DR JOHN DEMARTINI - Updated 2 years ago
I’ve been speaking about longevity for many decades now. I’ve been fascinated by it since I was 18 years of age when I met a longevitist named Paul C. Bragg who was apparently 77 at the time.
In essence, longevity means “a long duration of individual life”. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent each year researching, producing, and marketing various products and therapies aimed at slowing, halting, or even reversing the ageing process.
My view, which I’ll explain in more detail below, is that longevity begins in the mind. More specifically, longevity stems from living according to your highest values, which results in physiological changes that include the decrease of entropy (natural decay) and an increase of negentropy (reverse entropy).
Click below for the video of this article. ↓
Energy and your body
You have, at a cellular level, a ready-made source of energy in tiny organelles called mitochondria. These mitochondria are often referred to as the “powerhouses” of the cell because they convert oxygen and nutrients into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is used as a source of chemical energy. In that way, much of your vitality is generated on a cellular level by mitochondria that divide or multiply according to the amount of energy that your body needs.
These mitochondria continually work to respond to your exact energy needs based on what you are INTENDING.
When you live in alignment or congruently with what you value most, you are most centred and objective and your body tends to become most autonomically homeostatic and produces the essential number of mitochondria to meet these needs. In doing so, your body maximizes your energy potential.
When you live out of alignment with what you value most, your body either overproduces or underproduces the number of mitochondria, resulting in your energy levels spiking or plummeting – neither of which maximizes your centered and most resilient energy potential.
Energy and your values
When you live congruently with your HIGHEST values - your intention becomes more clear, you tend to be the most objective and least subjectively biased in your interpretation of the world, and have the least amount of disturbance, disorientation or misperception about your environment. As a result, through homeostatic feedback responses your mitochondria regulate their number most efficiently to need, so they can effectively create molecules of ATP and efficiently energize your body.
When you attempt to live in your LOWER values – perhaps by feeling obligated to do something that is not important to you, injecting the values of others, and trying to please or satisfy other people, you’re likely to have subjective bias and misinterpretation or distortion of your reality. As a result, you’ll tend to distort the needs of your mitochondria versus the actual needs of your body.
Whenever you’re attempting to live according to your lower values and you activate your amygdala, the survival or desire center of your brain, you tend to desire to instinctually avoid challenges or predators and impulsively seek support or prey, avoid that which is unavoidable, and seek that which is unattainable.
You also tend to develop a subjectively biased or distorted interpretation of your reality.
Your brain and cells may then react by creating more or fewer mitochondria than you need, resulting in either a manic, nervous and high-energy state or depressed, subdued or low energy state.
What’s likely to result is a type of over-or under-production or hyper- or hypo- state of energy expression, which is inefficient.
- When you live in alignment with what you value most, you maximize your energy efficiency and have exactly the right amount of energy for what your actual intentions are.
- If you distort your reality, you are likely to distort your energy levels.
I try to help people prioritize their lives because their energy levels tend to stabilize when they live by their highest priority.
I’m sure that you’ve experienced times when you’ve performed your highest priority tasks and ended up with more efficient energy usage and therefore more available energy at the end of the day than when you started, instead of other days when you feel drained and depleted after having focused on low priority or low-value tasks, or putting out fires.
Negentropy and entropy
Negentropy can be seen as “life physics” – going from disorder to order; entropy can be seen as “death physics” – going from order to disorder.
Entropy is also sometimes used in reference to “missing information” or the “draining of energy”.
Let me give you an example. When you’re INFATUATED with somebody, you can activate your amygdala, and seek a “prey” or something you are infatuated with, you tend to be conscious of the upsides and unconscious of the downsides. The “unconscious” part is information that is missing that you’re ignoring. That missing information is ENTROPY, and entropy is the loss of energy.
When you RESENT something, you’re conscious of the downside and unconscious of the upside. You’re again missing information, and missing information is also the source of a loss of energy. If you judge, the same thing is likely to happen, and your energy will tend to dissipate.
However, when you’re mindful and see both sides, which your intuition is constantly trying to get you to do, your energy level production is likely to be poised and efficient, resulting in NEGENTROPY. That is why, if you live by your highest values, your energy levels tend to go back up into balance, and your self-worth goes up.
It is also why you’re authentic in that state because your life and identity revolve around what you value most.
It’s also when you tend to walk your talk because you’re spontaneously inspired to act on what is truly important to you. When you do, you tend to achieve. When you achieve, you tend to want to achieve something greater. So, you keep expanding your space and time horizons to have greater accomplishments.
And, when you have goals that extend beyond the duration of your mortal physical life, you create an opportunity to give rise to the immortal legacy that you dream about leaving on the planet, the difference you want to make.
Living to Eat vs Eating to Live
Interestingly, when you live congruently according to your highest values, you may find that you no longer live to eat – you eat to live.
When you attempt to live by lower values and are unfulfilled, you’ll likely compensate and want to fill yourself full with consumption.
Consumerism and purchasing overpriced brands are often a way to compensate for your feeling low. I’m certain that the desire to overspend and overeat will increase the probability of entropy and shorten your lifespan.
So, it’s wise to live by priority and to fill your day with the highest priority actions that help you fulfil what you believe is your mission in life. When you do, you’re more likely to eat wisely to live instead of living to eat. As a result, your vitality and energy levels are likely to efficiently go back up into balance.
For this reason, I often tell people that when you’re living by your highest priority, you’ll tend not to notice your health. Paul Bragg taught this to me when I was 17 years old: you are often more conscious of your body and its symptoms because you have imbalanced perceptions and physiology to reveal it.
When you’re really present and living according to your highest priority or value, you’re unlikely to notice any imbalanced physiology. When you have a poised and timeless mind you have an ageless body state because your physiology is so efficient that you’re not even aware of it.
You’ll also tend not to have any symptoms giving you feedback to let you know that you’re not authentic because you live so authentically.
Tell me what your highest value is, and I’ll tell you what your life revolves around
I can’t emphasize how important it is to prioritize your life and to ask yourself, “What’s the highest priority action I can be doing right now that can help me fulfill what I feel is most deeply meaningful to me, the thing that actually will serve the greatest number of people, but which will also be the most meaningful thing to me?”
When you do something that is inspiring to you and also contributes, serves, or makes a difference in other people’s lives, you maximize your energy efficiency, have the most fulfillment, eat to live instead of live to eat, you’re more productive, feel present and grateful, see things as being “on the way” not “in the way”, and often feel like you’re on top of the world instead of the world being on top of you.
On the other hand, when you try to subordinate to everybody else, inject other people’s values into your life, try to do something that is not a priority, endeavour to multitask and scatter yourself, feel like you’re putting out fires all day, feel overwhelmed and unproductive, you’re likely to feel exhausted and irritable at the end of the day and take it out on your family.
It’s also likely that you won’t have much resilience or adaptability, you’ll have distress instead of eustress, and entropy instead of negentropy. Your body may then send you physical symptoms as feedback to let you know you are not authentic because your highest value is your identity.
My highest value is teaching - my life revolves around teaching. I do it every day, seven days a week because I do what I love every day. And that is the key.
If you’re doing what you love, you tend not to age as much.
Energy is infinite once you recognize the source.
Your vitality in life is directly proportional to the vividness of your vision.
When you live by your highest values, the V5 and V6 visual associative areas of your occipital cortex light up to allow you to see the inner vision that you have in front of you that you’d like to create in the world.
Those with a vision flourish, and those without a vision perish.
However, if you active your subcortical amygdala, attempt to live in your lower values and activate the old primitive survival part of the brain that seeks solely to avoid predator and seek prey, avoid the negatives and seek the positives, you’re likely to have entropy and break yourself down. You may then wonder why you don’t have enough efficient energy to get everything done.
If you want to be inspired, it would be wise to live by your highest priority because your highest priority is where you’re intrinsically inspired from within.
There is no inefficient expression of energy when you are doing what you truly feel is your calling.
If you’re inspired to pursue longevity and vitality, you’d be wise to:
- Identify your most meaningful purpose, which is your highest value, which inspires you.
- Prioritize your life and delegate the rest.
- Eat moderately or very lightly, with the occasional fast.
- Drink lots of water, the universal solvent.
- Have goals that inspire you with large space and time horizons that are linked to your highest value and that also challenge you.
- If you have a reason to live beyond an average life span, you will likely live a longer life.
- Give yourself permission to have a long life.
- Be grateful - gratitude is one of the keys to longevity because you grow when you are grateful for life.
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