THE BELIEVER INTERVIEW WITH TODD MAY, PHILOSOPHER
TODD MAY: There’s an image from, I think, ancient Chinese philosophy that tries to get you to understand how long immortality is. It says, imagine you have a beach with grains of sand—let’s imagine the size of the Sahara—and imagine a bird comes and takes one of the grains of sand and flies off. Ten thousand years later, that bird comes back and takes another grain of sand and flies off—and this happens every ten thousand years. Now, by the time the bird emptied the beach, emptied the entire Sahara, not a millisecond of eternity will have gone by. In other words, you have to realize that immortality lasts a really long time.