, pitying them. Stop. Worry about yourself. They are fine and you need help.

As a technical note, the characters Ostrich and Possum aren’t actually an ostrich or a possum (the “ostrich” doesn’t have a beak, and the “possum” is partially acquatic), but they’re the closest ones that my writer could think of when I described them.

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