When people think about growing old, they blame the passage of time—the years roll by, and the body stops looking younger year by year. But the latest science disputes this view. A person ages because the cells in their body age, and cells live only in the present. This is one reason memory remains such a mystery. Brain cells function through electrochemical activity that occurs the instant a chemical reaction or electrical impulse is able to occur. There are no pauses to think about reacting; if the potential is there, the action must follow.
Whatever a brain cell does, it can’t go back to the past. So how do we seem to go back into the past when we remember a childhood birthday party or our first kiss? No one knows, but when the answer is found, it won’t involve time travel, either forward or backward. If you expand this to every cell in the body, they too must function instantly in the present moment when any two molecules interact. So the problem of aging can be stated as the gap between how a cell lives and how a person lives. As people, we repeat the past, get stuck in old habits, cling to stubborn beliefs, fear the future, and in general occupy mental states that are not in the now.
If you can return to the now, you close the gap between your life and the life of your cells, and by doing this, you can prevent aging or even reverse it. Aging isn’t one thing but a complex of possibilities. Which possibilities get triggered is infinitely complicated, but no one has ever shown that any symptoms of aging must occur.
Even though we can all tick off the disagreeable signs of growing old—creaky joints, wrinkled skin, loss of energy, erratic sleep, declining memory, and so on—there is someone who has actually improved as they aged in each of these areas, except perhaps for wrinkles. However unusual, there are individuals who retain limberness, energy, good sleep, mobility, and memory.