Two plus two still makes four.

Mortal, Immortal or Eternal?

Josef Essberger
The dream of immortality haunts the barons of Big Tech today.
home of the gods?

Nota bene: Much of what follows is supposition, subject to science-based, data-based, evidence-based confirmation.

YOU, my friend, and I are mortal. To be human is to be subject to mortality. Unless granted immortality by the primordial gods. Many are those who sought to live forever, and some were indeed granted immortality. But immortality is a poor substitute for eternality.

Immortal or eternal – what’s the difference?

Humans are born, live their lifespan, and die. Their existence has a beginning and an end. They are mortal. Those granted immortality by the primordial gods are born and never die. Their existence has a beginning and no end. They are immortal. But the primordial gods are never born and never die. Their existence has no beginning and no end. They are eternal.


supposition (noun): a belief held without certain evidence or proof – Many of the stories in the gutter press, and sometimes even the more intellectual press, are known to be based on supposition.

primordial (adjective): existing at or from the beginning of time – Scientists have conflicting theories to describe the primordial universe.

nota bene (verb): take special note (often abbreviated as NB)

mortal (adjective): subject to death; liable to cause death – All men are mortal. | He received mortal wounds at the start of the battle.

mortality (noun): the state of being mortal and subject to death; death – As she grew older her thoughts turned increasingly to her own mortality. | The report focused on mortality among children.

immortality (noun): the state of being immortal; the ability to never die – Believe it or not, some American oligarchs believe that through mastery of science they can achieve immortality and live forever.

immortal (adjective): existing forever, never dying or decaying – Which religions teach that our mortal bodies are inhabited by immortal souls?

hubris (noun): excessive pride or self-confidence – In Greek tragedy hubris leads to downfall.

eternality (noun): the state of being eternal; eternity – Should we use the Present Simple tense when talking about eternality?

eternal (adjective): existing for all time, having no beginning and no end – Chaos, the first of the primordial gods, is eternal and certainly seems to be alive and well today.


By Josef Essberger for EnglishClub May 2021
Josef started teaching English as a foreign language in 1991 and founded EnglishClub for learners and teachers in 1997.


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