Aging as a Mystical Path: 10 Prophetic Quotes that Illuminate and Inspire
page Aging as the Way of Unknowing
“Conscious Aging means going beyond patterns of ego strength acquired during youth and mid-life. This message of struggle is precisely the one that world wisdom traditions have always conveyed. It is a message at odds with today's culture, in its modern and ‘post-modern’ varieties. Rationality, assertiveness, moral certitude, mastery of the environment, and similar qualities are very different from the stance recommended by spiritual paths such as Zen Buddhism, Sufism, or mystics in the Jewish and Christian traditions. On the contrary, mystical traditions celebrate ‘the way of unknowing’ (overcoming rationality), ‘emptiness’ (giving up self assertiveness), even entering what Buddhists call ‘the Great Doubt’ in the face of cosmic mystery. Post-conventional spiritual traditions typically entail a ‘dark night of the soul,’ which might be described as ‘regression in the service of the ego.’ In the most profound mystical tradition, the way of transcendence entails at its highest point the ‘loss of the self’ …Conscious Aging, as an emerging cultural ideal, represents a genuinely new stage and level of psychological functioning.”
Harry R. Moody, “Conscious Aging: A New Level of Growth in Later Life”, Institute for Human Values in Aging Newsletter, 2000
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