If we observe the trajectory of human development, we can see a very clear direction taking shape. As we have become more conscious of the stages of life, and the processes that accompany those stages, including the increasing weakening and deterioration of the body and the life energy, and the eventual breakdown and thus, the movement toward the death of the body, we also have taken steps to learn how to increase health, wellness and longevity. Some of the means employed relate to developing an understanding of the factors that lead to the breakdown of the systems of the body, the increasing focus on hygiene and sanitation, the improvement in dietary understanding, and the need for exercise, etc. We thus see a dramatic improvement over the last century in both average lifespan (other than that caused through war, poverty, drought or famine or floods, etc.) and, with advances in medical science, definite improvements in the possibility of maintaining a general state of wellness commensurate to the increased lifespan. Of course, factors such as poor dietary habits, alcoholism, stressful work environments, and other lifestyle and diet issues can, for individuals, work against the general trend of humanity’s enhancements. Here we are focusing on the general trend, not the specific fate of any specific individual.

This trajectory also has moved into the fields of vital and mental factors, and the need for techniques of stress reduction, life satisfaction, and mental stimulation and purpose become relevant as the lifespan continues. We are beginning to recognise that a vegetarian or vegan diet can actually provide benefits not only physically but also vitally and mentally, and we see an increasing trend in this direction as well. The real question that then begins to limit longevity and wellness is whether the increased life represents a benefit to an individual, or is seen as a burden. In this sense, the Mother’s statement that “an aimless life is a meaningless life” becomes centrally relevant. Increased life and health will be dependent on the attitude of the individual toward having a meaningful life.

If we follow this trajectory further, we find that humanity is now beginning to explore more seriously what heretofore has been a random circumstance, to explore ways to actually develop more inward relation to the body and its processes and its ability to receive and utilize energy, and thus, there is experimentation with breath control techniques, the use of sound vibrational therapy, and the use of deep meditation techniques to begin to positively impact what have generally been thought to be subconscious and automatic functioning of the various bodily systems.

We also recognise that various animals have the ability to regenerate parts of their body that become injured. The genetic coding for this lies hidden deep within the human being, and cutting edge research is exploring the details of the human genome and experimenting with the idea of actually turning on, or off, various code sequences that govern issues that confront us in extending lifespan and wellness.

The fields of spiritual development and Western science are both converging toward an understanding that our past, and even our current, view of human life and wellness is based almost entirely on physical anatomy and physiology. But given the trends we see, we can begin to open our minds to a time when, through one direction or another, or through a combined impact, we can begin to replace or regenerate worn out organs, we can learn to optimize the care and feeding of the human body’s machinery, and thereby find ways to extend considerably more, human life, while at the same time, providing a higher quality of that extended life. Are there individuals who already have some of this capacity?

The Mother writes: “But those who know instinctively or who have learnt to receive and accumulate the universal vital forces, these can last almost indefinitely. The wear and tear is very little, especially if they know how to do it and do it with knowledge and method; then here it can reach a certain degree of perfection.”

“When one knows, sometimes just two or three minutes are sufficient to recuperate the energies spent over a long period. Only, one must know how to do it.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, The Hidden Forces of Life, Ch. 4 Cosmic and Universal Forces, pg. 94

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at http://sriaurobindostudies.wordpress.com and podcast located at https://anchor.fm/santosh-krinsky
He is author of 20 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.
Video presentations, interviews and podcast episodes are all available on the YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/@santoshkrinsky871
More information about Sri Aurobindo can be found at www.aurobindo.net
The US editions and links to e-book editions of Sri Aurobindo’s writings can be found at Lotus Press www.lotuspress.com