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Dmitry Itskov Knows He'll Live Forever; Here's How He's Living Now

NEW YORK -- No sooner has Dmitry Itskov, a 32-year-old Russian multimillionaire, sat down at the table in his hotel room than he springs up again and begins pawing through the snacks in the minibar. He tosses aside chips and candy, settles on a box of mixed nuts, then sits back down.

Itskov maintains a strict diet -- no meat, fish, coffee, alcohol or cold water -- but not because he's afraid of high blood pressure or heart disease. In fact, he's convinced we’ll all live forever.

Itskov's 2045 Initiative has the goal of achieving human immortality within the next three decades. It aspires to change human evolution as we know it and Itskov has drawn up an ambitious timeline for this transition to “neo-humanity”: By 2045, his manifesto maintains, we’ll have “substance-independent minds” housed in non-biological bodies.

In 2011, he stepped back from his work as an internet entrepreneur to lead the project, which he runs from his home in Moscow. He has traveled to New York this week to host a conference at which luminaries such as Marvin Minsky and Ray Kurzweil will discuss this new evolutionary approach.

Though his endeavor immediately conjures up visions of robotic humanoids and artificial organs, Itskov is most concerned with how immortality will reshape the mind.

“Immortality is a side effect,” he explains, describing eternal life as a means of transforming and improving human consciousness. Decoupling the mind from the needy human body, which demands food, medicine and shelter, can curb our negative inclinations and pave the way for a more elevated and sublime human spirit, he believes.

“Sometimes the way people live makes me think that they’re just following programs,” he says. “We should try to look for the opportunity to develop spiritually.”

Itskov is preparing for eternal life by training himself to attain a higher state of consciousness, and he gives the impression of someone who considers his body only insofar as it hinders or helps his mental pursuits. He spends several hours a day meditating, doing yoga or engaged in breathing exercises, all part of a spiritual practice he says helps him “discover some different states of my consciousness.”

His diet is guided by how different foods affect his energy. Meat gives him an energy he’s “not comfortable with,” he says. Alcohol “affects the consciousness” so "you stop feeling the real nature of it.” Even ice water is off limits because it lowers energy, Itskov tells a documentary filmmaker who’s offered him a cup of ice water while her crew sets up in his hotel room.

Itskov, who has close-shaven blonde hair and a vague shadow of stubble, speaks softly, slowly and with the calm self-assurance of someone who’s used to considering much more cosmic questions than those being posed to him.

How certain is he that humans will attain immortality by 2045?

“I am 100 percent certain,” he answers.

And what gives him that certainty?

“My belief," he says. He pauses for a moment, then continues: "In an ancient text, I read that whatever we have in our mind, in our consciousness, whatever we intend to achieve, we will achieve. It depends when, and it depends on the internal certainty."

Questions are frequently answered with a question -- is he religious? “What is religion?” -- and even the nature of death is up for debate. Doctors can measure the death of the physical body, says Itskov, but no one has determined how to evaluate the death of consciousness.

Itskov has already considered a world in which biology is obsolete, and bodies are supplanted by holograms or avatars.("If the technology advances, I think there will be no need for biology at all," he says.)

Within a century, he tells the filmmaker, we’ll frequent “body service shops” where we can choose our bodies from a catalog, then transfer our consciousness to one better-suited for, say, life on Mars. He seems to find the world’s relentless focus on carnal matters to be quite tedious, and laments to the documentary crew that every interviewer asks him how his vision will affect eating, procreating and having sex.

“Why don’t people think about something more sophisticated than just food, sex and children?” he asks. “By the way, if you live in this biological body for 80 years and have five or six children, isn’t that enough? Why don’t you start living for a greater purpose than to just help raise your children?”

Itskov’s quest for a deeper consciousness hasn’t stopped him from indulging in a few earthly pleasures: When we sit down for an interview, he has on a Burberry button-down and Louis Vuitton sneakers.

So what does someone do for fun if he knows he’ll live forever? Itskov is content to dedicate his life to the pursuit of eternal life. He has no wife, children or immediate plans to have either, and spends just one week a month at his home in Moscow. The rest of the time he’s traveling between the U.S., Europe, India and China meeting with experts and potential supporters.

“We are mostly having fast fun in this world," says Itskov, likening fast fun to fast food. "But we are not thinking of a more essential fun, which is inside of us.”

Itskov says he has fond memories of visiting the Salvador Dali Theater and Museum in Figueres, and he loves the Prado Museum in Madrid. He's partial to paintings by El Greco and Goya. But once his mission has been realized, three decades from now, Itskov says he will seek out solitude, not sightseeing

“What will be intriguing to me is the process of development of my personal consciousness,” he tells the crew of filmmakers. “Probably, I’ll be sitting somewhere up in the mountains, just meditating.”

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/17/dmitry-itskov_n_3455807.html

/ About us

Founded by Russian entrepreneur Dmitry Itskov in February 2011 with the participation of leading Russian specialists in the field of neural interfaces, robotics, artificial organs and systems.

The main goals of the 2045 Initiative: the creation and realization of a new strategy for the development of humanity which meets global civilization challenges; the creation of optimale conditions promoting the spiritual enlightenment of humanity; and the realization of a new futuristic reality based on 5 principles: high spirituality, high culture, high ethics, high science and high technologies. 

The main science mega-project of the 2045 Initiative aims to create technologies enabling the transfer of a individual’s personality to a more advanced non-biological carrier, and extending life, including to the point of immortality. We devote particular attention to enabling the fullest possible dialogue between the world’s major spiritual traditions, science and society.

A large-scale transformation of humanity, comparable to some of the major spiritual and sci-tech revolutions in history, will require a new strategy. We believe this to be necessary to overcome existing crises, which threaten our planetary habitat and the continued existence of humanity as a species. With the 2045 Initiative, we hope to realize a new strategy for humanity's development, and in so doing, create a more productive, fulfilling, and satisfying future.

The "2045" team is working towards creating an international research center where leading scientists will be engaged in research and development in the fields of anthropomorphic robotics, living systems modeling and brain and consciousness modeling with the goal of transferring one’s individual consciousness to an artificial carrier and achieving cybernetic immortality.

An annual congress "The Global Future 2045" is organized by the Initiative to give platform for discussing mankind's evolutionary strategy based on technologies of cybernetic immortality as well as the possible impact of such technologies on global society, politics and economies of the future.


Future prospects of "2045" Initiative for society


The emergence and widespread use of affordable android "avatars" controlled by a "brain-computer" interface. Coupled with related technologies “avatars’ will give people a number of new features: ability to work in dangerous environments, perform rescue operations, travel in extreme situations etc.
Avatar components will be used in medicine for the rehabilitation of fully or partially disabled patients giving them prosthetic limbs or recover lost senses.


Creation of an autonomous life-support system for the human brain linked to a robot, ‘avatar’, will save people whose body is completely worn out or irreversibly damaged. Any patient with an intact brain will be able to return to a fully functioning  bodily life. Such technologies will  greatly enlarge  the possibility of hybrid bio-electronic devices, thus creating a new IT revolution and will make  all  kinds of superimpositions of electronic and biological systems possible.


Creation of a computer model of the brain and human consciousness  with the subsequent development of means to transfer individual consciousness  onto an artificial carrier. This development will profoundly change the world, it will not only give everyone the possibility of  cybernetic immortality but will also create a friendly artificial intelligence,  expand human capabilities  and provide opportunities for ordinary people to restore or modify their own brain multiple times.  The final result  at this stage can be a real revolution in the understanding of human nature that will completely change the human and technical prospects for humanity.


This is the time when substance-independent minds will receive new bodies with capacities far exceeding those of ordinary humans. A new era for humanity will arrive!  Changes will occur in all spheres of human activity – energy generation, transportation, politics, medicine, psychology, sciences, and so on.

Today it is hard to imagine a future when bodies consisting of nanorobots  will become affordable  and capable of taking any form. It is also hard to imagine body holograms featuring controlled matter. One thing is clear however:  humanity, for the first time in its history, will make a fully managed evolutionary transition and eventually become a new species. Moreover,  prerequisites for a large-scale  expansion into outer space will be created as well.


Key elements of the project in the future

• International social movement
• social network immortal.me
• charitable foundation "Global Future 2045" (Foundation 2045)
• scientific research centre "Immortality"
• business incubator
• University of "Immortality"
• annual award for contribution to the realization of  the project of "Immortality”.

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