- July 27, 2015
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Aging past a certain point — getting old — is commonly seen as a decline, but it can be more of a ripening, a blossoming that has nothing to do with what is conventionally viewed as success. Old age’s losses can be catalysts for entering more deeply into what truly matters.
We often talk of getting older as “getting on,” not so often recognizing the potential power of “the getting on with it” dimension of this. Getting on with what? With more fully awakening to the raw essence of things, of life, of being, of everlasting Mystery.
There is so much we are dying to see, and our aging can provide a potent lens for this. Sure, there’s plenty of dust and various encrustations on the lens, but nothing that can’t be significantly cleared. Not that we then can see clearly in any optometric sense, but that we are then seeing without eyes, hearing without ears, knowing without thinking, settling into the unimaginable reality of all that is.
The diminishment, the winding down, the increase in aches and ouches and malfunctions – this and more, all that saddles aging with negative connotations seemingly reduces it to the most useless season of our lives, at least according to our death-denying, desperate-to-be-youthful culture.
The ripening that can bloom as we age is not a physical occurrence, but a psychological and emotional — and spiritual — one.
Such fruition both roots us and extends us beyond our usual edges, connecting us both to what dies and to what does not die. The profound exit that is death is best approached by a consciousness that has prepared for it.
Getting on with it — knowing right to our core that avoiding death only deadens us — fully participating in our soul’s ripening, appreciating and honoring our body as it winds down, compassionately holding its unraveling, its last rounds of traveling.