Live Youthfully Now
Russell A. Kemp
Every human being who eats, drinks, talks, and walks around on the surface of this world, is within himself also a world. According to some scientists, he is populated by the staggering total of one hundred trillion inhabitants! Our world called Earth, where there is so much talk about a population explosion, has only about three and a half billion inhabitants.
A trillion is a thousand billions of anything. And it is said that each of us has in his individual human body “world” one hundred thousand billion inhabitants: the cells of the body. Cells are to a living thing what population is to the earth.
The cell is the basic structural unit of any living organism. Every organ, every tissue of our body is composed of individual living cells. It is only because of the marvelous provision that our Creator has made for the constant rebirth of these countless little cell inhabitants of our body that we are able to enjoy life and health. We live in our body solely by means of the continual rebirth of our teeming cell population.
Rebirth is a fundamental idea in Christianity. Every true Christian believes that he has been “born again.”
Jesus spoke of this aspect of His teaching in the famous interview He gave to Nicodemus. When Jesus said to Nicodemus “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God,” Nicodemus was unable to understand. He said: “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
Obviously Nicodemus did not know that he already was participating in this process called rebirth, that it was only because his body cells were continually dying and being reborn that he was alive at all. In the course of the few breaths that it took him to voice his skeptical question to Jesus, literally millions of the tiny inhabitants of his body world died and were born again. They accomplished this by a process called mitosis.
What a fantastic picture our scientists now give us of this world of the microcosm in which our body cells function! Each infinitely small cell is like an entity. It performs with electronic facility feats of chemistry beyond even the imagination of scientific resources to duplicate. It dies, not “daily” as Paul spoke of dying, but (in the case of cells constituting the blood) perhaps ten million times a second. But in the very act of dying, it splits, renews itself by dividing itself at this incredible speed.
A million of anything is very difficult for the human mind to grasp. Yet our body manages to juggle fantastic arithmetical calculations dealing with terms of millions upon millions, and accomplishes this in terms of time so short that they are virtually unmeasurable. It is evident that there must be some quality of intelligence functioning in these body cells which is infinitely faster and more clever than the mind we use in our everyday mental calculations. What we call our conscious mind has nothing to do with the functioning of the body cells, because by comparison it is too slow, too clumsy.
If our conscious mind had to supervise these myriads of bodily activities and functions we would be dead within moments, for its orders would always be too late. Conscious mind thought is incredibly slow and limited in intelligence, compared to the intelligence ruling in the electronic world of the cells. In this cell world there is a power of intelligence, a power of adaptation and self-renewal, a capacity to manufacture required substances and control and distribute them, which is miraculous. Truly the inner world in which the body cells exist is a world of miracles. For many of these miracles, no explanation can as yet be given.
But it is plain that the body does possess power to renew itself by constantly “rebirthing” itself. And it does this automatically. Since it has become known that the cells in the body are all renewed many times over in our lifetime, the question naturally has risen: why then does the physical body change and grow old?
Why should bones become brittle if the cells in these bones are never more than a few years old? Why should joints become stiff, or the elasticity of muscles depart with age, if the cell material of which they are composed is being renewed constantly? What brings about the change from the condition called youth to the condition called age? How can we have blood cells only millionths of a second old, or at the most one hundred and twenty days old, in a man who is forty, sixty, or eighty years old?
How can we have bones, composed of cells variously estimated to be from eighteen months to not more than a few years old, in the body of an individual who is said to be seventy years old? It seems to be a striking contradiction that a body known to have been in existence as a living organism for seventy years on this earth’s surface, should be composed of living cells which have been in existence for periods of time varying from milliseconds to hours, or several years. Where can the “age” be?
Here we have a conspicuous contradiction: age composed of youthful material. Man is living in something called “time,” which gives him age. He is aware of this thing called time only by the use of his mind. But by what part of his mind? By that part which is shut out of all the really vital activities that give him life, because it is too slow to participate. It is only the conscious phase of his mind, the mind vibrating on the slowest, outer level (therefore the least intelligent phase of his mentality), that is aware of time.
Furthermore, all that is necessary to sustain life and existence in man’s physical body functions on the highest level, at such a rate of vibration that time ceases to have any meaning, if blood cells do renew themselves ten million times a second, then do not these cells live virtually out of the time element, as our senses comprehend it?
Although man himself in his inner vital processes lives in a world virtually beyond time, where innate mental and physical processes function possibly beyond the speed of light, man makes himself a slave of time. He believes that this thing called time even has power to cause his death. And of course the crowning irony of it all is that he himself invented time. He needed it as a useful convenience. It was the easiest way for the comparatively slow form of intelligence known as his conscious mind to relate itself to the beautiful order and precision he observed in the universe. Unfortunately he let this convenient creation get out of hand. Like a genie released from a bottle in a fairy tale, it became his master instead of his servant.
So now we have the anomaly of an “old” man, living in an “old” body, which is composed of essentially “young” material. He mourns the swift passing of the years, although these years are only arbitrary mental concepts of the movement of the earth around the lifegiving sun. Neither the earth nor the sun nor the air he breathes seem to show any aging effect because of circling in space!
Does it not seem possible that if man were to stop associating himself (by means of his limited conscious intelligence) with the movements of the earth in space, and associated himself instead with the timeless movements of the world he really inhabits — the world of his own body cells — he might overcome his belief in the power of time to cause old age and death?
Does it seem logical for man to identify himself with the world outside his real being, and give it power over him? Instead, should not he be identifying himself with the actual existent miracles of the world within himself, by virtue of which he lives? Should he not give power to the quality of intelligence in his body cells, which already transcends time and defies time, instead of giving power to changing seasons and a purely mental concept of this earth’s travels, called “time”?
Perhaps you are asking: “What possible effect could this have on the length of his life, even if there were some practical way for him to identify himself with the inner world of the cells, rather than with the outer world in which he lives? And what do you mean by ‘identifying himself’ with the outer world, anyhow?”
Do we really “live” in the outer world at all? We exist in it, we move around in it, we function in it. But do we not really “live” where the seat of our life forces is, where the energy we use in being human actually is present? Do we not truly live in this great world of the body populated by these hundred thousand billions of living, intensely active inhabitants?
Perhaps we should say that we live in two worlds, or two environments. We live in an external environment on the surface of the earth. We live (to a far greater extent) in an internal environment contained within the walls of the body, a “sealed-in” world where miracles are the normal process, where an incredibly swift and efficient intelligence rules and directs the minutest details of every action, every happening. This intelligence is automatic; it operates with an unerring precision far surpassing that of the most sophisticated computers. Its calculations deal with awe-inspiring quantities and numbers, in the realm of the infinitesimally minute and electronically activated cell world. Its genius, its artistry, its mechanical, chemical, and engineering ability are beyond our imagination; they outdo fairy tales.
Suppose, then, that we could have such a quality of intelligence at our service, in order to make correct and health-promoting decisions in all matters involving the well-being of the physical body. Suppose we could actually learn to live by the unerring advice and counsel of such an intelligence (which evidently partakes of the nature of that which we consider divine).
It is well established that the quality and character of our thoughts affect the state of our health; excited, worried, inflamed states of mind do react upon the physical body and produce tension, subconscious anxiety, or fear. And since this superior form of intelligence we are speaking of is always in a state of calm, peaceful, orderly efficiency, then if we let it govern more and more of our thinking and emotions, we might reasonably expect a striking improvement in health, longevity, and general wellbeing.
What are the practical steps we can take toward doing this? What is meant by “identifying” oneself either with the outer world, or with the inner world of the miraculous intelligence running the body?
To identify oneself is to name oneself, to associate oneself with a certain identity known by its name, physical appearance, and established residence. The latter is important, particularly when we wish to identify ourself for business purposes: we state our name and where we live. This is self-identification as we know it and use it in the outer world.
Now when we seek to identify ourself from the standpoint of the inner man, we name ourself but we do not state the house or apartment number, the street and city as our address. Instead we identify ourself as a citizen of a spiritual kingdom in which we function as a living soul, a free spirit, with an inner identity related to the free forces of the universe. As such we are related to the light of day, to the unlimited atmosphere, to the boundless sky, and to that intangible life force pervading the entire universe.
In Lessons in Truth, one of the four basic affirmations is: “I am Spirit, perfect, holy, harmonious. Nothing can hurt me or make me sick or afraid, for Spirit is God, and God cannot be hurt or sick or afraid. I manifest my real self through this body now.” Many have been the instances of healing that have occurred through the faithful assertion of this statement. It gives us a practical way to identify ourself, not with the outward man of flesh and blood, but with the living, superintelligent, miracle-working power which rules in our inner world. It is the Spirit of God that is the life force animating the countless myriads of tiny cell individuals in our body population.
When we reject the verdict of the limited phase of mentation called conscious mind, with its beliefs in sickness, and appeal to the Superconscious Mind of the living Spirit, then we can actually experience miracles of healing, or reconstruction, in our body. Intellectual knowledge, which believes in the reality and power of matter, is quite limited in its scope. It judges only by the observations of the senses. And the senses are too restricted in their range and reliability to have the last word in such an important matter as the healing of the body.
If you are in earnest about desiring to cultivate this new idea of having your body renewed and your energy and enjoyment of life restored, despite the number of years you have lived, then you must be willing to take some of these ideas on faith and work at them. Do not discuss them with others unless you are sure how they feel about such matters. For the present, go it alone. “He travels fastest who travels alone” is true in the right use of your mental forces. Skepticism, unbelief, criticism, even ridicule may be your experience if you talk about these ideas to the wrong people.
How can you expect anyone to appreciate these principles if they have never studied them, or do not understand them? These are new ideas. You are ahead of the crowd. Do not expect the man on the street to know about these things. Above all, do not rush out and try to convert others until you have first proved these ideas to yourself. After people begin to ask you what has happened, what you are doing to look so young, then tell them.
To sum up: instantaneous renewal of body tissues goes on constantly. While you read these words, the cell population of your body is dying and being reborn at a speed that defies our imagination. Zoologist N. J. Barrill says, “Self-renewal, whether of body cells or of the mind, is the source of youth, and serves to postpone the end of every man’s life.”
He also says: “Some of the most vital cells in the body live individually only a very short time. Red blood cells, for instance, live but a few weeks, and are continually being replaced from a source within the bone marrow.1 The basal layer of cells in the skin continually proliferates and gives rise to the layers constantly rub off. All the inner membranes of the body such as the intestines and the lungs are forever being renewed in a similar way. There is a great deal of truth in what Chief Justice Holmes once wrote, that ‘We must all be born again, atom by atom, from hour to hour, or perish all at once beyond repair.’ ”
The important point to remember is that you are a far more intelligent, far more miraculous person than you have ever suspected. This supermind which performs all these miracles of constant rebirth and renewal is really a part of your mind now, but you are probably not aware of it in your ordinary mode of thinking and living.
Think what a piece of work you are! You have a mind in you that is far wiser, more intelligent, better informed than all the scientists and philosophers on earth put together! This mind does as a matter of course things that all of our greatest conscious minds banded together could not do.
By means of this subsurface or unknown mind, what you might call your own inner renewal program is being conducted night and day in the “faster-than-light” world of the body cells. It is by virtue of this incessant renewal of your cell inhabitants that you live at all. Probably none of your body cells is more than a few years old; many may be only millionths of a second old. Doesn’t the word old lose its meaning when we speak of such fractions of time as millionths of a second? Probably we should stop using the word old in connection with anything that is milliseconds in duration, as some of our cells are.
If we want to cultivate youthful maturity, we must stop using the word old at all. If it seems absurd (and it surely is) to speak of a baby being six weeks “old” — surely anything that has been living only six weeks is young — then it also seems absurd to speak of a human body, being renewed breath by breath and pulse beat by pulse beat, sometimes at a speed faster than light, as being “old.”
If you want to join your own inner renewal program, here is how to go about it: Instead of thinking about how old you are, start thinking about how “new” you are!
Think of all the swarming, newly born cell beings that race through your veins and arteries and nerves like the rays of the rising sun race across the horizon in the morning!
No matter how many years you may have lived, no matter how old the family record says you are, there are young cells in you, “young blood” racing through your veins this very instant: one-hundred-and-twenty-day-old blood, four-month-old blood. Don’t start arguing about your creaking joints or old bones, or “old” anything. Start thinking about how new you are. Think of the young blood in you! Think of the part of you that is forever young because it is forever newly born: your cell world.
Yes, by all means, think new, not old. Think new thoughts worthy of those new cells forever being born in you! Because while there is automatic renewal in the world of cells, there is no automatic renewal in the world of the mind. You yoursell have to see to it that your mind is renewed.
Try thinking and reasoning in this way: If the cells of my body are younger than I think, then I must be younger than I have considered myself to be.
Therefore to belong to myself, and be true to myself, I must practice thinking of myself as being new and fresh and young.
I remind myself often:
I am really a life-created, life-renewed, constantly reborn being. I am not just flesh and blood. I am that which animates my flesh and blood, and lives by means of my physical organism. I am what is called the greater Self, invisible to physical eyes, intangible to human hands, yet ruler and director of my teeming inner world.
I now identify myself in a new way, as being part of God’s universe, governed by God’s law, God’s wisdom, and God’s love. I am learning to live by God’s unerring advice and counsel.
Every millisecond of the day or night I am constantly being made new by the teeming vigor of the fresh young life of God.
In Pebble Beach, California, there is a Polar Bear Club whose members, all men and of various ages, plunge into the icy waters of the Pacific on George Washington’s birthday. There is another informal swimming club in neighboring Pacific Grove, whose members swim in the icy waters of Monterey Bay all winter long. One of this club’s members, Mrs. Decker, was asked to write an article about their custom of swimming all winter. But she declined, saying that sometimes in winter, on bad days when the water was turbulent, her knees stiffened up, and she had to be helped out of the water. She felt this might expose her to ridicule. Since Mrs. Decker is eighty-five, the others didn’t think she should be ashamed because her knees stiffened up sometimes while swimming on cold winter days.
- Prof. Marcel Bessis, Institute of Cellular Pathology, Paris, says: “Taking the red blood cells of a man as an example, they control a population a hundred times greater than the entire population of the world. This population is renewed every 120 days.”