Nina's Notes #5
Mushrooms, Apes & Aliens, Senescense and Powerful Moments
👽 Mushrooms, Apes and Aliens: The Stoned Ape Theory
👵🏼 Why we Age: Senescence
💥 Life’s Powerful Moments
Mushrooms, Apes & Aliens
Theory: Mushrooms are an intergalactic intelligence that created consciousness in our ape ancestors
How life on earth came to be is an unanswered question that has been theorized for centuries. The existing hypothesis of Panspermia, first proposed in the 5th century BC by the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras, suggests that life exists throughout the universe and is distributed by space dust, meteoroids, and asteroids carrying microorganisms from planet to planet.
Psychonaut, Terence McKenna builds on the Panspermia hypothesis and suggests that the mushroom came from space, it is a “galactic intelligence” capable of communicating and presenting itself in many ways, and ‘aliens' use mushrooms as a tool to develop consciousness in other beings. Mushroom spores are durable, resilient and well-suited for interplanetary travel, lending some support to this controversial theory.
McKenna’s most well known theory is the “Stoned Ape Theory,” where he suggests that proto-humans consumed magic mushrooms they found in the wild and that act could have profoundly changed their brains. The psilocybin in the mushrooms caused the primitive brain’s information-processing capabilities to rapidly reorganize, which kick-started the rapid evolution of cognition that led to the early art, language and technology in Homo sapiens archeological record.
Why we Age: Senescence
Functionless cells stay in our bodies, leading to age-related problems
As you age, cells in your body enter a state called senescence. Senescent cells are basically dormant cells. They do not divide or function normally any longer. Senescent cells can be removed by your immune system, however the immune system weakens with age, and this means that these senescent cells do not get cleared out and they begin to accumulate in all tissues in our body. Senescent cells are problematic because they emit signals to nearby healthy cells encouraging them to enter into the same senescent state, which can lead to inflammation, reduced tissue repair and other age-related diseases.
Longevity companies are researching ways to clear out senescent cells by using a new class of drugs called senolytics. Several senolytics are in clinical trials which have demonstrated the ability to alleviate age-related dysfunction and diseases.
Life’s Powerful Moments
With intention, we can create memorable experiences & increase our happiness
The positive experiences in our lives are remembered in moments. Most people often report their coming-of-age years as positive and the most memorable. This is because many first-time moments occur between 15-30, such as learning how to drive, going on a first date, going to college, perhaps even getting married and having a first child. As we age, we have less first-time experiences and less memorable moments. Chip Heath and Daniel Heath dive into the elements that make moments memorable in their book, The Power of Moments.
Our most memorable time does not have to be limited to our youth. One way we can create more powerful moments throughout our lives is to turn our often lackluster and unproductive social gatherings into meaningful experiences. Author Priya Parker in one of my all-time favorite books, The Art of Gathering, gives many examples and exciting real-world ideas to help you create meaningful, memorable experiences, large and small, for work and play.
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