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On Aging

By Greg Samples


Human beings are mortal. Each of us goes through the process of aging and no one expects to live forever. Average life expectancy today in the USA is about 79 years. Life expectancy in some countries is higher, and in others it is lower. The US ranks number 40 in the world in life expectancy. Modern medicine has been credited with increasing the life expectancy dramatically in the last century, but the reality is that much of this increase is attributed to decrease in infant mortality. Infant deaths greatly skewed the average length of life in the past. People who were forty-five years old didn’t expect to die within the next two years, even though the average lifespan in 1900 was 47 years.

Ancient texts from different parts of the world state that human life should last 120 years. Genesis 6:13 alleges that "his days shall be an hundred and twenty years." Chinese texts of the same era tell us that humans should live to 120 years, with the first sixty dedicated to material development, and the last sixty dedicated to spiritual development. If this is the standard, the overwhelming majority of us fall far short. Why then, do we live on average to only two-thirds of our potential. To answer this question, we must ask another. Why do we age?

From conception to birth, the human embryo repeats the entire evolutionary process of the last three billion years. It is said that we begin to die the moment we are born, yet for almost two decades of our life we continue the growth that began in the womb. As other organs and limbs are increasing in size and function, the thymus is shrinking until at some point in the mid to late teens it ceases its function of producing human growth hormone. This is when the aging process begins.

The human body is an assortment of elements, or minerals. Organs and tissues are assortments of cells that produce a certain function, and cells are assortments of elements that require a range of ratios of the elements to perform their functions. The body goes to great lengths to maintain this ratio using a process called homeostasis. We replenish any loss of elements due to our activity by our daily fare. Yet regardless of how well we eat or live, the loss of mineral elements over time is inevitable. This is the aging process. Our loss of minerals can be observed in pigment loss in our hair, loss of suppleness in our skin, loss of density in our bones, and countless other ways. We each have a unique constitution, or genetic makeup, that governs our potential lifespan. However, the decisions we make on a daily basis determine how much of that potential we will achieve.

Modern life is entrenched in a toxic environment. Pollution, stress, drugs, and the food we consume all contribute to the gradual depletion of minerals in the body, and therefore to the aging process. While we cannot prevent the inevitable, we can impede the process by the lifestyle we choose and most importantly by the food we consume. Choosing the best quality food not only delays the aging process, it also improves our quality of life in every way, physically, emotionally, mentally, and socially.

Disease is also the result of mineral deficiencies. We can think of disease as merely unbalanced aging, where one organ or area of the body has suffered depletion more rapidly than others. This can be due to a constitutional tendency, or more likely due to the habitual consumption of certain food or drink that effect one area of the body more than another. The oriental understanding of the 5 Transformations of Energy is an incredible tool to understand both what may be causing any disease/disorder and also how to resolve it.

Life for the aged is perceived in the modern world as a time of pain and suffering and disability. It does not have to be that way. It should be a time of painless reflection and peaceful understanding. We have only to apply the wisdom of the ages to make it so.

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