“…and time is the stuff of which a self is made.” ~ Mohsin Hamid
Who is really in the decision seat of my perception of time?
The Death Of Time
At the current rate of innovation and my current rate of willingness to try new kinds of risky, cool things (and generally mess with my biology), my estimate is that I will live until the grand age of 156 years old.
By innovation I’m talking about human longevity and the rapid pace at which health and our understanding of the human system is increasing. I should note that collective adoption rate is never in direct correlation to understanding in anything. So I’m talking about the human longevity projects really pushing the bounds of imagination and for some comfort (you can read about some here & here if you are interested) that are still perhaps not widely discussed or getting lots of press.
Before I gave it much thought, I was automatically programmed to just assume like I think most people do, that the end of my life would be some time between 80-90 years.
I think this assumption was built over my lifetime of listening to the averages. The statistical data that is fed to us constantly, without real context, or taking into consideration choice. We end up subscribing to it as unconscious fact, and then that fact somehow gets twisted into belief, which then becomes a kind of pathological “knowing” or our “truth”.
Every major goal or purpose I wanted to pursue in life had been forced to fit within this timeline. Which basically means that everything I had done in my life thus far had been set and measured around a time line I had never really considered, verified, questioned or chosen.
Last year I read a book called “how to get filthy rich in rising Asia” by Mohsin Hamid. It is really a great book. It’s about death. Or more so the life lived before death happens and it has me asking some questions around how I have been measuring time in my life. How old is the age I internally set my creative motivation clock by? Or more so, how much time do I think I have to live a purposeful life?
Digging into the current conversation and innovation on human longevity is really quite wonderful. I already have a love of psychics, and the discoveries being uncovered around cellular health and DNA and how connected mind, body and energy is within all this in every little atom of our existence is truly sci-fi psychics fabulous. Only it’s not sci-fi, it’s real.
I really took a deep dive into the research, attended conferences, and read a whole heap, on the many aspects of longevity (including vitality, consciousness and genetics) and within this I came to the decision that I can make it to 156 (that’s the year 2135). If the earth will make it to 2135 is another conversation entirely, for another day.
A lot of focus is given to what we want to “do” with our lives, even more towards how “purposeful” of a life that doing creates. But how often do we get called to take a step back even further and consider within what framework are we making these decisions?
I think it would be easy to look the investment and focus on advancement in the human longevity space as being somewhat, shallow. Perceived as a group of smart people, spending time and money on research that is seemingly trying to obtain the fountain of youth. But what about the very real and exciting consequences of such research, one of which is to finally light up the pressing need for the whole of society to seriously take a step back and consider exactly how much of their time is spent apathetically living in resignation to a prescript of how much time you are spending doing things, making choices and living in a particular way, purely because you have not questioned it.
I agree with the futurist Kevin Kelly, when he says that we all only have a limited amount of attention to give and this fact is one that wont change much in the future, even if life is elongated. The more time passes, the more and more things there will be in the world vying for that attention. So the choices you make about your time, how much you have, how you use it, and what you can do to create more of it, are really some of the most important responsibilities we have as individuals.
I think the first choice we need to make, as a foundation to our living, is if time is going to be a choice we make, or one that is made for us.