#6: Body or Mind

Gosh, I want to skip this question so badly.

I'm terrified of experiencing age-related dementia. From the outside, it seems like the misplacing of the self. I've gone to great lengths to create a self for myself that I feel comfortable with, and I feel a kind of nigh-draconian greed about it. My self is my pile of gold, and I will wrap my scaly coils around it for as long as I possibly can.


That being the case, it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect me to, given the choice between maintaining the body of a 30 year old or the mind of a 30 year old for the last two-thirds of my life, choose to maintain the mind.

OK, sure, but having a mind is exhausting. If I were 90 years old, with the brain I've had in my 30s, but my body aged I'm pretty sure my body would be little more than the husk of a human, transparent and crackly, set to vanish into dust at the faintest breeze.

If I'm going to have the body of an average 90-year-old, whatever that is, I'd rather have the brain to match. Does the same hold true in the other direction? If I'm going to have the body of an average 30-year-old, do I also want a 30-year-old brain?

We have this fascination with youth, while simultaneously trying to extend our lifespans as long as we can. When we're young, we're great at seeing things clearly, with no fuzzy edges, and no nuance. When we're very young, this is extremely obvious.

That is cake. Cake is good. Always. A L W A Y S.

Then we get a little older and we get a little more complex in our understanding of the world.

That is cake. Cake tastes good. But cake is apparently not purely good in all situations. When you've already eaten too much cake, for example. Then cake is kind of bad, actually.

A few more years or decades on?

That is cake. Cake tastes good, sometimes, but maybe not as good as I remember it tasting, and besides, maybe I shouldn't be eating three slices of cake for breakfast, it's kind of bad for my health I guess, and also [insert fashionable component of cake to hate on here]. On the other hand, it's important to be kind to myself, and sometimes that means giving myself a treat, like cake. So cake is sometimes good, under the right circumstances, given the right cake.

OK, getting a little off-track into cake-related territory here.

The point is, I like the idea of having a more nuanced view of the world. I don't want to go through life having a 30-year-old's concept of right and wrong. So, you know, maybe a 30-year-old's body? Actually? If I can maintain my sense of self?

At least so I can keep up with my vastly more nuanced mind.