This is a popular article about the proper way to get old, which includes some introduction, concrete chapters about the right look at the medicine and moderation, the dangers of fast transitional periods (here to the old age), cares about the body and its organs (based on personal experiences of the author), then about the brain, and philosophical conclusive remarks. It is intended for people after the middle of the life, about 40, but deals chiefly with pensioners, of course. The traditional poetical Appendix is also not forgotten.
There are, in some aspect, two kinds of knowledge, in whatever area, yet I don't mean here factual (like, usually, in humanitarian disciplines) and procedural (like, generally, in the exact sciences), but one more general division of real, professional knowledge, and some common sense reasoning, which, however, can be of big importance nowadays. I mean that the common sense reasoning can make sometimes (even funny) errors, but it is much faster and generally looked right in the majority of cases, and it must be present in the heads of people, but this is not the case, most often, because such knowledge seems unprofessional or dilettantish or amateurish. The classical (at least for me) example here can be that of the rotation of the Sun around the Earth or vice versa, where for the life on Earth the rotation of the Sun is quite a good acceptation, no matter that for several centuries the erroneousness of this is proven. Historically in all spheres of life firstly have appeared some inexact observations and statistics (like .. the Zodiacs, for which I believe that they are based on some probable statistics, but are put in unbelievable environment of invented fables — because the people want to be deluded). With this beginning I want to excuse me if I will say some not really proved things, but when they seem very probable I take them for proved. Because I am not some specialist in gerontology, or social sciences, or medicine, biology, chemistry, or the like, no, I am just a person who has learned enough (in the field of the exact sciences) in order to be able to make logically sound conclusions; in other words I am an intelligent laic (how I have named myself), what means that I am intelligent, to be sure, although one is right to say also that I am a laic, what I also am.
More or less equivalent (because I, as mathematician, know that the equivalence has to be proven, and I prove nothing precise) to the above given division is the dividing of knowledge in quantitative and qualitative ones, or also in tactical knowledge of how exactly something has to be done, and strategical knowledge of general rules and requirements for this what has to be done, what is right and what is wrong. I especially stress on the inexactness, because there are many cases where it can be even preferable before the exactness, not only because there often happen errors even in the things officially taken for proven (how it happens in all social spheres, where several beliefs can exist for some time and then be declared for erroneous), but also because the exact knowledge is, at least for several centuries, impossible to keep in one (common) head, yet there are things that one has to know and be able to judge about the matters in some fields fast and alone (because in the contemporary free capitalistic society everybody feels free to delude the others in the name of personal monetary win). Briefly said this means that one is not advised to believe neither to the physicians, not to the social rulers, and even less to the businesses and shops; one can believe, jocularly said, only to people to whom one can believe, and first of all to such, who win nothing of spreading of their advices.
Yeah, but I, in my nearly 70, and under an invented pen name, and selling nothing really (even on sites where I try to sell my books I require symbolic prices of less or about 1 bus ticket for piece, and till the end of 2018 I have taken not a cent for myself). What means that if I alone wanted to get some advice I would have asked, or listened to, exactly such guy like myself, or at least would have looked first at what he says, and then have made my judgement. And this is exactly what I am doing, and wishing that you do, I am writing my advices and am leaving to you to accept them or not, what surely does not mean that you have first to turn a deaf ear to me, but to try to be a bit open-minded if I will contradict to many accepted habits. Also I am often using either etymological proofs (which are no proofs, of course, from exact, mathematical point of view, but I am not teaching you higher mathematics here, am I?), or philosophical and dialectical judgements, or my own thoughts, observations, and experiments, and all these methods produce some ideas quite sound from point of view of the common sense. And don't forget that I am speaking about years of living, people, these are not jokes, in cases like these every meaning has to be heard and taken in consideration.
OK, and now the plan of the material. First I will show you what is my view to the real medicine, and that this is etymologically hidden in many words, and when so this is the meaning of all wise men from times immemorial; i.e. there are no reasons to reject all these advices only because the contemporary medicine does wonders, because it simply ... tries to compensate for our wrong way of life, and such approach is in itself wrong, the right one is to lead reasonable and proper (or wise, or just) life. Then I will turn your attention to the dangers of transition to our old years, at least because each transitional period is worse than the two levels (the previous and the next) and many people simply can not come to the next one, but also because the aging is worsening of our ability for adaptation and the transition is a kind of adaptation, as well as our whole life is. Then in the third chapter I will speak about the cares for our body, which we all neglect until are young, but when cease to be such it is already late; I will say here something about my models for some mortal deceases, and about the organs of our body. Then in the fourth chapter I will give you my advices for the brain, which is the core part of our individuality, hence this is the ruling of the body, this is what keeps us fit at the top level. Then will follow a summing up conclusion, yet this is the end only of the prosaic part of the essay. But as far as all my social essays have a poetical Appendix, it must not be absent here, too, and it is worth to be read just by itself, and more so as a capstone of my immortal (I suppose — you see, I take all my works for immortal, because they are pretty unique) work.
1. General look at the medication
Here I will tell you first what the old Greek-Latin medicine as science means, what is entirely my guess, unknown (I suppose) to the medics, but I just can't see how this can be else, though I may be also (in my usual habit, when trying to come alone to some conclusions, without profound studying of the matter) reinventing the wheel, as it's said, and this can be known in some etymological circles. It is simple — like nearly all my ideas, I am popularizer — and reduces to the statement that this word comes from the well known and widely spread medi- metha- etc. root meaning middle! You take just the words: Latin medicator as medic, the geometric median (and mediale-middle), the medulla-spinal-brain, the meduse, the meditatio-meditation with some Sanskrit medha as thought or reason, the medium /media (with the idea of some go-between), also Bulgarian & Slavonic 'med'-honey, where is your Eng. mead as the first (probably) alcoholic beverage (which, also as honey, in the Sanskrit was madhu), the Greek preposition meta-between, and many others. You see, medi- is not only a middle, it is also something sweet & nice, what we like (and for this reason in Slavonic 'med' means copper, as easily malleable metal), here is probably Greek metallon-metal, meant as some means for conquering, the medal as a thing to which everybody aims, et cetera.
I will not go now in deep etymological investigations (because I have spoken about nearly everything in my inimitable "Urrh, cum commentis", and also for the second time in my "Letters to the posterity"), but the idea of medicine, in two words, is the moderate way of living, which, being moderate or middle (in some sense) is also the right one! And the slogan: everything in moderation, or the phrase about the golden middle, is the most important message from old Greek civilization (which, if you ask me, has not so given to the West many philosophical ideas and notions, but has rather stopped the ancient Eastern, of the Arabs & Persian, and hence of the Hindus, and probably also Chinese, influence over the West, passing only some things, but not everything in its fullness). While what does the contemporary medicine, chiefly? Well, it cures the consequences from the bad way of life, as I have mentioned in the previous chapter, and makes the person dependent on many medicaments, for which, as also for the contemporary food industry, the best that can be said is not to be poisonous in some way (and this is what, generally, is controlled somehow), but not sticking to some traditional for centuries and millenniums occupations, or the same about the food. The elimination of some of our bad habits is a necessary thing, I don't deny this, but the point is that they are incurred by our improper way of living, dictated by our contemporary (and decaying, I should say) civilization!
Now listen, it is not difficult, but you have to know that exactly obvious things are pretty often not understood and rejected, so that here the question is: why the people do not want to be moderate? Because the humans are not really silly, they have at least heard this about the moderation, but are turning a deaf ear to this, and I have just asked myself why it is so and have come out with the answer after some deliberation. Ah, the point is that moderate is synonymous with mediocre, and nobody wants to be mediocre nowadays, or whenever. OK, surely this is not the best thing in the world, but it depends. And on what it depends? Hmm, in this case on the age, because it is one thing when one is young to try to move higher, to come to some peaks, to stick out with something, not with moderation, of course, and it is quite another thing when one is sufficiently old, has come to pension age, and still does not want to become moderate, right? Because, let me return to the etymology and remind you also the word ... remedy, which now, after my explanations, must be obvious that means a returning (because of the prefix re-) to the middle, to the norm! And this is, really, the chief remedy for the pensioners, the moderation, in whatever only aspect, because here it goes about life, not about making of career, and with not-moderate actions in old age one can only become a ridicule in the eyes of the others.
Let me dwell here a bit more, because one has to be moderate even in the moderation, not to become really mediocre, but in a way, more original with something, be it even with his moderation. And in order to do this one has to move in counterflow of the ... ads! Because what they offer you, ah? They offer one or another way of fixing to something, which more often than not is unnecessary. The right thing is to buy chiefly only basic food, and as simple as possible, and as natural as you can allow yourself (because this is a matter of money, nowadays, the natural food, which was the only food before less than a century, now costs about 3 times more than the surrogates). And the things offered by food industry are made palatable (be they for eating or for drinking), you gulp them and gulp and feel not satiated, because this is what this industry wants, that you buy more and more of these products, and this is not moderation. It might be that those companies think about people not putting on much weight, but it looks much more probable that they think about their wins, so that don't get caught on this hook. And, after all, the opposing to the ads, in my view, is a question of common sense, and because there are chiefly two age groups to which the ads are directed, this of the silly adolescents, and that of the ... again silly pensioners, one has to take care growing old to oppose to some natural tendencies.
Also, I should say, the moderation means not only lessening of some things, occupations, which one likes to have much and because of this looses the real measure (like eating or drinking, or watching TV, or whatever else), but in the same time increasing of such activities which one does not like much, but which are necessary for the body & the soul (like movement, thinking, trying to do something alone, or generally making of some unnecessary efforts to do things which one can buy, but making alone is healthier). In a well developed country, without monetary compulsion to make whatever alone, it will be more difficult for the pensioners to lead healthy way of life, but you have at least to try, because this slumbering effect of mass industry over the people is contraindicated more for the older people than for the others, for the reason that the aging is basically lack of adaptation to the changes and one has to oppose to this, otherwise one falls in prostration, what is nearing to the death.
And have in mind also that the old folks have looked at the diseases as like at some punishment from the gods for their wrong way of life, in what I begin in my old years more and more to believe. Because, what is an illness? It is a deviation from some norm, right, hence this norm can as well be taken for the right way of living. And a norm, obviously, must be something moderate, in the middle (between the people). And I have begun to think about the death of some of my relatives and good acquaintances and have come to the conclusion that they, surely, could have lived longer if have not done this, or then have done that. So that why should you be of those who die young, give to the others this possibility.
2. Dangers of the transition to old age
Every transitional period is bad with something, and the transition to old age is bad with the lessening of our abilities to do whatever, we think that can do it, but, alas, it is not exactly so. If you are more or less moderate by nature, or are forced earlier to think about your older years, you can easier manage this transition, but otherwise you have to take special care. And it turns out that here the men, surely, are significantly more vulnerable than the women, for several reasons. For one thing they are stronger and, hence, more immoderate; for another thing they are stronger hit by the lessening of their abilities, because this is with what they chiefly boast; and for third thing this slump comes by them in older years than by the women, when they are less capable to moderation and changes. This has to be so, because the difference in life expectancy by both sexes is big enough, it is about 6-7 percents, what could not been ignored, the men die earlier and there have to be reasons for this. And here is what they are, from the viewpoint of the women: they are more moderate as organisms, they are more adaptive (they endure significantly big changes during the period of giving birth to the children, and they meet with some changes of their way of life each month even from the puberty), and they reach their climax earlier and have time enough to prepare themselves for the old years. So that, my men-colleagues, take some measures (if my women-readers will agree to skip this I would have proposed for the men to go earlier on pension with at least 3 years).
Then there is the mortality curve for both sexes where I have seen one of the following form, on the vertical axes is the mortality (number of deaths) and on the horizontal is the age, and this curve from 0 to about 100 looks roughly like the beginning 3 strokes of the letter "w"(!), what means that first it decreases sharp to about 14 years (really sharp to about 6 and then slower), when is reached the minimum, then it begins to increase pretty slowly nearly to about 80 (with some bend about 65 where it begins to grow a bit faster above), and after this maximum (like somewhere in the first months after birth) it begins to fall down also fast enough (so that in the age of 100 it reaches the mortality of about 3 years old, and at about 120 is supposed probably to reach the lowest rate of 14 years old).
I don't know whether you have got me right, and also may allow myself to put to doubt the exactness and generality of the curve, but as model this seems to me quite possible, i.e. that after some age people as if cease to die and live for very long years. I believe in this because the illnesses take one by one all people, and there have to remain in the end such ones who have led right way of life and have no special diseases (like I deem to be myself one of them), and I think that everybody has to make a try to be one of them. Also I have heard one interesting anecdote about the best healing herb. So it was such one, that, providing you have lived up till 100, will allow you to live also to 200, if you will drink brews with it. This may be meant as something impossible, yet I find it not only possible, but probable and worth trying; more than this, I think that I have discovered this herb, and it is known from millenniums and was highly honored in the ancient times but was forgotten nowadays because of our powerful (and because of this more harmful) contemporary medicines. I will speak about it in the next chapter (and have spoken not a little in my "Bulgarian survival"), but in order not to keep you under suspense will name it, this is the common dandelion met everywhere.
One has to begin to give a though or two to this transition to the old age somewhere about 45 but not later than 50, because before 40 one does not yet believe that will grow old (I myself have not believed), and about 55 to 60 it may already be late, and this is more imperative for the men, than for the women, of course, for the reason that the women have received their alert in their critical age about 40, they are prepared, but the men are not. What one can do in such situation? Well, to begin to moderate him- or her- self in all possible ways, and simply to begin to work less and seek some more interesting occupation if this is possible. After all this is justified, because one has not so big personal necessities about 50, not like when he (she) was about 20, and he already receives bigger salary than at 20, so that, why more than this and not a bit less, when needed? There are usually the offsprings to think about, but they are till this time grown people, so that what I say is quite possible, yet nobody does it. Still, I have thought about this and have made one simple and natural proposition, which I will mention briefly also here.
Now, it goes about, let me call it so, partial pensioning, i.e. from some age, I think 45 is good enough, one begins to work a bit less, and to receive some tiny portion of his (or her, I will not repeat it) pension, and let this be by 10 %. Then after 5 years (or so) one works with another 10 % less and receives the next 10 % more of the pension (till this time he could have some pension, surely, and about 20 years or more length of service in the normal case), and so on. Yet because the working day has normally 8 hours it is better to make this by 12.5 % (1/8-th) what will give 1 hour daily less — a nice thing I will say. More than this, if this decreasing of the working day will continue each 5 years, and beginning at 45, this will give from 70 years only 2 hours daily, or 25 % salary, but already 75 % of the pension — did you get it? But this is not everything, the idea is that somewhere after 60 it will make not a big difference whether one will work even on part day basis, or will receive only his pension, so that everyone will be able to decide for himself. ( This is so because by this numbers of percents and after 5 year each time, starting at 45, 4 times by 12.5 %, this will make at 60 exactly half working day and half pension. And then if we take that the pension will be roughly 50 % of the salary, this means 1/2 + 1/2*1/2 = 3/4 = 75 % of his usual salary, what I find just perfect. )
You see, this does not mean to go each day at the working place, even if for 3 hours, no, I make so only the calculations because it is easier in this way, but the idea is to reject one by one all working days, until after 70 one has to work just 2 days by about 5 hours, what I suppose everybody will be able to do, after all. Because the point is to remove the sharp step, from full working week to zero, this is what sends the people faster to the grave, the big step, even if it is in beneficial for the person direction, because one becomes used to the work, one does not know what to do without this occupation, and begins to look for some part time work, or else falls in deep drinking, or simply dies faster, it is so, really! I am not psychologist, but such is the usual model, the abrupt changing of habits is what disorients the organism, while if this happens gradually it is accepted with pleasure; otherwise said, one wants to go on pension in order to begin at last to work less, not to cease entirely.
People, you try alone to ponder about this, but I recall that when I was young boy and studied in the school, in nearly each holiday I got some illness (a flu usually) that spoiled my repose, only because the organism demobilizes itself, changes its rhythm. Then I am unemployed from more than a quarter of a century (for the reason that my qualification was too high for our transitional period to the democracy, which has not yet ended, because our living standard is still about 3 times less than under the totalitarianism, Bulgaria is the poorest EU country), and I know pretty well what is to sit doing nothing, and to search for whatever activity (which I have found, naturally, I have begun to write various publicistic materials, to do etymological researches, to translate myself in 2 other languages, to write poetry, etc., but it is usually much easier if one does this, what has done many years). And one my colleague (assistant in our oldest University) has gone to pension, has taught a pair of years as part time work, and then has begun exactly to drink incessantly, and has ended his life path some months before his 70-th year with cirrhosis amidst other illnesses.
Then the good thing of this proposition is that in the beginning, when the decreasing of working time is with not more than a 1/4 of the total length, the person will give practically not less work, I suppose, because will feel himself better, more relaxed. And then after 65 one will be able to continue to work till 75 or maybe more but even less and less time. And this will be better also for the employer, yet it is not done because of the bad tradition, yeah. And don't forget also that the pensions are quite new invention, before a pair of centuries people worked until they could, say as farmers in the fields, so that everybody regulated somehow his working activity, but now we can't do this, or rather can — because one can alone try to organize something like my proposal here, although without percents from the pension — but nobody even dreams to do so, being afraid that his employer will prefer to cut him out of the staff, while everything is a matter chiefly of proper habits and traditions. Only persons who have their own business can make something like my proposal, but even they avoid doing it, and, as consequence, die earlier (before 80, what, I think, is the proper age nowadays). So that you all, my readers, are those, who have to express similar wishes, and after some years this can become a reality. Up to my mind such floating pension age, whenever after 50 will be the best decision for all participants, and everybody will choose what he wants, what will turn to be on the average the same as now, but much more gradually and, hence, healthier for the people, as well of advantage for the employers.
3. Cares for the body
This chapter I will begin with the statement that the organism is organized! How brilliant, ah? ( And I can put here also the ... orgasm, because from linguistical point this has to be so, the latter is some organized feeling of happiness. ) Yet what I mean is that each part of the body, each organ is in some extent organized, it is not unanimated, it has its goals and wishes, and everybody has to look in this way at his body, to try to understand each organ and to help it to do its work better, because otherwise arise illnesses. If you alone are not cleverer than your, say, muscles, or heart, or stomach, or ... testicles, or whatever, you will not succeed to live your allotted portion of time, you will wear out one body organ, while the other organs could be of use for you for 20 or more years, and this is silly, so that you try to act more intelligent.
After these beginning words about the cares for the body I will tell you chiefly my own experience, what I do for this or that organ, but let me first share with you one my recent guess about the most serious (I suppose) illness in the current days, the cancer, where I simply insist that have come to some new (at least I have heard nothing of the kind) model for this illness. It is simple: the cancer arises when some organ begins to feel that it functions not properly and wants to better itself, to give the utmost possible, so to say, out of ... moral remorse! I know that I deserve Nobel Prize, but I don't need it, I have nothing to do with such big money in such poor country. Though, if a bit more serious, I am, really, convinced in this, and will give you some examples which I know good.
My mother died quite young a bit before 60 of breast cancer, and I have heard from my father that she has had problems with breast feeding me, but I have made then no conclusions. Yet in some recent time I have got it that it is quite probable that about 40-something her breasts have begun to make efforts to be useful with something; to develop themselves, only that they have not known how to do this and whether to do something in this aspect at all. And, philosophically looking, this is the same problem with the humankind as a whole, because we want to be better, yet we don't know how, and don't listen to some clever persons, because they tell us boring things — like myself here, telling you to be moderate, not to want actions and thrillers, yeah!
Then my father died "decently" old, at nearly 80, but still for no serious reasons, because the cause for his death was this time stomach cancer, otherwise he was in quite good health (like also my mother, there were tried all possible remedies of the so called folk medicine, and she was kept in really good health condition, except for the most important incurable cancer). And later I recalled that he had the habit to drink after meal some backing soda, because of having much acids, what is something very harmless, yet his stomach has not thought so in the old age, and has begun to take its own measures — because he mentioned at the end that for a long time has stopped to drink more of this soda. This time I remember everything pretty well, he has stopped drinking soda for some years, and for some reasons, come to think of this now! And there is one more example which I connect with this my theory, there was a friend of my friend who died at about 65 of cancer of the testicles, and he was married several times, I have seen him, and his last wife, she was with about 20 years younger than he, and at about 60 he had an abiturient girl (finishing senior school, at age of 18). And now tell me that his testicles have not wanted to help him somehow, ah? So that is it, old guys and girls, the cancer is an intelligent disease,
Well, these my discoveries are no medicines, they don't cure, but this is knowledge, and I, as former scientist, know that even the negative knowledge is a kind of knowledge, so that this model could be used somehow by the medics (providing they were such in the old meaning of this word, which I told you, i.e. wanted to help the body to fight the illnesses, not to suppress nearly all body functions with strong medicaments). And for the other illnesses I have not such models, but I have feelings as to what is good and what is bad for the body organs, which are reduced, in most of the cases, to some cheap and simple way of living, which I am both, forced to lead, but also glad that I lead, so that I will give in this chapter basically me as example for the right way of living, which things I have published in my "Bulgarian Survival" before about a decade. But, well, maybe to tell you before this about my discovery of the magical herb, which will help you after 80 (let not be exactly 100) to live up to 120 at least (if not to 150).
So I have used the dandelion for long time because this is some food and it costs nothing, and other nations use it sometimes, yet not we the Bulgarians (because of the thought that we are not so poor for to eat all kinds of grasses — what we think exactly because are extremely poor). Then because of this my friend, who succeeded to develop for a pair of years sharp cirrhosis, I looked up in one herbal book and found that the dandelion was used from the times of Hippocrates in cases of illnesses of the liver, and later have occasionally heard that in some Arabic countries in the old times the places where it grew were specially guarded (in deserted areas this must have been important) and it was even cultivated. Anyway, it is highly necessary in the beginning of the year and I pick it each year from March till about May and preserve it also in some form (say, with salt & vinegar). And then I did my etymological investigations and recalled the Turkish & Arabic 'dzhiger' (they write it as ciger but probably in English it will be jiger) as liver, and here are the Southern Asian 'dzigits' (jigit) as good riders (only ji in Armenian was a horse), and there is Bulgarian 'zhivot' as life, or then Lat. vita & viva, and so on (if you like, the Arabic jihad as something very fast, then their jin-spirit, etc. — search in my Urrh), and the old habit (or belief) to eat the liver even raw as good for the life — you see, in the English this relation liver - life is also hidden, come to think about —, what produces the idea that the dandelion is good for the jiger-liver, which is practically the basis of the 'zhivot'-life! And I personally eat not only the leaves (I cook them because have no teeth, put in nearly every dish), but make also pretty good honey imitation (from the blossoms — in my Survival).
Then a very good practice, if you ask me, is the making of wines out of wild fruits (like cherries, brambles, hips and apples, etc. — again in the Survival), for these wines are not like those out of grapes, they must have more vitamins, and I fix them with nothing, they are alive (I usually keep them in special big bottles with a tubule going through the stopper and in a small container with water, so that the gases were able to exit, but the oxygen from the air was stopped)! This is a nice "medicine" for the stomach, and from there for all intestines, I think, and I drink between 100 and 200 grams daily and use even the vinegar after the wine as a kind of ... lemon juice (I put it in my tea). You see, there are two ways to make raw preserves of vegetables, and they are: with using of salt, or with vinegar, and I usually put both. But what I mean is that the acid things are harmless and even healthy, while much salt is not good; pouring something sour in your stomach you help it in the digestion. And surely everybody can make alone some similar wines, or then to show willingness to buy such things, in order to force the market to start producing such goods. If you can't do this you probable may try to drink a soup spoon (or a half) of some natural vinegar after the meal (or in a cup of water, and /or sugared), this will not harm you.
Then there is the necessary for all old people aqua vita or "night cap", what means 50 to 100 gr (this is what I do, but I am skinny, so that for some of you 150 will also do) of some hard drink daily, what is good, this time, for the hearth (and muscles and for good sleep). I make myself these drinks alone with bought spiritus aethylicus (called also spiritus vini), pouring some of it over boiling water (in order to leave out the most volatile fractions, I suppose), but I use more than a dozen essences or tinctures of various herbs or fruits (also see the Survival) and colour it too, so that it is a pleasure to have such "cap" in the evenings, and probably these herbs are also healing (say, coriander & dill /anise, or lemon rind, or sour cherry, or rowan berries, etc.). For these reasons or for others, which I will also mention, but the truth is that I use practically no medicaments, even aspirin (say, for the last 5 years I have probably taken 5 tablets, but maybe less, by about a quarter of a tablet, and nothing else)! Where I can't say that am as hard as a stone, I have had twice kidney aches, I have had a pair of times probably heart pains (on the left of the chest, anyway), I am thin like a herb, have some pains in the joints (especially around the left knee), I have no teeth at all (1.5 to be frank, and no false ones too), I am short-sighted from young years and have about 8 dioptres, so that I am not a macho-man but maybe that's the point, and I have no internal diseases, what matters (I suppose), because the GPs are usually internal physicians. This means that I will be forced in the end to die healthy, but I suppose again that that's the point.
Now, my readers, I am forced by our botched democracy to keep myself in good health (having no money for medics), and you, in your affluent countries, will have it a bit harder to lead healthy way of life, but then you just don't forget that this is life, after all! So what I also do to keep myself in good condition is: no smoking (I have given it up 2 times, and can't say that regret it), no using of lift up the 5-th floor (up and down, with or without baggage), some jogging (once in a week in the corridor of my flat, before bathing, up to 2,000 jumps or more in my nearly 70 years), some push-ups (about 30, also once weekly), practically no city transport and sometimes I walk for 10 or more bus stops (because 1 bus ticket costs a bit more than I spend daily for eating and drinking — if you could believe this, but my daily pension turns to be about 3, still less than 4, bus tickets!). Also, surely, I watch practically no TV, no actions or thrillers, no contemporary popular music, no football or whatever matches, no gaming or lotteries, no pubs etc., I only listen to classical music, read relatively intelligent books in foreign languages (to what I will come later), and work on the Internet publishing on many sites (ah, well, write funny poetry in a pair of languages when am pissed, sorry, by the life). And I think that I am leading healthy way of life, or else you tell me where is my error.
You will, surely, not be like me, so that I can allow you to watch a bit TV, till 1.5 hours daily, or a dozen hours in a week, but not more, as a rule. Then you have not to forget the necessity for movement, physical loading of the muscles, because, let me put it in this way, they are made to function, if you do not load them they will begin to ache, to spoil your sleep, make you nervous, and so on; and the walking is a good thing, but it is chiefly tiring of the muscles, while the jogging is something else, you fly in the air for some time, your organism is mobilized, you think about the landing, your legs work as springs, they try to be elastic, this is much better. But mark, please, that the point is again to oppose the usual habits, to begin to do some sporting activity not in young years (when all are inclined to do this), but exactly in old years (when this will not lead you to high records, but will juvenile your body)! If you practice actively some sport in young years your organism develops faster and exceedingly (look at the sportsmen, to me they look like ... monsters, with overdeveloped organs), at least you build big heart and muscles, and they require later incessant additional activity, else the muscles droop and only hinder you and the heart in under danger of infarcts. While if you begin to do physical exercises after 50 there are not such dangers, you will newer become a real Apollo, but will simply feel younger; I myself can tell you that if I look at my body in a mirror I see a better developed chest (because of the push-ups) and legs, after more than a decade exercises, yet nothing extraordinary, I have simply come to a better norm (because have always led a sedentary life)!
Then the cigarettes are bad with this that they become necessary for you, i.e. they help you first, and harm you later (because all pleasures have to be paid sometime); I have come to this conclusion not only because was a smoker (although never exceeded about 25 packs in a month), but because they have diametrically opposite effect on you depending on your wishes! For example, when you feel sleepy but want to keep awake, you smoke a cigarette and awake you, but when you are somehow tense and can't fall in sleep, then a cigarette pacifies you and you fall in slumber; the same also if you are hungry or not, or if you are tired, can't concentrate, and similar situations. This means that the cigarettes make you to a little baby, lessen your will, but in the same time, when they help you to give more out of you, to concentrate when some organ needs repose, they harm your body parts, that is. And having in mind my model of cancer it might as well turn that the often used and forced to strain organs begin to feel bound also to strain themselves and in this way to begin to develop themselves exceedingly. It is true that I gave up the smoking when was unemployed, and with no scolding wife around, but there have to be other means to substitute them (say, more coffee, or more physical exercises, or better diet, or self hypnosis, or more sex, or ... bad character, turning your anger on the others, or we can wait a little till the medicine comes up with some new thing, but the cigarettes are bad habit, and obviously harmful.
In addition to this you try with all your strength to limit to the possible minimum all medicaments that you take, be it against headache or something more serious, and when necessary try first to apply the simplest possible, known from millenniums, means, because when our healthcare is put on financial and marketing grounds, it is not real healthcare, it can make you only dependent on the pharmacy, while you have to depend chiefly on you own body (and soul). Say, I use for nearly all skin irritation only two "medicaments", either some spiritus solution or some cream, or sometimes both; not that I scorn at whatever unguent or tablets, but use them exceedingly economical (what means one packing for a ... decade or so). Also for economical reasons I keep in my flat in winter about 16 degrees (what means that the temperature may rise also to 18 sometimes, but it falls also sometimes to 14), what is not very comfortable, and I work with some gloves on the computer, but is very healthy, so that I don't need even aspirin. If you are so stuffed with money that don't know what to do with them, then subscribe in some fitness club (after 60 at least), go somewhere to swim regularly, equip one of your rooms with fitness equipment, pay once in a week for some sexual services by young girls or guys, try old Eastern healing methods, whatever but not the contemporary drugs, sold chiefly because if you pay to some physician he /she is bound to prescribe you something, he must win his bread somehow. Or, to put it otherwise, help yourself alone, if you want that God helps you in His turn.
Then I can say a pair of words also about the putting of weight, what seems to be modern illness in the rich countries, where I don't think that the right way is to consume the stuff our food industry offers, because they all have their pecuniary goals, to make you buy more and more of their products, and for this purpose they offer you relatively tasty but not nourishing food, where I think that such persons have just to eat not tasty food, only this will make them to eat less, surely! And such things can be raw vegetables, pieces of beans or peas, rice (this at least will surely be digested in the stomach), something that fills (with much cellulose) but is also not tasty; anyway, low calories is one thing, and tasty is another thing. But I told this before: oppose the ads, oppose the consumptive society, stay against the high records, but think for your own body and its organs, and try to reach the threshold of 80 years with as sound as possible body. For this purpose will be best if you will try to make alone whatever you can make alone, just in order to find some occupation for you and move and load the whole organism; an anti-market behaviour is always more healthy, especially for the aging people. What you always need is to find ... surmountable difficulties, because this both, loads and occupies the organism, and then gives you pleasure that you have won this time (again).
This is right from psychological point of view, so that you try just what you like, to cook, to paint, to invent verses or stories, to make, say, pottery, or embroidery, or grow plants and species (like I do this, too, on the balcony), or repair your home, or keep it clean at least (what I am bored to do, I confess), or whatever, but alone, not to watch the others (playing football, or, then, making sex). The desire to watch what the others do, or buy what the others have produced, is dictated by our wish for ... perfection, but the old age is not the perfect one (surely), and the very life is not perfect, and the imperfection is what makes one interesting with something, and we do not need perfection but our own participation. And in the next chapter I will dwell about the sound mind, or the anima sana, that has to be kept in a corpore-body sano.
4. Cares for the brain
This, surely, is of utmost importance, because the brain is our ruling, it organizes everything (what can be organized) in the body, and one has to begin to think about this also somewhere about 45, not later than 50, and to take the necessary measures, which I will reduce to one single thing that will keep your brain functioning, working, and also not bored or slumbered like by the TVs and the ads, and the actions & thrillers, or football matches, et cetera. And what can this panacea be, ah? Well, the foreign languages! Yet not in order to speak them well, because this will be difficult in the old years, but just to use them to read chiefly, to compare the words and expressions, to find about what to ponder, in short, to give work to the brain, which work is not slumbering or lulling it with some silly blah-blah, but makes it to try really to work, what means to build new neuronal circles, or to refresh the old ones, and such work that is also interesting, not tedious, and really intelligent, worthy this central organ.
You see, the brain consists chiefly of long neuron tails that cross one with the other and build the so called synapses, through which exchange of chemical iones is performed, and in this way, very roughly speaking, are built some circles relating some inputs with some outputs, so that some frame-like structures appear, and every such frame is a mental picture of some notion (or word). But these frames must be refreshed from time to time, else they are dissolved and you begin to forget, there appeared holes in the memory, you remember that you have known something but forget what it was (like, for example, I have once wondered for a pair of hours, or probably of days, how was the Easter in English, because in this word is hidden the East, i.e. this is some old Eastern holiday, but in Bulgarian it is literally called "Great Day", so that I had reasons to wonder about the name, the frames here are quite different). For this reason you need incessant thinking activity or you turn to senile moron, so that the resting here is not in the total rest but in choosing of a lighter, more effortless mode, and the languages have this advantage that they require no higher mathematics or other specialized knowledge (chemical or physical, or then factual knowledge like in geography, literature, biology, philosophy, religion, etc.), yet they are intellectual activity, unquestionable. And if you succeed to build new frames, not only to restore the old ones, this means that you are almost young. Even better than this, succeeding to build new functioning frames, this means that you can make relations with other old frames (knowledge), so that you are preferable than an young ... child (or imbecile — ha, ha, old imbecile is preferable that an young one), for example, whose chains of knowledge are too short.
Well, there is this thing with the knowledge accumulated by old people, that they know many things but chiefly intuitive, i.e. they have forgotten the exact inferences (there are some holes in the canvas present), but can generally make right conclusions! Because this is the intuition, some global sight over the matter yet without many details, or else said, to have some feeling, like the women usually have. OK, but what of it? It is not said that the old people must be able to defend, say, a PhD thesis in theoretical physics, it suffices if they can make sound judgements about the things they understand. But the most precious thing of the languages are their idioms, i.e. the words or expressions that are used not in their literal meaning (say, red herring, hot dog, etc.), and /or the proverbs, and /or the manner of speaking. Each language builds some spot in the brain (which may not be really spatially positioned in one place, it can be dispersed, I suppose, but such is the expression), and when you know several languages then these spots can communicate between themselves, what is exactly proper work for your brain cells. More then this, in this way you can incessantly discover new knowledge, based on the juxtaposing of different frames, this is a ... feast, I should say, for the brain, obviously much better than solving of crosswords, or watching of soap-operas, or football matches, believe me! And all this is accessible to everybody, what is necessary is just to show the wish somewhere before 50 years, and you discover one new world!
Yeah, this is really so, because in this way you begin to know one different nation, you look to the world through the eyes of new people, this is always interesting. I don't say that you can not begin, say, between 40 and 50, to learn some new profession, or religion, or change the community and /or country, but what I propose is easier, because now everybody (I suppose even in Rwanda) learns first & second languages, he does not learn them good enough in order to communicate in them, but some traces are always left. Or then one has some private preferences or wishes for foreign languages and /or countries and after his (or her, I said that will not repeat this each time) climax it is high time to give a thought to this matter. Because after 40-something one will surely not begin to conquer the world, but is bound to conquer his own body and soul in his preparation for the meeting with the Creator, as it's said. ( Even if the Creator does not exist one has to be ready for this meeting, am I right, because — what if He exists? And if it is not literally for this "Lord", then one has to leave good memory after himself, so that one must begin to look more contemplative at the world, and a foreign language is a peaceful knowledge, from some other standpoint, this may help somehow. )
Now, I want to tell you another one of my guesses, about the three, exactly, periods in everybody's life, which idea is not right for Nobel prize, no, it is, probably, for some Doctor Honoris Causa of some University (say, of this of The Second Coming, or of Causa Magnifica, or of Urbi at Orbi — I am not bad in inventing fictitious names), and I can quite well share it with you. So according to me the first phase in human life is the so called (by me, naturally) post-uteral phase (or period), which lasts approximately from 0 to 20, but we can count it even as to 25, years and it is characterized with acquiring of more knowledge in order to become full-rights participant in the life on this world; have also in mind that about 26 years is the length of one generation, i.e. new generations appear after so many years. Then as second comes the propagatory phase, which lasts till 45, but we can count it also a bit extended up to 50, years, during which one "produces" (on the average) the new generation and does what can about his pushing forward in the process of making of career and conquering of the world. After this comes the last phase called (as I hinted above) contemplative, in which one tries to make clear face before the others, to leave good memory about himself, to accept the necessity to leave this world (or to get the meaning of meaningless life), or in many of the cases (as I suppose) to spend his life as useless as possible (not knowing how to spend it useful).
As far as we are interested here basically about the old age I think that in this contemplative phase one chiefly looks at the others and not acts alone, what allows him to give more thoughts to everything. Yeah, but I find it very probable that the majority of people (say, 95 %, at least 90) prefer not to give more thoughts to the life and take it as granted and accept the inevitable (i.e. the death) as bad luck, while the thoughtful persons (like me) try to grasp the meaning of meaningless (life) as something reasonable, after all. If you are of the first category you may not pay much attention to your brain (because you do not use it much), but my meaning is that if you keep your brain well working you will not only come lighter to good terms with the world, but will be able to manage better your body. So that it depends on the person, but I think it is worth mentioning my view at the lack of meaning (for the individual, that's it), which is that if there was some meaning of the life of each person (or animal, or tree, or stone, atom, etc.), then we would have long ago reached it (being, especially in the last pair of centuries, really powerful) and after this point there would have been again no meaning of life! This sounds a bit more soothing to me; and as to the meaning of life from the standpoint of some Creator, then I am convinced that such exists, it is to see what will happen next, this is a very interesting game!
( Because I, as mathematician, have heard about, and been interested for some time in, the so called cellular automata, which are pretty simple cells, obviously with no souls, even without bodies, because they exist only theoretically, outside of the reality, but they build quite interesting pictures, and some of them can even ... propagate themselves, so that they are, really, functions of some structures, here I cant say matter, for they are immaterial. So that the complicated structures can show, after reaching of some level of complexity, characteristics of alive objects, can have, so to say, their souls, purpose in life, such things. So that, why should one try to diminish the diversity of this world only because can't see its meaning, or God's intentions? And also about the God, to which theme I intend to dedicate another material, I can say that this is absolutely necessary term for designing of the union of the matter as a whole, and the idea or information about it, which notion simply eliminates the question about what is first or ruling, the matter, or the idea or laws of its functioning, they are practically indivisible, each thing depends on the other. And one more thing, the really principal questions, like God for example, are for us, usually, ... of no importance, they have chiefly academic interest, they do not influence our life! )
Ah well, it looks like I have finished this pretty needful, in my view, material, although I am not so much read on the sites, or then am read about thousand times less than needed (because after a pair of years I have usually about 10 or tens of thousands of readers, while judging by the importance of my works, according to myself, of course, I would have had about 10 or tens of millions of readers). Nevertheless I have done my duty and have told you that the important principles for to live longer is to do this, what you usually do not want to do, namely: to lead poor and simple way of life, to try to keep to the golden middle exceeding in nothing especially, to make intermediate steps when you have to change drastically your way of life, to think about every of your body organs as of an animated object equipped with some kind of soul, to find surmountable difficulties in order to keep you in fighting spirit, so to say, and to find some interesting and not slumbering activity for you brain, so that to maintain both, anima sana & corpore sano till somewhere about 80, when can leave to the dear God to chose the very moment of your last farewell breath, hoping that you have left between the cohabitants decent memory of you.
I, for my part, have decided, and this "scientifically" motivated, that I will leave this world at the 3rd day of the 5th month of the year 35th of this century, and even between 3 and 5 o'clock in the morning, after the second ... emptying of the bladder! Does this sound good, ah? Well, I think it does, because I will be then nearly 85 years old (what isn't really much, after all), and if by some unforeseeable circumstances I have made some little error — nobody is perfect, you know, — then any time later but not before; still, I don't think that more than 100 years is advisable in the current moment (maybe after a pair of centuries till 120, yet not now).
Then about this contemplative phase (because at least for me it is so, I chiefly look now at the madness of all people around me, but basically of the barbarous Bulgarians), I insist on this name because this is what one has to do the cleverer he becomes. You just look at the dear God, does He do something more, now? Nop! He has done His Creation and has left everything after this moment, and, the most important thing, He does not think, nor has ever thought, about procreation, never. Id est, if one is very clever one has to stop the procreation, because, I judge by my experiences, one can understand his great intellect only on the background of silly people teeming around him, not otherwise, and if one is clever enough one has to see that it is more fun to watch than to act, and this is what God, in fact, does, isn't it?
Ah, but come to think about, there is one paradoxical or interesting moment with these phases, namely that the conclusion to which one can come in the contemplative phase can't be genetically passed to the posterity, because in that moment one is normally beyond the propagatory phase! Did you get it? And here I can see only three possibilities. The one is that our dear God has made some tiny error (not that I want to criticize Him, but just as possibility), in what I don't believe much now, because God (or resp. Nature) can not err in principle, for the reason that what has settled somehow and exists must have been the only possible solution under the circumstances (these are old Eastern views about parallel universes, or that everything is just, when has succeeded to come to reality, and so on). The other and most probable variant is that the wisdom got in the contemplative phase is not really necessary to be passed to the posterity, because one has to act according to his (imperfect, partial, silly, etc.) understandings, in order to allow the very life to exist (and to provide objects at which some exceptionally wise guys or girls can look at their contemplative phase), and that what we all need are actions not philosophizing (what is the core conclusion of one old Hindu poem, "Bhagavad Gita"). And the third and last possibility is that we are left to do this genetical passing of wisdom on purpose when deemed necessary (what we, in fact, can do even now, because men are able to do it till at least 60, and women could do it, when needed, at about 40 — at least in extra-uterine way).
So that is it, everything is just, and 95 % of the people have to die before the coveted limit of about 80 years, in order to allow to some clever 5 %, who know how to live properly, to reach and exceed this age! I have done my duty, I have opened your eyes, yet if this my wisdom is too dazzling for you and makes you blind (or deaf), then it is your right not to listen to me. Adieu.
[ With the remark that the char "º" is used below for making of additional syllable, similarly to the apostrophe ("'") used for missing of one. ]
LISTEN PEOPLE, YOUNG AND OLD!
Listen heºre peopºle of all nations:
Life is chiefly act of adaptation!
Women, they all theºir life adapt,
Hence for the old age they are more apt;
Men, though, they fall fast in ruination.
Also movement is the core of all alive,
So that you don't stop to walk, run, jog, says I,
Theºre are some hidden mechanisms,
That keep fit thus all your organism,
Else you'll sooner make in-th' other world your dive.
Then if you want longer be as fit as fiddle,
You must stick in everything to-th' golden middle,
And if this will make you mediocre,
What of it, in old age worse things occur;
Mark, the moderation-'s answer of the riddle!
Plus this you must have beloved activity,
Watch what others do is deep naivety,
Do it with your hands, brain, legs, alone,
Else you will the old age curse and mourn;
Oºwn deeds give reasons for festivity.
Ah, and you must stay in opposition
To the very consumer position,
Else you will become senile addict
To things that must, frankly, make you sick;
What's against the soul is superstition!
And because, you know, exists statistics,
Which is not at all equilibristics,
When you sooner die this will allow
To some other live bit longer, wow!
I hope this will make you optimistic.