Lived to be 900 years old.
A new study says There’s No Limit To The Human Life Span
Evidence for a limit to human life span [pdf, behind a paywall]
Mark Twain in one of his lectures writes about the Law of Periodical repetition
Nature has no originality. She has a superb and amazing and infinitely varied equipment of old ones, but she never adds to them. She repeats- repeats- repeats. When she puts together a man and is satisfied with him, she is loyal to him, she stands by him through thick and thin forevermore, she repeats him by billions and billions of examples, and physically and mentally the average remains exactly the same, it doesn’t vary a hair between the first batch, middle batch and last batch
n. the glint of goodness inside people, which you can only find by sloshing them back and forth in your mind until everything dark and gray and common falls away, leaving behind a constellation at the bottom of the pan—a rare element trapped in exposed bedrock, washed there by a storm somewhere upstream.
—The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows“
Can you see the music and the dance all around?
Can you see the melodies, the codas, the rare refrains, the flanged bridges, and the occasional, but unforgettable reverberations that string together one and all? Do you feel the sea of pure music, abounding all around, permeating all and one, and setting forth basal harmony to all that abide by it? Does the heavenly resonance touch your heart, and quicken it, and leave you in a turmoil of emotions and longings? If you do, Lucille, I heartily welcome you to my world – a world of symphonies, and in which every single sentiment, every single profundity, and every single chord, has a place on the eternal staves of cosmic music.
At one time in the past, you posed a question unto me, Lucille. You asked me what it was that I saw in you, and that attracted me so intensely towards you. Alas, I found myself speechless then, and I asked for some time to actually think over the question. And, in my solitude, I tried to hack away at the question, trying to reduce it to elemental artifacts, as my professional training was wont to do. It is upon this reductionist paradigm that, for many restless moons, your question remained unanswered. Until, one day, I decided to gaze at the composition, the wholeness of the question, rather than at the composites. And lo, the heavens opened up, light came unto my mind, and the answer came rushing at me, almost immediately:
Lucille, I am privy to a dance that you perform, every single second of your life, and that no one else perceives.
There is an ethereal gait… an other-worldly elegance to your steps, and to your body movements, that I have never observed in anyone else. It is like a unique fingerprint – a primordial signature by which you ceaselessly authenticate and weld your spirit to mine. I have, on various occasions in the past, watched you as you went about your life, and got struck by the sheer grace and fluidity that you seemed to command. Like a ballerina, you’ve always stepped the right way, swayed the right way, gyrated the right way, shrugged the right way, and consistently held me captive, with your movements, the right way. Never have I ever seen a misstep on your path, nor a stumble, nor a tumble, nor a sprain.
There is one particular vision about you that I remember vividly, Lucille. We were on a nature trail, when suddenly, you run up ahead of me, and cast yourself as a silhouette against the setting sun. Then, you executed a perfect arabesque – à demi hauteur, straightened out, pirouetted, and finished off with a grand jeté right across a stony brook. I was mesmerized. But what made the moment even more magical was the fact that, up in the evening skies, a large murmuration of starlings was, right then, performing the most intricate, and iridescent, whorls, swoops and loops… in perfect rhythm with your body movements. It was like both you and the passerines had suddenly, somehow tapped in to a common, ethereal symphony, and were dancing right along to it. Afterwards, we walked the rest of the way in an enchanted… almost divine, silence.
By Tao, it’s said that certain streams hold every single song that has ever been sung. If this is so, then I think that you, Lucille, have somehow bathed in certain such streams, and inherited their precious melodies. For within you, there is a resonance to a cosmic song that never terminates, never pauses, and that never ceases to tug at my soul strings. There is, within you, a harmony and grace that would make even the loftiest angels weep with enchantment. And yet, so innocently and naturally do you carry about your daily chores that I’ve wondered, on many an occasion, whether you are actually aware of this dimension of yourself. Lucille, are you aware that, by a simple flick of your slender wrist, you regularly hypnotize me, and cast me, quite bodily, into Nirvana? And are you aware that, by your presence, every single nature walk feels like a retreat into the verdant fields of Arcadia?
Such is the mellifluous hold you have over me, Lucille, that I have but one recurring dream. I dream that one day, our essences will transmogrify into twin rivers, which will race alongside each other, singing and chanting and dancing to the sweetest melodies ever visited upon mortals. And at the end of our journeys, we will cascade over a cliff, twisting and weaving into each other, until we submerge into the silent pool at the bottom. Upon which, with a final sigh, we will become but part of a larger lake – a large confluence whose myriad tributaries render it immortal. And there, we will ebb and flow, swirl and pirouette, in harmonious eddies, till the ends of time
Yours forever enchanted,
N/B: For a related note, see Lucille 1: Sonder
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Atheism is a way to not only deny the creator but live a life of unaccountably. Moral values have existed. However objective morals have been there since God created the Heavens and Earth. Laws require a “Law-giver”
Before I started blogging, that is before I became an atheist, I had only met one atheist or a person who identified as a non believer. If there is anything I remember about this person, they were one of the coolest people I have met. We don’t keep in touch a lot. Why am I telling you all this? When I started to write, I decided I would not intentionally misrepresent anyone or a position and I have tried as much as is possible to stay true to this. Whenever am not sure, I try to verify what I am about to write.
For an apologist to write about atheism claiming that it is a way to deny the creator is beyond being willfully ignorant. It is to be obtuse. Atheism answers to a simple question, a question, which I must say shouldn’t even arise, whose subject matter hasn’t been properly defined to allow you or me to make a stand on it. To add that we live a life of un-accountability is an outright insult and betrays ignorance of atheists and their lives. But while at it, to whom does he want us account? If to a god, then such a thing doesn’t exist. If to our friends and family, yes, we do. So, pray, tell us to who we should account.
Morals, whatever these are, have existed as long as man has existed. To explain their existence one does not need to look beyond the nature of man. We consider bad anyone who forces us to follow their will, that is, anyone who violates our will such as a robber violates my rights to my property and forces me to live according to his will.
For this author to repeat the line oft-repeated by WLC and his followers about objective moral values without caring to list any, depicts a lazy person both in terms of thought and research. There have been countless arguments against this line of argument starting with Greeks who asked whether the gods say a thing is good because it is good or things are good because gods say so? To further say that morals have existed since god created the heavens and the earth, which is a direct reference to the story hobbled together by Jews and then later adapted by Christians and then Muslims ignores years of Indian, Chinese, Greek, Egyptian and other civilizations prior to this blot on human history. It assumes the traditions of countless people to whom the idea that a deity created the universe ex nihilo does not even exist in their vocabularies and to whom such a thought process is first absurd and foreign and lastly is a meaningless statement. Anyone who thinks laws need a law-giver need to live under strict supervision especially since his law giver who is invisible, unknowable and is beyond time and space [as WLC would say] may ask of him something that the rest of human would consider immoral. I must add that anyone who thinks in such a manner is, in the words of W.K Clifford,
is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.
If a man, holding a belief which he was taught in childhood or persuaded of afterwards, keeps down and pushes away any doubts which arise about it in his mind, purposely avoids the reading of books and the company of men that call into question or discuss it, and regards as impious those questions which cannot easily be asked without disturbing it–the life of that man is one long sin against mankind.
If this judgment seems harsh when applied to those simple souls who have never known better, who have been brought up from the cradle with a horror of doubt, and taught that their eternal welfare depends on what they believe, then it leads to the very serious question, Who hath made Israel to sin?
We are gravely and repeatedly told that there is no effect without a cause, that the world did not make itself. But the universe is a cause, it is not an effect; it is not a work, it has not been made, because it is impossible that it should have been made. The world has always been; its existence is necessary, it is its own cause. Nature, whose essence is visibly to act and produce, requires not, to discharge her functions, an invisible mover, much more unknown than herself. Matter moves by its own energy, by a necessary consequence of its heterogeneity. The diversity of motion, or modes of mutual action, constitutes alone the diversity of matter. We distinguish beings from one another only by the different impressions or motions which they can communicate to our organs.
d’Holdbach in Good Sense
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