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The Evolutionary Perspective
Category Archives: Immortality Medicine
Posted: March 31, 2020 at 6:34 am
Is immortality within our reach? Maybe not yet, but we are definitely trying. While the new film "Self/Less" features an interesting science fiction take on achieving immortality, various advances have been taking place in the very real scientific community. We may have a long way to go before we can transfer our consciousness into Ryan Reynolds body, butscience is working pretty hard on some fascinating alternatives to the notion of immortality:
Anti-Aging Genetic Engineering
The inhibitor is currently in trials as an anticancer agent, and the hope is that one day death will not be the result a prolonged, painful disease, but through a quicker, more natural means like cardiac arrest or stroke. Here's what Irina Conboy, one of the scientists at UC Berkeley, said about the motivations behind the team's efforts.
Tests have not yet been performed on human subjects, but the progress seen so far is enough to makeStuart Orkin of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, feel very confident about the future.
But that's not the only advance in stem cell research. This year, scientists at the Salk Institute discovered a type of stem cell whose identity is tied to their location in a developing embryo, and not their time-related stage of development. These region-selective pluripotent stem cells (rsPSCs) are easier to grow in the laboratory, offer advantages for gene editing, and, unlike conventional stem cells, have the ability to integrate into modified mouse embryos.
As Jun Wu, a postdoctoral researcher describes; understanding the spatial characteristics of the stem cells "could be crucial to generate functional and mature cell types for regenerative medicine." It could well be that in the near future, parts of the body that have degenerated due to age, could be regenerated at will by the introduction of these fascinating stem cells.
Ananodevice imbued with data on toxins and pathogens could be used to enhance the human immune system by recognizing and destroying an invasive agent. Nanotechnology could also be used to remove lipofuscin, a product that accumulates in lysosomes negatively impacting cell function and manifesting in age related conditions. All of these technologies are speculative, but nanobots are already lengthening our lives in tests to fight cancer, and many believe such technologies are truly the future of the medical industry.
Computer programmers have already created artificial neural networks that can form associations and learn through pattern-recognition, but they don't possess the complexity of the human brain. However, if our consciousness is just based on brain activity and if technology can record and analyze them, they could possibly be reduced to computations. Advances have already been made with animal tests, and in 2011 a team from the University of Southern California and Wake Forest University created the first artificial neural implant, a device that produces electrical activity that causes a rat to react as thoughthe signal came from its own brain.
- Neruobridge technology reconnected a paralyzed man's brain to his body
- The Eyeborg: Canadian filmmaker Rob Spence lost his right eye in a shotgun accident and replaced it with a video camera that transmits what he's seeing to a computer.
- Programmer Amal Graafstra has inserted radio-frequency identification chips in his hands connected to scanners on his doors and laptop, eliminating the need for keys or passwords.
- "Transhumanists" advocate for cyborgization, genetic engineering, and synthetic biology, to increase our intelligence, health, and lives to transform humanity to a "post-human" stage.
Current advances in anti-aging, regenerative medicine, nanomedicine, digital immortality, and cyborgization may only be focusing on prolonging life at the moment. But these technologies have already improved our lives, and as the possibility of immortality is played out on the movie screen, we can see the world of fiction slowly melding with our own reality.
Posted: at 6:34 am
A panis vivus essay is meant to convey, in no uncertain terms, that the Eucharist is really and truly the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is our collective response to the 2019 Pew Research Center survey, which reported that only a third of United States Catholics believe in the Real Presence. Henceforward, a panis vivus essay will be published once per month during the academic year.
We are all sick, infected with mortality. Death is the one disease that does not discriminate, but comes for all eventually. As Saint Augustine laments, Not everything grows old, but everything dies (Confessions, IV.x.15).
But it was not always so, because God did not make death (Wis 1:13) but created man for incorruption (Wis 2:23). When God made man, he immunized him to death. Dwelling in friendship with God, the souls of our first parents enjoyed a spiritual life that flowed like an IV into their bodies, vaccinating them against physical death.
When our first parents rebelled against God, however, they tore the lifeline of saving medicine from their veins. Instead, the spiritual death of the soul began to seep into the body. All humanity became sick with the double death of soul and body.
Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick, Jesus said (Lk 5:31). And humanity was sicksick unto death. Jesus became man to be the physician we need. As St. Ignatius of Antioch confessed, There is only one physician, who is both flesh and spirit, born and unborn, God in man, true life in death, both from Mary and from God, first subject to suffering and then beyond it, Jesus Christ our Lord (Letter to the Ephesians 7.2).
Going to the cross, like a medic into the midst of a battle, He who for us is life itself descended here and endured our death and slew it by the abundance of his life (Confessions, IV.xii.19). In his humanity, our Divine Physician overcame the death of the human soul and body.
Christ applies the healing power of his passion, death, and resurrection to our illness through the sacraments. Baptism pours new, divine life into our souls. But sin can still attack our newfound health. For, sin is the spiritual death of the soul (ST III q. 79, a. 6). Confession, then, resuscitates the soul to life.
In the Eucharist, however, we discover a unique medicine. While the other sacraments convey the physicians healing power, the Eucharist contains the physician himself. The Eucharist is the flesh of our savior Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins and which the Father by his goodness raised up (Letter to the Smyrnaeans 6.2). In the Eucharist, Christ is both physician and medicine.
Christ gives himself as the medicine to strengthen and preserve our souls from death and prepare our bodies to share his physical resurrection. This is why St. Ignatius calls it the medicine of immortality, the antidote we take in order not to die but to live forever in Jesus Christ (Letter to the Ephesians 20.2).
Christ himself promises that if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever (Jn 6:51). As St. Thomas Aquinas comments, Christ presents the Eucharist as the cure to both spiritual and physical death: But those who eat the Eucharist spiritually, both live spiritually now without sin, and will live physically forever (Commentary on the Gospel of John, ch. 6, lect. 6, n. 954).
The Eucharist is not like some cheap over-the-counter drug. Rather, it is the most potent, most effective antidote, giving eternal life to the soul and the body. Normal medicine, like food, enters the body and is used up by the body, transformed into the body. This medicine of immortality, on the other hand, transforms the one who receives it. Augustine heard, as it were, the voice of God directing him to the Euchairst, assuring him, you will not change me into you like the good your flesh eats, but you will be changed into me (Confession, VII.x.16).
Here, then, we have the antidote to our illness, the medicine for our mortality. In the Eucharist, we receive a share in the one who does not grow old or die but is ever ancient, ever new (Confessions, X.xxvii.38).
Image: James Tissot, La communion des aptres
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Medicine of Immortality | Dominicana
Posted: at 6:34 am
Companies like Google are now investing millions ofdollars into the research ofeternal life. Along with the breakthroughs, scientists have also come across some challenges, aswell.
Immortality has fascinated people for thousands ofyears. The perspective ofliving forever has had such astrong case against the fear ofdying that people have been looking for anelixir oraremedy toprolong life for many centuries.
Bright Side wants toshare with you whats going oninscience inthe search for immortality and would like topresent toyou anoutlook onthe possibility ofliving forever.
The idea ofimmortality issocaptivating that modern science and medicine may bringus asclose todiscovering asolution asever.
For example, atNorthwestern University intheUS, scientists learned toturn off the genetic switch that causes aging, however, not inhumans yet, but inworms. Ofcourse, its ahuge step from worms tohumans, but this technique isalready animportant achievement.
Another achievement was torevive old mice byinfusing blood from young mice. Researchers think this procedure could also work onhumans.
Silicon Valley isalso involved inthis science, and wehave some big names standing behind the research.
Agreat amount ofmoney isbeing put forward for immortality research, and there are many celebrities who are involved inthe contribution:
Larry Ellison: one ofthe five richest men onEarth and one ofthe owners ofOracle.
Sergey Brin: co-founder ofGoogle and the Calico foundation, which focuses onhealth, well-being, and longevity.
Aubrey deGrey: ascientist and aresearcher; the founder ofnumerous studies onregenerative medicine.
These famous people confessed that theyre afraid ofaging and death and theyre now investing infinding remedies against this seemingly inevitable outcome.
Scientist and author ofEnding Aging (2007), Aubrey deGrey, isworking onstrategies toexclude death from our genes. Heiscurrently working onthe 7deadly SENS things that cause aging onacellular level," and they are:
Modern science onimmortality and 5ways toachieveit:
The idea ofimmortality iscaptivating tothis day and wehave aton ofscience fiction toimagine how itcan turn out movies, TVshows, books, and scientific articles provide anincredible amount ofinformation.
Toquote Wolfgang Fink, aresearcher from the University ofArizona, Iwould see immortality coming from the biological sector. Healso says, Bypreventing cell death and aging, preserving itthrough cryogenic methods ordonors, wecan prolong their natural lifespan.
Here are the five ways scientists believe tobeable toachieve immortality:
Eternal life through meditation?
While what scientists are dealing with still remindsus more ofscience fiction, lets get back towhats happening onEarth.
Ever heard ofDashi-Dorzho Itigilov? Hewas aBuryat Buddhist lama, born in1852. And heisstill believed tobeinameditative state, rather than dead. Itisall due tothe way hepassed away. Herecommended his fellow monks tostart the process ofmeditation and the funeral rites while hesat inthe lotus position, claiming hewould soon pass away. Henever wokeup from this meditation and tothis day heremains inthe lotus position and seems toremain immune from any signs ofdecay. People believe heisinastate ofhibernation oranirvana-like state.
Well, maybe meditation wont provide eternal life toall ofus, but some ofthe benefits ofmeditation are:
All ofthe above can have apositive effect onthe longevity ofyour life.
Biohackers have adifferent approach tothe matter oflongevity. They use their knowledge ofneuromediators and genes toprolong their lives and toimprove their body performance.
Over the years, several men and women have achieved along lifespan. Here are some ofthem:
Jeanne Calment (1875-1997), lived for 122 years and 164days.
Shigechiyo Izumi (1865-1986), lived for 120 years and 237days.
Sarah DeRemer (Clark) Knauss (1880-1999), lived for 119 years and 97days.
Lucy (Terrell) Hannah (1875-1993), lived for 117 years and 248days.
Marie Louse Febronie (Chasse) Meilleur (1880-1998), lived for 117 years and 230days.
Some ofsuch centenarians who are now alive are vegetarians, some eat alot ofmeat and drink wine, some are smokers, many love chocolate, and many dont like toexercise. But what they dohave incommon isthat they are generally happy and easy-going. And wethink its something tostick towhile the scientists are busy trying tounlock the secret toimmortality.
What doyou think will happen inthe future inthis field? Doyou believe science can really make people live forever? Wed love tohear your opinion inthe comments!
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Scientists Claim We Might Be Immortal in 17 Years This ...
Posted: at 6:34 am
A prominent Canadian politician was recently alleged to have received a Communion wafer at a Catholic mass, put it into his pocket, and returned to his pew, to the horror of parishioners and media alike. Presumably he was a Calvinist, because the liturgical churches (Eastern Orthodox, Armenians, Ethiopian Orthodox, Episcopalians, Lutheran, and Roman Catholics) hold the bread and wine of the Eucharist in great reverence and maintain strict regulations as to how Communion elements are to be treated and to whom they may be distributed, if only to prevent disrespectful handling. These regulations are not modern inventions nor did they originate with superstitious monks in the Dark Ages. The present article looks at Christian regard for the Eucharist before AD 250 to show how the earliest believers shared the same practices as liturgical denominations today. The ancient writings are the common heritage of all Christians because they date from before the division into present-day denominations, even before the division separating Armenians and Ethiopians from the rest of Christendom in AD 451.
In the earliest Christian centuries, extremely respectful treatment was shown toward the bread and wine, which many denominations regard as the body and blood of Christ. The reason for this reverence appears in Justin, a Christian writer in the mid-second century who was later martyred for the Faith:
not as common bread and common drink do we receive these. . .we have been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.
Half a century earlier another martyr, Bishop Ignatius of Antioch, described the Eucharist as the medicine of immortality, and the antidote to prevent us from dying but which causes that we should live forever in Jesus Christ. This was not the better-known Ignatius Loyola but his namesake fifteen centuries earlier, who legend has it was the little child whom Jesus said we must be like in order to see the kingdom of heaven.
In AD 217 Bishop Hippolytus in central Italy set out existing church practice as to how clergy were to continue to conduct worship services. He also intended it as a guide for laity to detect and complain when clergy departed from the liturgical heritage passed down from the time of the apostles. He wrote that the consecrated elements are not to be allowed to fall to the floor or be lost or treated carelessly; this is corroborated in the same era in Tunisia by the church father Tertullian. Nor were church mice and other animals permitted to consume them. The bread and wine were to be consecrated only according to a prescribed rite, which must be in an orderly manner, without unnecessary talking or arguing, and such that Christians preserve their good reputation and their worship practices not be ridiculed by non-Christians. Shortly afterward, Origen wrote that people are not to receive them in haphazard fashion. These, of course, are echoes of the Apostle Paul that church services must be conducted decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14.40).
This same Origen illustrated better than anyone else the great reverence Christians in the AD 240s held the sacramental elements. Unlike Ignatius or Hippolytus, he was not urging his hearers to show respect but was using one existing church practice as the grounds or analogy for other spiritual exercises. Origen was taking the example of the treatment of the Eucharist as an entrenched standard practice on which to build his argument for adopting an additional soul-building activity. Both he and his congregations took high respect for the sacramental elements for granted and as well-established:
You who are accustomed to take part in divine mysteries know, when you receive the body of the Lord, how you protect it with all caution and veneration lest any small part fall from it, lest anything of the consecrated gift be lost. For you believe, and correctly, that you are answerable if anything falls from there by neglect.
Because he traveled much throughout the eastern Mediterranean at the request of local bishops, and once to Rome, his statements probably described universal practice.
Partly because outsiders might not know how to demonstrate proper respect, it was forbidden to give Holy Communion to themas witness the allegations about the Canadian politician. From the earliest times, it was considered sinful to consume the sacrament in any unworthy manner. According to the Apostle Paul, whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord and he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lords body. (1 Corinthians 11. 27, 29). This thought was repeated almost two centuries later by the church father Origen when he warned that Christians who partake unworthily will receive the Lords judgment, again as a proposition accepted as a given by all his hearers.
The Didache was a church manual and guide to the Christian life written in the late first century, when some apostles were still living. It limited participation in the Eucharist to people who had been baptized, citing Jesus command that we must not give what is holy to the dogs. Half a century or more later, Justin similarly confined Communion to people who believe Christian doctrine, had been baptized, and live as Christ had taught. Another sixty years later Hippolytus church manual would also admit to the Eucharist only people that had received Christian baptism. One of his charges against the leadership of a rival denomination within Christianity was that they accepted into membership people rejected by other sects and indiscriminately gave Communion to everybody.
To further safeguard against disrespect of the sacrament and prevent people from eating and drinking unworthily, there were restrictions even on the baptized. In the first century Saint Paul required searching ones conscience prior to receiving (1 Corinthians 11.28) while the Didache not long afterwards mandated confession of sins. It also required resolution of disputes with other people before participating.
Liturgical denominations have always provided further protection by requiring communicants to go to the front of the church and to receive the sacrament only from the hand of a duly authorized minister commissioned for this purpose. In AD 212 Tertullian referred to this procedure as already ancient and universally accepted. The sacrament is not put into trays as among Calvinists and passed along the pews like a collection plate where anyone can serve themselves, even an unbaptized visitor who has never been in church before.
Considering the veneration some churches accord the Eucharistic elementsas witness the protections surrounding themChristians of all denominations should show great respect for the sacrament and due consideration for the sensitivities and consciences of their hosts when at a Communion service in a church other than their own.
Dr. Brattston is a retired lawyer residing in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Further reading: Gospel of John 6.48-58 and 1 Corinthians 11.20-36.
The quotation of Origen is from pages 380 and 381 of Origen: Homilies on Genesis and Exodus translated by Ronald E. Heine (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1982).
The Medicine of Immortality - Spectrum
Posted: at 6:34 am
From the earliest days, the Church has faced the perennial temptation to deny the goodness of material creation in general and of the human body in particular. The Platonic notion of the body as a prison from which the soul must escape has cropped up repeatedly throughout the Churchs history, only to be condemned every time someone proposed it.
We see one particular form of this error, the denial that Jesus really took on flesh and blood, reflected in the New Testament, and it is condemned in no uncertain terms: For many deceivers have gone out into the world, men who will not acknowledge the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh; such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist (2 Jn 7). What is it that drives this temptation? And what makes the idea derived from it so pernicious that St. John calls those who embrace it antichrist?
The answer to the first question stems from two factors: the majesty of God and the messiness of creation. In the early centuries, God was seen as totally other than creation, in the words of 1 Timothy, immortal, invisible, the only God (1 Tim 1:17). God transcends the world and, unlike us, is not subject to change, to corruption, to pain and suffering, to anything that belongs to this world. Contrast this picture of an ineffable God with creation, particularly after the fall: we are born, we grow old, we suffer, we die. To many it seemed unfitting for God to experience birth and to have his diapers changed, much less to endure the shame and torture of one of the cruelest forms of execution ever devised by men. This is one aspect of the scandal of the Incarnation: that the God who transcends creation has joined himself so fully to it that he knows first-hand our challenges and our trials.
St. Ignatius of Antioch, whom the Church commemorates tomorrow, meditated on this mystery as he was being led to Rome for his own execution, and he condemns the denial of Christs real flesh and blood as forcefully as the Second Letter of John. In one of his letters Ignatius explains the importance of Christs actual flesh and blood:
But if, as some that are without God, that is, the unbelieving, say, that He onlyseemedto suffer (they themselves only seeming to exist), then why am I in bonds? Why do I long to be exposed to the wild beasts? Do I therefore die in vain? Am I not then guilty of falsehood against [the cross of] the Lord?
There are at least two dangers in this denial of Christs real humanity and suffering: it empties Christian suffering of its purpose, and it implies deception on Gods part. To take the latter point first, if Jesus only appeared to be human and to suffer if his looks are deceiving then the Gospels lie to us. Jesus has nothing in common with us, and his life was a mere show and a fraudulent one at that.
Closer to home for Ignatius, Jesus actual suffering in the flesh was closely bound up with his own impending martyrdom. In some mysterious way, Christs suffering takes up and incorporates the suffering of the members of his body:
By [the cross] He calls you through His passion, as being His members. The head, therefore, cannot be born by itself, without its members; God, who is [the Savior] Himself, having promised their union.
In his suffering and death, Christ manifests his solidarity with the human race, showing himself to be a God who knows our trials not in some distant, indifferent way, but personally and experientially.
If the sole purpose of the Incarnation were Christs solidarity with us in our suffering, then Christianity would be little more than divinely sanctioned masochism. But for Ignatius, suffering both Christs and ours is not an end in itself, but rather a bridge to eternal life. It is by our suffering that we participate in Christs own sacrifice and through it come to the glory of his resurrection. This is why one can rightly call a death at the jaws of lions a happy and peaceful one. The peace comes from the sure hope that death does not have the final victory Christ has conquered it through the resurrection.
Most of us are probably not ready to offer our bodies to the lions as Ignatius did, but we must remember that it was not on the basis of his own strength that he faced his death. He drew strength from feeding on Christs own Eucharistic flesh and blood, which he called the medicine of immortality. By feeding on this medicine we too can be strengthened to face our own trials and, God willing, pass through a happy death to the glory of the resurrection.
This article was originally written byBr. Isaac Augustine Morales, O.P., who was born and raised in the northern suburbs of Chicago. He received a BSE in civil engineering from Duke University, an MTS with a concentration in biblical studies from the University of Notre Dame, and a PhD in New Testament from Duke University. Before joining the Order of Preachers, he worked as an assistant professor in the Department of Theology at Marquette University.
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St. Ignatius of Antioch and the Medicine of Immortality ...
Posted: at 6:34 am
The world that was divided along the fault-lines of social, religious, economic, historical, geographical or ideological supremacy, is now speaking in one voice on the need to save humanity.
Around one-third of the world population is estimated to be under lockdown as humanity comes to terms with the pandemic Covid-19 after initial denial.
With over sevenlakh cases globally, people are restricted to their homes. The streets bear a deserted look, and the world has come to a standstill. Yet the world is in flux.
The crises of seclusion, isolation and social distancing is not only changing our perception for life, but has also forced us to ponder over the existing way of life itself.
Mystery Surrounding the Deadly Virus
Besides the worldwide criticism of WHO in the handling of the Covid-19 crises, the virus itself has been referred to as the Chinese Virus and it is widely believed that this virus originated in Wuhan, China.
In addition to this, there are also inputs on how this virus was predicted by a writer in her book written in the early 1980s. Daily, we keep on hearing new theories and information rendering the situation ambiguous.Global Politics
With many world leaders and personalities testing positive, the Coronavirus, being christened as the Chinese virus by world leaders like Donald Trump, is shaking up the global politics. It is set to change and possibly weaken the role of China in the modern world.
The US response has enraged many and China has gone on a propaganda offensive. One set of information says, in the year 2019, there were about 40 lakh Chinese tourists in Italy and these are said to have played a role in the propagation of the virus on such a large scale. There seems to have set in, a certain incredibility being attributed to Chinas role in the genesis and spread of this virus, thus throwing up questions on Chinas aspirations to be known as a world leader. Though we do not have much information on the source and genesis of this virus, what is very evident at this point of time, is that the whole world is in the grip of fear psychosis, and it is hell-bent on stopping this virus in its path of destruction and fury.
The Other Side
What is unique about this predicament, is that never before in modern history, have governmental and non-governmental organisations and individuals across the world, prioritised an issue and pledged their complete support to each other to see its resolution. The world before COVID-19 was immensely competitive, with countries competing with each other to establish their supremacy in world history and politics. From being the first to set up an asylum for humans on Mars, to spreading their ideology across the world, the priorities were always cantered on competition as opposed to the stress on cooperation in this post-COVID-19 world. The world that was divided along the fault-lines of social, religious, economic, historical, geographical or ideological supremacy, is now speaking in one voice on the need to save humanity.
Obsolete Vs Relevant
Another post-COVID 19 scenario that we are witnessing, is the increasing obsolescence and growing irrelevance of global organisations like the UN, which was established solely to eradicate poverty and war from the world.
Other than giving out statements on the progress of the virus across the world and updating the casualties and results, not much has been under the control of the UN or the WHO, in terms of battling and mitigating this pandemic. It seems WHO took too long to act and gave China a long pass. Both organisations need recasting. In fact, much more has been done by individual governments and the civil society, notably by the Indian government which has been taking strong positive and assertive steps to contain the spread of the Coronavirus and keep it in check. In fact, the WHO, lauding Indias past missives against small-pox and polio, has stressed upon the countrys fight against the virus as the crucial part of the battle.
Can India Show the Way?
For ages together, India has been propagating the idea of 'One-world family' or 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam', and which was not really comprehended in its truest sense, by the western world. This pandemic has not only taught the essence of 'one-world family' to the entire world but also demonstrated its practical implementation for all to appreciate. All man-made divisions have been thrown out of the window by an unseen and unknown virus, reasserting the superiority of Nature, and its ability to blow all our plans to smithereens.
Additionally, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the first leaders to establish a fund for the battle against the COVID-19, in coordination with its neighbouring countries. While other countries were busy battling the virus in their individual capacities, the head of the worlds largest democracy was reaching out to other nations to help them in this war against the pandemic. This has assertively pushed India into the league of a global leader, despite its conspicuous absence from the UN Security Council, not just politically but also culturally, as is evident from the endorsement of the Indian way of greeting, the Namaste, as being the safest way to greet in the present scenario.
The Indian Way of Life!
The way Italys health care system is groaning under Covid-19, it is a warning to the world. The west today values ancient Indian wisdom and its ayurvedic home remedies for an enhanced immune system,
Studies have shown that people with a stronger immune system have a higher chance of being cured of this virus. This explains the estimated whopping 300 per cent increase in the export of turmeric to Europeans who are looking for Indian spices to increase their immunity. Giloy, an ayurvedic herb, known to cure fever and flu in a matter of days, works wonders in the prevention of the Coronavirus. It is widely consumed in India for the treatment of viral cold and cough, and fever, and is known as the root of immortality, since it enhances the immune system like no other medication, in addition to its utility in the treatment of diabetes and gastrointestinal disorders.
Copper and Brass have been an inseparable part of the Indian civilisation, and were, perhaps, the only materials to be used as utensils in India. The practice of drinking water from brass is inherent to all Indians, that we have forgotten the same, is another matter.
Meanwhile, it is believed that virus strains degenerate when brought in contact with copper surfaces and cannot survive on it, unlike other surfaces where it can survive for days together. Bill Keevil, Professor of Environmental healthcare at the University of Southampton, says that viruses land on copper and it just degrades them.
And finally, the practice of Namaste, being incorporated as the norm in the Coronavirus infested atmosphere, shows the relevance of the practice of avoiding physical contact, which, according to Indian tradition implies the accumulation of memories by physical contact, something which was to be avoided at all costs.
The Final War
This current pandemic should cause us to revisit our civilizational values and rethink our plan of development. Information technology and mass urbanisation must be guided by higher consciousness to nature and the earth, because, without the right foundation, no civilisation can endure.
Given its contribution to the war against the COVID-19, India is bound to be catapulted to the role of a global leader, also on account of its dauntless war against the pandemic, devoid of fear psychosis, and armed with fearless and practical solutions of lockdown and precautionary measures implemented by the government and executed to perfection by its dedicated medical, surveillance and security personnel, and the citizenry, as opposed to the ground realities in places like China or Italy or even the US, where the virus has wreaked havoc beyond ones imagination.
The world, in the wake of this disease, is turning to spirituality, which by my definition, means questioning ones origin, ones relation with Nature and fellow human beings, ones longevity and ones legacy for the future generation. All of a sudden, we have been introspecting into the kind of world we are going to bequeath to our children, questioning the way of life we have been leading.
Another example of this is the inadvertent focus on family life and family bonding as advocated in the Indian culture, during the long durations of forced isolation during the lockdown. Though the Western world had,all along, smirked at the emotional family orientation of the Indians, and were proud of their capitalist culture of independence, this lockdown has unveiled to them the joy of family bonding and its importance in the larger scheme of things. They are realising that the frantic race for economic sustenance had never been capable of giving them the psychological security and reassurance that the family, in these difficult times, has brought to them.
This Pandemic has further highlighted the fact that the excessively exalted notion of independence of individuals has fallen apart in favour of stress on interdependence, without which people cannot survive in this Post- COVID 19 world. In countries with a high per capita income and independence also, people have realised that ones survival is dependent on others. Money may not save your life but someones help may.
Also, even if one person chooses to throw caution to the wind, hundreds of others are affected. Hence, this virus has made us realise that no man is an island and that the world is an archipelago.
This brings me to the next observation that the faultlines of religion, region, language, race, nationality, ideology and culture, which had barricaded the world into small units, have finally begun to give away, with the greater identity of humanism overshadowing all other identities. This bringing together of the world on the basis of a common human identity and experience by this virus, in a way that even the UN was not able to do in all these years, augurs well for the coming future. This experience has fostered a culture of sharing and caring beyond an established identity, novel to the western world, enabling us to think uniformly of mitigating poverty, starvation, sickness and war.
The Last Lesson
Richard Louv, in his 1995 book, The last child in the woods, strives to tell us how exposure to Nature is essential to childhood development, and the emotional and physical health of children and adults and how we have gone so far away from nature in our thought and habit, that we have started to consume anything and everything, disregarding the thought of when, and what to eat. He talks of Nature- deficit disorder which is the cause of this degradation in our culture and behaviour where we have not spared even a creature from our gluttony. This is where India has a role to play. Maria Wirth talks of how India may need to send a yogi like Bodhidharma to China and teach them what to eat and what not to eat. There have also been talks of how no deadly viruses have emanated from Indian vegetarian foods.
While Indian civilisation has been mocked for the longest time, for the world to now acknowledge it as the most scientific, and beneficial one, is a validation of the age-old practices of this dharmic land. The Indian civilisation has been one, which has its fundamentals deeply rooted in science, medicine and something that modern civilisations lacked- common sense, all along misconstrued as superstition. The worldis actively switching to a healthier, and the more sensitive, Indian way of life, absorbing everything from turmeric latte to Sanskrit to yoga. To summarise, India seems to be the last child in the woods, we need to protect and promote it. For a better world, for a better future.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)
The rest is here:
India has played a vital role in the fight against coronavirus - WION
Posted: March 12, 2020 at 2:44 pm
International Womens Day (IWD) is an annual celebration of everyone who identifies as female and pushes for a world with gender equality.
This year, the theme is Each for Equal, with the official IWD organisation stating: An equal world is an enabled world. How will you help forge a gender equal world? Celebrate womens achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.
The international industry has embraced the day with a range of events and special activity. Below weve collected some of the inspiring contributions of Australias drinks industry.
On Sunday, women will receive a 9.2 per cent discount on Sparkke beverages at the brewerys Adelaide pub, Sparkke at the Whitmore. The discount amount corresponds to the gender pay gap in South Australia.
According to the 2019 Workplace Gender Equality Agency report on Australias gender pay gap, in the last financial year Australias full-time female workforce made on average 14 per cent less than men. Thats $241.50 less per week. The greatest difference between gender salaries is in Western Australia, where women are paid on average 22 per cent less than men.
Sparkke Co-founder, Kari Allen, said: Were a company founded and led by women. We are fully committed to inclusivity across all genders and identities, and on International Womens Day we welcome the opportunity to call out the gender pay gap, measured and recognised by the Australian Government, because it illustrates real economic disparity between men and women in the workforce.
The social enterprise and for-purpose beverage company also has a range of products available every day that help highlight gender equality and other social issues.
Sparkke at the Whitmore will have a gender pay gap discount.
Lions Little Creatures will launch the IWD Ale on Sunday, proudly brewed by the Little Creatures Fremantle brewing team led by Jess Curtin and Ranga Mapondera. Proceeds from Lions hospitality venues on the day will go towards funding a USD$25,000 scholarship with Homeward Bound, a not-for-profit that aims to get more females into Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) leadership roles.
The recipient for this years scholarship is Dr Philista Malaki, a research scientist at the National Museums of Kenya.
Curtin said: As female brewers we are all too familiar with breaking down tired stereotypes. This years campaign theme for IWD is #eachforequal and by brewing this beer we want to contribute to a more equal world for all.
Mapondera added: This is all about creating a brighter future for us all. We are pleased to see women at the forefront of these missions.
Little Creatures teams up with Homeward Bound. (image credit: Sabine Albers)
The Women of Australian Distilling organisation is hosting an IWD lunch at Bloodwood Restaurant and Bar in Newtown, Sydney. The collaborative event is aimed at celebrating womens achievements in the local hospitality and distilling industries.
There will be the chance to network with other industry females, including the line-up of speakers which features Dervilla McGowan from Anther Spirits, Heather Tillot from Sullivans Cove Whisky, Melanie Sheard from Imbue Distillery, Sarah Walker from Timboon Railway Shed Distillery, Claire Van Vuuren from Bloodwood, Julia Campbell from Women in Hospitality and Kathleen Davies from Nip of Courage, as well as host, Abby Roennfeldt from Nip of Courage and Hades Hula House.
Kathleen Davies said: Diversity is important to all industries. This is a tribute to recognise the minority of pioneering female distillers across Australia, in the hope that it will encourage and inspire more women to get involved in the distilling industry.
Other than the partners already named, the event is supported by P&V Wine + Liquor, Moyas Juniper Lounge, Philter Brewing, the Australian Gin Distillers Association and Treat Dreams.
Women in Australian Distillings IWD Lunch will be hosted by Abby Roennfeldt
Today Young Henrys launches their IWD beer, Free the NEIPA, which is a New England IPA. Ten per cent of profits from the sale of the beer will be donated to Newtown-based womens charity Two Good Co, who help domestic violence survivors and people in financial hardship.
Free the NEIPA is brewed by the women of Young Henrys, led by Carla Daunton and Michelle Hanrahan.
Young Henrys said: From the lab and brew floor, our sales team, marketeers, and legendary bar staff, Young Henrys is swarming with incredible women working hard to bring you the very best in beer. Whilst theres no doubt we have a long way to go in achieving equal representation in the brewing industry, were pretty bloody proud of where we are now, and reckon its worth celebrating every day of the year.
Young Henrys IWD brew, Free The NEIPA
Co-founder of Australian distillery Brogans Way, Brogan Carr brings her love of STEMM into the creative process when developing new gins. In the latest release from Brogans Way, called Womens Work, Carr wanted to use this passion to celebrate the contribution of female gin distillers across the world.
In collaboration with Sparkke, Brogans Way created the new gin using native ingredients from the local area, like juniper, red centre limes and currants, which gives it a glowing pink colour.
There are so many interesting possibilities when you bring these native flavours together. I want to challenge the ingrained concept of what gin is and show how diverse it can be said Carr.
Brogans Way has an IWD gin called Womens Work
Female founded Melbourne brewery Two Birds Brewing has launched a special IWD beer called Warrior Woman.
Two Birds said: Feisty, spirited and never willing to pretend like everythings peachy, were celebrating the voices of warrior women this International Womens Day with a beer that is.
The team are also throwing an IWD bash at their home, affectionately called The Nest, with live music from an all-female lineup.
Two Birds Brewing releases Warrior Woman XPA
Sydneys Chin Chin restaurant are proud to champion their all-female sommelier team, which features Isobel McFadden, Elisa Macleod and Jacqueline Turner.
In place since they launched in the city in 2017, the women work together on an ever-changing seasonal wine offering to complement the food menu. Worldwide statistics show that male sommeliers still outnumber their female counterparts, and Chin Chins team is fighting back against this, truly in line with the theme of this IWD.
Chin Chins all-female sommelier team (image credit: Steven Woodburn)
IWD has also been the push behind Jetty Road Brewerys latest beer, an IPA theyre calling Siduri Brut.
The bespoke brew has been created by all the female staff at Jetty Road, from sales, events, marketing, design, front of house and accounts. At 6.2 per cent ABV, its described as bold, dry as a bone and with a delicate Sav Blanc character.
Jetty Road have described the name as being: In honour of the wise female divinity associated with fermentation,Siduri. Her attempts were to dissuade the quest for immortality and to urge the people to be content with the simple pleasures of life.Siduri, we hear you heres to the good life.
Jetty Road brought together all their female staff for the Siduri Brut (image credit: C McConville)
Sydney bar Shady Pines Saloon is celebrating women this Sunday by throwing a party with a bar take over from the citys finest female bartenders. Proceeds from the signature cocktails of the night will go to Rize Up, along with donations from Swillhouse Group, to support victims of domestic violence.
Bartenders who will be donating their time and expertise are Georgia Collins and Alexandra Hooker from The Baxter Inn, Meg Litherland from PS40, Brit Rowe and Sarah Mycock from Old Mates Place, Atlanta Pahulu from Bulletin Place, Jas Pirovoc from Cantina OK!, Emma Bernadi from Albertos Lounge, Claudia Morgan from Double Deuce and resident Shady Pines team members Gracie Peters and Felicity Eshmann.
Across the country a range of other parties are happening to celebrate the occasion, from venues and operators both big and small.
A range of venues are throwing parties for the occasion.
At BentSpokes Braddon brewpub, the team has brewed a special IWD beer, celebrating the lesser known contributions of women in their industries. Tracy Margrain, BentSpokes Co-owner and Brewer, said the name also reflects this recognition.
This beer celebrates the lesser known contributions of women. With that in mind, weve decided to name the beer Marion, after Marion Mahony Griffin, the architect who helped shape Canberra, but is often forgotten in the citys narrative, Margrain said.
Although the style of the beer is yet to be revealed, BentSpoke did say it features The Pink Boots Societys Hop Blend. The Society was created to inspire and encourage women in the beer industry.
BentSpokes IWD brew is called Marion
Sydney-based distillers Archie Rose have announced they are teaming up with the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) for a new initiative called Know My Name.
The idea is for Archie Rose to leverage the power of their bottle labels to celebrate and increase the visibility of work by Australian female artists. As part of the campaign, bottles will have #KNOWMYNAME on the label, in a first for the distillery.
We looked to use our Tailored Spirits and packaging as another platform for exposure, says Victoria Tulloch, Head of Marketing at Archie Rose. We truly, sincerely believe in what The NGA is doing and love it, and saw the opportunity to use our labels as a media platform to get their message out as far as we can.
Archie Rose will print #KNOWMYNAME on their labels
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Celebrating International Women's Day in the industry - The Shout
Posted: January 27, 2020 at 12:59 am
Rich Quelch, guest contributor, delves into the world of growing old, anti-ageing research and senotherapy.
Senotherapy is an emerging scientific field and based on recent estimates it could be widely available within the next decade. Approaching ageing from a cellular level, scientists the world over are investigating how to stop the process of senescence through medicinal means. But were still a long way off commercialisation and there are unanswered questions around what this means for the human race.
Life expectancy is rising in most of the developed world, with people in England and Wales now living almost 25 years longer than they did a century ago. The ONS predicts the UKs population of over-65-year-olds will increase by 8.6 million in the next 50 years.
How to help people age healthily and lessen the growing burden of old age on global healthcare systems and economies is one of the most pressing questions currently faced by civilisation.
The leading causes of death worldwide are age-related illnesses like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. If this trend can be reversed and people can live healthier for longer without the need for clinical care, the impact would be huge.
Technology has an especially important role to play here. So much so, Agetech is being met with the same level of excitement as fintech in the mid-2010s, with many Silicon Valley giants like Facebook and Alphabet investing billions. As an industry, its already estimated to be worth 179.91bn* globally.
The opportunities for pharma in tackling mortality and increasing the human lifespan are also not to be understated. However, the complex cellular and molecular processes that underlie age-related diseases have continued to elude us in their pathology. However, the tide seems to be turning and scientists may have just unlocked the key to slowing ageing.
Enter senolytics, the next big thing in anti-ageing research. Cellular senescence, leading to tissue dysfunction, is widely accepted as contributing to ageing and the development of debilitating age-related diseases. This is because, as we get older, an increasing number of the bodys cells enter a state known as senescence which results in the loss of a cells power to divide and grow.
Surrounding cells then start to become affected and as more and more enter this state, the bodys ability to repair tissue, control inflammation and protect against the risk of age-related diseases is compromised. The more senescent cells a person accumulates, it seems the faster their biological clock ticks.
Increasingly, the scientific community is exploring whether the process of senescence can be therapeutically targeted to help to slow or even halt it. As the median age for cancer, Alzheimers, Parkinsons and other age-related diseases are high (60+), understanding their pathology can reveal new insights into what mechanisms also cause ageing.
For example, neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) share cellular and molecular mechanisms commonly seen in ageing cells such as inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidation stress.
We recently had a first glimpse of what might be possible in senotherapy. In the first in-human trial of senolytics, the results were promising; these drugs were successful in removing senescent cells in the same way in people as in mice. Specifically, the administration of senolytics improved the physical function in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a fatal senescence-associated disease where the lungs become scarred and breathing becomes increasingly difficult.
By 2100, its estimated 25% of the worlds population will be aged 60 or above, so the potential of senolytics to transform geriatric medicine and help people to age healthily is immense.
But, its important to understand the multidimensional challenges senotherapy may present the pharma industry, healthcare systems, governments and individuals if, or indeed when, we reach the stage of commercialisation.
The longevity industry is highly complex; a space where many industries overlap and intersect, requiring synergy and collaboration between pharma, technology, finance, health and social care, government departments, bodies and agencies, and political parties.
In this diverse and dynamic field, creating concrete understanding amongst all partners and making accurate forecasts will be hugely challenging particularly given the rapid pace at which Agetech is evolving.
At present, there exists a severe shortage of geriatricians with the clinical understanding and experience to lead the first round of clinical trials to determine if these emerging interventions are effective and safe. Until this skills gap is closed, clinical geriatricians, scientists trained in the biology of ageing, and investigators with experience in early phase clinical trials and drug regulatory systems will need to join forces and work together to prove or disprove the effectiveness of senotherapy.
At this early stage, we are also unclear about the potential side effects of senolytic drugs or whether such observable changes at the cellular level are permanent. Only time will tell as larger-scale and more granular testing is carried out in a clinical setting on human patients.
On an ethical level, there are also important questions to consider and debate about intervening in one of lifes most fundamental and inevitable processes death.
Rich Quelch Global Head of MarketingOrigin
*Estimated at the time of conversion
Taking Sermon Notes Why Jesus Called a Man a Fool- Listening to and Learning from the Reverend Doctor King (4/7) – Patheos
Posted: at 12:59 am
Listen, then read the sermons of Martin Luther King Jr. Do so in parallel with apostolic fathers like Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, or Justin Martyr. You will hear the same prophetic voice and many of the same themes.
Against the heresy that Jesus was not really embodied, Ignatius pointed to his own coming martyrdom and real sufferings. King uses the suffering of African-Americans and his own personal troubles as also bearing the marks of Christ. Ignatius has his lions and King the lynching tree that point to the Cross.
The apostolic fathers were confident in God, if not always winning the daily fights. Clement points away fromimmediate successto more divine goals and purposes. King urges his congregation to walk with him even if the dream is deferred and the civil war in all our hearts between good and evil means that complete victory will not be possible in this life.
King in the pulpit is an American voice, but also an apostolic voice. Little wonder that a leader of the ancient church like Archbishop Iakovos found solidarity with the civil rights leader. Kingpreached the hard passages of Scripture as the fathers did, applying them to the situation, even the political situations of the day, asmany later church leaders had done. If Ambrose could rebuke an Emperor, then a King could certainly correct Governor Maddox!
King viewed his work in civil rights as anextensionof his Gospel ministry. He had no plans to run for office. He was a preacher:
You know, actually all that I do in civil rights I do because I consider it a part of my ministry. I have no other ambitions in life but to achieve excellence in the Christian ministry. I dont plan to run for any political office. I dont plan to do anything but remain a preacher. And what Im doing in this struggle, along with many others, grows out of my feeling that the preacher must be concerned about the whole man. Not merely his soul but his body. Its all right to talk about heaven. I talk about it because I believe firmly in immortality.
Kingpreached the need for salvation of the heart and a hope of Heaven. However,only a hereticcuts the soul off from the body or the body from the soul:
But youve got to talk about the earth. Its all right to talk about long white robes over yonder, but I want a suit and some shoes to wear down here. Its all right to talk about the streets flowing with milk and honey in heaven, but I want some food to eat down here. Its even all right to talk about the new Jerusalem. But one day we must begin to talk about the new Chicago, the new Atlanta, the new New York, the new America. And any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men (Well) and is not concerned about the slums that cripple the soulsthe economic conditions that stagnate the soul (Yes) and the city governments that may damn the soulis a dry, dead, do-nothing religion (Yes. Amen) in need of new blood.
Martin Luther King had the wisdom to know that a pastordoes doboth: he ministers to the soul and visits the hospital. He prays for the heart and the body. He feeds the mindandthe body. Ignatius would use his martyrdom to make a spiritual point for the readers of his epistles, but he also was rent by the lions. Justindemanded justice and made his case to the Emperor in hisApology.He wanted paradise, but he also wished an end of the persecution of the church. King was in that long tradition.
Gods pastors stand for justice: that which is to come informing whatshould be in the now!
With all that in mind, King had the standing to remind his congregation, and himself, that
InWhy Jesus Called a Man a Fool,Reverend Doctor King takes as his text the parable of Jesus is Luke 12:
Someone in the crowd said to him, Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.
14Jesus replied, Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?15Then he said to them, Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.
16And he told them this parable: The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17He thought to himself, What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.
18Then he said, This is what Ill do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19And Ill say to myself, You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.
20But God said to him, You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?
21This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.
King notes that the Jesus does not condemn the man because he was rich. Jesus does not suggest his wealth was gained dishonestly. Why does God call the man a fool?
Number one, Jesus called this man a fool because he allowed the means by which he lived to outdistance the ends for which he lived. . .Somehow in life we must know that we must seek first the kingdom of God, and then all of those other thingsclothes, houses, carswill be added unto us. But the problem is, all too many people fail to put first things first. They dont keep a sharp line of demarcation between the things of life and the ends of life.
Wecould seek God. Wecould use the tools, wealth, and status we have accumulated to love our family, love our church, love our community, but insteadwe look to the tools, wealth and status.God does not need our tools, or even us. God gives us the tools so we may flourish in relationships: people over programs, principle over power.
King is not finished with us, yet!
Now, number two, this man was a fool because he failed to realize his dependence on others.(Yes)Now, if you read that parable in the book of Luke, you will discover that this man utters about sixty words. And do you know in sixty words he said I and my more than fifteen times? (My Lord) This man was a fool because he said I and my so much until he lost the capacity to say we and our. (Yes) He failed to realize that he couldnt do anything by himself. This man talked like he could build the barns by himself, like he could till the soil by himself. And he failed to realize that wealth is always a result of the commonwealth.
There isnothingwe do that should not lead us to honor other people. Every person with decent parents owes them an incalculable debt. Are we grateful? We are blessed to live in a place where we can build barns, but these are not things that we can do by ourselves! The people who make the wealth must share in the wealth. The state must not set up oppressive systems that rob and steal legally.
King has an example in mind:
In a larger sense weve got to see this in our world today. Our white brothers must see this; they havent seen it up to now. The great problem facing our nation today in the area of race is that it is the black man who to a large extent produced the wealth of this nation. (All right) And the nation doesnt have sense enough to share its wealth and its power with the very people who made it so.
Justice must be given to those who have built and worked. This is part of the message of the Old Testament prophets, but not the whole. If King had stopped here, then he would have been just another do gooder, a particularly powerful one, in his own first-rate talents. Yet King knew there was apower available that went beyond his own.
The fool never finds this power, healing, and hope.
King goes beyond the first two follies to the greatest foolishness of all:
Finally, this man was a fool because he failed to realize his dependence on God. (Yeah) Do you know that man talked like he regulated the seasons? That man talked like he gave the rain to grapple with the fertility of the soil. (Yes) That man talked like he provided the dew. He was a fool because he ended up acting like he was the Creator, (Yes) instead of a creature. (Amen)
I often read people commenting on Kings theology and referring back to his early writings in seminary. They miss the message of his sermons and the personal encounter with God that happened to him during the Civil Rights Movement.
King shares that as a pastor he felt called to aid with the bus boycott in Montgomery. He started the struggle, but then the ugly opposition began to wear on him. His own strength ran out and he turned to God. He had a powerful encounter with God one night very late after a particular ugly and threatening phone call. He needed relief, the theology and philosophy from the universities did not quite have the answer. I could not take it anymore . . .I was weak. He turned tomorethan his earthly Father and turned himself to God.I have to know God for himself. He prayed and heard God and lived in the promise that God would never leave him alone.
So when King testified it had power:
God is still around. One day youre going to need him. (My Lord) The problems of life will begin to overwhelm you, disappointments will begin to beat upon the door of your life like a tidal wave. (Yes) And if you dont have a deep and patient faith, (Well) you arent going to be able to make it.
The end of this sermon is anointed and must be heard. King shares the medicine he has found even in discouragement. The Holy Spiritrevives.
I have written about Rev. Dr. King (and his father!) several times. (Hopefully many of the obvious questions you might ask me regarding my opinions on Rev. Dr. King will be answered in the links.
As always with great books and leaders, especially on authors or topics on which I lack training, I begin as a student. First, I learn. Second, I apply what is true. Third, I consider what seems wrong. Fourth, I assume I am wrong for a goodly bit. Fifth, if I still think I am right, I express my ideas to a community to see!
Series part 1,2,3, 4,
Posted: January 18, 2020 at 11:03 am
Nantong, January 13
A towering bronze sculpture of the God of Longevity watches over the city of Rugao in east Chinas Nantong, which is home to an astounding over 1,200 centenarians.
The imposing statue which stands in the garden of longevity is said to artistically depict Chinese deity Shouxing, a bearded old man with a high brow, carrying a crooked staff in one hand, and holding the peach of immortality in his other hand.
The local government prides itself on the large count of people, aged over 100 years, living in Nantong - a port city, attributing it also to healthy habits, fresh air and beauty of nature, blessed by the Yangtze, the mother river of China.
According to senior officials in the Nantong administration, the prefecture-level city, located about 120-kilometer from Shanghai, had 1,205 centenarians till November last year.
Perhaps, the most famous region in east China for being the abode of centenarians is Rugao, a county-level city in Nantong in Jiangsu province.
The number of centenarians in Rugao had reached 524 by January 1, an increase of 84 over the previous year, according to a recent report by the state-run China Daily, quoting the local civil affairs bureau.
The report published on Nantong administrations website also said that there were 16 centenarians aged 105 or above.
Rugao currently has a permanent population of 1.42 million, with 3,91,700 aged 60 and above, 65,200 aged 80 and above, and 9,200 aged 90 and above.
These numbers are much higher than the provincial and national averages, it said.
Yang Deying, 110, is the oldest centenarian in Rugao.
She enjoys her life now with his family and spends time with her great-grand son too. The whole family is having a very wonder life, according to an official at the China Daily.
Yang can still hear, see things, this is an ideal life of someone whose age is more than 100 years. One of her sons, and a daughter-in-law take care of her every day. She has other children too, the official said.
The state-run English daily in partnership with the Jiangsu local government, recently organised a visit to the province for 15 journalists from several countries, who had also visited elderly care centres in Nantong and two other cities.
In a community park in the heart of Nantong in Hongqiao subdistrict, old men can be seen practising Tai Chi (shadow boxing) or reading newspapers, while old women in group perform dance routines inside the elderly-care service centre, neighbouring it.
The subdistrict in Chongchuan district has 35,000 families living with a population of around 100,000, according to officials.
Nearly 18,000 old people live in this area. Through our elderly-care centre, we provide food and other needed services to a section of those people. Medical services are also available at the centre, besides recreational facilities to make them feel engaged. Many volunteers also visit disabled elderly at home to take care of them, a senior official said.
Many of their children are working, so these old people come here and interact with each other, eat food and play games to keep themselves fit and occupied, he said.
Healthy diet and sleeping habits, as well as a convivial environment, are believed to have contributed to longevity in Rugao, earning it the moniker of city of longevity.
We want our Nantong to be a world-class city. Work going on expanding the urban infrastructure and a new bridge being built to connect faster to Shanghai. But, Nantong is also a city having fresh air and the blessing of mother river Yangtze, so many people live for over 100 years, a senior official of Nantong administration said.
The historic city of Nantong is home to several old Chinese gardens, Langshan Mountain National Forest Park, and various architectural heritage.
Located on the confluence of Yangtze River, Yellow Sea and East China Sea, the convergence lends Nantong the sobriquet of Great Pearl from Yangtze River and Sea.
In this salubrious environment, it is not uncommon in Rugao to see several centenarian couples celebrating golden jubilee of their wedding anniversaries, grandparents celebrating birthdays after crossing 100-year mark.
China has witnessed a rise in peoples average life expectancy over the years, from 74.83 years in 2010 to 76.7 years in 2017, according to the National Health Commission.
The average life expectancy for Chinese will go up to 77 years by 2020, one year more than the figure in 2015, the health authorities in Beijing had earlier said.
Chinese view long life as a special blessing and on birthdays and other special occasions for elders, visitors bow before the statue of the God of Longevity, to seek blessings, locals said.
Nantong was named the first longevity capital of the world by the International Society of Natural Medicine and the World Longlife Township Accreditation Committee, according to a 2019 Chinese government publication on the city. PTI