Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Need for Life Extension

I wanted to share some thoughts that I did glean from some of the immortalist literature that I had read. It seems that this theme has been explored a lot by science fiction authors. It is interesting sometimes to read about an immortal character and what they learn from having lived on this planet for a very long time. It seems that actual immortals like Saint Germain, Padmasambhava, Shantarakshita, Babaji and others seem to drop out of the usual flow of conventional history. They usually keep their longevity a secret, since this makes their life easier. A number of scientists would like to verify the immortalist claims of such beings. But the word "claim" may not be the right word. They will sometimes honestly assert the truth of their longevity when asked, since for them it is nothing they have to prove to themselves. It can be verified by their memory of their long lifespan. Some of them had the fortune of being in social environments where the attainment was more acceptable, like in Northern India, the Himalayas, and Tibet. While others like Saint Germain would need to periodically move from place to place, start over again socially, and then move again, so that people would not notice that they were not aging and dying. Some anonymity is needed or useful for their lives. I have found this to be generally true.

The psychological profile of the immortals does seem to show something consistent. Some of it is common sense. Immortals would be independent thinkers, willing to question the nature of the truth of human life, and willing to live by what they theorize or discover. People who conform to the social consensus reality will not be immortalists, since all social consensus realities of the Earth are mortalist. They believe that physical immortality is not possible, is not desirable, is not natural, and/or is so difficult that it is not worth trying to attain. When I have shared the idea of physical immortality, I am met with the same basic thoughts against the idea. They come from atheists and theists alike. They are almost always the same. Occasionally there is some new wrinkle in the arguments, like whether or not telemere ripping during mitosis represents an absolute biological clock toward inevitable death that we can do very little about.

[FYI: I do not feel that the telemere clock is absolute and suspect that telemerase can repair the rips and that astragalus can help generate telemerase. If telemere ripping represented an absolute biological clock, then immortal single celled creates like amoebas should have died out. Single celled creatures have reproduced by mitosis and faithfully replicate their DNA from generation to generation over millions of years without telemere ripping stopping them. Since both the "children" of the mitosis are the "parent", the original cell that emerged from the life soup of the ancient world is still alive in all the subsequent mitosis produced cells. They do eventually die under certain circumstances, like extreme heat or by an antibiotic, but they have no built in terminus for their lives. Apparently this is also true for the Redwood Tree and the Creosote Plant. It seems, too, that reproduction and zygote formation "resets" the telemere clock in the human species, and therefore points to the possibility of healing telemere rips. I would take that actual immortals have walked the planet to be a kind of proof that this is possible too.]

As mentioned in an earlier article, the average lifespan of human beings has been increasing over the last 3,000 years. It has gone from the biblical generation of 40 years to the current lifespan expectation of 80 years. It seems to be pushing to 90 years. I did find it interesting that George Burns and Bob Hope both lived past 100 years, since I do feel that a sense of humor is an important immortalist factor. The numbers I am quoting are loose numbers. I would like for some more standardization to happen with immortalist studies. For instance, the Okinawa Diet was based on study of one of the longest lived cultures on the planet. They determined this by seeing what percentage of the total population lived past 100 and found 7 percent. While I liked this index for a measuring the longevity of a culture, there is some question about whether to count death by accidents, war, and plagues. It has been only in recent times, too, that census data on the people of a culture has been standardized and reliable enough to make comprehensive studies. This automatically filters out studies of more ancient cultures that might have some wisdom to share in this regard. The other problem with such studies is that, while documenting how people age and die, there has not been a prevailing belief that diet has been as critical a factor that I feel it is. The result is that people are not documented in such a manner that their longevity and their diet can be correlated. This is further compounded by the complexity of the diet process. Many people who are learning about the importance of right diet are changing their diet in stages. Sometimes going forward and sometimes going back, sometimes eating "good" food according to some standard, but too much food, sometimes mixing "good" food together with poor food combining, or eating good food that collectively is too acidic, even though individually is okay if they are balanced by more alkaline food. There is another problem, too, since to me "right breathing" alkalizes our blood stream and can reduce the effects of a slightly acidic diet and make it work, while another person who underbreaths may be undermining the effects of a healthier alkaline diet, since underbreathing does increase acidity. I also feel that eating animal flesh has karmaic consequences and does reduce lifespan. It takes some time to get all this right.

What is interesting is that in many traditional agricultural societies and early city states that the time a person entered into adulthood was around 12 to 14 years old. This is when the initiation took place. When the lifespan was only 40 years, this made sense, they had 75 percent of their life ahead of them. 25 percent was in childhood and teenagehood, 50 percent in adulthood, and 25 percent in old age. With a 80 year lifespan, this makes the first 25 percent being 20 years, the middle 20 to 60, and then 60 to 80 as the last 25 percent. With the lifespan pushing to 90 years and a 100 years, it seems that the age of becoming a functional adult is still 25 percent of this number. It does seem that somewhere between 20 and 25 we become functional adults. Unlike the early agricultural societies that had their initiations into adulthood at 12 to 14, we have more to learn to step into our societies as adults. We are expected to do some "intellectual specialization" to learn a mentally learned skilled through education and training, and then take a role in society. This is complicated by some specializations becoming obsolete as technology advances. New specializations are required and old ones are not needed anymore. This means that we need to keep learning and growing more than we had before. The Buddhist idea that everything is in constant change really shows up in the very rapid changes our society is undergoing. Curiously, there is a feeling that things have not changed much, even though the change has been enormous. Even people who want to go back to the "good old days" are picking time points to go back to that are not far in the past. It would be good to study ancient history to get a sense of where the human species has been and where it is going. Paradoxically, history is getting to be a bigger thing to study. We are making history as we go along and more records are appearing over time. We record more records than cultures some 1,000 years ago. We are replicating and sending data to each other at a very high speed thanks to the internet. If you get what it meant that a Buddhist monk would spend a whole year carefully copying a book by hand so that another Lamasary would have the information, and we now can clone over 500 books on a DVD in about 30 minutes to give to a friend using a computer, we have done the work of 500 monk years in that short a time. From books being rare and wonderful wonders of information in the ancient world, we are now flooded with so much text that we could not even read it all in an 80 lifespan, and not even in a lifespan of 500 years.

My sense is that the human lifespan needs to increase for a certain kind of growth and maturity to happen. The learning process required to become a functional and effective adult is going to increase for a certain mutational shift to happen. We are already involved in this process. We have already extended life further, doubled it, and need to do it again. It is how knowledge leads to more knowledge.

One way of understanding this is to imagine what it would have been like if Einstein lived for 300 years, that he kept pushing the knowledge envelope, that he kept going more deeply into general relativity. For instance, he apparently wrote down in his journal that we used the full capacity of our brain that it would turn into light [again, I am sorry that I do not have a documentary reference for this, but if someone has it maybe they can post a reference in the comment field]. Did he have a "light episode"? Did he, for a moment, feel his brain shift into light, or his whole body? Jesus transfigured his body into a light body when "praying" on a mountain and was witnessed by some of his disciples. I suspect that Einstein had a similar moment. This has happened to me also about three times. They happen as a kind of evolutionary fast forward, as a kind of glimpse about what is possible. I feel it will happen to more people as time flows onward.

With a longer lifespan, there is more time to learn more things that make life worth living, like picking up a musical instrument and learning how to play some songs. Musical intelligence I feel helps the brain to evolve further. Ideally we should all pick up an instrument and learn how to play it, for our growth, even if we do not become a concert pianist or a rock star. Learning more than one language helps a lot, because then we can see how one language is like a reality tunnel that shapes our perceptions and that we have stereo tunnels with two languages being mastered, and even more richness of perception when we can master scientific language, emotional language, musical language, artistic language, poetic language, and mathematical language.

What is curious is that the intentional to conquer aging and death shifts a lot of things for a sentient being. It opens up our thinking to living differently and more fully. Life becomes less about merely struggling to survive, reproducing some children, getting a small amount of happiness through certain activities, and then dying, but become more about a certain kind of learning, evolution, and growth that seems to have no terminal point, and which also has its own joy that is deeper and more rewarding than simply craving pleasurable sensations.

Padmasambhava was a kind of "renaissance" person, he learned many things on many frontiers. His education was well rounded even in "worldly arts" before he took to diving deep into meditation, attaining physical immortality, and then morphing his physical body into a light body. He still can be invoked through his mantra "Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum", since he promised to instantly appear to anyone who sincerely calls him through this mantra (in practice, it takes some time to feel him be present, since our telepathic sensitivity needs to activate and there are some obscuring karmas to overcome to feel his energy, but it is not too long, odds are something will be felt if one did 111,111 repetitions within 3 months).

It seems that in the early stages of an immortalist life, there is an interest in healing and growth, processing emotions, learning about ideal diet, mastering breathing, mastering Hatha Yoga and Chi Kung, and mastering meditation. For me, it seems that energy healing, breathwork, vegan diet, process oriented hypnosis, using sound (overtone chanting, crystal bowls, Tibetan singing bowls, gongs, Theremin, Djembe, and Hang Drum), and mastering herbs are important right now. I hope to devote some time to learning about "alchemy" in terms of monoatomic elements and calcinated mercury as it used for healing and for longevity. Like learning about the internet and computers in general, as it seems to link us all together and assist each other in such quests.

It may be time when immortalists can start coming "out of the closet" and living more out in the open now, though I do find it better to keep a little quiet about this still. I personally do not like the idea of being experimented on to determine my lifespan. I think it was interesting that Jesus did a transfiguration of his body into a light body to show his process. To me, this kind of proving feels more natural to me. In other words, if we focus on the immortalist life style we will have things like "light episodes" happen to us and other markers that we are succeeding in this goal.

There is a kind of patience and humility to this process. Unlike some religious traditions where they might settle for an internal experience of some higher state, the level of realization of something internal has to outpicture in the mind and body for an immortal. Krishnamurti, who has starting to believe that aging and death might not be necessary near the end of his life (and he lived around 90 years) and who was starting to do things like experiment with a raw diet and fresh vegetable juices, felt his brain had ceased to atrophy and was confident enough in this to offer his brain to science to study after he died. Unfortunately, brain science is still in its infancy and they could not verify much from checking his brain out. It looked healthy and intact. Maybe as science progresses more it will be able to study such brains and get more data from the studies. I think I know what Krishnamurti felt, though, that motivated him to assert that his brain had shifted and was not not subject to a kind of entropy any more. When I was studying his teachings and practicing awareness, I did feel my brain reach a kind of emptiness, clarity, and stillness where something deep and wonderful opened up. It did seem like we get worn out by "thinking, thinking, thinking" and when the brain ends thought of a certain kind and comes to a silent curious awareness that an aging, wear and tear, and entropy ends. I do find, too, when I am working with people that afflicted emotional states are usually accompanied by a large mass of thoughts that are running through the mind often and repetitively. I find I have to listen in a certain way to extract the information I need and to not get worn down with them. When the brain is alive, vibrant, and silent inside, it is a very different state and it feels like regeneration is happening rather than the brain get further worn down. I remember one line in a song by the Eagles that goes, "Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive your crazy."

I feel that the growth that humanity is capable of now needs the support of a longer lifespan, even with the advent of methods of accelerated learning. I would like for children to get this kind of vision of human life, to feel more is possible than merely being a worker-droid in an industrialized society, who has an intellectual training to be one cog in the social machinery and who might get obsolete when this niche is superceded by technological advance. I feel we can hold the vision of becoming prosperous enough to have some level of freedom from this kind of survival necessity and become free to pursue a kind of creative path. It does require some skill and there is more than one way of achieving this vision. Saint Germain lived as a prosperous aristocrat, while Babaji lives the life of a Hindu Sannyasin, eating simple meals (or at least used to, odds are pranayama has replaced food entirely, but if we adopted his path we would need to eat for a while), and staying in nature. I get the feeling we will be doing something different, having a kind of simple life in a high tech world. Appreciating nearby nature and not buying into extreme consumerism and the debt economy. I feel it is possible to avoid getting into debt and this simplifies life a lot. If we reject debt paths, then we will find other paths that are useful to move forward on. A lot of friends I know got locked down on a mortgage and many are getting out of the high mortgage payments and high interest (the interest can end up being more than the money borrowed by even 2x or 3x) by cashing out as best they can, selling their house short, and sometimes coming out with a small amount of money or a small remaining debt. The consumer world has created many paths with differing amounts of money being achieved by different people in different ways, with often very little proportion of hours to money gained when one compare the work of one person to another. Money itself is a strange phenomenon. It is necessary for the exchange of goods, has taxes looming in the background, and is nebulous at times how it represents wealth. Money itself can inflate and deflate in value, in terms of what it can buy at different points in history. One dollar could buy a good meal one time, but now it seems about 10 bucks is needed for the same meal. But wages were less per a hour before than now, the amount of work time a meal costs is more complex to figure out, especially since some people are living on a minimum wage while others are earning over one million bucks per a year and are even finding ways of not paying taxes on it. There is something excessive and unbalanced in all this. I consider a person prosperous if he or she manages to stay out of debt, can pay all their bills, and has a little extra to put into savings at the end of the month. I think the key is to find better and better options over time. I call the path, "enlightenment on a budget". For instance, I think eating healthy is better than medical insurance, because the latter only kicks in when you have an illness (unless a loophole makes the illness an exception and few are completely certain their insurance will cover the crisis when it happens), whereas the former might prevent the illness. Strangely enough, a lot of medical insurance has a deductible so you end going into debt anyway. Since some of them only cover serious debilitating illnesses, sometimes the coverage does not do any real good, since if you are so impaired that you cannot work, then the seemingly generous money you get to pay your hospital bill, minus down time, minus the deductible, minus all the money that you will not make from not being handicapped, you are out anyway. For whereas if you do yoga, eat healthy, live safely, and burn away accident producing karma, then you have a chance to keep your life evolving. Insurance does not help accidents to not happen and no insurance covers all severe accidents (aka death recovery medical clause) and money is usually not enough anyway. I concluded that they were really not worth it, but then some elements need to change in the lifestyle to do "preventative medicine". In short, I would rather put my money into things that further my healing process, than to plan to cover for possible bad events with incomplete coverage at best. Again, there is more than one path here, and part of being "in the world but not of it" is to navigate the options we have wisely.

1 comment:

  1. You know Will , i have nothing to say. Thanks a lot for the post. Love you.