What if We Only Age Because We Expect to Age?

For our intents and purposes, space-time exists: that is, the same space may appear different depending on the time, and the same time may be different depending on the space. But does time by itself exist?

What if we have a lot more control over ourselves than we think? The power of thought has seemed to heal people on many occasions. The placebo effect has people feeling better all the time. Meditation, prayer, positive thinking: these all lead to individual improvement, that seems to come from within (or at least not an earthly force). So what if believing the biggest lie ever told, that we have to age, has actually cased the self fulfilling prophecy?

Suppose we only age because we expect to age. We count the years, we count the days, we dread the affect aging will have on our skin, our brains, our energy levels. Have we accepted aging as an inevitability, and therefore adjust our own self image day by day, which adjusts our outward image, and indeed, our fate? What if we put a little less emphasis on age, seeing as we don’t really even understand time? What if we are doing this to ourselves, and everyone joins in because it has been proven time and time again that people do age?

Interestingly I started writing this before I saw an article that talks about the age we feel being related to how much longer we will live. The study asked 6,500 adults averaging 66 years old how old they felt. Then the study tracked those participants over an eight year period. “About 14 percent of the young-feeling adults died during the follow-up, versus 19 percent of those who felt their actual age and 25 percent of those who felt older”.

Now how much does this really suggest about age? I don’t really know. It could be simply that those with certain conditions leading to earlier death could already feel the toll. But the research did account for those who were already sick, and died within a year of the study. So could it suggest that feeling young really does promote health?

In a sense, that sounds obvious. If you feel young, you are probably more likely to go get some exercise. But perhaps you are also more likely to dangerously push your limits? Either way, the study gives a great reason to think and feel young, which could actually have the effect of slowing aging.

We all know people who look and act way younger than their age. They all have different theories on how they did it: lots of exercise, the right kind of food, love, joy, meditation. But what if every one of those was more or less a placebo effect? All these people had to do was feel younger, and think younger, and their aging process was slowed? Would this not account for why there are so many formulas for anti-aging, but no real answer? Perhaps all you have to do if adopt a relatively healthy practice that you believe will make you live longer, happier, and healthier, and it will be so.

I haven’t ruled out this possibility, that our minds have greater effect on our beings than we understand. It seems the power to heal could rest within us. So then what else do we have the power to affect using only our minds?

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Marriage: A Mile Marker

Today I’ll be heading up to New Hampshire for a wedding. Really, these are the first of my friends from high school to get married. Sure, I went to my cousin’s wedding this past summer, but even though we are the same age, there’s a different aspect to being at a wedding as one of the friends, versus one of the relatives. This will be my first friend wedding, versus family wedding.

It makes me feel old. I still react with shock every time I hear someone my age is getting married or having a baby. It takes me a couple minutes to realize that these are not teenage pregnancies and shotgun weddings. It is actually quite normal to be starting a family at 24 or 25 years old. My sister had two kids at my age, and was celebrating her third wedding anniversary.

It has got to be very exciting to start a new chapter of one’s life, being married. It is a definitive time when one stage ends and another begins; you can’t mistake yourself for a child anymore. Me on the other hand, I still feel like a kid. There’s no threshold I’ve passed that has said, “alright, now life’s different”, so things just seem jumbled into one stage of life. You could say two stages, but the second stage has such a fluid starting point.

Did adulthood start at 16 when I could drive, or 18 when I was “legally” an adult who couldn’t legally drink. At 18 in America, you got another 3 years of being treated like a child. So does adulthood start at 21, at which point everyone wonders why these young adults are still acting like children (because they’ve been treated like children for 21 years, well into historically recognized adulthood).

Some expect artificial milestones to change people, but really, changed people reach organic milestones.

Marriage makes the shift quite obvious. Stage 2: creating your own family. You decide when to get married, it isn’t a predestined time and place for everyone around you to then say, “alright, you’re an adult now!”. The choice is yours, and it is something to embark on when you feel like an adult. There’s an order of operations here. Getting married in order to feel like an adult will probably end poorly; getting married because you feel like an adult makes sense.

It is scary to outsiders like me who see themselves in such a different stage. It is natural to compare yourself with your peers, and wonder if you are doing something wrong. When people start getting married around me, it makes me wonder if there is something I am missing. A flurry of emotions is awakened in the unmarried wedding goer. It makes you think. Do they really have their shit together that much more than me?

I wonder if it feels like wiping the slate clean. Is marriage the time when you can finally get past all the little things that bothered you about adolescence, and all the petty quirks from high school and college? It seems like a perfect time to fully harden the “I don’t care” attitude. The good kind of “I don’t care”, not the Lindsay Lohan kind. The type of “I don’t care” because you got someone that will always have your back. You are no longer alone in the world, to fight your own battles. There is always backup on the way, always an ear ready to listen, and always someone else to share the struggles and the best of times with.

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Interestingly, Nick and Amanda have been together for a decade at the age of 24. This isn’t one of those “is it gonna last” marriages: they have already passed the seven year itch. Marriage just makes it official, confirms what we have all known for a long time: that this pair makes sense together. They add something to the other, they work well together. They have already been moving through life together for a long time, but tomorrow, there will be no mistaking it. It is Team Amanda and Nick, entering adulthood together.

Congratulations, Amanda and Nick! You are marking the first official time when we can sit back and reminisce, sure that certain things are exclusively in the past. We may never again frolic on the golf course late at night, setting off firecrackers and running from no one. We might be done packing 5 people into a canoe, sunken so far into the water one false move will sink it; lighting fires and sending soda cans rocketing off the coals.

These events can clearly be designated to the Stage 1 of life,  and viewed through a new lens. From here the conversations will begin to shift; instead of talking about how cool we are for drinking, and causing trouble, we will probably be discussing how to keep our future children from drinking and causing trouble. How the hell did we make it out of there unscathed? That has already happened with my sister and some of her friends. I consider my experienced advice invaluable to them.

It is funny how it can seem like a blink of an eye from being a kid, to being an adult. Marriage, like most ceremonies, has as much meaning as you want to give it. Some people think there is something magical about ceremonies; that due to marriage an outside force will make you a different person. That’s not true though. Marriage is something to undertake when you are ready to make yourself a different person. Otherwise it would be putting the cart before the horse, and I see that too often. People think that getting married will make their boyfriend become more mature, or their girlfriend act more like a stereotype.

But I know it is not like that for Nick and Amanda. I think you guys have got it all figured out. You’re not doing it for other people, and you are not doing it as a way to convince yourselves of anything. Marriage won’t change anything by itself; you have already gotten to that point, made the positive change. Marriage is just the celebration, the recognition of what you have, and will have for the rest of your lives!

What if Life is Just our Souls Playing a Video Game?

boatHuman beings lack perspective, literally, as in, we only view the world from our eyes. I’m not trying to be all high and mighty; we can look at pictures and videos from other perspectives, but we are still doing that with just our eyes and other senses, mostly based out of our heads. Then we process that with our brains which are pretty much basing the new material off of old stuff we processed and inventoried before. It works for us on earth, but it does make me wonder why there is such a willingness to say we know what happens after earth. There is only so much information we have to go off of, so to say there is nothing, or to say there is something quite specific confuses me… I’ve always been a skeptic, which I think is a healthy way to not be hoodwinked.

So the idea I’m about to present also lacks perspective I realize, but it takes that lack of perspective into account. Have you ever played video games for a long time, and then perhaps you got busted in Grand Theft Auto so you snap out of it, look around and are like, “Woah I’ve been playing video games for like 5 hours”? What if earth is just our souls playing a video game?

Maybe its a coming of age type thing for our souls to spend a lifetime on earth, and see what we can get out of it. Or maybe there is no limit to how many earth lives you can live, and you got to keep going around until you finally get it right. The other souls will laugh, “Ha, it took you 230 lifetimes to move beyond earth! I did it in 46”.

And as soon as we die we look around and are like, “Damn, how did I forget I was playing a video game that whole time?” And then all the souls sit around and have a beer (or whatever body-less souls drink for a good time, because I don’t want to imagine an eternity without a good beverage) and talk about what they learned on earth.

“Can you believe I beat that old lady and stole her wallet, just to buy some vodka?” What a silly thing for a soul to do, but the person was coming from a very particular perspective of being a poor drunk who’s past stimuli didn’t teach him that he shouldn’t beat old ladies and take their money. (For the record I am anti-old-lady-beating, don’t use your infinite soul as an excuse!)

Could that be it? That we are put into a simulator and forget about what happened before life, and have no idea what will happen after? Coming into this world was pretty dream like: you just wake up all of the sudden—can’t even really pinpoint when and where—and you’re here, without any perspective on where you came from, and just have to be like, “Okay, lets see what happens”. But in a dream you completely forget that you were ever awake. It feels so different, dreams and reality, yet from the perspective of a dream, it seems like that is all there is. It’s a dream within a dream! Maybe Inception was onto something.

The perspective is much more omniscient from the soul. Imagine entire ideas and feelings transferred in a fraction of a second, with no room for confusion. And I feel quite limited, like I can see so little from inside my skull, and have to express all my brain-stuffs in words—which is so primitive. I have to look in one direction, and can only look at one place at each time. How limited 5 senses are! There should be infinite stimuli that we process in a vacuum (think of all the wavelengths we just recently, or have yet to discover), not just a few, that get mixed up with so much emotion in there! But we are after all still humans, and have got to learn these things.

What if I totally just cut down the amount of human lives you have to live before you move on, awaken from this coming of age test, and join the universe as one once more? Now you don’t have to die on the battlefield of WWIII in your next life, because you can use this life to finish up your earthly, coming of soul age lessons! Okay, now I’m getting cocky… I don’t want to set myself back ten lifetimes.