199 Essays on Infinite Lifespans   Eric S. Rabkin believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever  liveth  and  believeth  in  me  shall  never  die”  (Jn 11:25–26). History shows that this promise has much appeal, but, curiously, we have very few glimpses of what it would mean to live this perfect immortality. In Man and Superman, George Bernard Shaw clearly prefers hell, “the home of the unreal and of the seekers for happiness” to heaven “the home of the masters of reality, and [earth] […] the home of the slaves of reality” (pg. 139). [4] This matter of masters and slaves brings us back to the issue of disobedience. Milton wrote in the opening lines of Paradise Lost: Of Man’s First Disobedience, and the Fruit / Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal taste / Brought Death into the World, and all our woe. [5] If Jesus is the new Adam, then his redemption of us is a return to Edenic obedience, for, as Milton clearly says, death and disobedience stand against life and, one presumes, obe- dience. Yet a heaven of perfect obedience, when concretely realized, hardly seems human happiness, so dependent is our happiness  on  notions  of  individual  freedom  and  of  desire. Adam, like Gilgamesh, lost immortality through the inter- vention of a serpent. One supposes that in heaven there are no serpents, nor any dangers, nor even the sexuality that such serpents in part represent. Shaw’s heaven, like St. John’s, suf- fers from what Arthur C. Clarke calls “the supreme enemy of all Utopias –boredom” (pg. 75). [6] The  paradigmatic  benevolence  of  Christianity,  the  com- pensation, as it were, for Original Sin and the Flood, is God the Father projecting himself into the mortal reality of Jesus. For believing Christians, of course, this is a unique and piv- otal event in human history; I do not mean to comment on such beliefs. But in fiction, the willingness to accept mortality