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Go to Kitty Reflects7/13/03

Paul has really been "into his own", as some would put it, for the last 3 months. He's never so happy as when he is solving an important fundamental problem.

The Self-Sovereign Individual Project was begun just as we described, and for the reasons stated, both on that webpage and in the updated MoreLife Introduction page. We continue to implement the life-extension methods covered in the many pages of MoreLife and Paul peruses sci.life-extension at least once a week, but limits his comments to only items of real interest to him. He continues to comment on messages sent to MoreLife Yahoo which are solely of a life-extension nature, though with less science detail than might have been the case 6 months ago. (I've actually taken on some that he would have done himself in the past.)

Some might think that we are exaggerating our concerns that governments will actually prevent progress in life-extension to the point that Paul and I will be unable to live a "long vigorous healthy life". There are at least two problems with this view. First, anyone who does not think that governments by their very nature prevent many mutually beneficial activities from occuring is not paying attention to current events from all over the globe, and is definitely ignoring much of history. (Paul has discussed the "seen and the unseen" in more depth in the annotated version of his Declaration of Individual Independence (DOII_annotated).) Secondly, our view and concern implies that the holder's definition of "long vigorously healthy lifetime" is the same as ours. Paul and I can foresee no point in time at which we would not want to continue growing, exploring, experiencing (the limits of which as also seen as truly unbounded) - all the many things that one can do in reality while not initiating force or fraud on anyone else.

The basic problems in the US, Canada, and most of the world are the most fundamental - meaning they are philosophical. Paul has thought deeply on this subject since he was in his 20s. At many times during those 40+ years he pushed the issues to the background of his mind as a result of trying to relate to individuals who he thought at the time were, or would be, of value to him. Frequently he was greatly disappointed, not only in the fact that these persons proved to be full of inner contradictions themselves, but also in himself that he excused and even evaded (self-admitted) such behavior often for years while saying nothing specific about these failings or only hinting at them in a sort of cowardly manner (again self-admitted - I never accused or even suggested that this was the case).

Paul has frequently attributed his change - his renewed refusal to accept the unacceptable - to me. He has said that the questions I asked (when we first began to become acquainted through the task I had accepted to relocate CryoSpan ) were such that he had to consider consciously why he had made certain choices regarding certain people. Through the months of our first 2 years together, he faced a number of unpleasantries about a few individuals who he had known for many years (for two, their entire lives) and also knew they did not hold the same philosophical views as his. What Paul had not faced until this re-evaluation of each of these relationships, was that these persons did not value him sufficiently to consider the possibility that there was something of true worth in his ideas, something worthy of discussion with him, if not outside investigation. He did not even know what they really thought on fundamental issues; he did know from their actions that being in agreement with the majority was of paramount importance to them. He came to realize that these persons were not friends, but only acquaintances whom he had known for a very long time. It was a major disappointment that he could not persuade the two individuals who he had always thought were closest to him, but one that he faced with the view that knowledge of the truth is essential and that these individuals are the ones that are losing, not him.

Something we concluded from Paul's experience above, and ones quite similar of my own, is that sometimes people who have known you for many years - back when you may have been less knowledgeable or wise regarding reality - see in you only what they remember from their earliest experiences with you. They do not even give you the opportunity, by open and free dialogue, to demonstrate your growth. These individuals are static in themselves and view others as likewise - their minds "are made up". Often they have not changed over the years themselves and do not think that others can or will either. The sad part with the two individuals in Paul's life is that both of them had changed greatly in many respects, but not in any philosophical essentials.

Paul and I, on the other hand, independently came to the conclusion even before meeting that life is a process of growth, of ever-learning. It was one of the basic characteristics that immediately caught my attention about Paul - despite his early attempts to hold on to fragments of relationships that were hurtful. He and I decided early this year that the political/philosophical atmosphere in the US - which rapidly runs downstream to the rest of the world - is so dangerous to the well-being of the individual that we can not simply pursue our life-extension interests and hope for the best. The purpose of our extended lives has always been to continue to investigate reality, but how can that be done in a society where the individual is hampered at every turn from actions that he deems are in his long-term best interest?

Together now, we forge ahead. Paul has an enormous capacity to hold complex ideas with several variables in his head at the same time. He then writes them in a formulated manner - contracts are his favorite - and then hones them as he provides detailed explanation in an annotated version. He is excellent at critiquing the works of others, pointing out the strengths and weaknesses with specific logical reasoning for both. He also welcomes critiques of his own work, now more than a couple of years ago. Answers to questions he receives are given well-reasoned replies, with acknowledgement of changed views when that has occurred. My 3 years of questions and his sincere desire to have me understand has promoted the strong growth of a somewhat originally stunted degree of patience. This last I think is because of his passionate desire to change things that were wrong - clear failings around him - but lack of opportunity to communicate intimately (not necessarily physically) with another person. I came on the scene 3.5 years ago, a curious passionate person in my own right, and we have helped each other grow beyond what either of us considered possible a year before that.

I often give Paul a hug and a kiss (on his head or neck) as I pass behind him, typing away on the computer at some philosophical work. Without stopping, his response is almost always, "I'm having fun." I can "see" the smile in his voice and I smile to myself, "That's happiness; that's what life is all about."


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Initially posted 7/14/03
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