Hibernation, cell regeneration, living over 100 years. The idea of eternal youth often resurfaces as the tip of an iceberg, kindling debates and several hopes.
Since man left the caves, they have always wanted to live longer, and death has always scared everyone, the rich and the poor, the good and the evil.
Religion, philosophy and science have all tried to explain the piercing dichotomy we all have inside: between the inevitable transience of our body and our mind’s ability to conceive infinity and eternity.
Plastic surgery, if you think about it, is only the pleasant crutch on which lies the illusion of a never-fading spring. Will eternal life ever be possible? According to some, certainly.
This is the case for the founders of Alcor, an American organization created in 1972 and specializing in cryonics, the preservation of human bodies in liquid nitrogen at -196°C. Their hope is to take them back to life when technology will offer the inversion of the cryogenic process. Over 150 people have already chosen to be hibernated, or have chosen this path for their loved ones.
South-African tycoon Elon Musk
But there’s more. Super tycoon Elon Musk, one of the founders of Paypal and creator of Tesla automaker, has invested on Halcyon Molecular.
The company is named after Halcyon, the beautiful daughter of Atlas turned into a star and thus immortal.
Its core business is the study of the DNA to find a cure to several diseases and increase the duration and quality of life.
Then there’s the Neuralink project, one of Musk’s latest creatures. It is a medical research company founded in July 2016 in California with the aim of creating a brain-computer interface to insert in our heads micro-devices which can cure neurodegenerative diseases.
Yet, the most ambitious and revolutionary goal falls outside the medical field and could truly change our concept of “life”.
Inspired by the novels of Scottish writer Iain M. Banks, Musk is allegedly thinking of creating a complete saving system for our memories on artificial supports, in order to recreate a fully-fledged back-up of our lives.
By implanting such copy of our memory on a different body, we would somehow “resuscitate”.
Some of the most influential people in the world are actually pursuing the myth of eternal youth. Not just an extension of life, but rather its very regeneration.
Is this our destiny?
What will be the implications of the first successful results of this research?
Despite a general optimism, it is hard to make predictions, but still one may wonder: are we sure we are cut out to live 200 years?
Eternity may even become a difficult box to fill and while we struggle to add extra years to our lives, we should also consider how we may use them to be better people or even just to be happier.
Yes. And what if the secret to discover, the correct question to look an answer to had nothing to do with immortality but rather with happiness?
Science can certainly improve the quality of our lives, but the value of life is not measured in years, but rather in affections, awareness, joy, love.
So let us stock up on these ingredients and eternity will await us!