One of mankind's greatest questions has followed us like a shadow since the dawn of time. Many myths about immortality exist. The following are a few: The Tree of Life, The Holy Grail, and The Fountain of Youth.
If aliens visited or are visiting Earth they would have to be immortal to survive the millennia to traverse the stars. From Vampires to Sci-Fi, living forever is an omnipresent subject of humanity.
The only connection humans have to immortality is spiritual.
But, that could soon change.
One of my favorite stories about living in Indonesia is Uncle Mito.
My wife is Indonesian.
I am an American from Minneapolis, MN.
My wife's Uncle Mito is not immortal. He is Indonesian. He said he is 120 years old. One of his sons attests Mito is 110 years old. No one is sure when he was born.
Indonesia did not record Akte Lahir (birth certificates) until the year 1900.
He was married at 11 years old. His four children are still alive. Mito is also my next-door neighbor. I see him walk to the rice fields every morning as he's done for eternity.
He was born in Plintahan, East Jawa Timur, Indonesia. It is the same village where my wife and I live.
His home is hours away from two of the world's largest volcanoes—Mt. Bromo and Mt. Semeru.
The 12,000-foot volcano Semeru erupted on December 4, 2021. The eruption killed 57, injured 104, 23 missing and 10,655 displaced.
From volcanoes, floods, famine, disease, World War II, The Dutch Colonial War, and the Indonesian President-Sukarno's mass 1965-66 executions.
Mito remembers it all.
While some Indonesians have met premature death due to manmade means, the country has a history of the oldest humans. In 2015, the remains of a 7,200-year-old human were found buried in a cave.
The oldest modern-day human according to media reports was also Indonesian.
He was a man who lived for 146 years.
According to his papers, Sodimedjo, also known as Mbah Ghoto (grandpa Ghoto), was born in December 1870. Not far from Pandaan, he lived in Central Java.
Uncle Mito and Ghoto did not know each other.
Like Uncle Mito, he was a smoker and occasional beer drinker. He outlived four wives, 10 siblings, and all his children.
Also like Uncle Mito in his village, he was a local hero famous for telling great stories about the wars against Japan and the Dutch colonizers.
When asked about the secret of his longevity Mbah Ghoto told the BBC that patience was key. "I had a long life because I have people that love and look after me.”
If independently verified his age would make Grandpa Ghoto older than French centenarian Jeanne Calment. She was 122 when she died and is considered the longest living human in recorded history.
Unlike Ghoto there is no tombstone beside Uncle Mito's house waiting for his "Selamat Jalan" (goodbye).
Uncle Mito has never been hospitalized.
He has never taken medication. His eyesight, strength, and general well-being are in good shape.
What can we learn from Mito?
His native language is Javanese. The translation was difficult, but I got a couple of questions answered.
Do you wish to visit another country?
“No. I'm good where I am. But Indonesia has gone downhill.”
What is the secret to a long life?
“When I was a young boy my Grandmother gave me a magic belt to wear around my waist. I wore it for as long as I can remember. I do not know where it is now.”
Today, using magic both white and black is still prevalent.
There's no way to be sure what the magic was in his belt.
According to Wikipedia Uncle Mito is in the top 50 of the oldest living people on Earth.
September 10, 2021. The Guinness World Records awarded Spain's Saturnino de la Fuente Garcia. To date, he was the oldest person living (male) at the incredible age of 112 years and 211 days.
Uncle Mito is due for his award.
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