You Just Don't Die!
book about happiness wisdom
The Complete TAO TE CHING in Plain English
by Stephen Lau
This book contains the 81 chapters of the translated text of the ancient Chinese classic on human wisdom, written by the Chinese sage Lao Tzu. It also explains in plain English the essentials of Tao wisdom, which is the wisdom of TAO TE CHING.
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Many are unhappy not because of what they have experienced throughout their life journeys, but because they don't have the human wisdom to perceive and process what they've experienced.
Happiness is a state of mind, due to the the perceptions of the human mind. Change your perceptions to change your so-called realities. Empower your mind with human wisdom -- ancient wisdom from the East and the West, conventional wisdom, and spiritual wisdom -- to think differently to have totally different perspectives of what may have made you happy or unhappy.
Looking at many examples of real people from all over the world may enlighten you, and help you live as if everything is a miracle.
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In ancient times, many individuals were in quest of immortality, especially those in power. For example, Qin Shi Huang (259 BC - 210 BC), the First Emperor of China, had made many futile attempts to discover and access legendary sources of immortality during his relatively short lifespan. Another example, the ancient pharaohs of Egypt might not have been on a quest for immortality because they earnestly believed that they were already immortal; nevertheless, they had spent an enormous amount of resources into retarding the decay of their physical bodies, as well as into building spectacular pyramids and grand tombs in which they could preserve their wealth and riches for their immortality.
Nowadays, we all know the reality that all humans are mortal and that death is as inevitable as day becoming night.
“Is there anything we can do about our mortality?” This might be a question that many of us would like to ask ourselves.
First of all, man’s perceptions of mortality always change with age and time. If you ask a young adult if he or she would want to live long, probably the answer is “I don’t know” or “I just don’t want to grow too old and decrepit, like my grand-parents.” The young adult’s perspective of mortality also explains why many of the younger generation are living a reckless lifestyle as if there is no tomorrow.
Naturally, their perception of mortality would change over the years as they grow older with a family of children, or if they have a successful career with all the trimmings of a luxurious lifestyle that they would like to continue. A longer lifespan would then become an extension of their own legacy or continuation of their enjoyment of the fruits of their own accomplishments. The inscription on the tombstone of Bruce Lee, the Hollywood actor, reads: “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.” That says much about the hope of many to extend beyond the grave.
As aging continues, the fear of death or the unknown might also dawn on humans, driving some of the elderly into craving a longer lifespan in order to delay and defer the inevitable.
Indeed, many people may have different perspectives of their own mortality, depending on their upbringing, the life experiences they have gone though, their religious beliefs, as well as the meanings of death and dying to them. As a result of the differences, some may focus too much on death to the extent of creating death anxiety, while others may deliberately deny the existence of death, just like the ostrich burying its head in the sand.
The objective of this book is neither to convince you to crave longevity, nor to show you how to live to one hundred and beyond. It simply presents you with the consciousness of living the rest of your years as if everything is a miracle -- if you just don’t die!
You Just Don't Die!
The Consciousness of Living to 100 and Beyond
by Stephen Lau
The following is an excerpt from the book: YOU JUST DON'T DIE!
CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE BASICS OF LIFE
Be conscious of the basics of mortality: aging, premature aging, and longevity.
The passage of time is inevitable and eternal. Aging begins as early as from young adulthood (around age 20 to 40) to middle adulthood (around age 40 to 65), and continues to old age (beginning at the age of retirement, approximately at age 65). Aging occurs throughout most of one’s lifespan. The aging process is an accumulation of changes, which may be subtle or sudden, and even drastic, that progressively lead to disease, degeneration, and ultimately death. Truly, you cannot die merely of old age; your ultimate demise is caused by advancing age itself, as well as by the diseases and degenerative conditions that accompany it.
Aging is difficult to define, but you will know it when you see it, or experience it firsthand yourself. In brief, aging is a steady decline in health and wellness, instrumental in shortening lifespan; and the aging process is the duration during which such changes occur.
The hard facts of aging
Whether you like it or not, your biological clock is ticking, and this will happen to various systems in your body:
Your heart will pump less blood, and your arteries will become stiffer and less flexible, resulting in high blood pressure-a common health problem that often increases with age.
With less oxygen and nutrients from the heart, your lungs will also become less efficient in getting and distributing oxygen to different organs and membranes of your body.
Your brain size will slowly and gradually reduce by approximately 10 percent between the age of 30 and 70. Loss of short-term memory will become increasingly more acute and evident.
Your bone mass will reduce, making it more brittle and fragile. Your body size will shrink as you lose your muscle mass.
Your biological clock is continuously ticking, whether you are conscious of it or not. Your mortality has been pre-programmed into your biological organisms and your body cells. Theoretically, you may have an indefinite lifespan through the division, the rejuvenation, and the regeneration of your body cells and organisms-if they are still healthy and fully functional. Although your genes may have pre-determined the speed of your biological clock, you can still slow down the speed of aging-if you still have good health.
So, what is good health? Is being healthy synonymous with the absence of disease?
According to the United States Public Health Service, good health is “preventing premature death, and preventing disability, preserving a physical environment that supports human life, cultivating family and community support, enhancing each individual’s inherent abilities to respond and to act, and assuring that all Americans achieve and maintain a maximum level of functioning.” This statement probably sums up what you need to do in order to be younger and healthier for longer; it says everything about aging.
The truth of the matter is that you age, just like everyone else does. The point in question is how you can delay that aging process in order to make you not only feel but also look younger and healthier for longer-or, at least, not making you age more quickly than you are supposed to.
Unfortunately, many of us have fallen victims to the accelerated aging syndrome, or premature aging.
Accelerated aging syndrome
According to Steven Masley, M.D., the former medical director of the Pritikin Longevity Center in St. Petersburg, Florida, you may have the potentials for accelerated aging, if you have just any three of the following:
A fast blood sugar level of more than 100 mg/dl
A blood pressure higher than 130/85
A waist larger than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men
Good cholesterol level (HDL) less than 40 mg/dl for men, and 50 mg/dl for women
Triglyceride (a certain type of fat in your blood) levels greater than 150 mg/dl
Factors contributing to premature aging
There are several factors that increase the predisposition to accelerated aging:
Your diet: you are what you eat, and you become what you eat.
Your lifestyle: life on the fast lane often leads to faster aging.
Your physical inactivity: immobility brings about stagnation and degeneration.
Your stress level: stress kills your brain cells, predisposing you to premature aging.
Your disease and physical pain: disease and pain have a devastating impact on both the body and the mind
Damaging free radicals
Your body is composed of many different types of cells, made up of many different types of molecules.
Free radicals are molecules that contain unpaired electrons. Since electrons have a very strong tendency to co-exist in a paired rather than in an unpaired state, free radicals indiscriminately pick up electrons from other healthy molecules close by. This chemical reaction converts those otherwise “healthy” molecules into free radicals, and thus setting up a chain reaction that can cause substantial biological damage to cells. Free radicals are highly reactive, damaging not only cells but also chemicals in your body, such as enzymes (for digestion), making them less effective and efficient.
Aging causes oxidation, which literally means “rusting.” Free radicals cause oxidative damage to cells and tissues. Free radicals do not make you younger and healthier for longer; quite the contrary, they age you prematurely and contribute to many diseases, including cancer and heart disease, among others.
Free radicals occur naturally as byproducts of oxidation, such as during respiration and other chemical processes. For example, during your breathing, life-giving oxygen is produced while harmful carbon dioxide is released; digestion is another oxidation process, in which your body obtains its energy from food through oxidation, during which free radicals are also generated in the form of waste buildup. Ironically, what gives life may also take away life indirectly.
Free radicals are normally present in your body in small numbers, without causing too much harm. However, over the long haul, the accumulation of these free radicals may cause irreparable damage to your body cells and tissues, if such accumulation is unchecked.
In addition, free radicals can also be caused by external factors, such as alcohol, nicotine, chemicals from foods and toxic pharmaceutical drugs, heavy metals, such as cadmium and lead, from the environment, radiation from the sun and other sources.
The word “longevity” has its origin from the Latin word “longaevitas”, which comes from the word “longus” or long, and “aevu” or age.
Genes do not cause aging but they do indirectly affect longevity in that they may pre-determine the rate of division, rejuvenation, and regeneration of body cells and organisms.
Consciousness of longevity involves your awareness of preventative intervention and detection of early signs of medical conditions that could potentially affect longevity.
The following is another excerpt from the book: YOU JUST DON'T DIE!
What is consciousness?
“The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our aware-ness.” Lao Tzu
Consciousness is everything; if you are not conscious, you are not living your life, if not already dead.
What is consciousness? Being conscious is a "special quality of the mind" that permits us to know both that we exist and that the things around us exist too. Surprisingly, some of us may not have this consciousness.
Life is an inner journey that requires consciousness of the body and the mind, together with that of the soul, to continue to make its progress in the right direction in order to reach its final destination. Unfortunately, since the beginning of time, many people have traveled the same journey of life but without reaching their destinations because they simply lack their consciousness of the body, and the mind-not to mention that of the soul-to guide them along that journey.
Consciousness comes from the mind, which is created by the brain. Hippocrates (460 - 370 BC), the father of modern medicine, was one of the first scientists to observe and notice that people with brain damage tended to lose their mental abilities. He realized that the mind is created by the brain, and the mind crumbles piece by piece as the brain dies.
The human brain creates the consciousness of the mind, giving humans pleasures and displeasures, happiness and unhappiness, as well as many other positive and negative emotions and thoughts. They become our experiences which are stored in our minds, and these experiences also become our memories that generate our subsequent thoughts-they are the byproducts with which we weave the realities in our lives. Therefore, consciousness is the capability of the mind to see them as they are. Without consciousness, which is knowing what is happening in the mind, you just obediently follow what your mind tells you. That is to say, you have become a slave to your thinking, instead of being the master of your own thoughts.
Consciousness is probing deep into the conscious mind: asking meaningful and relevant questions, and then seeking self-enlightening answers to all the questions asked. After all, throughout one’s life journey, one has to ask many different questions at different stages, and seeking different answers from the questions asked. In order to reach the destination of one’s life journey. consciousness of the mind is a necessity, and not an option.