David A Sinclair, a professor of genetics and co-director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research at Harvard Medical School, claims to have found a way to make people young again. He calls it “epigenetic reprogramming of aged tissues,” and according to him, we can gain back lost years. Assuming this is true, and assuming we could buy a pill or some other form of medication that could do that to our tissues, I would not want it. I would not take it even if it were free. I think it is not a gift, but a curse on humanity. What matters is not how many years we live, but how we live our years.
If I were asked if I wanted more power than nature has given me, it would be only more power to change my selfish nature, my egoism. What would it give me to live in order to acquire more wealth, or power, or social status? But correcting the ego, growing closer to the nature of loving others, and connecting people to the nature of creation—the integrated network of benevolence that supports us—this is a goal worth living for.
Only when we connect to the interconnected network of reality, life becomes worth living. In such a state, we emerge from the illusion that we exist only for ourselves and begin to feel the whole of existence. Just as a cell exists individually but lives for the sake of the organism of which it is a part, when we live not for our own sake, but for the sake of all of humanity, and all of reality, we are endowed with the life of all of reality.
In such a state, we need no reprogramming of any tissues. We reach far beyond the tissue level and connect our consciousness with everything around us. This is what I call life!
If we are confined to our tissues; if we venerate them, then we exist as long as our tissues exist. But if we focus on helping all of humanity find the vitality that is found in connection, we are beyond life and death. In such a state, there are only love, care, and compassion in our reality.
For centuries, kabbalists could not reveal this truth to humankind since people would not understand them. But now that people are beginning to listen, it is possible to share this secret with all of humanity: Happiness is found not in the self, but in good connection with others.
To conclude this post, I would like to quote the words of my teacher’s father, the great kabbalist Baal HaSulam: “I am glad that I have been born in such a generation when it is permitted to disclose the wisdom of truth.”
Honoree and geneticist David Sinclair arrives with a guest at the Time 100 gala celebrating the magazine’s naming of the 100 most influential people in the world for the past year, in New York April 29, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson