Throughout mankindÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’s history, death has fascinated him. In particular, how to avoid death. Humanity has always sought ways to gain immortality, cheat death and live forever. Many people over have come up with many different methods. Here is a brief summary of some of them.
The Egyptian ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â“Western LandsÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â”
The Egyptian way of becoming immortal is really quite unreliable and impractical. In the Egyptian mythology, when you die, your spirit - called the ka - and your body separate. Your ka is immortal and free to wander around a place called the ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â‘Western LandsÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’ for eternity. But there is a condition: the body is the home of the spirit and the ka has to come visit home every now and again. If it cannot find your body - if your body has decayed too much or been lost, for example - your spirit will disappear as well. This is why the Ancient Egyptians worked so hard to make mummies: so that personÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’s ka could find their body. The Egyptians also needed your name to be remembered. If you were forgotten, your spirit would cease to exist. The Egyptian method of Immortality is not very practical.
Most other religions, anything from Christianity to Buddhism, have some form of eternal life. However, most of these religions require you to die at least once before gaining access to said eternal life. Christianity offers eternal life in Heaven and Buddhism offers reincarnation after death until one obtains enlightenment.
Become a Vampire
Aside from stakes, sunlight, fire and beheadings, vampires are immortal. All you have to do to become one is find one and have it turn you into one. There are two hard parts here: 1) finding a vampire and 2) convincing it to turn you, rather than just eating you. This method of immortality is also not without itÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’s problems. For one, you canÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’t go out in sunlight. For another, you have to drink blood, which is neither sanitary nor (probably) tasty. The worst part might be the tendency of some vampires to end up in small towns, dating mortal high-school students.
Phylactery is the magical art of binding oneÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’s soul to an inanimate object. This method is similar to what Lord Voldemort does in the Harry Potter series using Horcruxes. The theory is, with your soul stored somewhere other than your body, you cannot die. The problem with this is that in most cases of Phylactery, the practitionerÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’s body still ages and decays. Eventually, they end up as grotesque, animated skeletons known as liches.ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â The other main problem lies in getting the Black Magic required to actually work.
As with Phylactery, this method involves the Dark Arts, so the same problem with getting the system to work arises here too. The basic idea here is to switch bodies with someone younger than you. They go into your old body and you go into theirs. You then keep their body until it starts to get old, then you switch again. One of the other advantages of this system is that you can try out life as different members of society. If you are a man and want to try a cycle as a woman, you can (theoretically) do that. If you want to see what life is like as a different race, that would be possible too. The disadvantage is that the body you transfer into has all the same vulnerabilities as every other human body. The other disadvantage is that you have to keep switching every forty or fifty years.
You could have yourself frozen. Since you are not technically dead, and can be revived at any time, you can technically live forever. The downside is that you are frozen, and cannot do anything.
Transfer your mind to a computer or other machine
In transferring your mind to a machine, you get around much of the problems associated with the human body aging. However, machines and computers do still degrade over time. So you would need someone to maintain the system externally. The other problem with this method is that the technology isnÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â’t currently available and would be highly experimental.