‘An Extraordinary Book challenges the belief that we must grow old and die.’ — Life Extension Magazine
‘Immortalist Classic — MSNBC & WIRED Brian Alexander
What the Mortalists say about Humanity’s Quest to Cure Disease, Old Age & Death:
“The Most Dangerous Idea on Earth” — Francis Fukuyama, in Foreign Affairs
“a Pagan and Sub-Christian Quest”— Richard J. Neuhaus, Religious Right strategist & Catholic Priest
“I wish to make the case for the virtues of mortality” — Leon R. Kass, Bioethics Czar for George Bush Junior
9/11 killed around 3,000 people. A one-time outrage and tragedy.
Heart disease kills about 647,000 Americans each year. That’s 216 times 9/11.
Cancer kills around 606,000 Americans annually. 202 times 9/11.
Stroke kills roughly140,000 Americans every year. 47 times 9/11.
Unlike 9/11, these American deaths happen every year. Year in and year out.
As the U.S. population grows older and gets even fatter, the cases and the deaths from heart disease, cancer and stroke will rise.
Together, heart disease, cancer, and stroke now kill around 1.4 million Americans. Each year.
Total US deaths from diseases: about 2.6 million American deaths annually (2017). That’s 867 times 9/11!
And it happens every year. Without fail!
If trying to prevent another 9/11 with its roughly 3,000 killed justifies trillions of U.S. dollars for invading, bombing, and occupying Afghanistan and Iraq, and writing the Pentagon blank checks for a never-ending “War on Terror,” then preventing over two million American deaths annually from aging-related killers like heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases, alzheimer’s, diabetes, influenza/pneumonia, kidney and liver diseases, and obesity demands a proportionately bigger budget, bigger by far than the Pentagon’s budget.
The First or the Last
For the first time in history, Science has the tools to slow down, stop, or even reverse our biological aging.
We are not talking about extending old age; we are talking about greatly extending our youthful healthy vigorous prime.
Not merely life-extension, but youth-extension!
Now Science has the tools to conjure new life-saving treatments or outright cures for all aging-related ailments such as heart disease, cancers, obesity, stroke, osteoporosis, or alzheimer’s.
It is just a matter of Time. But Time is not on our side.
Disease, Old Age and Death are no longer necessary or acceptable. We are either the last to grow old and die, or the first to stay young and live “forever.”
We choose to be the first to stay young and live “forever.”
Our goal is simple: kill Disease, Old Age and Death!
Priority Number One
We demand that the conquest of Disease, Old Age and Death be the number one priority of every society and every government on this planet.
We demand a dramatic increase in every nation’s funding for youth-extension, health-extension and life-extension research since otherwise Disease or Old Age will surely kill everyone of us.
Our immediate goal: Cure heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, alzheimer’s, obesity, and all other major killers.
The Human Right
We demand a universal health care system that is adequately funded and a major state funding priority. We say it is a basic feature of any acceptable civilized society.
Health care is the fundamental human right, already guaranteed by the United Nations’ and the European Union’s Declaration of Human Rights. The United States has been a longtime and most brazen violator of this right. Tens of millions of Americans are without any health insurance, without any access to health care.
Every Immortalist society shall have a constitutionally guaranteed right to universal health care, and the right to adequate housing and food. These are the three most fundamental human rights; they are required for for survival and sustenance.
Any government or politico-economic system that does not give its people these basics is barbaric and has no credibility whatsoever to speak of “human rights.” In fact, it does not deserve to stand.
The 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse
We ImmorTalists demand that every government must do whatever it takes to prevent the apocalyptic scenarios of global heating, climate crisis, biodiversity collapse and nuclear holocaust from happening.
Otherwise, these four horsemen of the apocalypse will extinguish our species, collapse our civilizations, and turn Planet Earth into an uninhabitable hell.
Given Time, the cure of human aging – and all aging-related plagues like cancer, heart disease, stroke, alzheimer’s — is inevitable.
Will Breakthroughs Come Fast Enough to Save You?
But The Breakthroughs to cure Aging and all major killer-diseases are not guaranteed to come in time to save you, your family and your friends.
Even if The Breakthroughs arrive in time, in our grossly unequal Death Society and its Capitalist economy, many or most mortals will not be able to afford them. This is not hard to foresee. After all, tens of millions of Americans, with tens of millions more joining their wretched ranks, in the “richest country in the world,” have no health insurance and zero health care access today.
The Need for The Immortalist Movement
This is why we urgently and desperately need the most powerful ImmorTalist Movement to sweep the world to ensure The Breakthroughs will be covered by a universal health care system and available to all. Including you and your loved ones.
Whether we get such an Immortalist Movement in time to save us depends partly on whether you read this manifesto in full, on whether you understand and apply its paradigm-shifting Immortalist worldview which explains why we have not yet won the war on cancer, heart disease, stroke, etc,, on whether you practice The Gameplan – including The ImmorTalist Diet and The Immortalist Lifestyle, whether you respond to this manifesto’s call to action, and do your part, however great or humble, to help create, support and power the Movement with the vision, the strategy, the will, and the leadership to make humanity’s most ancient and most unquenchable dream come true.
The rationale behind the immortalist agenda? Humanity cannot be truly happy until it has banished Disease, Aging and Death.
Unless short-lived mortals live much longer to care about Planet Earth a hundred or even a thousand years from now, we will not do what is required to fend off global heating, climate crisis, mass species extinction, nuclear holocaust–the four horsemen of the apocalypse that industrial capitalist Death Societies have spawned and are disproportionately culpable for.
Questions That Will Decide Our Fate
So the three overriding questions of our existence and our times are:
- Will the Breakthroughs come in time to save you and me? Will we stop being passive, docile and fatalistic and instead create and power an Immortalist Movement worth its name, one that can maximize the probability that The Breakthroughs will come in time to rescue us from Disease, Old Age and Death?
- When The Breakthroughs come, will we be able to afford them? Will they be covered by our health care system?
- While we push and wait for The Breakthroughs, how do we Buy More Time? How do we slow down our biological aging? How do we prevent heart disease, cancer, alzheimer’s, stroke, diabetes, Obesity and all the other top killers?1
- Will we push our governments to do whatever it takes to stave off the worst of global heating, climate crisis, The Sixth Great Extinction, and the specter of a nuclear world war?
The answers to these questions – which you will help provide — will decide our individual and collective fates. The fate of all future generations and of our species will hinge on these answers. Your answers.
Chapter 1 ImmorTalist History
History is the story of our quest for immortality.
The Fear of Death and the Desire for Immortality are the primary motivations and moving force in mortal life and history.
The goal of mortal history and civilization is the conquest of Death.
The meaning of life is life. The purpose of life is more and better life.
Mortal history is a protracted struggle against Death. It is the long march of our individual and collective efforts to escape the clutches of mortality. The annals of our unflagging lust for immortality.
The goal of human history is simple and unchanging: it is to break out from the chains of mortality.
What seems to be the problem? Death! What else?!
Even Jesus was “greatly distressed and troubled” in the face of Death. (Mark 14:33)
The Most Natural Fear & Desire
Our Fear of Death and our Desire for Immortality are two sides of the same coin. They are not only universal, they are also natural. This fear and this desire arise not from changing modes of production, but from our survival instinct—our instinct for self-preservation.
This is why our fear of death and our desire for immortality are unquenchable. While our belief in immortality in the next life has declined, our desire for immortality in this life has been unwavering.
This primary fear and this overriding desire have thrived in and survived all our economic systems. In prehistory and recorded history, in the Stone, Bronze, Iron ages, in the Hunting, Agricultural, Industrial, Digital eras, under Feudalism, Capitalism, or Socialism, our terror of death and our thirst for immortality (with eternal youth) have persisted and thrived.
Why? Because it is founded not on transient modes of production or economic organizations, but on our most basic biological instinct, our instinct for self-preservation.
Therefore, to accept Disease, Old Age and Death is nothing less than the perversion and decadence of our most basic biological instinct.
The Quest of Mortal History
Mortality is the unique problem of our species. Homo Sapiens is the only species burdened with full consciousness of its finiteness. This awareness of our mortality is intolerably complicated by our capacity to dream of an immortal state.
The question of the rich young ruler in the gospels has always been the question: what must I do to gain eternal life?
Throughout history many answers have been given. By prophets, magicians, priests, mystics, hermits, alchemists, philosophers, artists, kings, rebels and revolutionaries. Countless creeds and ideologies purport to show us the way.
Why Religion, Philosophy, Politics Have Failed Us
In the end, they have all fallen short, have all failed. This is why no one answer has emerged as the answer. This is why our quest continues.
We cannot shut off our consciousness of Death completely. We cannot be distracted from its shadow all of the time.
Death is a biological problem. Therefore it demands a biological solution.
This is why the answers given by religion, philosophy, art and politics to the problem of Death are too ineffective, too impractical, too abstract. Any “answer” or “solution” which cannot cure Disease, Old Age and Death (D.O.D.) is ultimately sophistry, deception, cruel hoax.
This is not to rule out that once upon a time some of these “answers” and “solutions” may have performed a service for us. By providing us with the belief, the sedation or the illusion to maintain sanity and functionality in an otherwise untenable situation.
All of these “answers” and “solutions” are part of the total answer and solution that the mortal species has fashioned: Civilization.
It is from Civilization that mortals expect liberation from the tyranny of D.O.D. (Disease, Old Age & Death).
This was most explicit in the ancient Egyptian civilization which has been smeared by Mortalism for its supposed “obsession with Death.” The only obsession the ancient Egyptians had was with Immortality. Which they rightly saw as the supreme goal.
Civilization is our collective vehicle for the conquest of Death. It has been built by the perspiration, sacrifice, gratification-postponement, perseverance, faith, and, yes, the martyrdom of countless members of “the human race.”
The Struggle & Goal of Civilization
Every mortal life is martyrdom and sacrifice on the altar of The Death Society, to appease its jealous, unforgiving, vengeful gods who kill us with abandon, indiscriminately.
The struggle against Death is sometimes blatant, most often camouflaged. There would be the flamboyant Ponce de Leons, as well as the geeky scientists who insist their only aim is scientific knowledge and progress.
We hide our real aim and our real target out of prudence. By lowering our expectations, by feigning indifference, skepticism, even cynicism, we protect ourselves from disappointment and paralysis.
Even in primitive societies, the work to subvert our unacceptable mortal condition proceeded. But it was carried out in stealth or subconsciously, for our primitive ancestors were sure the gods would not look too kindly on such “hubris.”
The discovery of fire-making, the rise of agriculture, the invention of the printing press, the creation of schools and universities, the rise of modern science, medicine and technology, the harnessing of the atom, the discovery of germs and antibiotics, the great improvement in personal and public hygiene, anesthesia and surgery, the plunge in infant mortality, the deciphering of the double helix, the creation of universal mind via the Internet, the mapping of the human genome, the advent of biotechnology, genetic engineering, cloning, gene editing, the dramatic rise in average life expectancy – all these and more are milestones in our long march to acquire and accumulate sufficient firepower for our final showdown with Death.
If Civilization is our vehicle for Immortality, then civilization’s institutions must be connected in one way or another with this supreme goal.
Institutions and Their Functions
Modern Medicine is the institution most directly linked to our quest to banish Disease, Old Age and Death (D.O.D.). Science, specially biomedical science, provides the hypotheses, experiments, knowledge, discoveries. Technology converts them into pills, X ray machines, CT (CAT) Scans, surgical lasers and other practical weapons for our dogged and relentless war against Disease, Old Age and Death.
Education teaches, trains and continues in a more systematic way the socialization process our parents began. Academia preserves, propagates, researches and expands our knowledge – including that which we need to triumph over Disease, Aging, and Death.
The educational sector passes on our accumulated, preserved, and proven knowledge from generation to generation. So that we don’t need to reinvent the wheel again and again. So that we can build on the knowledge and wisdom of past generations. This it does in classrooms, laboratories, libraries, graduate or professional schools, through professorships, clinics, internships, fellowships and field works. From kindergarten to grade school to high school to college/university to graduate school to adult continuing education.
Government is supposed to undertake projects too big for one mortal or even for communities of mortals. Whether it be fighting cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, flu, AIDS or other pandemics like Covid-19. Or going to the moon or Mars. Or creating and administering Unemployment, Disability, Retirement and Health Care benefits.
Government is supposed to protect us from natural or unnatural disasters, from threats to our lives, from wars, invasions, wildfires, earthquakes, floods, desertification and sea rise. Ultimately, it is every government’s basic duty to fend off life-threatening and civilization-collapsing perils such as global warming, climate change and biodiversity collapse.
The Social Well-Being Agencies which administer the social welfare benefits are supposed to ensure that we not only have quantity but quality of life.
The Police is supposed to protect us from murderers, rapists, robbers and other predatory mortals who may injure us physically or financially or even kill us.
The Military (“defense forces”) is supposed to defend us from foreign aggressors or foreign missiles. Not engage in foreign aggression like drone attacks, invasions, occupations which invite resistance and blowback which then turn us into magnets for attack.
Religion is our sleeping pill, our antidepressant, our opium. In the past, when most mortals can still believe, it provides us with the denial, the solace and the pie in the sky to soldier on.
Marriage and Family in their traditional forms were strictly for procreation and raising children. These two traditionally linked institutions were for the survival of the species, as well as for our own surrogate and posthumous immortality.
Children, the product of marriage and family, is the most common Immortality Project.
Arts and Culture allow surrogate immortality without children. Through paintings, sculptures, films, videos, plays, symphonies, operas, concerts, novels, short stories, poetry and philosophy.
As William Faulkner, the Nobel-winning novelist, explained: “The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life. Since man is mortal, the only immortality possible for him is to leave something behind him that is immortal since it will always move. This is the artist’s way of scribbling ‘Kilroy was here’ on the wall of the final and irrevocable oblivion through which he must some day pass.”
Death & Productivity
Death drives us to Civilization. Death breeds Religion, Philosophy, Arts and Literature. Death is the stepmother of genius and invention.
Religion and Philosophy have their foundation in Death. As Schopenhauer, the German philosopher, pointed out, “All religious and philosophical systems are…primarily the antidote to the certainty of death… .”
Why do we rush and run? Why do we hear the clock ticking away? Why is there never time enough? Why are our good deeds never good enough? Why do we always yearn to do better? Even with fame, fortune or power, why can we never be truly happy?
We are driven to productiveness. The reason for our insatiable drive? The long stalking shadow of Death.
Death makes us run. It’s our adrenaline, our “ecstasy”, our “uppers” and “downers.”
Although it could become “neurosis,” this morbid and relentless drive, this race against the clock, has undeniable value and function in creating and sustaining Civilization. Our Fear of Death and our Desire for Immortality are the twin-engine of human “progress” and achievement.
Death is a biological problem.
Therefore it requires a biological solution.
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1This is The ImmorTalist Manifesto, not a how-do self-help book. Suffice it to say that before The Breakthroughs arrive, to buy more Time, we must rely on diet and lifestyle. The ImmorTalist Diet (aka The Elixxir Diet) and The ImmorTalist Lifestyle (aka The Elixxir Lifestyle). Elixxir’s adaptation of the only scientific anti-aging diet (aka The Elixxir Program) is laid out in a separate book The Elixxir Diet & Program. The Immortalist Lifestyle (The Elixxir Lifestyle) is most fully revealed in Elixxir’s memoirs The Elixxir Chronicles.
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