There is no better example of the “frog in boiling water” metaphor than aging. It happens in infinitesimal segments measured in Planck lengths, which is the smallest unit of time we can physically measure using our current knowledge of Physics and it never stops.
Living with such a powerful, incremental, pervasive, condition results in behavior that is unsurprising to us given what we know about our own understanding of human behavior: that is to say we ignore it, until we no longer can and then we try to find ways to live with it, until we no longer can.
The reasons we age at all have to do with the inherent inefficiency of biological systems that have evolved over time with energy management and reproduction as the primary requirement for long-term success. The fact that we are asking these questions now suggests that we are beginning to look at the process in a more fundamental way and asking if there is anything we can do?
When we look at everything as a system and examine fundamental principles that govern the apparent complexity we observe interesting things emerge. For a start we understand that science provides an ever more granular look at processes that we have taken for granted and the more analysis we carry out the more intervention points we find where our behavior can make a difference.
The multi-factorial aspects of aging are suggestive of some of the behavioral modifications we can apply. The research also points to specific behaviors that can reverse aspects of the aging process. When something as relatively ‘simple’ as exercise can alter the course of something as physically written into the universe as aging we realize that quantum mechanics may play a pivotal role in our understanding of biology, and life and maybe, even, aging and, conceptually at least, point to a way to defeat death.
Given what we now know about the speed of neurobiological reactions in the body there is a good chance that our very core is powered by quantum physics which might then mean that biological entities can exhibit quantum behavior at a macro level.
Obviously, the moment we introduce quantum mechanics, things get a little abstract. But this is where it gets interesting. The ability to harness the mind to change our biology through complex environmental, mental and neurobiological interactions is something I’ve documented in “The Sniper Mind” and have blogged about using eyesight as an example. It is no different, apparently, when it comes to aging.
We can think ourselves young just as we can think ourselves smart. It’s a concept that changes everything. We know that far too often our choices, decisions and actions are guided by external stimulus. We are not really in control of ourselves or even conscious all the time.
Pixar’s “Inside Out” kinda made that obvious in a fun way. But the animated movie is backed by some solid science that suggests that our consciousness is not as, erm… conscious as we may think it is. With consciousness experiencing real gaps our idea of how we see the world is a narrative fabrication of a mind that is only partially paying attention, mainly because paying attention is an energy-intensive and therefore expensive thing to do.
To truly engage in it we need to have some idea of the ROI (those pesky fundamental principles, again). This brings us to here, and now. This moment where we are all as young as we are right now as we hear in Jim Steinman’s “Lost Boys and Golden Girls” or the evergreen, powerful Meat Loaf’s rendition of “A Kiss Is A Powerful Thing To Waste”. The world is also a process we experience every moment of every day. Everything we see and are part of, everything that touches us and everything that we are part of, is something we have contributed to in some way with our action or inaction, acceptance or refusal, understanding or incomprehension.
Just as we are the architects of our selves, we are the makers of our world. Responsibility is a curse. It raises the specter of failure and the judgement that goes with it. Screw it! – Roll with it. It is worse to not try than try and fail. In order to get to what we want to see, whether it is in ourselves or our world, we really just need to try. Time is really against us.
I know you have coffee and I know you have donuts and croissants, cookies and chocolate cake. All that remains is for me to say have an awesome Sunday wherever you are.