Well… I haven’t really, exactly. In that I can’t prove it. I’m 55 at the moment and so have not proved one can live forever. But then it’s something that can’t be proven anyway—a person could live to be 300 years old and die the next day.
But I thought I’d tell the story of how I came across the idea of physical immortality.
In the mid-80s I lived in a household of musicians, and two regular visitors were Andy and Mike. Andy played bass and trombone, and Mike played saxophone. Both of them had their head completely shaved—the idea being that this allowed the cosmic rays to penetrate their scalp more easily, making them immortal.
Now Andy was quite a character. He had previously lived in our house and seemed to think he still did—he stored his bee pollen in our fridge for some reason (I don’t think he had a fridge) and he ate half our fruit after we had been to the market. He had a reputation for covering our kitchen with carrot pulp from juicing carrots, and having orange palms from drinking too much of the makings. Setting up our house for a 4 a.m. mini-golf game didn’t seem out of the ordinary. I don’t remember much about Mike—only that he had a nice girlfriend.
The point of all this is that the shaved heads, and the reason for them, was just one more entertaining weirdo occurrence in our house.
Andy and Mike were quite adamant about their immortality quest, and I interpreted the thinking to mean that we could lead a better life if we spent it believing we were not going to die—but actually not dying didn’t enter the equation. I didn’t see any point in it, and gave it little thought.
At around that time, another friend of the household—Andy’s ex-girlfriend Susan, a piano player—was telling us about a prosperity workshop she had been to. I pricked up my ears, because I had plenty of money at the time and the musicians all around me had very little, but they seemed to be so much more alive and interesting than I was, and were making plans for their money while I had no idea of what to do with mine.
Susan suggested a book I could read: Money is My Friend by Phil Laut. I liked it and ended up buying another book by Phil Laut—this time Rebirthing: The Science of Enjoying All of Your Life, by him and Jim Leonard.
The book was mainly about rebirthing which I was not especially interested in, but I still remember sitting there on the burgundy-striped couch in that Edwardian musicians’ house reading ‘Part 5: Immortalist Philosophy’. The idea really WAS about not dying. It was saying death was not natural and we could keep our bodies youthful and avoid disasters by healing ourselves. It all rang very true for me.
I remember, ironically, feeling very heavy and depressed while reading this section of the book. I later learned this was because I was suddenly feeling much safer in the world than I had ever felt before, and was therefore allowing myself to experience feelings I had been keeping well-and-truly suppressed up till then.
Anyway, I started doing workshops run by the community behind these books, and so embarked on a period of focused healing that lasted for several years (which did NOT involve shaving my head!) I never ever went back to seeing myself as mortal—from the moment I really understood these ideas, I was “sold”. Funnily, Andy and Mike grew their hair back and forgot about physical immortality, and went on to some other in-thing.
Part of life
Physical immortality has been more like a context I live my life in than an “important belief.” Life goes on… it seems to me to be the natural way to live. I know that for me life is far more joyful and expanded coming from this perspective.
Since I really understood these concepts, I’ve never gone back to the old way of thinking… not even for a few moments. Learning about it was like remembering something I already knew, which is a common feeling amongst the physical immortality crowd (who apparently don’t have blogs). I’ve occasionally forced myself to consider that maybe I was batty, but it went nowhere.
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photo by geishaboy500