The Science Of Immortality and Becoming Superhuman Copy

In his famous book “Autobiography of a Yogi”, Paramahansa Yogananda shares miraculous stories of superhuman yogis who live in the Himalayan mountains and have become immortal. It seems far-fetched but there may be a real truth underlying this. To explain, you’ll need an understanding of stem cells.

Stem Cells

Most cells in the human body serve a specialised purpose, but stem cells are unspecialised. Instead, they are able to differentiate (turn into) any other cell in the body like nerves, muscle tissue, bone, and more (“Stem cell differentiation”, n. d.). 

The human body contains stem cells throughout its entire lifetime (Brittan & Wright, 2004). 

Some places that stem cells have been found in the human body include:

The body is constantly renewing and regenerating itself. The body can (and does!) use stem cells whenever it needs them. For example, in the gut stem cells are dividing and differentiating regularly in order to produce new body tissues for repair. That is why the gut heals so quickly (Umar, 2010).

It is because of stem cells that skin heals after a wound (Chen et al., 2009) and how a liver can repair itself from damage (Fausto, 2004). Stem cells in bone marrow produce blood throughout your entire life (Bryder et al., 2006; Szade et al., 2018).

Stem cells can stay dormant until they are needed (Sottocornola & Celso, 2012). They can also divide and renew themselves with no limit. They can even regenerate an entire organ (Liu et al., 2013).

In the previous section, we introduced you to cellular respiration and the mitochondria of the cell. The mitochondria of a cell uses the oxygen we inhale combined with glucose to create ATP energy. Mitochondria also play a role in stem cell functioning.

The mitochondria of our cells not only provide the body with energy, but they directly influence stem cell differentiation (Zhang et al., 2018).

As we age, the stem cells in our body lose their ability to differentiate as efficiently. This can lead to slower wound healing, greying hair, a weaker immune system, and other signs of ageing (Signer & Morrison, 2013).

Because mitochondria influence stem cell activity, reduced mitochondrial function might be related to reduced stem cell renewal in various parts of the body, ultimately leading to the signs of ageing we mentioned above (Stoll et al., 2011; Zhang et al., 2018).

Some ways we can keep our mitochondrial functioning good as we age is exercising, because that helps our bodies use oxygen more efficiently (Tonkonogi & Sahlin, 2002; Pizzorno, 2014). Other ways include creating low oxygen in the body (Lages et al., 2015), hypoxia (Solaini et al., 2010), and of course breathwork (Brown & Gerbarg, 2009; Finkel, 2009).

So, the immortal Yogis?

They were living in high altitudes and practising Yoga and breathwork. Theoretically, their mitochondrial functioning would have been excellent, meaning their stem cells could remain active. Their stem cells could survive and renew themselves very easily, so they were living long lives, staying fit into their late years, and looking younger than most other people their age.

Mitochondrial functioning and cellular respiration also plays a key role in the function of bone marrow stem cells (Ansó et al., 2017). We will talk about these stem cells in future sections.

For more information on this, you can listen to Ben Greenfield’s Podcast episode with Tami Meraglia: How The FDA Is Keeping You From Using Your Own Stem Cells (And What You Can Do About It).

Superhuman Powers and Immortality

There is something empowering about understanding how your body works on a cellular level. When you realise that you are a walking community of trillions of microscopic organisms all aiming to survive and propagate with the ability for complex and organised thought, suddenly your daily stresses seem a bit contrived.

You can wake up! You can break free from societal and cultural conditioning. You can un-robotise yourself and start living a joyful life of passion and authenticity.

It is also possible for you to experience the extraordinary energy, health, and spiritual powers that the ancient yogis are famous for. You have total control over this. The power is in your hands (and your lungs).

The Yogis claim that by practising Nisshesha Rechaka Kumbhaka and steadily increasing your retention time, you can reach a state of eternal bliss called Samadhi and become immortal.

What they are probably referring to is the idea that you are not this body, and you are not defined by your physical existence. You are an immortal soul that is everywhere in this cosmos at the same time, and you and the entire universe are the same element. That is the big message of the Vedas, Vedanta, and all the Indian wisdom and traditions.