“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you really are.” Carl Jung
Coming to terms with physical decline and with the loss of old roles that occurs during the aging process takes conscious effort. Carol Osborn, author and founder of Fierce with Age says “Mourn your lost youth, illnesses or other losses. Acknowledge that it’s happening as a passage you have to go through.”
The journey through this passage can be the thing that propels us to shift our awareness into a more spiritualized view of the aging process.
The University of Maryland Medical Center defines spirituality as “a belief in a power operating in the universe that is greater than oneself; a sense of interconnectedness with all living creatures; and an awareness of the purpose and meaning of life and the development of personal, absolute values. Even the non-religious may describe themselves as spiritual.” aging as a spiritual process
The clinical psychologist, Dr. John Robinson writes:-
“While we can hang onto past identities and achievements, these memories grow stale for they no longer represent who we really are. But this procession of losses, as the mystics tell us, constitutes the quintessential pre-requisite for enlightenment. What’s left when the ego’s filters of identity, time and story dissolve is consciousness itself, which the mystics also tell us is the consciousness of the divine.” http://www.johnrobinson.org/
Robinson describes the process of coming to terms with the losses of age as a descent – either a descent into distress or, if we move to the spiritual side of the matrix, a descent into ‘the arms of the divine mother.’
I like the idea that the descent is a mystic journey back to the divine mother for that is where my own meditations take me.
Through some alchemical process I don’t know the words for, this journey into the mystical depths can lead to an intuitive awareness of the interconnection of all life. The sense of purpose that grows from this awareness is greater than purely personal concerns yet it infuses the personal life with meaning and a sense of joy. It is here where the path into aging opens up into a greater awareness of the wonder of life.
It is here too where the interior landscape becomes archetypal and the spiritual journey is shown to be a journey that anyone can take at any time. Age is not a pre-requisite.
I will leave my quest across the landscape of aging here. My quest to find new stories continues. I might blog about that in 2019 but I’m not sure.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
This is the 3rd post in my series ‘Aging as a spiritual journey’
Part 1 of this journey can be found here
Part 2 of this journey can be found here