With such a long history, mankind has always sought to find the answers for everlasting life. Materialistic or spiritual, today the search for what is a fountain of youth continues to fascinate us. It appears that the answers are always right there, withing our grasps but never seem to completely satisfy an insatiable appetite to be forever young.
In this post, a look into that obsession, may uncover several answers that can help clarify a bit better as to why we continue this journey into a borderline realistic/fantasy to live younger than our years. Both deep and wide, this subject refuses to go away and has done so for a lot longer than realized.
Those Who Came Before Us
His name lives on today, not content to fade away. In the late 1400s, volunteering for several journeys to discover the new world(s), followed by appointment, legal disputes, and then on to follow rumors of a special place, the name Juan Ponce de Leon has become synonymous with what is known as “The Fountain of Youth”.
The journeys with Christopher Columbus were the beginnings into worldly finds and the rewards bestowed seemed to fit the endeavors aptly. Appointed as the first governor of what is today known as Puerto Rico (San Juan Batista), he became quite wealthy for what the lands could provide for him in the forms of plantations and mines. His time there would be short as legal disputes with the elder son of Christopher, Diego Columbus, took shape which resulted in a change of leadership for the island nation.
With more to explore, Ponce de Leon decided to follow up on rumors of a special place known to restore youthfulness in a land not all too far away. First thought to be in Bimini, for reasons unknown it deemed to not be the right answer at the time. What seemed more idealistic was to find new land(s) to govern first and then the latter.
Ponce de Leon was not the first to go out in search of, as history also tells us of similar tales of discoveries well before his time.
- Herodotus (484 BC – 425 BC) first mentions of this in Greek history of the Macrobians who possessed a youthfulness of sorts along with the physical prowess and the capability of living long lives. These people were believed to live in what is today known as Africa. More specifically, near the Horn of Africa.
- Alexander the Great (356 BC – 323 BC) Was not able to locate such an Eden, but remained fascinated by the thought.
- Prester John (circa 11th century) Born of an unnamed kingdom of Eastern Asia, Christian leader, elder and king. Countless tales of adventures and indigenous peoples of the Caribbeans and specifically of an island named Bimini.
After landing in what was known as La Florida, and claimed by Spain, Ponce de Leon continued to explore the coastlines of the new land. Although today, he is credited for the discovery the fountain in the new Americas, the town of St. Augustine was actually a new settlement created by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. The legend of Ponce de Leon lives on despite the reality.
Returning To The Womb
Mankind is in love with the concept of wanting to live forever. A want to return closer to a youthful time and to never age. Is it possible? Perhaps in various ways such as trekking to visit those mythical fountains that are touted to restore youth and vigor that many have told of their experiences.
Such Utopian places that restore the health and vigor of a person can actually be found throughout the world. Over the centuries, tales have been told and re-told countless times and the dreams of being youthful again still urges men and women to continue to seek them out.
No one person ever wants to die. That is universal!l The very thought of living for many more years beyond what is anticipated by the norms set upon the masses through established data, consumes us in every way and every breath taken. Is the reality of this idealism proper or just another fantasy of the mind?
The term “youth” refers to a time between the early stages of life and into the middle ages of one’s years. It is not a matter of trying to go back to the beginning, but rather, to suspend in time, where one is at the current. This makes the idea of going in search of fountains that have the capability of restoration, or should it be, suspension, a more likely explanation.
St. Augustine, FL, is a mecca for retirees looking for an energetic lifestyle. With much bustle in and around the area, it has become not only one of the best places to retire, but also to be able to live with the history it has become known for. Chances are high that if one were to ask any of the residences in the area if they had visited the much touted main attraction, The Fountain of Youth, most will likely tell you yes, and some will tell you that it is all a myth. The one that refuses to die.
There are many factors to look at when thinking about what it means to be youthful. Although such places known to re-invigorate one’s core can be found throughout the world, is it really about special waters, or can there be many other factors that need to be thought of as being part of the overall picture. How far can science go to give us that dream?
How Not To Be Old – Not A Moment To Lose
Diet, exercise, tummy tucks, face lifts, pills for erectile dysfunction, cosmetics and on and on… The list has become vast as to products, medicines and lifestyles that can one look and feel younger. Do they work? Chances are that it helps to put a persons mind better at ease but at most, they are just a patch created to make you feel better about yourself.
They say that you can’t by happiness, but apparently, you can buy a few more years. Being active and staying that way becomes necessary in order to remain youthful not just in thought, but also in appearance. The life expectancy in the U.S. for men is around 77 years, while for women, 81 seems to be a magic number. Can that be all there is to life, just a number?
Many indigenous peoples around the world are known to live many years beyond the above stated. But there are a lot of factors that have to be taken into consideration when looking at aging itself.
- Attitude: Being positive/negative of the mind can help determine many attributes of aging.
- Environmental factors: Where does one live can affect many parts of the biological parts of the body.
- Smoking, drugs, alcohol: All known to have an impact, mostly negative
- Stress: This is a silent killer and can wreak havoc in behavior and on the heart.
- Diet and exercise: Daily routines can greatly affect our daily lives both physically and mentally.
- Free radicals: This is where science takes over to try to abate the damage from attacks on the cells and DNA.
- Diseases: Mutations in genes that can rapidly advance the aging process. Progeria caused by a mutation in the LMNA gene.
The other side of the coin, what we can control:
- Avoid tobacco, drugs, *alcohol.
- Use sunscreen when exposed to hot sunny environments.
- Drink plenty of water to keep organs functioning properly and energy levels up.
- Antioxidant foods and supplements to avoid damage to cells and skin. Helps to increase testosterone in men.
- Stay active with plenty of exercise, positive outlooks and plenty of rest.
* It is known that sometimes the right amount of wine or other alcohols done lightly, can give a boost on longevity. Some will tell you that a glass or two of red wine, or a shot of whiskey a day has allowed them to live for many years past the norms, but it does not mean that it is boosting their “youth”, just prolonging their lives.
The Earth We Walk On
Is it really as simple as to drinking or bathing in special waters from wells and springs located throughout the world? It could be as simple as it sounds and there are many myths to support that theory. But what about science and it’s role(s) in keeping us young? Much of the research, either through natural means or by manipulating genes, indicates that there are small steps that are bringing about several successes.
Research into Mitochondria, has found to show promise in how we look at cells and see how this is the real powerhouse of energy for the human body. As this can only be inherited as a gene passed on from the mother and contain their own DNA, understanding this science can open other pathways into understanding longevity in the future.
A simple search on the internet can reveal the many tentacles associated with the term “fountain of youth”. Even a scan for that term on YouTube will reveal hundreds of videos of not only locations such as St. Augustine, but also of places around the world where many locals in isolated areas are living beyond 100 years of age and are still to this day are quite active. Ask them and they will tell you that dancing til they’re 120 is not out of their realm of possibilities.
On the marketing side, pharmaceutical companies continue to pump out hundreds and thousands of supplements and solutions that is said to aid in slowing the aging process, but not stop it entirely. That part has not been discovered yet. While all of those items take up much shelf space in local pharmacies and drug stores, more can be found online and it is a matter of getting educated to discern the good from the bad.
Of all the products available, one has stood out due to its many natural properties and ease of consumption with better results than most. This has been on the market as Resveratrol, usually made from the skin of red grapes, it gives the body some protections against heart disease, LDL, inflammation, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and even some cancers. It can be found in both capsules and liquid forms.
Just like most products one finds anywhere, there are always those side effects that tends to stymie the effects. In this case, there is good news as researchers have not found any undesirable side effect, but then again, others have found flaws in the equation that lead to limits of the positives but nothing life threatening. Is this the miracle potion that will restore us, or keep your youthfulness going? Perhaps, and that in itself is worthy enough to investigate as being part of a daily regimen. Do the research and decide if this could be beneficial to you.
Life Beyond The Stars
When in our own youths, the thought of being grown up was something that we couldn’t wait for. So many privileges to take life to the next level, to enjoy and to talk about forever. Now, the thought of wanting to live longer, healthier, and wiser come to the foreground more and more.
What will science do for us? While there is plenty of research going on in many fields, will there be answers that can make sense enough in our own lifetimes.
Sending men (and women) into space to explore for answers will take years and the answers may not be what we want to hear. How much research into biological subjects will be made to benefit mankind will surely be a small part of the future of space. The current love affair into looking for alien life seems to consume those with the purse strings which in turn would lead to more research into their genetic makeup rather than the interest into enhancing ours.
So far to date, all the answers seem to be right here on planet earth. It is one that should be taken care of and further explored until definitive answers are found. After all, we still do not understand our inner space beneath the waters of this blue dot in space.
Will sending humans (in cryogenic state) into space help provide satisfaction that is craved by millions right here on Earth? That answer may take lifetimes beyond the current to even uncover a hint of what we seek in a fountain of youth for ourselves.
Back in 2009, the SENS Research Foundation was established to find ways to use regenerative medicine as related to aging, but that does not constitute restoring youth as much as it was a step to find ways to halt aging. Is this different from finding the fountain of youth or just finding ways to prolong it? Depends on one’s point of view and now (2019) with sixty being the new 40, maybe that fountain has been found after all.
Major advances in how the world stays active, new sciences in foods, medicines and brain and morale boosters, many older adults see themselves as being still in their youth’s with much more to go for many more years.
There are many reasons to want to be feeling young again, and at the same time, the benefits of having lived for many years is boundless in experiences that we can pass on to the younger generations. Look and feel you? Sure you bet, and a lot of that has to do with attitude on how one looks at life in general. For all its worth, the lessons in life learned, this writer will never want to recede backwards from, but only revel in forever.
There are good reasons for enjoying life in your sexagenarian years!
What do you do to stay younger? Feel free to chime in on what is a fountain of youth and where or even what it is to you. Thank you for reading and by the way, you look good!
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