Thursday, July 3, 2008

Can you imagine living for more than 150 years? How about 250 years?

Why not 500 years?   If you could, would you?


These questions have plagued me much of my lifetime, and perhaps they have preyed upon you, too.


Several years ago my search began for the answers.   One serendipitous day, to my utter surprise, the people with the answers came into full view.  They not only knew how to extend their lives, but were actually living well beyond 150 years.




My preference for learning new skills by example is easy to admit, for the 'monkey-see, monkey-do' method brings involvement and instant recall. (Sitting in a classroom or doggedly reading a book presents little excitement or retention.)   So, such was the method used years ago to improve my quality of life, at which time I set about following the advice of those whom I felt were the most astute health professionals:  regular checkups, yearly vaccinations, a healthy diet and exercise as rigorous and often as would fit into my busy day.


In a sense, modeling their lifestyles in an effort to extend my years became my way of life, all the while anxiously awaiting the golden years when retirement would become a reality. 


The Goal:  Collecting my pension and relaxing comfortably by some large body of water.


And then it happened!  A friend handed me a cassette tape - Dead Doctors Don't Lie - by Dr. Joel Wallach.


From that day forward, my life was forever changed. 


A veterinarian-turned-naturopath, Dr. Wallach became well-known for attributing many of today's diseases to mineral and vitamin deficiencies.


His tape made a sound case:  many health professionals - including large numbers of doctors - live shorter lives than the average person. 


Clarity entered my consciousness:  health professionals are not necessarily good examples to follow.  It was difficult to grasp the idea that life could be extended by avoiding the daily routine my doctor was preaching. 


My decision, however, came swiftly:  I was to begin my search for the people who DID live longer, healthier lives - and to learn their secrets of longevity.


The idea of extending our lives is not new.  Several articles and books by Dr. Aubrey De Grey, a biologist, and Dr. Leonid A. Gavrilov, a prominent research scientist, suggest the lengthening of our life span past 120 years is now not only possible, but physical immortality is also within our reach.  Their theories of eating a healthy diet with plenty of exercise is good advice, but 'monkey-see, monkey-do' people like me need a solid representation after which to pattern our lifestyles.


My search then began for the longest-living person alive - today. 


Not only was I to find one of the oldest people in the world, but my goal was further to find one practicing a healthy lifestyle.


It would be necessary, of course, once the person was found, to do my best in

striking up a friendship which would evolve into a trusting relationship - trusting enough so this person would be willing to share with me how he (or she) lived, what he (or she) ate - and how he or she had survived for so many years. 


With everything in my power, I would then begin to model my life closely to that ideal.


Using some advanced research techniques, I began to find people who are alive today, living past 150 years.  Quite a few appear to have lived for more than 250 - and some even 500 - years.  All seem to have blended into society as typical senior citizens.


It took me awhile to finally locate and make contact with a gentleman - one of the living 'immortals' - to learn his secrets of longevity.  He was reluctant at first, but after much persistence, agreed to a meeting in a park near his home.   Our paths finally crossed.  Meeting him was one of the most incredible moments of my life.


They say words constitute only nine percent of our communication.  When we finally met, though he said very little, it was obvious to me this was the man I had been seeking.  His face, his gestures and his demeanor clearly suggested he had been living for more than a century.  As he quietly shared his essence and experience, I soon realized he had seen nearly 2,800 years of life through his eyes.  He told me about his incredible life and how he had survived so many generations.  The information he gave me was quite detailed, but I will summarize it the best I can.


His motto is quite simple:  Live life to its fullest everyday and don't sweat the small stuff.   To him, death is a choice, not a predetermined event.  He focuses each day on living life rather than preparing for death.  He says he notices too many people are so focused on death they forget to live their lives.


His daily rituals are equally simple.  He lives his life in moderation with almost no stress.  He walks everywhere he can and eats as little as possible (usually freshly prepared food) three times a day.   He drinks three glasses of water every day and finishes his day with a glass of fine wine.


All of these lifestyle choices are common sense and should already be part of our lives.  However, this man had another practice I feel is important.  He believes it is imperative to share at least one meal a day with another person.  It is his belief that while our bodies need food each day to sustain our life, our souls need a daily dose of another's spirit to truly survive.   He believes living a life of total solitude will lead to certain death.


While it may be impossible for me to prove scientifically that this gentleman has experienced nearly 2,800 years of life, I can most certainly share his memories.


More importantly, I can share his secrets to a long and healthy life.


To those who say you cannot live your life to the fullest, for as long as you desire, tell them this old Chinese Proverb:


A person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the man doing it.


This story is copyright 2008 by Ben Abba


Author of "Secrets of an Immortal - An Eyewitness Account of 2,800 Years of History"




1 comment:

seeker said...

Good article again, Ben. Yes, I can imagine living for that "long" (any number can be dwarfed in the end).

I can relate to the basic, simple rules very well. "No stress" and fresh food rings very very true to me. I am not sure about the necessity to share a meal a day, at least in the absolute sense. That might often simply not be possible, considering that only few people share such food preferences. In plain talk: It's much easier to meet with folks at McDonalds where the "food" is simply not conducive to healthy living.

I have another objection about the bodily state to live in for centuries. You say these people have "blended in society as typical senior citizens". My take on this is that the aging process -- which kills most people, directly or indirectly -- has to be stalled anyway, so why not at a point where one is still young? Put differently: Who wants to be a thousand ys and look like that?

I have some more questions but do not want to bloat the frame of this comment; is there any way to communicate with you (mail)?