The Dream of Longevity

The Dream of Longevity

n his recent volume The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance, author Anthony Gottlieb leads the reader on a quest from ancient Greece and its philosophy to the renewal of intense interest in the “human drive for understanding.” In effect, Gottlieb views the mentality of the Greeks as the catapult that delivered the fire, 1800 years later, that reignited the drive to know during the Renaissance. And, by implication, the Renaissance way of thinking was the springboard that propelled mankind still further into the future.

But just as the glory of Greece was not an end in itself, neither were the profound understandings of the Renaissance enough to quench mankind’s insatiable thirst for more. Yet, although pointing more clearly toward the shores of modern times, the Renaissance did not conveniently hold out all its answers to the present, just as the present does not neatly tender all its answers to the future.

But the Renaissance, at least, was a leg up on Greece, just as the Age of Reason (which sired the American Revolution) was an advance over the Renaissance, and so on. Which brings us to the point: What are the characteristics of the present that drive the goals of human understanding toward a safe landing in the future, without the intervening void of another Dark Age, as occurred between Greece and the Renaissance?

I would contend that among those characteristics is the profound interest in health embraced by those who remain true to the human drive for understanding, as the means not only for building a better launch pad to the future, but also for sending themselves there as well. The goal is to arrive in good health of mind and body and at least as fully formed as Athena when she sprang forth from the brow of Zeus, abundantly armed and enhanced by knowledge.

Speaking of the future, this issue of Life Enhancement contains two remarkable articles that clearly portend the “fruit” that the future is likely to bear—one more distant and one more immediate: “Resveratrol Prolongs Life in a Vertebrate!” and “Putting More Power into Your Life”—the first one about climbing the evolutionary tree to longevity, the second, an interview with Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw about building a better body. Read them and be enhanced!

Live long and prosper,

Will Block

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