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Aging reversal with mindfulness

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
― Rumi
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Anders
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Re: Aging reversal with mindfulness

Postby Anders » Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:29 am

Some people have talked about how our world is like a death cult. That's absolutely correct. Because the world has evolved based on biological evolution which in turn is based on individual members of species dropping like flies all the time. A literal orgy of death through millions of years of biological evolution and thousands of years of social human development.

Up to present day, it's the whole species that live long, not the individual members of the species. Having members constantly dying and being replaced by offspring has had an evolutionary advantage by giving natural selection more genetic and epigenetic material to use.

Even our human society has survived based on people growing old relatively quickly and dying all the time. Even if biological natural selection only has played a minor role in human history there has been a natural selection of human minds.

Now we have reached a point in human history where we can step out of that horrible death cult since technological progress has reached a point where major changes can happen in years instead of in centuries. And that progress is accelerating all the time. And the mindfulness practice presented in this thread is based on this technological progress as a foundation, not on the death cult of our past human history. For technology has taken over the role of the human mind as the predominant factor of evolution here on earth and rendered the need for aging and dying obsolete.

And the technological progress will I believe in turn require a spiritual progress. Religions and spiritual traditions have played a role of laying the foundation for the spiritual awakening of humanity.

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Re: Aging reversal with mindfulness

Postby Anders » Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:48 pm

There is much great research going on in mainstream science and at least some of it related to mindfulness, and sometimes written about in mainstream media such as in this TIME article:

"... Even at the cellular level, stress seems to affect health; chronic stress has also been shown to harm DNA by shortening telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes.

This is not the first time research has suggested that how we feel about aging can affect how we age. Other research has shown that people who hold more negative aging stereotypes have a higher risk of heart problems about 40 years later, compared with people who have more positive feelings about age. But by changing our minds, we may also be able to change our health. “Positive age stereotypes seem protective of not experiencing these biomarkers,” says Becca Levy, lead author of the study and an associate professor of epidemiology and psychology at the Yale School of Public Health.

Levy’s study adds to the evidence that a more positive mind-set could make us more resilient in measurable ways. Eric Loucks, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Brown University, has shown that people with more “mindful dispositions”—which might be best defined as having an awareness of what you’re thinking and feeling in the moment—have significantly less body fat and also score higher on markers of heart health, compared with their peers. In another 2015 study, he discovered that people with high mindfulness scores were 86% more likely to have good cardiovascular health. Loucks’ team also plans to study whether mindfulness interventions will help people stick to doctor-recommended health regimens, like taking blood-pressure medication.

But if stress clearly accelerates biological aging, the opposite may also be true. Studies by Elissa Epel, a professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, have shown that mindfulness meditation can reduce stress and prevent people from ruminating in negative emotions, and some forms of meditation practice may even slow the biological signs of aging by stabilizing telomeres." -- Full article: http://time.com/4217061/its-the-little-things/

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Re: Aging reversal with mindfulness

Postby Anders » Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:03 am

A huge difference between this century and past centuries is that now death has become uncertain. In the past death was certain for all humans, but today science is possibly within a reach of solving the aging problem within just a few decades or even sooner than that. For example Google started a company called Calico to research solutions to the aging problem:

"We’re tackling aging,
one of life’s greatest mysteries.

Calico is a research and development company whose mission is to harness advanced technologies to increase our understanding of the biology that controls lifespan. We will use that knowledge to devise interventions that enable people to lead longer and healthier lives. Executing on this mission will require an unprecedented level of interdisciplinary effort and a long-term focus for which funding is already in place." -- https://www.calicolabs.com/

Even though not yet so well known among the general public, this new possibility is beginning to have a big impact on our psychology. Why? Because the belief in inevitable death is an enormously deep and ingrained mental pattern in us humans. And when such massive foundation becomes shaky it also shakes our whole psychological situation.

From a practical perspective, death no longer being inevitable leads to increased confusion in the mind. And the mind loves certainty and hates uncertainty, so isn't that adding to the inner conflict within the person? Not necessarily, because we can use mindfulness practice to observe the uncertainty and that means we get personal control over the situation. And the mind loves personal control even more than it loves mere certainty.

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Re: Aging reversal with mindfulness

Postby Anders » Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:09 am

Mindfulness of confusion is really challenging in my experience. The whole mind is totally conditioned to avoid confusion. So there is an increase of suffering when being mindful of confusion. And the mind desperately tries to start thinking about personal relationship, financial and health problems and so on. That's a sign of increased inner conflict. Not good.

The good thing is that sometimes there is a little inner peace when observing the confusion. But holy crap, what an immense burden for the mind that's revealed. And what makes it even more burdensome is that basically everybody else has the same death cult conditioning of the mind which means that the whole society embodies that burden.

I believe enlightened people like Eckhart Tolle are only half correct. For example Tolle makes a distinction between practical use of the mind and living in the present moment. That seems like an inner conflict to me since it's a division between practicality and mindfulness.

Other people meditate every day as a separate activity and then in the rest of their daily lives they go on with the same death cult mind, with its inevitable conflicts. Ken Wilber has meditated for decades and still he got a serious heart problem some years ago. And Wilber is a very skilled meditator who can at will enter inner stillness of his mind:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFFMtq5g8N4

One explanation is that traditional mindfulness practices are very useful and as science has shown have real lasting effects, but they only deal with the surface layers of the mind. I believe that for grounded inner peace the whole death cult mind has to be reprogrammed. And mindfulness of confusion may be a key for such reprogramming.

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Re: Aging reversal with mindfulness

Postby Anders » Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:14 am

The ego is related to aging and dying. Even animals have a kind of ego, a sense of a separate self with strong drives for protection and preservation. Without the ego we wouldn't have a sense of being individuals. So the ego is a necessary development.

One problem with the ego is that it's based on a false belief of total separation. And out of that false perspective fear and desire arise. Fear means a lack of inner peace and desire also leads to a lack of inner peace since the desire is a striving for something in the future.

The ego needs mental concepts to attach fear and desire to. Otherwise the mind becomes confused. Dropping fear and desire is the wrong way. That's the way back to life without an individual self.

The self needs to be preserved. So how to develop inner peace while keeping fear and desire? Inner peace flows into us when we realize on a deep subconscious level that the belief in being a totally separate individual is false. Behind the confusion in the mind is the truth.

Therefore, being mindful of the confusion in the mind is a connection with truth. And with the realization of truth comes inner peace. And with inner peace the stress response is replaced by a healthy functioning of the body. And reduced chronic stress means less biological aging.

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Re: Aging reversal with mindfulness

Postby Anders » Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:15 pm

The ego is driven by conflict with a lot of friction and stress as a result. That makes us age fast. The root cause of the conflict is the false belief in being a totally separate entity. The remedy for this harmful condition is unity consciousness.

Unity consciousness means full inner peace. Is that boring to the ego? No, boredom is a negative emotion, a warning signal indicating that there is inner conflict within the person. Unity consciousness is at its root a harmonious state without the need for warning signals like negative emotions.

So, how, then, is it possible to preserve the individual mind in unity consciousness? How to preserve the valuable parts of the ego? The answer is that with inner peace as a foundation it's easy to add conflicts in a safe way, like in competition, entertainment and dramas. So all those ego traits are preserved in unity consciousness. Even negative emotions can safely be included in unity consciousness.

The problem with the ego is that it has "serious" conflicts which are harmful, since the ego lacks a foundation of unity. The ego has a false foundation which always produces confusion and from that fear develops as a perceived need for protection.

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Re: Aging reversal with mindfulness

Postby Anders » Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:22 am

Biological aging is related a lot to the immune system:

"The effects of aging on the immune system are manifest at multiple levels ... The ultimate goal of research in immune system aging is to use the information to develop strategies to stimulate immunity ... potentially slow or reverse the aging process." -- Causes, consequences, and reversal of immune system aging: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3582124/

That was the mainstream science part. Now to my personal fringe science part. :mrgreen: Society and our egos develop together and this has led to us thinking in terms of protection and fight, fight, fight even when it comes to our health. War against cancer. Medicine that kills cancer cells. An immune system that fights cancer cells. And so on. We have like a war on our own biology.

Think of the human body as a community. Is it a good thing to have constant war in that community or is it a bad thing? It's of course bad with a lot of disease and suffering which sooner or later will happen with an endless war like that. In order for the community to prosper the war has to end. And in the human body, the analogy of that is that the immune system primarily becomes a cleaning system instead of being an internal war machine.

From an even fringier (if that's a word) perspective it's our beliefs about our bodies that turn the immune system into a war machine. Healing this situation can be done with a mindful approach of changing those beliefs into a holistic perspective that includes both the body and its environment in a morphic field of unity consciousness.

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Re: Aging reversal with mindfulness

Postby Anders » Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:26 am

Here is a materialistic documentary and I doubt that there is much if any (I haven't watched it all yet) mentioning of mindfulness practice, but it's useful for loosening up the hardwired belief of inevitable aging and death: Exploring Life Extension (with YouTube playlist) -- http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/explorin ... extension/

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Re: Aging reversal with mindfulness

Postby Anders » Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:18 pm

Now I found more evidence for mindfulness being able to change our epigenetics:

"... interestingly, researchers are now finding that mindfulness may also affect the activity of HDAC genes (histone deacetylase) which code for proteins that are involved with epigenetic modifications. Epigenetics describes how cells can regulate gene activity without changing the sequence of a gene, this is often done by enzymes that add or subtract small molecules to the DNA. The process is also thought to be influenced heavily by the environment and is potentially heritable. ... this new research is further evidence that the effect of the mind can also impact genetic expression." -- https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/ ... es-behave/

It's exciting that mindfulness practice can potentially compete with or complement traditional medical and biological research. It's something that is possible to experiment with ourselves right away.

And in this short CBS News interview Harvard psychology professor Ellen Langer talks about how mental attitude can reverse the effects of aging: http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/can-your- ... -of-aging/

A quote from the interview: "It's a mind body unity theory ... and it also explains things like placebos and spontaneous remission."

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Re: Aging reversal with mindfulness

Postby Anders » Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:59 pm

Changing our epigenetics with mindfulness is a really interesting possibility. But how is epigenetics related to aging? Here I found a recent scientific study:

"Accumulating evidence links aging to genetic and epigenetic alterations. Given the reversible nature of epigenetic mechanisms, these pathways provide promising avenues for therapeutics against age-related decline and disease." -- http://www.cell.com/fulltext/S0092-8674(16)31000-5

The paper discusses epigenetic therapies. That means a new kind of medical drugs (there already exists some such drugs). Impressive stuff, but what may be equally or even more impressive is that we can use our minds to produce epigenetic changes (see for example my previous post).


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