Faces on Faith: An anti-aging pill
The February 23rd cover of Time magazine featured a baby with the headline: THIS BABY COULD LIVE TO BE l43 YEARS OLD.
Inside the magazine, the article was titled: “Get Your Head In The Game,” with the not so subtle suggestion that your outlook can change how you age, at the cellular level.
Dr. Richard Davidson, neuroscientist and founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, reports: “The regular practice of certain contemplative methods seems to be able to alter the trajectory of age-related changes.”
In fact, according to Dr. Florian Kurth, co-author of the study, “we expected rather small effects. Instead, what we actually observed was a widespread effect of meditation that encompassed regions throughout the entire brain.”
While many religions encourage meditation, Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, reveals man as “the harmonious manifestation of an infinite Mind” in her textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures.
From the beginning, she encourages her readers to embrace life as eternal, and to “shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight.” She continues: “Immortal men and women are models of spiritual sense, drawn by perfect Mind, and reflecting those higher conceptions of loveliness which transcend all material sense.”
In the King James Version of the Bible, Job reinforces this idea with these words: “If thou prepare thine heart and stretch out thine hand toward him, thine age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning.”
Referring back to the Time article, the authors even suggest that a woman of 70 who engages in this kind of daily spiritual reflection, will often appear younger and healthier than a 55-year-old who views life merely as material.
Dr. George Bartokis, a neurobiologist, urges us to find work that calls on us to remain nimble, adaptive, even visionary, to offset the aging process.
It was Satchell Paige who, when asked “How old are you, Satch?” He replied: “How old would you be, if nobody told you how old you are?”
I am reminded of President Jimmy Carter, who at age 90 has written over 30 books, and traveled to many countries to over-see the integrity of voting, and my own husband, Ed, who at 9l, teaches Sunday School every week at the Sanibel Christian Science Church, and has such perfect recall, that he is asked to give his World War II talk at the Naples Museum of Military Memorabilia.
Both these men have relied on disciplined daily meditation and a close connection with God, which appears to have overcome the limitations associated with age.
Food . . . for . . thought.