What is immortality (life after death)?
Why would any one want to be immortal? Why would any one want to live to 150 and beyond? Most folks don’t begin to consider these ideas until their elder years – often prompted by an aging body and a faltering mind.
A few may think about it at a young age… but mostly, mortality becomes an issue the older we get, especially after we have passed the half-century mark of living on planet earth.
Life after death – the illusion of death
In order to stretch the believability-zone of the contemporary mind, I like to offer the extraordinary, the mysterious and the unexplainable.
When we allow ourselves to think “out side the box” – even when, at first, we find it difficult to believe – we then begin to see creation in a whole new light of wonder and awe … and life becomes so much more interesting!
When I was a teenager, I was basically depressed and unhappy most of the time and I honestly believed that I was not going live very long.
Born with serious ailments that greatly limited me as far as what I could do, I had not thought about any other possibilities for me, other than to just go to sleep and not wake up.
In fact, my most favorite thing to do during those years was to sleep! It was, of course, the ultimate escape (short of actually dying) and it was there in the quiet void of unconsciousness that I could finally experience some relief from a difficult life.
In a way, that strong feeling of not living long played itself out in a deeply painful death – of a sort – when I was twenty-nine. It was my first divorce and I felt like a profound failure. Every day I silently planned my suicide in my mind. When too afraid to carry it out, however, I feverishly prayed and begged God to take my life.
My prayers were answered in a bizarre yet mystical style. I did die – at least, the person who was originally born in this body died and another stepped in. Now some of you may be rolling your eyes at this point … but just “hear” me out.
A walk-in or a walk-out?
A name has been given to this phenomena: “walk-in”. The mention of such an experience was first tackled courageously more than thirty years ago by the then retired, award-winning Washington Post journalist, Elizabeth Montgomery.
Amid the slew of her well written, best-selling metaphysical books (inspired by perennially wise “spirit guides” from the “other side”), she writes in great detail about “walk-ins” (souls from other life-times, another planet or dimension stepping into a human body that the former “owner” no longer needs or wants). None of this was known to me at the time of my “dying”; not until two years later when a new friend recommended I read her books after I described my “weird” experience to him.
Am I a “walk-in”? I don’t know. It is certainly not something I can prove. Further more, the term “walk-in” is only a mediocre label given to an extraordinary experience that no one has yet understood nor has a better explanation for. The only thing I am certain of is that I fit Montgomery’s description of a walk-in to a tee.
During those few of days of agonizing pain (of which I have never experienced before or since) some part of me “walked out” (and it certainly felt like dying) while another part of me – or perhaps, beyond me – “walked in”. I literally became a very different person in a matter of a few days.
I gained some manner of validation that something strange and unexplainable happened to me when my ex-husband, close friends and few family members remarked on how different I was. My ex-husband claimed that he didn’t know me any more – a remark he made only a few weeks after our separation. How could I have made such a vast change in personality in such a short period of time? Amusingly, he actually liked the “new me” better! But the “new me” would not tolerate the game-playing and the dishonesty. So … no … we did not get back together.
The ability to live forever; eternal life. Where am I going with all of this?
Well, in regards to immortality meaning – or at least in regards to extending life past the age of 150 or more – my experience is relevant because it alludes to what many philosophers and theologians of the past waxed at great length about : that our souls are eternal and everlasting – and that the physical body is merely a vehicle that the soul learns to use in order to navigate through earthly experiences.
In addition, there are ancient writings which tell that humans were once capable of not only living for hundreds and thousands of earth years, but also capable of leaving the body at will (a conscious death by choice) and in some cases, even transmuting the body and taking it with them (an ascension of a sort).
How does one get to this point of conscious dying – or living longer – by choice? Why must we die at all if we are immortal and everlasting at the core? And why would any one want to live for hundreds of years?
A reason to live
Modern science is making rapid progress in breaking down the DNA code, rearranging of our genetic make-up and finding the very key that controls length of life (as you will see in the Fantastic Voyage article below is speak of ‘what is immortality’).
It has been predicted that in less than 50 years, science will have perfected the procedure and will be able to manipulate our DNA to greatly lengthen human life. But why would any one want to have their genes manipulated like that?
In regards to stem cell research, cloning cells to grow arms, legs and vital organs in order to replace those which have been damaged or are dysfunctional in some way seems to be a healthy direction for the genetic sciences. However, when it comes to extending life, somehow morality comes into the picture …. because not only is science developing the ability to extend life, they are also perfecting procedures to clone a full human being.
Of course, there will be those who will dive in without hesitation and be more than willing to have their genes altered in order to increase their life span and stave off death. Some may even be willing to take on a cloned human body. Yet, I believe that as eternal beings, we have a natural ability to lengthen our life spans right here and now without genetic manipulation – of which we have no idea as to what the long-term side effects may be.
There are, of course, critical keys to generating a natural increase in human life span. Some of my viewpoints are substantiated by the renowned authors of Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever by Ray Kurzweil(one of the world’s leading high-tech inventors and futurists) and Terry Grossman, MD (one of the world’s foremost authorities on anti-aging and medical director of a leading longevity clinic).
Kurzweil and Grossman point out that in a few decades, science will have the skills and knowledge to end disease and lengthen human life spans by hundreds of years or more. However, they emphasize that many “baby boomers” may not live long enough to take advantage of the science. In Fantastic Voyage, they tell how we can build health and increase life spans now to enhance our chances of still being around when the developing science is perfected and becomes easily available.
They further present the factors that will maximize a person’s potential for lengthening life spans using quality nutrition, natural alternative remedies and lifestyle changes. After that, they present that the science of bio-engineering will take over in the next few decades and will sustain the human body through adding altered cells.
Care of the body
Kurzweil and Grossman state that one major key in greatly lengthening the span of life is care of the human body. The human body does best on the bio-energetic quality of whole, live foods and natural alternative remedies. In eliminating foods and substances that contribute to aging, and instead, consuming the nutrients from whole foods that the body needs, miracles can then take place.
The body can repair itself, rejuvenate and regenerate when it has enough of the proper nutritional dietary elements along with proper exercise. There is no need for drugs, medications or invasive medical practices (with the exception of life-saving procedures). In fact, when the body is in balance and harmony, there are no cravings nor desires for drugs, alcohol, smoking, medications or other abusive and unhealthy substances. Cravings and desires for nutrient poor foods fades away, too. I concur with their viewpoint because this has been my personal experience – as has been the experience of thousands of others who have followed such a path.
Another critical factor to increasing life spans in a natural fashion is to have a good reason to live! Wanting to extend life because of the fear of dying is not a viable reason to strive for immortality – or life extension. In having a good reason to live, getting in touch with what impassions us leads to greater purpose in life. This likely falls under the category of lifestyle changes since changing our viewpoints about ourselves and our relationship to the world automatically influences our choices and begins to shift how we behave.
This is the creative link that unites us with that Higher Power which some call God: for when we are on purpose, we begin to receive sustenance in a whole different manner. We become energized through creative life force and every cell in our body begins to vibrate at a higher frequency. The aging process begins to slow down.
It is totally possible to live on creative energy. I know this to be true because I’ve done it for days at a time when I’ve experienced a birth of an idea and put it into action. During those times there was little or no need for food, very little sleep … and yet, I had lots of steady, alert energy for days. Others have described similar experiences, too, at the height of their creativity.
Dropping the Old Self
If I am indeed a “walk-in”, then the “old me” simply had no good reason to live, felt hopeless and just gave up. And another soul – or perhaps a more evolved or future aspect of myself – “filled in” because it needed to be here and has a lot more reasons to live a long life. After taking years to clean up the karmic mess the “old me” created – including healing a very sickly body and eliminating some destructive, rigid beliefs and habit patterns – it has taken me a long time to get to the place of understanding and accepting the larger picture of why I am here.
Do I have memories of my life in this body before my “walk-in” experience? Yes… although, when I remember them its more like being an observer watching myself with no emotion. It’s similar to being in the audience while watching a movie with the same kind of detachment. I see the image of myself on a screen acting in various roles that looks like an old black and white film. There is no longer any emotion associated with any event prior to the “walk-in” experience. Even the worst of scenarios are memories without any feeling attached to them.
However, in order to “jog” my COSMIC memory and awaken more fully to my “life’s purpose” – I had to endure more crisis events during the thirty years that followed my “walk-in” experience. I came within inches of dying yet again: twice through illness, once through a severe auto accident and another through an extremely unpleasant circumstance where I actually did die a physical death, traveled briefly to the “other side” (where existence is far more real, vibrant and alive than here) and then came back to life – commonly called a Near Death Experience.
These experiences taught me some very profound truths: that in order to realize more of my eternal self – and add a few healthy and enjoyable decades onto my life – I had to learn to allow myself to go through the “little deaths”.
What is immortality? Little Deaths
“One has to pay dearly for immortality; one has to die several times while one is still alive.” — Friedrich Nietzsche (German classical Scholar and Philosopher – 1844-1900)
Those fragmented parts of our personality that represent the false beliefs that influence and distort our perceptions of reality are the parts that need to integrate, fade away or die. When these parts of ourselves die (or perhaps it is the separation between the true self and its fragments that dissolves and nothing actually dies), it sometimes happens through great emotional and mental pain. Some call it a psychological death, or the death of the ego, or being “born again” – or on a more amusing note – a serious attitude adjustment.
Yet the importance of these “little deaths” is that the aspects of our consciousness that keep us limited, fearful, lacking, fragmented, shamed, separated, pessimistic, unfulfilled and unhappy – falls away like a dead leaf falls from its branch. It dies and leaves a space … an opening … to be filled by more of our whole, evolved and truthful selves.
Those who believe they cannot – or will not – change their beliefs or thinking patterns because their need to keep their viewpoints alive is stronger than their desire to live fully, healthfully and authentically … will likely go through the Big Death in accordance with what society deems is an appropriate stage to die. Not that this is wrong, of course … it only represents where most folks unknowingly choose a path that greatly limits their potential rather than to be more fully liberated.
I could have died a physical death in all those incidents that I related above. However, I did not die because I chose to live – AND I also chose in those moments to ask a Higher Power (God, Spirit, etc) to show me what it was that I was supposed to learn from those experiences.
Even though I experienced an extreme amount of pain, confusion, bewilderment, terror and hopelessness in those circumstances – and more than once I whined, “Why me?” – I never once hated, blamed nor resented any of those people who played a major role in bringing about those unfortunate situations: not the three drivers who plowed one after the other into my stationary car at high speeds – with me in it; not the person who sucked my energy dry, used me up and “broke my heart”; not the person who physically assaulted me and wanted me dead.
Not blaming does not mean that any of those people responsible should be in my life or that I should look them up and be their buddy. Even though the above circumstances were either innocently or deliberately perpetrated – its simply healthy and wise to stand clear of “toxic” elements. After all, if you know where the community cesspool is, you don’t go hang out there for health reasons! Don’t get me wrong … the community cesspool (and people who act like one) has an important and necessary role to play regardless of any unpleasantness.
So … I was able to accept the circumstances without blame and moved on. In some situations it took longer to move on … but move on I did. And as you may have already guessed, achieving forgiveness – or perhaps more appropriately – achieving “non-blame” – is a critical key to extending one’s life and to have that extended life be a very healthy one.
Immortality – or living longer – is not just about reaching a very old age
Lots of folks have reached 90, 100 and beyond, even though they smoked all their lives, drank alcohol, ate poorly, had a lousy attitude about people and life, and were basically bitter, ungrateful and hateful until the day they died. If one lives a long life in a pain ridden, arthritic body; if one lives long with dementia or Alzheimer’s; if one lives long with depression and hopelessness; if one lives long with resentments and lots of regrets about the past – then living a long life beyond the expected norm is not all that desirable nor enviable. Better to live a short life of good health, gentile thoughts, a peaceful heart, a loving attitude and kind acts towards others – than to live for 200 years without those things.
To begin a journey toward radical life extension… we must want to live for the sake of fulfilling one’s purpose, to participate in the world in being of service to others and contributing to positive change. In rising to the next level of fulfillment, its critically important to want to live fully, authentically and do what impassions us.
Are you passionate about your goals and dreams? If not, find something to be passionate about in which you can apply your heart and soul. Are you healthy and content with yourself? If not, then find a way to eliminate what stops you and then build a new lifestyle and a new attitude.
Be open to receive and actualize your greater, more evolved self – as I am convinced that everyone has a greater, more evolved self waiting to step in. In this way a greatly extended life makes sense. Immortality makes sense, too.
And when immortality dawns, then time disappears and a whole new world is born.