Oftentimes, to reach this level of connection and commitment of immortalism, we must experience some ego death (even going through a near physical death experience), where our spiritual sense becomes dominant. The love emotion enters all aspects of our being and life. As our commandments begin "Love thy God with all thy heart" and "Love thy neighbor as thyself," it is clear that our spiritual guidance and others’ well-being are top priorities in a devoted life. One practicing immortalist, Marilena Silbey, told me, "We create immortality every time we express love."
Yet to understand immortality, we must look at the duality of our universe. Even love has its opposite expressions, such as hate or aggression. Immortality in one sense is the opposite of death, although when we speak of the essence or oneness—the Tao or God that exists beyond duality—that itself is immortal or eternal. Immortality in a deeper sense offers us greater spiritual power, vitality, and wisdom, and the subsequent longevity enters as we support love, attract light, and approach and affirm unity within us and outside us. Death itself is a duality; it may represent an end, yet it may be a doorway to our future and other dimensions.
In the truest sense, even peace and war are dualities. On a personal level, most of us prefer peace and light and love, the positive aspects of life. Yet, in a universal dimension, the dark or negative side may dominate at times, expressing itself as violence and war, and even natural disasters. Darkness and light need each other to exist; this is the nature of duality.
The simple symbol of the Tai Chi, or universal unity, represented by the yin-yang circle, reveals a spot of light in the darkness and a spot of darkness in the light. Nothing exists exclusively as light or dark on the earth plane. At the extremes, they become their opposite. This dual nature of the world also is relevant in our individual search or struggle for healing and optimum health. Oftentimes, in seeking more light, we struggle with our shadow or dark side, which wants to exist also. Even the healthiest people have symptoms, illnesses, or personal struggles they must handle. Balance here is the key; integrating both sides is essential.
Our spiritual essence, however, can take us beyond this duality to discover the power and rhythm of the universe. Many people find this solace in meditation, religion, or chanting of spiritual words or songs. Part of our human challenge is to ascend beyond or above this earthly duality and associate with the spiritual level, and being a "carrier of the light" allows us to illuminate our individual and collective paths. As we go beyond our awareness of light and dark and the dealings with our personal doubts, fears and life struggles (the specific interactions of light and dark), as well as our ego and desires, we may then reach that point of nothingness and eternity together (a touch or feeling of the immortal essence). Yet, even as we might experience this advanced state for a moment, we must still live in and care for our body and life, integrating our divinity with our humanity.
Historically, the science of alchemy understood this interplay of duality and our earthly challenge to rise above a mundane existence. This polarity was represented by the light and dark, masculine and feminine, yang and yin, and sun and moon. The path toward unity takes us from the struggles and stresses we experienced toward greater peace and harmony in our lives. This unity, termed the "mystical marriage" of the inner male and female aspects, brought in the spiritual nature of life, great wisdom, power, and health. The "gold" or most brilliant prize was attained through the continued balance or our duality and the unification of our levels of body, mind, heart, and spirit.
In this day and age, politics deals with the basic issues of duality. To go beyond politics, we must deal with the basic nature of ego orientation, competition, and preconceived values. At some level, religion and politics represent duality, as the church and government have historically. On another dimension, religious or spiritual disciplines are what may help us rise above, in concept at least, this basic struggle we encounter in life. Experiencing love for God, self, parents, neighbors, nation, and world is the beginning of a new dimension of spiritual responsibility and immortalism. Doing what we need to do physically, psychologically, and emotionally to attain this level of love in life is essential to reaching our spiritual truths.
At times, our inner journey may help awaken unconsciousness and align us with our true eternal relationships. In a sense, ignorance is the darkness, disease, and demise of life. Ignorance here means unconsciousness, not the lack of school learning.
In the beautiful book of wisdom by Manly P. Hall, entitled The Medicine of the Sun and Moon, one paragraph states,
Knowledge is essentially wisdom and knowing of truth from the spiritual-universal realm. As I said, listening within is a way to gain access to this "knowledge." Being attentive to nature’s ways and to interactions with people can provide us with many insights into "natural law." There are also many things we can do to elevate our vibrations or consciousness and to live in an immortalist way. Let us now look at applying these aspects of lifestyle to enhance our daily existence.
- Thus, to the Chinese, health is the natural or normal state of all living things. To become sick, (wo)man must destroy his (her) own health, and this can be done either objectively or collectively. Sickness is a symptom, a symbol of ignorance, neglect, or the disturbance of natural processes by intemperance. To the Chinese mind, therefore, moderation of action is considered the best defense against sickness. The individual who is uncertain should adjust his own life to natural patterns and try not to disturb universal processes. His concept of health should not be a victory over sickness, but rather a victory over his own shortcomings. The person who follows nature in all things is a healthy person.
Here’s what we can do to feel greater power, spirituality, connectedness to heaven and earth, and health and vitality. This is the Immortality program, so to speak. To begin with, a harmony between our mind and heart that allows us to know and do what we believe and feel within will support our physical and psychological health. We must maintain balance and not lose our composure or become angry or upset over stresses. This is not necessarily easy in this day and age, but if we know how to center ourselves, it is possible much of the time.
If we can view immortality as optimizing each moment of life and maximizing our life span, we must portray an idealistic lifestyle with an avoidance of stress and strain (but not avoiding hard work) and a pursuit of natural living, being in "harmony with the universe." In a way, this involves a separation from much of modern technology, pollution, and city living, going back to more pioneering days yet with the health knowledge that we have acquired over the past century.
Although we probably cannot find any pollution-free environment, there are many relatively clean places still left on our planet where we can be nourished with good light, air, and water to vitalize our being. Our "utopian" environment will provide a home of natural elements, avoiding synthetic materials such as chemicals, plastics, and so on. Energy is generated by solar power, water power, or windmills, whichever would be most appropriate for our area. Electricity is available, yet our lifestyle is not focused around it, and there are no big power lines, which are now known to have negative effects on life. For example, minimum electricity and/or natural gas is needed for some refrigeration, lighting, cooking, or listening to music, while more affluent functions, such as television, microwaves, or other high-tech services, are avoided. This also reduces local radioactivity.
Our connection to the earth is essential. We work and nourish the earth and plant food, and the earth nourishes us with her bounty. Much of our food comes from our work or local farming. Besides working the earth and getting fresh air and exercise much of the day, we walk in nature often. We avoid driving in cars, especially on freeways and in traffic.
We are not totally isolated, though, and may live in supportive communities where commodities can be shared and where help is available in time of need. Human relationships and sharing feelings, love, and family seem necessary for most human beings. We are mainly a tribal species; living in isolation or having a feeling of isolation is correlated with more disease and more rapid demise.
We need to maintain a positive attitude toward life with a wonderful self-image. Avoiding worry and other supporting low-stress plans are helpful. The natural stresses arising from feeding ourselves, protecting our families, and dealing with nature’s changes and turmoils are sufficient survival stresses for inner motivation and bodily function.
Embracing life and living it fully, letting our troubles wash clean with laughter and tears, hard work, and an inner attitude of faith, purpose, and immortality, exist in our essential core. Handling changes, making progress, and accepting and making transitions through our life stages are important.
Through birth is all life attained
through the breath of love—
that which is eternal is sustained.
Many people may struggle with aging and act as they were and not as they are. Immortality does not necessarily mean that our physical body does not age, though with healthy living, we can minimize that. It is our essential nature and spirit that are immortal. This guides our body, and immortality is enhanced as we follow our inner core (Soul) path and do what we are here to do.
Acknowledging changes at different ages is one of our many challenges. It is essential to accept and enhance change in age, function, forces, and vitality with the grace, joy, and dance of life, and really as blessings and guides in our life rather than the discords of our destruction.
"Flexibility is the key to immortality in body and mind," says the highly quoted, inspired Bethany ArgIsle. This flexibility in regard to changes of weather, relationships to others, and our own internal attitudes or beliefs is important to our continued positive evolution and to minimizing the stress incurred in daily life. Many of us may struggle with the common minor everyday experiences; this is not necessary or helpful, and it can be avoided with an open mind, faith in life, and a feeling of spiritual guidance surrounding our existence.
Often, we may be held back by the limits or viewpoints of our own mind or those of our family, friends, or chance opinions. This may be a great challenge or struggle to see clearly in these situations and progress beyond them. We often manifest these conflicts as a reflection of our own inner questioning. As in nature where there are stresses at the transition or shift points between seasons, so there are for us at our life changes. The evolutionary process of life is one of the threads that ties us all together.
Many people may measure themselves in comparison to the accomplishments or values of others or of the world at large. Essential to life is acknowledging our own unique true nature. Learning who we are and expressing this identity to others, feeling good about ourselves, is the process of growing. The challenges that are presented to us help us to fine tune our perceptions, beliefs, and identity. Yet those truths that are at our essential core will remain and shine forth as all the illusions about life are dissolved. From this core wisdom, a true knowledge may arise and be a strong guide in our life.
Acknowledging our true nature is helpful in creating our diet. From an immortalist viewpoint, "life and death is really not a moral issue," and this is true in regard to food. Carrots and apples have measurable life force, although different from a cow or chicken. We are really dealing with a vibrational matter and the effects of and needs for certain foods. At different times, we may want and need to eat animal foods; at other instances, we may be vegetarians. (Clearly though, being vegetarian is more ecological in terms of precious resources and worldwide nutrition.) Some people are more inclined to one diet for various reasons and stay with that for many years. However, as I have discussed throughout this text, there are many diets, and we may change regularly in terms of the foods we eat, as our seasonal diet and availability of foods are a basic component of what we will eat in our natural lifestyle.