123/5 for “Ageless Body, Timeless Mind”

Have you ever heard of someone taking a tag after 10 months? Well, that’s exactly what I’m out to do right now. Its been 10 months since Ooomz has tagged me with his 123/5 post, and here I am responding to it now! (In my defense, I’ve got the time only now you see ;)).

A brief repeat of the rules of the tag – its all about writing what’s written in the 5th paragraph of the page 123 of the book I’m reading right now. In my case, the book is ”Ageless Body, Timeless Mind” by Deepak Chopra. Here goes (the 4th paragraph of the page, since there is no 5th para, and my move is as per the rules):

There is no denying that free-radical damage occurs and is suspiciously linked with aging, along with cancer and heart disease, the two leading causes of death. Yet it has not been shown that older people necessarily have higher levels of free-radicals in their cells, or lower levels of antioxidants. What I’d like to suggest is that free-radical damage is but one type of imbalance that can occur at the level of cellular intelligence when the balance tips towards entropy. If the body’s intelligence is at full strength, disorder and chaos do not attack a cell. The basic tenet of life extension – preventing free-radical damage before it occurs – is sound. To do that, however, we need to understand a cell’s intelligence directly.

Profound, eh? :). Well, this is the first book I’m reading, authored by Deepak Chopra – a pioneer in mind-body medicine, and holistic healing. Before reading this book, I was acquainted with metaphysics, healing and a bit of quantum physics (Autobiography of a Yogi by Swami Paramahamsa Yogananda comes to mind). But this book has introduced to me some mind-boggling concepts, especially in Part One “The Land Where No One is Old”. Referring to the body as a storehouse of energy and information, Deepak analyses its biochemistry and drives home the importance of awareness in definining its intelligence, processes and existence in this dimension. Part Two speaks about Aging and Awareness, and with it the plot thickens – merging theory with case studies and exercises. With “Defeating Entropy”, “The Science of Longevity” and “Breaking the Spell of Mortality” – the other three remaining parts, the mind-body can no longer be relegated to being an incomprehensible, indisciplined instrument. Deepak tries to bring to light our unconscious programming that’s the root cause of sickness, deterioration, and also seeks to break moulds of how we’ve perceived growth and aging. Deepak’s writing is not for the faint hearted 😉 – some lines/paras would need two to three reads for the full breadth of its significance to sink inside you. Interpretations could vary and even change the whole dimension of your thought – especially since concepts of time, space and reality, all fade into oblivion.

The above paragraph is an excerpt, and concludes a chapter titled as “The Free-Radical Theory” in Part Three. The chapter tries to expose the paradoxical nature of free-radicals, once thought of as the enemy because of its contribution to cellular damage, till it was proved that they are beneficial also in maintaining the body’s balance and protecting it. The chapter and the paragraph seek to show a bigger picture to the Free-Radical debate, by encouraging us to see beyond the damage, examine and solve the original cause. What I also found relevant in the chapter is the mention of how people are (even today!!) always so ready to consume antioxidants, vitamins and other drugs (beta carotenes, vitamin B, C, E, zinc etc), in the belief that they’re contributing to their personal health and life extension, when in reality these may end up doing more damage than good.

Coming back to the purposes of this post – apart from my need to take up the tag in the first place :), it also lets me tell you that if you have the time and interest in all of the above, pick up this book, or atleast read up on material in this line of thought – be aware of your body, and know that the way you perceive, understand and choose to change will make all the difference. There’s a lot out there that you probably don’t know, yet!

P.S. Ideally I’m supposed to tag 5 people. But then, I choose to just throw open this tag to anyone else who thinks they’re reading an interesting book and would like to talk about it.