Age deterioration would be unavoidable if the body was simply material, because all material things are prey to entropy, the tendency of orderly systems to become disorderly. But entropy doesn’t apply to intelligence–an invisible part of us is immune to the ravages of time. Modern science is just discovering the implications of all this, but it has been imparted for centuries through spiritual traditions in which masters have preserved the youthfulness of their bodies far into old age.
India, China, Japan, and to a lesser extent the Christian West have given birth to sages who realized their essential nature as a flow of intelligence. By preserving that flow and nurturing it year after year, they overcame entropy from a deeper level of nature.
In India, the flow of intelligence is called Prana (usually translated as “life force”), which can be increased and decreased at will, moved here and there, and manipulated to keep the physical body orderly and young.
A yogi moves Prana using nothing more than attention, for at a deep level, attention and Prana are the same–life is awareness, awareness is life.
Adapted from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1998).