Unless you read my 1981 book, PSYCHOLOGICAL IMMORTALITY: Using Your Mind To Extend Your Life, you may not know that I consider myself an immortalist. There is a whole movement built around the belief that human beings do not have to die. A major pioneer in creating and inspiring this philosophy was Leonard Orr, who also first popularized the concept that your attitudes about money dictated how much of it you could earn.
As I talked to the major longevity scientists at the National Institute on Aging and the
National Institutes of Health, research scientists like Dr. Richard Cutler, and visonaries like Norman Cousins and Ray Bradbury, I came to the conclusion that, while it was still unclear whether we could actually live forever, we certainly could live a lot longer, and stay younger a lot longer. With all the advances in health and fitness and nutrition, that has already happened. Not only have a few years been added to the human lifespan since then, but a 50, 60, or 70 year old today does not look, feel, or act the way people of that age looked, felt, and acted in the 1940s and 1950s and even 1960s.
We are taking advantage of what I termed our "biological opportunities".
I talked in that book about "controlling your own aging process," so it is fascinating to me and others that I now am talking about the same thing, and that modern science has actually come up with a way to do that. I'm talking about antioxidants, of course,
the way to overcome the ravages of free radicals roaming through our bodies, causing some 200 degenerative diseases and probably the major factor in the aging process.
One thing I noticed when interviewing many physicians, gerontologists, geneticists,
and other longevity researchers was they would speculate on the possibilities much more when I gave them a promise of anonymity, telling them their comments would be "off the record". Most of them were dependent on government funding and didn't want to lose that funding by being considered "nut cases" on the outer fringes of what was considered traditional science. Some, like Dr. Richard G. Cutler, of the National Institute On Aging, were willing to speak out--they were so highly respected there was no way anyone would dare threaten their funding or research.
As Dr. Cutler told me when I first interviewed him almost thirty years ago, "What we're talking about is not living older longer but living younger longer. And that's a new
concept. People think of being senile longer when they think of life-extension. The concept that there might actually be something to keep you younger longer people find unbelievable."
Dr. Cutler has since then achieved almost mythological status. I notice there are inquiries online as to whether he actually existed and really made his famous statement that the amount of antioxidants you have in your body may determine how long you will live. Yes, he existed and still is doing longevity research, and is
now advocating the taking of pure dark chocolate as the major source of antioxidants.
I hope to interview him again for my book on the health benefits of dark chocolate.
Of course I didn't remember everything Richard Cutler told me, but had to go back to the book to jog my memory. One thing, however, I have remembered all these years is
his using the example of an elephant. He was describing the toxic free radicals as a natural by-product of breathing in oxygen, and said, "Elephants have very low oxygen consumption and it's right in proportion to their longer lifespan." Since we are among the largest mammals, along with elephants, we have longer lifespans than most other mammals by far.
This all indicates to me that there is merit in attacking this from both ends. One, which I am now doing, is by taking in major amounts of antioxidants which can absorb and neutralize the dangerous free radicals in our bodies. The other is to lower our oxygen consumption. Most doctors agree that most of us do not breath properly. Many body therapies teach more efficient breathing techniques and this is an area certainly worth exploring. Two new friends of mine, Helen Luce in Tucson and Bud Weiss in New York, both teach something called the Buteyko Breathing Technique, invented by a Russian doctor for the relief of asthma, but with apparently a much wider range of benefits. I haven't yet experienced this, but it's on my list of things to do. You can check out the Tucson work at www.thebreathablebody.com and in New York, it's www.buteykonyc.com And there's Rebirthing, invented by my old friend Leonard Orr, and even Progressive Relaxation created in the 1930s by Dr. Edmund Jacobsen, and which definitely cut down on oxygen consumption.
I was one of the last people to interview Dr. Jacobsen, and I remember we had a discussion of the relative merits of meditation as compared to his Progressive Relaxation. He felt all the benefits attributed to meditation were because it cut down on oxygen intake by relaxing the muscles, which thereby needed less oxygen for oxygenation. He felt his own relaxation techniques did this more effectively and efficiently.
So do I think I'm going to live forever? Not necessarily, but I've long planned my 150th birthday party, and now feel 200 is a reasonable goal. So I'll continue to take my daily dose of pure healthy and delicious dark chocolate combined with Acai berry, and learn to breath more effectively, and thus create biological opportunities for that longer lifespan.
And in 2090 I hope you'll still be around for the big party. I'll save you a dance.
And if you do intend to stick around for a lot longer, you'll need to focus on a source of passive income to support that aspiration. Might I suggest joining me in this fun business of eating and sharing deliciously pure dark chocolate--the healthiest superfood of all. Check it out. Watch the video on the Chocolate For Health link at www.alphasonics.com, or check out the website www.darkchocolatebenefits.net, or
get in touch with me directly and I'll send you some samples-- firstname.lastname@example.org