Once we hit midlife and beyond, mainstream society presents us with three visions of the future. We can fade away peacefully. We can become angry and crotchety. Or we can deny aging entirely, thinking of it as merely an extension of midlife, barely skipping a beat as we prolong our busy, productive lives for as long as possible.
There is a fourth vision. For a growing number of us transiting the new and challenging territory of midlife and beyond, aging is coming to represent the culmination of what many of our generation have been seeking for much of our adult lives: mystical attainment.
In place of the stereotypes of aging, this prophetic vision of aging beckons us to take into account both the light and the shadow side of growing old, neither romanticizing nor reviling the years beyond midlife. This is no small order. In fact, waking up to ultimate concerns, such as loss and mortality, while maintaining both a hopeful and realistic vision of the aging process requires a level of spiritual maturity that is a challenge to the best of us. But it is also the stripping away of illusion and a thinning of the veil between our ordinary lives and the divine. This is the essence of the mystical path: the promise of aging as the fulfillment of our true human potential.
Following are 10 quotes representative of this fourth way: aging as a mystical path.
Carol Orsborn, Ph.D. is Founder of FierceWithAge, the Digest of Boomer Wisdom, Inspiration and Spirituality. Dr. Orsborn, who earned her doctorate in religion from Vanderbilt University, is the best-selling author of 21 books including her newest book: Fierce with Age: Chasing God and Squirrels in Brooklyn. (Spring 2013) Dr. Orsborn is a sought after speaker/retreat leader and spiritual director.
The Mystical Nature of Aging»