The fear of death, curiosity or the feeling that we've left too many tasks unfinished are just a few of the reasons why we dream of immortality. But despite the efforts of scientists, eternal life for humans remains unattainable.
However, if we turn to mythology, there are several ways to achieve eternal life. What are they, what is their secret and what is the price we must pay to outlive everyone we've ever loved?
On the way to Golgotha, a young man laughed at Jesus, threw a shoe at him and told him to hurry up. The Son of God turned around and told him that even though he would be leaving, when he did return the Jewish man would still be here on Earth.
The sinner repented, was baptized, changed his name to Joseph but Jesus's words caught up with him. From that day forward he was not allowed to sit and rest, except on Christmas. Every 100 years he would fall ill incurably, faint briefly and awaken once again at the age of 30.
Eternal life, but accompanied by eternal suffering, this too was the punishment for Sisyphus, who according to Greek mythology managed to capture Thanatos, which led to a world where no one ever died. This infuriated the God of war Ares. Sisyphus's punishment was to push a large boulder up a hill, with it rolling back down every night - this process repeating for all eternity.
Foods for Immortality
The foods you need to eat to cheat death are quite bizarre and varied - from ningyo meat (a creature that's a cross between a monkey and a crab, similar to a mermaid, from Japanese mythology), to the golden apples of the giant Thiazi in the Norse sagas, to ambrosia in Greek mythology.
And if finding meat from a ningyo seems hard to do, then don't even bother looking for amrita. In Hinduism, amrita is a nectar created by the gods and their rivals - the asuras or antigods. The magical elixir guarantees immortality but only masters of yoga can actually use it.
Your dream of immortality may come true if like Gilgamesh from the Sumerian epic you find the nameless plant that brings everlasting life. But unfortunately, the hero was unable to bring it to his friend Enkidu whom it was intended to save.
One other, more common food, can also bring eternal life - peaches. In Chinese mythology Sun Wukong, the monkey king, was chosen as the guardian of peaches.
He guarded them for a long, long time but finally couldn't resist and ate one, granting him 1000 years of life. This led to a war between him and the gods, ultimately ending in his imprisonment for 5 centuries.
Then, Wukong and his wife planted a peach tree which only gave one fruit every 3000 years. This they gave to the gods, who in exchange kept them alive.
The Holy Grail
If none of the aforementioned work, all you're left with is finding the Holy Grail and drinking from it. The most famous cup in world history was actually the vessel Jesus used to drink with during the Last Supper, after which Joseph collected the blood of Christ in it while he hung on the cross.
The Holy Grail grants immortality but only to the purest of souls because only they are capable of taking it in their hands and drinking from it.See more