The Art of Living Long

cornaroTo finish off this week’s theme of Longevity I will do a little book review. For several years I have had a copy of The Art of the Living Long. I love it, it’s tattered and old looking, with gold topped pages and thick pieces of paper (it was published in 1905). The book is about the testaments of Louis Cornaro (1464 to 1566). He professes the life of temperate. Seeing as he lived to be over a hundred during the 1500’s I think maybe we should listen to him. Especially since he was an unhealthy man until he was in his 40’s. Then he began practicing the Temperate Life.

What does this mean. Cornaro was ahead of his time. Much like the Okinawans practice eating until they are 80% full, so too did Cornaro. He was about not overindulging or being a glutton. He especially believed in eating and drinking less as he aged. His body didn’t need as much, so he took less in. Only when he increased or overindulged did he come to be sick. It’s definitely something to think about. Rather than eating until we can’t what if we stopped before we have had our fill. Like I pointed out, we see this same practice today with Okinawa and their many centenarians.

Besides living with temperate, I believe Cornaro’s outlook on life led to his long existence. He’s not saying to just add years, but to add quality. Why live as if we’re dying? Why not take care of and live the life we have? Alright, I confess I may have made that more confusing. Let’s grab some text from the actual book.

I enjoy two lives at the same time: one, the earthly, which I possess in reality; the other, the heavenly, which I possess in thought. For thought truly has the power of imparting happiness when it is grounded upon something we are confident we shall enjoy. And I shall not feel any regret on account of the great happiness I have in this earthly life, when that life shall cease; for then my joy will be boundless, knowing as I do, that the ending of this life is but the beginning of another, glorious and immortal. Who could ever find weariness in a lot so truly blessed and happy as the one I enjoy!

Pretty awesome right? He wrote this when he was 95-years-old. To have progressed so far and to be so full of joy I think is a blessing. I’ve heard some say they would never want to live to be so old. But if you had peace of mind, if you were so completely happy each moment of your life, why would you not want to live to be over one hundred? The thing I take away from this week, and this book is to keep focusing on thoughts. How do you want to feel? Do you want to feel happy? What makes you happy? Do more of that! Reading A Course in Miracles the other day it implied the same thing:  Health is inner peace.

 

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