As you know, everything in this nature is impermanent; indeed, even the entire visible universe proves to be impermanent in the end. Everything that has ever come into being also perishes; everything that has been born must also die again. So, for every human being, it is an aspect which cannot be ignored. You would think that acceptance of such an irrefutable fact would be the most obvious attitude, but that is not the case at all.
The general tendency is rather to avoid, reduce, or postpone as much as possible what seems unfavorable to us. For example, hygiene can greatly reduce child mortality at birth or in infancy or limit the transmission of pathogens. The fact that there is such a thing as microbiological life, which can cause illness does not seem unusual to us today, but it is a relatively recent discovery. It was first put forward as a hypothesis by Louis Pasteur, a French chemist who lived from 1822 to 1895. Not only the first vaccines, but also the first methods of sterilizing medical instruments and wound dressings are part of his life’s work.
Another discovery, which is much younger, concerns the ‘rejuvenation’ of cells. Research with mice has shown that a substance called NMN (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide) promotes cell regeneration, and you could describe its effect as rejuvenating . Since then, the production and sale of the substance has exploded, also because it is not a medicine but occurs naturally and seems to have no side effects.
Another substance that has recently been in the news is resveratrol, which can be extracted from grapes and which – to put it in a very simplified way – can reduce the clumping of bacteria and viruses, so that they multiply less well and thus do less damage and can be more easily fought off by our immune system. Corona patients will also benefit from this, scientific research has shown. But this research has so far only proven itself in laboratory animals and research on humans is still on the agenda. There are other positive health effects of resveratrol , and if you read about such discoveries, you can easily get the idea that we will soon be able to get rid of many health problems.
The most famous of these are, of course, antibiotics, which for a long time were thought to be a cure for all kinds of bacterial diseases, until it became clear that these pathogens develop immunity to antibiotics over time. This is then a form of immunity that the medical world would rather not have, whereas it is of course logical that if we humans can build up immunity to something, other living beings may also be able to do so.
Delaying or avoiding illness or death as much as possible is clearly the most common reaction to our own mortality. But can we – if not conquer death – at least achieve a lasting result in this way? This is a claim that many medical scientists like to make and until recently there didn’t seem to be too much to argue against; at the very least it can be seen that through greatly improved hygiene and vaccinations many deaths and illnesses are now barely occurring. So, overcoming this nature in part – that might be possible?
Most criticism of the containment of all kinds of natural bacteria and viruses comes from groups that can perhaps best be described as ‘alternative movements’, and then in the sense that these groups do not reason from a widely accepted scientific angle. Arguments include that nature as it was originally conceived simply works well and, through millions of years of development, has ultimately achieved the best balance between life and death.
Spiritual questions play a role here, such as whether it should be the business of man to change or manipulate something that was created either by natural forces or by higher creative beings? But in recent years there has also been research within science that makes the limits of the socially engineered more visible. A search for ‘The Microbiota Vault-Initiative’ on the internet leads to studies which show that all life on earth can best and most stably exist within its own specific microbiota, i.e. a microbiological environment. This can be outside us in nature or inside us, for example in our intestines. Studies have shown that this natural balance is an optimal cooperation of an incredible number of bacteria and viruses and many other small-scale organisms …with larger life forms such as plants, animals and people. And although good hygiene is important, the use of antibacterial and cleaning products has a negative impact on all kinds of microbiota.
Furthermore, it has already been conclusively established that in civilized environments such as cities, the original multiplicity and balance of all kinds of micro-organisms decreases and this then has a negative impact on our immune system. Such a system of micro-organisms also lives in our intestines, called the microbiome. Processed food and the typical excess of sugars and carbohydrates in many rich countries have caused the microbiome in our intestines to change significantly and become less diverse.
In order to avoid a situation in the long run where people only have incomplete microbiomes in their bodies and the immune systems no longer function properly, the aforementioned project was started to collect complete microbiomes from more indigenous peoples who also live in more natural environments and store those microbiome samples in a gigantic underground ‘fridge’ in a country with a very cold climate.
Later, these are to be used to help people who are born with an overly weak microbiome by administering the more complete versions from the freezer. And that, in a nutshell, is ‘The Microbiota Vault-Initiative’.
So which way should science go? Further sterilization, disinfection or, on the contrary, restoring original systems of microbiota and the microbiome as quickly as possible? We do not want to judge or be cynical about this data. In the end, any change to our natural environment will always hit limits – by discovering undesirable effects that will send us, as humans, in the opposite direction of what we intended to ‘optimize’. It is the law of this nature, of the dialectic, of a world of opposites in balance. We do not have to look at it in scientific terms to see the principle at work: if all people live very long, the population ages and rejuvenation will start to lag behind. We can spin this for an exceedingly long time to postpone the effect but eventually it will happen. We can sterilize everything around us but in the long run this can also lead to an increase in overreactions of children’s immune systems to the most ordinary substances in their environment or food.
Overcoming this nature or at least living extremely long and healthy lives without strange unwanted effects is not something we are going to achieve – not by any means. How then can the dialectic in this nature be overcome? What is immortality or eternity? Why do we have these ideas if it is not possible to achieve them at all?
The idea of eternity and immortality clearly comes from within the human being. Whether there was a first person with the idea or whether it is a question that every human being has from within, briefly or at length, it can only come from within us as a question or an idea. Now if we were completely three-dimensional natural beings, would that be possible? If we hand it down to each other as religious ideas, how is it possible that even very young children often ask about it, even though they do not grow up in a religious family at all and are too young to have been taught about it at school? One thing is quite certain… there is hardly a person in the world you could not talk to about this topic.
Let us suppose for a moment that there is a principle in us from which these kinds of thoughts originate, and that the principle may not be of this nature but is a kind of principle that also has life and that we – stirred by this – have questions about immortality or eternity.
Rosicrucians call this the spirit spark atom or ‘the last vestige in our hearts of an eternal soul’. They speak of a primal memory that can be awakened in people, a memory that can at some point penetrate our consciousness. Overcoming this nature would then become a possibility – if we humans gradually learn to listen to this primordial living point. A path of consciousness, an inspiration from within, but progressing by means of a kind of ‘revelation’, in small steps. A path of awareness is about insight and putting into perspective our tendency to see adjustments outside ourselves as the solution. It is then about balancing our consciousness and our health, to live our life as a person on this planet and our life as an awakened human being with soul centered consciousness as well as possible.
The question of the truth or meaning of aspects of life then becomes more important – and strangely enough, if we invest a little more in properly investigating what might be true, we also have a better chance of keeping our body and our life together in the best possible balance. Being more in balance and with insights gathered from our soul and spiritual core certainly allows for deeper insight, whether that is into how ‘overcoming this nature’ works, or something else.
 Mills KF, Yoshida S, Stein LR, et al. Long-Term Administration of Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Mitigates Age-Associated Physiological Decline in Mice. Cell Metab. 2016 13 dec.