This time we dive into the idea of infinite age. In order to get there, a definition of aging needs to show up.
According to Google…
Language tends to be circular and self-referential. Try defining the word “the” without saying “the.” Words in the dictionary are defined by other words in the dictionary.
Seeing Google’s definition, there’s an association between aging and decay. In our culture, we assume that to age means to have a decrease in quality of life. If someone is “aging well” that signifies that they appear to be younger than other people do at the same age.
There is a narrative that we all age. No one seems to know why.
When pressed, most people answer with a tautology- “We age because we age and aging is natural.”
However, this doesn’t explain WHY we age. It doesn’t explain what aging is. Remember that observing a phenomenon does not explain the phenomenon.
I actually like Google’s first bullet in the definition. Aging is “the process of change in the properties of a material occurring over a period, either spontaneously or through deliberate action.”
This definition sticks to the basics, and does not assume that the changing properties imply better or worse quality. For example, the common story of aging involves conception, then a period of growth and development inside the womb, and then the baby is born.
The baby grows, becomes a child, adolescent, and then an adult. The adult stage is where things become fuzzy. When does this stage end? Why? How come some people live up to 100, and others die at 55? Why do some people not make it past 80, and another guy makes it past 90, running marathons and drinking and smoking?
How’s that work?
We’ve Been Had!
What we have been told about aging in the mainstream is not the truth. There are too many reasons why it doesn’t make sense.
Remember that it is easier to fool a man than to convince him he is being fooled.
A significant part of aging and living is in the mind. This egregore, this collective belief that aging as a process of decay is normal, permeates our society.
When asked if they’d like to live 200 or 300 years, many people say no. They assume that living that many years means an awful amount of decay–perhaps permanently hooked up to a respirator, wrinkles upon wrinkles for days, cognitive decline, and whatever other unpleasantness they can imagine.
Action follows belief. Much of the collective subscribes to a series of beliefs about aging, and behavior follows suit. This creates a self-fulfilling prophecy.
To change our behavior, belief change usually comes first. Exceptions sometimes come in the form of spontaneous events or epiphanies. It’s fair to say an epiphany is a profound experience that changes belief.
Core Beliefs Around Aging As Decay
The first core belief most people hold is that death is normal and natural. On top of that, there’s the belief that we need food to survive.
What if those are wrong?
What if death isn’t normal, but an aberrance from the norm? What if we don’t need food to survive?
These beliefs are held by many as absolute, immutable truths.
What if we didn’t hold them? What then?
What if these beliefs are precisely what causes the progressive decay?
I’m not expecting you to agree with me, but I sincerely hope these questions stir your bones.
If you wanted to control a large group, how might you do it? The best way I know is to make them stupid, and subservient. Add on top of that self-policing, then they keep themselves stupid and subservient.
If wisdom comes with age, does it not make sense that the greatest way to prevent wisdom, thus creating stupidity, is by shrinking lifespan?
If people could live indefinitely, think how much wisdom they would rack up! Being 100 would be like being a baby.
Aside from killing them, in order to shrink the lifespan for a group, you’d have to get them to do it themselves.
How could you do that? What might that look like?
You might create a set of beliefs, processes, and practices that would ensure a short life. Then, this would be spread, and normalized. Perhaps those who disagree would be killed or shunned. After a few generations, the new belief is set in stone.
Once you have a generation of parents teaching a belief to a generation of children, who then repeat the cycle to their children, the new belief percolates. This isn’t hard to conceptualize.
Please- stay a bit meta with me here! Aside from these beliefs about aging, recall how you might change a belief, at scale, and repeat it indefinitely for a large group. Ignore the feasibility for now, just focus on how this might happen.
This already happened! Most people take these ideas for granted. Heck, I did until recently. These beliefs are so deeply engrained, that many people do not and cannot consider alternatives. When I say do not, I mean are unwilling. When I say cannot, I mean that to entertain the notion might give them a psychotic break, perhaps permanently. So, to protect themselves, they avoid seeing what’s happening right in front of them.
Before getting into new beliefs about aging, we must accept our current ones.
The current ones can change. But, the pre-requisite is to give yourself permission. Only you can give yourself permission to change your mind.
The New Age-Ing
Years ago I read an article that intuitively made sense, even if the particular mechanisms for achieving the goal were unclear. It explained that to get to an infinite age, you need to hit a tipping point. A threshold. They defined this threshold as the first year humans learn to add anything greater than one year to their lifespan.
This allows for indefinite compounding. Compounding over time creates large numbers. Unbounded compounding creates an infinity.
Plus, the article posited that as more time increased, the boosts would get bigger. For example, one year you add 1.1 years to your life. Maybe then 1.25, then 2, then 4, 8, etc.
However, this article was framed largely from a technocratic, transhumanist lens. Viewing life from this lens can create myriad issues. These issues stem from the idea that at your core, you are incomplete. That something is wrong with you. And, if only you are smart or clever enough, you can find something outside that will fix you.
But what if you’re ok already? What if you’re fine as you are?
What if you added a bunch of unnecessary crap into your life because you were afraid, that’s what you were told to do, programmed?
What if you weren’t adding external things, but instead removing them?
What might some of those things be?
Return to the definition that aging is “the process of change in the properties of a material occurring over a period, either spontaneously or through deliberate action.”
We know that eating is a process of changing the properties of a material over a period. Food goes in our mouths. We chew it up, swallow it, digest it, then poop it out.
In this sense, eating is aging. Each time we eat, we change the properties of a material. Not only do we change the properties of the food, but the food changes the properties of us.
You could say that the entire study of nutrition involves learning about how the ingestion of materials changes us.
However, I have yet to find a nutritionist that lived for 200 years. And, I have discovered people who have lived this long, with vitality, who don’t eat.
Each time we clog ourselves with food, we are giving our future selves work. We force the body to process and filter. This work can be strenuous. If we do this repeatedly, the body cannot keep up.
What we call getting sick or being sick is the body trying to get rid of toxins. We sneeze, vomit, sweat, poop, have pimples, etc. The body tries to expel anything it doesn’t need. If an invader comes to the body, the body will do its best to expel it. However, if the body is already overloaded, this presents a challenge.
This is why we lose our appetite when sick. The body has more important things to do and knows it. If food gives us energy, and we need food to survive, and fighting illness takes energy, wouldn’t it make much more sense that we would become hungry when ill?
Long term, ingesting more than we can process creates toxins and sediment in the body. Assuming a consistent inflow greater than the body’s ability to process everything, the body will die.
If this flow stops, the body can play catch up, repair and heal itself, and then return to its natural state.
However, such a process may not occur instantly. It takes time and effort. Fear not, we will have plenty of time to get into the specifics and chip away at this.
How would you be if you knew you could live forever?
Mush love, 🍄