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Aging reversal with mindfulness

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Anders
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Aging reversal with mindfulness

Postby Anders » Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:28 am

Biologist Aubrey de Grey has called aging a disease. In this video he talks about the problem of aging:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-CRkqImAUU

Another biologist, Bruce Lipton, has made an even more radical statement: that aging is just a result of a belief. By belief he means the whole neurological conditioning including the deep subconscious mental patterns. And Lipton also said that the collective field of human habit is very strong and prevents our belief about aging from easily be changed.

Biological organisms are what science calls open systems and can heal and overcome deterioration over time (increase of entropy), such as:

"Biological immortality refers to a stable or decreasing rate of mortality from senescence, thus decoupling it from chronological age. Various unicellular and multicellular species, including some vertebrates, achieve this state either throughout their existence or after living long enough." -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_immortality

And:

"Normal stem cells and germ cells can also be said to be immortal (when humans refer to the cell line)." -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biologica ... Cell_lines

So there is in principle even a biological possibility of reversing aging, such as with asymmetric cell division by which stem cells become "younger":

"... if the parent asymmetrically buds off a daughter only the daughter is reset to the youthful state - the parent isn't restored and will go on to age and die. In a similar manner stem cells and gametes can be regarded as "immortal"." -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biologica ... some_yeast

The cause of aging is stress, both physical and psychological. Mindfulness practice can reduce the psychological stress which also improves the physical health of the body, such as increasing telomerase (enzyme for making the telomeres at the end of chromosomes longer) activity:

"In follow up studies by Blackburn a meditation group was seen to have up to a 30% increase in telomerase activity. In another study conducted at UCLA, showed a 43% increase in telomerase activity." -- https://breathe-magazine.com/mindfulness-and-longevity

And:

"The MF group improved most, followed by TM, on perceived control and word fluency. After 3 years, survival rate was 100% for TM and 87.5% for MF in contrast to lower rates for other groups." -- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2693686

So, then, why haven't any Indian yogis or Buddhist monks already achieved biological immortality of their bodies? At least there are no officially known cases as far as I know. The reason is probably the collective belief system of humanity that Bruce Lipton mentioned, and also I believe a psychological reason which is this: for thousands of years human life has been a struggle and a great burden, so there has probably never been any socially strong enough motivation (on a deep subconscious level) for extending the average human lifespan.

Today however we are on the brink of technological progress accelerating to such degree that human life may already within a few decades become more free, easy, interesting and pleasant. For example we will be able to work for the joy of doing something instead of "having to make a living".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8F6m59qBbBU

This technological progress will also improve our physical health.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPKHHQFI-WM

The idea of this thread is to examine the possibility of, based on the assumption of an improved society, using mindfulness as a means of not only improving longevity but even to use it for reversing biological aging.

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Re: Aging reversal with mindfulness

Postby Anders » Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:21 am

Whoa, I started looking for some more information and found that there is already a scientific study that shows that meditation can reverse biological aging according to the presenter in this video (from about 8:30):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xco3UjLLvGo&t=8m30s

And here I found another video where an expert says that in mainstream science, the idea of possible aging reversal has changed a lot since only two decades ago:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bn2VzVZHrk

Still, medical and biotech solutions for aging reversal will take several years from now to become available on the public market (and maybe be very expensive in the beginning). Mindfulness practice is something that can be done right away and without having to pay money for it.

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Re: Aging reversal with mindfulness

Postby Anders » Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:18 am

It's helpful when the mind has a "carrot" as an incentive to strive for when practicing mindfulness. Usually the human mind is lazy and tends to follow habitual grooves. But when the mind gets hold of something beneficial it gets excited and activated. And as was mentioned in my previous post, there are scientific studies showing real benefits of mindfulness practice, including reversing of one's own biological age making the body younger. That's a great carrot for the mind.

And if Bruce Lipton's claim about aging being a result of a belief is taken as a working hypothesis then the mind gets a goal: changing that belief. So instead of endlessly keep practicing mindfulness, in the case of aging reversal it's enough (according to this hypothesis) to train the mind until the belief is changed. Bruce Lipton talks about beliefs from about 1 hour and 19 minutes and then a few minutes later a bit about aging reversal in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5wzYNMHwn8&t=1h19m

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Re: Aging reversal with mindfulness

Postby Naga_Fireball » Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:37 am

Hey, this is actually very interesting stuff, i like what you said in post 1 about the struggle of life; Freud called part of that whole thing the "death drive"..

If we really are an open system as you say, capable of infinite changes, what if that drive could be reversed?

Shedding the cultural guilt and expectation of death. I wonder, if we had more communal gardens and other bio positive group projects, would this add to the helpful effect of meditation?

Lots of the folks here seem to get a lot out of gardens. It's a form of strenuous hard work that does not typically involve actual violence.

In the scifi novel The Eyes of Heisenberg (fh), there are two major groups of people. Those who have thru genetic engineering and careful control of their emotions, achieved biological immortality, and those who have been engineered to be sterile and die quickly. A small subset of non immortal humans is permitted to breed. Early in the novel, during genetic surgery, the fertilized egg which becomes the focus of the novel accidentally achieves both the traits of potential biological immortality and the ability to procreate.





Very interesting stuff
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper

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Re: Aging reversal with mindfulness

Postby Anders » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:31 am

Naga_Fireball wrote:Hey, this is actually very interesting stuff, i like what you said in post 1 about the struggle of life; Freud called part of that whole thing the "death drive"..

If we really are an open system as you say, capable of infinite changes, what if that drive could be reversed?

Shedding the cultural guilt and expectation of death. I wonder, if we had more communal gardens and other bio positive group projects, would this add to the helpful effect of meditation?
...


Yes, I have heard about thanatos, the death drive. I see that as our biggest collective trauma for humanity. And no doubt the death drive is an extremely deep pattern in humans, a result of millions of years of biological evolution and perpetuated through thousands of years of social development. In plants and animals biological evolution is an interaction between the species and the environment, they co-evolve. For us humans society has to a large extent taken over and continued the role of the natural environment.

Biological aging is a result of that interaction between the species and the environment. And since society has developed with our biology as a foundation our aging process has basically continued with people having a limited average lifespan. What is changing now is the possibility of actively modifying the average human lifespan, through medicine, biotech, mindfulness and/or other possible means. I predict that our civilization will quickly, historically speaking, change into a new one, and accelerating technological progress may be a necessary requirement for that. At the same time, too much focus on technology as the only solution can lead to a dangerous transhumanist scenario which even if peaceful would disconnect us even further from what can be called the spiritual Source of life. So mindfulness practice will be useful even if medical solutions for aging reversal are found.

I guess communal gardens are good environments for cultivating mindfulness. However, my idea is that the mindfulness practice should be possible to do almost anywhere and at anytime, even during ordinary daily activities such as working in a city, shopping and doing the dishes.

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Re: Aging reversal with mindfulness

Postby Anders » Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:12 pm

Disclaimer: I'm not a biologist and this post is a result of amateur armchair research (I did some quick searches on the web).

The body uses stem cells to build, repair and maintain organs. On a biological level, stem cells therefore are a viable means of aging reversal.

"Stem cells are undifferentiated biological cells that can differentiate into specialized cells and can divide (through mitosis) to produce more stem cells. " -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stem_cell

Those stem cells that are called "completely pluripotent" can turn into cells of all types of organs.

"In cell biology, pluripotency (from the Latin plurimus, meaning very many, and potens, meaning having power)[14] refers to a stem cell that has the potential to differentiate into any of the three germ layers: endoderm (interior stomach lining, gastrointestinal tract, the lungs), mesoderm (muscle, bone, blood, urogenital), or ectoderm (epidermal tissues and nervous system).[15] However, cell pluripotency is a continuum, ranging from the completely pluripotent cell that can form every cell of the embryo proper, e.g., embryonic stem cells and iPSCs (see below), to the incompletely or partially pluripotent cell that can form cells of all three germ layers but that may not exhibit all the characteristics of completely pluripotent cells." -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_potency#Pluripotency

One interesting recent result from mainstream science is the discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs):

"Induced pluripotent stem cells (also known as iPS cells or iPSCs) are a type of pluripotent stem cell that can be generated directly from adult cells. The iPSC technology was pioneered by Shinya Yamanaka’s lab in Kyoto, Japan, who showed in 2006 that the introduction of four specific genes encoding transcription factors could convert adult cells into pluripotent stem cells.[1] He was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize along with Sir John Gurdon "for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent." [2]

Pluripotent stem cells hold great promise in the field of regenerative medicine. Because they can propagate indefinitely, as well as give rise to every other cell type in the body (such as neurons, heart, pancreatic, and liver cells), they represent a single source of cells that could be used to replace those lost to damage or disease." -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Induced_p ... _stem_cell

Here is a short video explaining induced pluripotent stem cells:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQKL5N1UwpE

And in this short video it's explained how the genes for pluripotent stem cells remain in ordinary cells and are simply switched off:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-QSurQWZo0

Switching genes on and off is something Bruce Lipton has talked extensively about and this is the role of epigenetics which means control above the genes. And in this video he explains how our beliefs can change which genes are on or off:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjjvimJRevQ

This means that by using our minds we can reprogram the epigenetics of our cells, and depending on the intelligence of the body this includes the switching on of those genes that are needed to turn ordinary cells into induced pluripotent stem cells. Given the fact of the amazing capacity of the placebo effect and things like spontaneous remission, it should be possible for the mind to produce new stem cells through change of mental beliefs. Although remember that 'belief' here includes the deep subconscious mental patterns which also need to change. Subconscious activities are below our direct conscious awareness, yet they can still become conscious through mindfulness of emotions and other sensations in body and mind.

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Re: Aging reversal with mindfulness

Postby Anders » Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:43 pm

To make the mindfulness practice simple: think of aging as a nocebo effect. What is a nocebo effect? It's the polar opposite of the placebo effect. While a placebo effect heals you, a nocebo effect makes you ill.

"Mental states such as beliefs, expectations and anticipation can powerfully influence the outcome of a disease, the experience of pain, and even the success of a surgery.[1][2][3] Positive expectations regarding a treatment can result in positive outcomes and this effect is known as the placebo effect. On the other hand, negative expectations can result in negative outcomes and this effect is known as the nocebo effect.[2][1] Both placebo and nocebo effects are presumably psychogenic but also produce measurable physiological changes as well as changes in the brain, the body and behaviour.[2][1]" -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nocebo

That was the easy part. Here comes the hard part: biological aging is much more than just being a mental nocebo effect. Our entire nervous system is like hardwired for aging and death.

Fortunately it's possible to modify the nervous system: "... we can improve the brain's ability to function, and we can actually reshape the physical structure of our brains through neuroplasticity training exercises." -- https://healdove.com/mental-health/Brai ... -Easy-Tips

One idea is that a really deep and full spectrum mindfulness practice is needed to be able to budge something so massive as the biological aging program. Another idea is that a clever hack is possible that specifically targets the neurological patterns that regulate the aging process. I will do some more investigation to figure out which strategy is most effective and promising.

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Re: Aging reversal with mindfulness

Postby Anders » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:58 pm

I just got an idea, and I'd better document it here before I forget it: biological aging is caused by thanatos, also called the death drive. It's really simple. The conscious form of thanatos is called death anxiety (thanatophobia):

"Death anxiety is the morbid, abnormal, or persistent fear of one's own mortality. One source defines death anxiety as a "feeling of dread, apprehension or solicitude (anxiety) when one thinks of the process of dying, or ceasing to ‘be’".[1] It is also referred to as thanatophobia (fear of death)" -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_anxiety_(psychology)

Thanatophobia is just a result of the death drive having become a large part of a person's conscious mind. We all have huge subconscious thanatophobia. Why? Because that's the reason for why we age and die.

With mindfulness practice we can feel the death drive as a horrible and ghastly feeling inside us, such as in the chest area. The reason why it feels so horrible is because the death drive is a large disconnect from our inner core. Fighting or attacking the death drive is useless since it's just a disconnection. What is needed is to mindfully (consciously) go deeper, to establish a bridge across the inner disconnection and connect with our inner sun, the Holy Spirit, the Tao or whatever name you want to call the activation of the Holy Grail; our body with "royal blood", Sangreal.

"Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" -- 1 Corinthians 3:16

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Re: Aging reversal with mindfulness

Postby Anders » Sat Oct 22, 2016 4:56 am

Some people may wonder about if we become mindful of our death drive, isn't that going to make our conscious mind develop death anxiety (thanatophobia)? No, that would be a pathological form of mindfulness practice. Yes, the ghastly death drive feeling will be brought to our conscious attention, meaning that we will feel it directly, but that's just a result of the disconnection with our innermost being. Negative feelings are useful as warning signals. So the horrible feeling is just an indication, a symptom, of the inner disconnection.

The opposite of becoming mindful of the death drive is called repression, and that's what we unconsciously do all the time in order to avoid developing thanatophobia. The repression is a result of our unawareness of our inner core behind the disconnection. What is needed is to become mindful of the death drive and to hold the horrible feeling nonjudgmentally. The nasty feeling is a warning signal. It's the cause behind that signal that needs to be addressed instead of repressing the signal itself or letting the mind go into a panic mode towards thanatophobia.

When mindfully holding the death drive feeling, keep an open receptiveness for letting your inner being connect with your conscious mind. For example visualize the death drive as a cold blockage of ice and your conscious attention as a warm energy that starts to melt the ice. Your conscious attention and your inner being then start to interact and the evidence for this is an actual feeling of warm energy gradually dissolving the death drive feeling.

Image

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Re: Aging reversal with mindfulness

Postby Anders » Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:34 am

One possibility, which actually seems obvious to me now, is that the disconnect from our innermost being, which is the cause of the death drive (thanatos), is the foundation for our personality. It explains why the ego, the ordinary individual human self, experiences itself as a totally separate entity. It is the original sin in Christianity which means "to miss the mark"; to be disconnected already from birth. It explains the usual symptoms of the death drive:

"According to Sigmund Freud, humans have a life instinct—which he named "Eros"—and a death drive, which is commonly called (though not by Freud himself) "Thanatos". This postulated death drive allegedly compels humans to engage in risky and self-destructive acts that could lead to their own death. Behaviors such as thrill seeking and aggression are viewed as actions which stem from this Thanatos instinct." -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanatos# ... d_medicine

The disconnect makes us unaware of our innermost being and causes a deep trauma that the person is unable to heal, and therefore instead of falling into despair or confusion the mind protects itself from the trauma by escaping, by doing precisely what is mentioned in the Wikipedia article, to engage in risky and self-destructive acts and aggression.

And the sheer horror of this is that the entire human mind becomes conditioned with the death drive and its disconnection as a foundation for our entire lives, both individually and collectively. No wonder why we put on fake personas as a public front, to hide this grim condition inside ourselves. Still, I'm optimistic about the possibility that we now have reached a moment in human history where healing of the death drive becomes possible, including making our physical bodies biologically young as a consequence of the healing.


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