Walter Isaacson's autobiography on Steve Jobs provides explicit details on how his religious viewpoints changed after cancer diagnosis.
Jobs, Apple’s recently deceased CEO and a self-admitted Buddhist, explained his opinions on religion to Issacson.
In turn, the biographer revealed Jobs' thoughts about God and the afterlife on a “60 Minutes” interview.
"I remember sitting in his backyard in his garden one day and he started talking about God,” said Isaacson in the interview. “He said, 'Sometimes I believe in God, sometimes I don’t. I think it’s 50-50 maybe. But ever since I’ve had cancer, I’ve been thinking about it more. And I find myself believing a bit more. I kind of – maybe it’s ’cause I want to believe in an afterlife. That when you die, it doesn’t just all disappear. The wisdom you’ve accumulated. Somehow it lives on.’ Then he paused for a second and he said, ‘Yeah, but sometimes I think it’s just like an on-off switch. Click and you’re gone.' He said and paused again, and he said, 'And that’s why I don’t like putting on-off switches on Apple devices'."
Jobs delayed surgery for nine months after learning that he had operable pancreatic cancer in 2004. He later told Isaacson that he regretted the decision.
"I didn't want my body to be opened," said Jobs to his biographer.
During Isaacon’s “60 Minutes” interview, it was revealed that Jobs' cancer diagnosis motivated him until the very end.
"He talked a lot to me about what happened when he got sick and how it focused him," said Isaacson.
Isaacson also said Jobs “no longer wanted to go out, no longer wanted to travel the world. He would focus on the products. He knew the couple of things he wanted to do, which was the iPhone and then the iPad. He had a few other visions. I think he would've loved to have conquered television."
Jobs also told Isaacson about his thoughts on the matter of death.
"I saw my life as an arc," Jobs said. "And that it would end and compared to that nothing mattered. You’re born alone, you’re gonna die alone. And does anything else really matter? I mean what is it exactly is it that you have to lose, Steve? You know? There’s nothing."
Isaacson's upcoming book, entitled Steve Jobs: A Biography, compiles quotes, anecdotes and information from more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over a two-year span.
Isaacson also conducted interviews with more than 100 of Jobs' family members; friends, adversaries, competitors and colleagues are included as well.
The anticipated biography hit shelves Oct. 24.