Updated: Apr 28, 2022
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Why Immortality Matters To You
(Co-written with Dinorah Delfin)
Soon, it is likely that you will find yourself cruising down a highway in a self-driving car and noticing a billboard urging you to support transhumanist technologies or a political candidate supporting life extension research.
As we develop new hopes and narratives for the future, publications like Immortalists Magazine strive to make conversations about life extension and transhumanism, widely accessible so that our vision for a healthier future is possible.
Throughout history, the notion of immortality, or finding the secret to the fountain of youth, has been man’s most coveted dream.
Underlying all scientific, spiritual, and religious beliefs is our deep desire to survive. In other words, survival is the primary motivator of all human activity.
Our survival instincts created our seemingly immortal mind, and today, this eternal mind is solving the mysteries of our biology so that we can extend healthy life beyond our few mortal decades.
Evolving our species to live for hundreds of years with the biological health of a 25-year-old person is expected to become one of the most controversial and debated topics in contemporary politics and everyday life.
Many politicians have given their support to longevity research. Including American gerontologist Dr. Robert Butler, of the National Institute of Aging, who was in correspondence with the Human Genome Project to learn about the DNA of aging, and all other diseases, for his research on healthy aging.
As a former publicist for the Committee on Anti-Aging Research, I arranged a meeting in 1979 with Dr. Butler, Dr. Ronald Bennett, and the then Mayor of Los Angeles, Tom Bradley, to support our research.
Below is a letter from Mayor Bradley, dated March 15th, 1979, which states the following:
Dear Doctor Bennett,
Thank you for your letter of March 8, 1979.
I wholeheartedly support your efforts to focus public attention on the need to intensify research significantly into the aging process to keep us all healthy and contributing members of society well into our 80’s and 90’s by extending the productive ”prime” years as long as possible.
As medical science enables people to live increasingly longer, it is essential that they also live “better.”
Today’s tragic fact is that most elderly persons are debilitated and handicapped by degenerative diseases associated with aging. Instead of enjoying the fruits of years of experience and hard work, giving of their skills, knowledge, and wisdom towards the betterment of society, too many occasions this “golden” time as a period marked by pain and distress, loneliness and fear accompanied by a sense of futility and helplessness, and the terrible despair of feeling that one is a burden and dependent on others.
This deplorable condition has to change.
Through an intensive campaign to get a petition signed, your efforts to demonstrate grassroots support seeking more funds for research into the aging process are to be commended. We must give Congress the necessary show of popular support for this effort.
I’m glad to offer my assistance to help educate the public regarding the RESEARCH ON AGING ACT and the NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING.
I am looking forward to our meeting with Dr. Butler on March 30, 1979, when we can explore ways of making PROJECT 1989, THE CONQUEST OF DEGENERATIVE DISEASE AND AGING IN OUR TIME successful as possible.
Very truly yours,
A pro-longevity political candidate should stress, first of all, that to live longer and healthier is already under our control through proper diet and physical and mindfulness exercise. However, transforming the healthcare system from one that thrives on sick people to one that prevents people from getting sick will require greater awareness.
It is time for the general public to know we could have greater control over how long and healthy we wish to live. Awareness of the events above — the Anti-Aging Research Act of 1974, The Human Genome Project, and WHO classifying aging as a disease — are now, along with publications like IM, foundations for hope and action, in the conquest of degenerative disease and aging in our time.
Question for IM readers:
What would it be like if our immortal mind could actually rest in peace,
but in an immortal body?
Let us know in the comments!
Bonus Fact Reminder
For those of you who dedicated this time to dig deeper into this fascinating conversation, here is a bonus fact reminder:
Three key events that have helped lay the foundation for the global Life Extension and Transhumanist Movement:
1. The Research on Aging Act of 1974 established the National Institute of Aging to back anti-aging research.
2. The Human Genome Project, which according to the National Institute of Health, “gave us the ability, for the first time, to read nature's complete genetic blueprint for building a human being."
3. In 2018, the World Health Organization classified aging as a disease. Classifying aging as a disease will allow for rejuvenation treatments to be clinically evaluated, and approved, and insurance companies to provide coverage for these kinds of therapies.
Images provided by Carl Carlyle
From left to right, Dr. Ronald Bennett, Dr. Robert N. Butler, Lisa Janti, Mayor Tom Bradley, and Carl Carlyle holding a Project 1989 folder
Letter to Ronald Doctor Bennett
Project 1989, The Conquest of Degenrative Disease and Aging in Our Time
News article on Mayor Bradley signing the anti aging petition of 1989 (Project 1989)
The Research on Aging Act of 1974 established the National Institute of Aging to back anti-aging research
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carl Carlyle is an immortalist, musician, and writer. A graduate from UCLA in 1962 and later, while a student at Hastings Law College in San Francisco, he joined the Student League to Abolish Mortality, and the National Institute of Health, becoming an avid advocate for the scientific control of aging, life extension, and biological immortality ever since. “In the daytime, I wore a suit and tie and contacted politicians & business owners to get funding for the novel immortalist movement. At night, I formed a rock band called the Forever Maniacs and named myself ‘Johnny Forever’, singing rock songs about eternal youth and health. I also produced a musical in the 1990s called Boomers Rock Forever, a comedy about taboos and the emerging science of immortality. I published a sci-fi trilogy,The Cosmic Mutant, which tells the story of a love affair between Infinity and Eternity."
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