Immortality

The elixir of life, from also known as the elixir of immortality or Dancing Water or Persian and sometimes equated with the philosopher's stone, is a legendary potion, or drink, that grants the drinker eternal life or eternal youth. Many practitioners of alchemy pursued it.


The elixir of life was also said to be able to create life. It is related to the myths of Enoch (Jewish mythology), Thoth (Egyptian God), and Hermes Trismegistus, all of whom in various tales are said to have drunk "the white drops" or liquid gold and thus achieved immortality. It is also associated with the Qur'an's Al Khidr ('The Green Man'), and is mentioned in one of the Nag Hammadi (city in Upper Egypt) texts.


It is not clear that any such potion has ever been discovered though alchemists in ancient China, India, and the Western world spent a great deal of time and effort on it. In Ancient China, various emperors sought for the fabled elixir with various results. Some men who went for it never came back. In India Amrit or Amrut has been described in the Hindu scriptures which are the oldest compiled source of information known to humanity. Anybody who consumes even a tiniest portion of Amrut has been described to gain immortality.
In the Middle East the term elixir is derived from the Arabic Al-Ikseer, which itself may have come from the Persian Aab-e-Hayaat . This was due to the efforts of Arab and Persian alchemists in the medieval Near East in finding an elixir of life. Though they never found it, they contributed to advances in Persian medicine.

In Europe the Comte de St. Germain, an 18th century nobleman of uncertain origin and mysterious capabilities, was also reputed to have the Elixir and to be several thousand years old.
In April 2008, a group of young scientists demonstrated, in a Portuguese television program that it is possible to immortalize yeast cells. Thanks to the expression of "immortality genes" that exists in a vegetable extract, they had proved that they can hinder the death of yeast in fatal conditions of stress. But immortality for humans still seems unattainable and the quest for the Elixir of Life continues.

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