Now this time I’m really having spasms. Clip 3 of a series of 4 clips promoting the new movie What If? The Movie has been released this morning, and in it, Kenneth L. Cavanaugh, a scientist, is talking about arresting the aging process.
I mean, my spasms are due to amazement that this quality movie is talking so openly about something that I’m rather interested in (and is perhaps generally considered a bit “whacky”).
For the past 3 weeks, Darren of ProBlogger has had a video interview on his blog of Steve Pavlina and two others bloggers, giving some tips for being successful bloggers. The post is 3 Successful Bloggers Share their Blog Tips [VIDEO].
Steve’s tip is to do “wild, whacky and unusual” experiments on yourself, and report how things are going—this will keep the readers hooked. He talks about how he did a polyphasic sleep experiment, where he slept for 20 minutes at a time around the clock, and about how he ate nothing but raw food last January.
As it happens, Steve was in the middle of his raw food experiment when I discovered him. He kept putting up photos of his meals on his blog… endless photos of raw food on dinner plates.
photo by tanakawho
Grace from over at Face To The Sun recently made a stunningly beautiful list of things she would miss about life on Earth should she be relocated to Mars (as you do), in her post List of 100 things I’d miss on Mars. You might want to check it out!
To put my own spin on her list, I think it would make a good collection of reasons for loving life.
I thought I’d write about my thoughts on reincarnation.
I never use the word “believe” when I talk about these sorts of things. I like to say “I work with the idea”, or “I think in terms of”… something like that. I think the real, actual truth is something beyond what most of us are capable of understanding at our present level of consciousness, so saying I believe in any particular thing would seem a bit silly to me.
So I like to say I work with the idea of reincarnation, because I find it is a useful concept. If a better concept comes along, I will drop it in a flash in favour of the new concept.
Just as one example of how the concept could become outmoded… many of us like to try to live in the present moment, after being inspired by The Power of Now and lots of other writings on the subject. I like the idea, that I picked up somewhere, that time actually does not exist—time is an illusion that got invented to teach us to use the present moment better. If this is the case, the past does not exist… all the past and our past lives must be happening consecutively right now in the eternal present moment. We are both ourselves and Cleopatra at the same time! This reasoning could get very messy very quickly so I’ll stop right here… my point is that we just don’t know (in my opinion).
photo by brightroyalty
I was saddened and alarmed a few years ago to hear a good friend of mine announce cheerfully she was making a practice of thinking “Today might be my last day—I might die tomorrow.” This helped her to “make the most of the day”, she said.
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. Continue reading
Many people say old-age and death are natural… that these are the birth-death cycle of nature in action.
Perhaps this outlook comes from people thinking there are no alternatives to death.
People with a positive outlook on life will be inclined to think the set-up they see in the world around them must somehow be “right”, so it’s natural they will have a philosophy that death is natural and a “part of life”. I certainly thought this myself before I came across the idea of physical immortality.
Once people believe death is natural, they will look for all sorts of things that could be good about it. Why wouldn’t they! Like death means going to be with God, experiencing peace and love, experiencing great mystery, going to a “better place” and experiencing more than “just this life”. And it’s wrong to be “too wrapped up in this material world” anyway.
There are whole established spiritual traditions that teach it’s a worthy thing to feel good about our bodies dying, allowing us to go to a “better place” (or whatever).
photo by jaqian
I was at a funeral in an Anglican church last year, and Paul’s letter to the Corinthians was read out.
I thought it was an amazing statement in support of the ideas in this blog.
image by al-hayat
Here’s a short story – I wrote the main part in the mid 90s and added the epilogue in 2009:
Melvyn found the Fountain of Youth in his backyard. He wasn’t even looking for it—he had just intended to do some weeding. The little trickle of water was dribbling out from between some rocks underneath some unremarkable low plants. He was quite surprised—he had not noticed it before.
Melvyn was feeling rather thirsty on that hot afternoon, and he thought about having a drink from the little stream. He was not normally given to drinking water he found in the backyard, but this time he thought “what the hell”, and scooped a couple of handfuls into his mouth. The water was cool, and perhaps a little salty, and it did the job… Melvyn didn’t think much about it and went on with his weeding.
photo by nattu
“Living forever” is about being with our loved ones forever, in life. And being with our friends and everyone else who has decided to stick around.
It’s funny how immortality is so often portrayed as a curse in our culture. The poor ol’ immortal person gets to grow older and older and all their friends and family die off and they are left wandering around in eternity all alone, old and miserable. It never seems to occur to the creators of these stories that an immortal person might happen to have an immortal family.