The Afterlife- Evidence?
1. Near-death experiences- where you get that trip down the tunnel to the light with the clips show of your highlights, although the jury is out on whether some NDEs can provide accurate information which could not have been obtained through normal sensory routes.
2. Mediumship, or seeming communication by a gifted person with the dead, particularly mental mediumship and the cross-correspondences (the latter involving several mediums receiving communications of a complex character that only make sense when the information is consolidated).
3. ‘Peak in Darien’ experiences, where someone who is dying has a vision of someone thought to be alive but who is later found to have died before the vision occurred.
4. Strange death bed phenomena, such as unexplained lights or music, experienced by relatives and carers around the dying person’s bed (hard to explain in terms of biological processes). Staff who work in hospices for example often have these sorts of stories to tell.
5. Terminal lucidity in a dying patient, perhaps someone with Alzheimer’s or who has been drifting in and out of consciousness but suddenly has a spell of recognising people around them and clear thinking just before passing.
A good book for this is Stop Worrying! There Probably Is An Afterlife by Greg Taylor
Immortality- Possible Methods?
1. Biological methods- some cells such as stem cells are in theory immortal (and may soon be used to grow replacement organs artificially), others are not subject to the Hayflick limit. Expression of telomere lengthening telomerase or induction of the large T-antigen are factors supporting longevity.
Larger organisms such as some bacteria and the jellyfish Turritopsis dohrnii are also essentially immortal.
Such phenomena are being studied for equivalents in humans, e.g. through gene therapy, as it may take a long time to wait for them to come through evolution, perhaps through finite telomere regeneration.
2. Technological- whole brain emulation, mind uploading or transference of brain states to an alternative medium such as a powerful computer is favoured by futurists such as Ray Kurzweil and transhumanists.
Cryonics is suspended animation of those who would otherwise be clinically dead with e.g. temperature control, tissue vitrification or chemical brain preservation until they can be resuscitated with future technology from “standby mode”, think Walt Disney’s head rumour or the film AI.
Medical nanobots, or “swallowing the doctor” might allow repair and regeneration internally according to Freitas, Feynman, Hibbs and Drexler.
Cybernetics is a process of transforming a human into a cyborg, by mixing human and robotic components. That couldn’t go wrong, right?
3. Life extension- there is promise that life can be extended by substances such as resveratrol, found in red wines e.g. particularly Pinot Noir.
Anything increasing cell telomerase would be very handy. Intermittent fasting is also showing promise.
4. Alchemy- the Philosopher’s Stone or elixir of life, efforts to find it are called the Magnum Opus. Its like finding the Holy Grail or something.
Going back to Adam there are constant legends of various celebs of their times, e.g. Paracelsus having hold of some, it is a handy stone for all sorts of things, not just eternal life, and comes in red and white varieties. I bet the Count of St.Germain has a chunk, he must be getting on for 700 years old now.
If any gullible billionaires are reading, I can sell you some for a very reasonable price. And some real estate on the Moon.
5. There are numerous spiritual traditions such as breatharianism and rebirthing where the advocates will state certain yogis e.g. Babaji, Bhartriji have lived for extremely long times.
A simple beginning to such practices to emulate them includes pranayama or breath work, e.g. alternate nostril breathing- Inhale through the left nostril and exhale through the right nostril, holding the other closed. Then inhale through the right nostril and exhale through the left nostril. Repeat this cycle three or nine times. Make the breaths as long as you comfortably can. You can either hold the inhale, or you can connect the inhale to the exhale as in twenty connected breaths.
Leonard Orr’s book Breaking The Death Habit: The Science of Everlasting Life is a great starting point.
In Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen one simply changes ones body into an immortal body of light called the rainbow body.
One of the disciples of Jesus, presumably John, was rumoured to remain alive until the Second Coming, although the chapter itself (John 21:22) is a bit teasy about it. But if so, come around for a cup of tea, St.John, you must be knackered.