In fact, like most people, you value life above everything else

But also, like most, you tend not to value your life unless you are faced with the inevitable opportunity to take it from you.

The death (and disease) are unavoidable aspects of life. It sometimes seems, though, that we’ve developed a delusional denial of this. We pour billions into prolonging life with increasingly expensive medical and surgical interventions, most of them employed in our final, decrepit years. One way by this is by ‘rejuvenating’ blood. The idea is based on studies that found old mice showed signs of reversed aging when given the blood of young mice. Billions being pumped in on ‘rejuvenating’ blood to extend lifespan. From a big-picture perspective, this seems a futile waste of our precious health-dollars.

It’s worth taking a longer view of where lifespan extension research could lead us. In the most optimistic scenarios put forth by experts, even modest short-term gains could help people add centuries to their life, since the benefits of each intervention could cascade. One worry is that a very long life might be undesirable.

Most Eastern philosophical traditions appreciate the importance of death-awareness for a well-lived life. The Tibetans spend a lot of time living with death, if that isn’t an oxymoron.

An awareness of our mortality, of our precious finitude, can, paradoxically, move us to seek – and, if necessary, create – the meaning that we so desperately crave.

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