Aging Awake: Waking Up In The Everyday World

spiritual aging

By Dan Kelso

I have reasons for directing this article to those who believe yourselves to be in the latter stage of life, and I will cover those in this article. The bottom line is, you folks could use a break. And, well, in terms of age, at 62, I am one of you. If you are an “older person” in this culture, 50, 60, or 80 years old, I imagine most of you think you are just facing the unavoidable and hoping there might be some way to improve your options. There are plenty of books and articles and experts out there who will encourage you to “think positive and focus on what you have”, work on the mind and body, and basically “hang in there!” I will propose an option for you which I have found to be light years better. But first let me tell you how I got there.

I’ve always had an inquisitive nature, and this soon led me to explore science, philosophy and eventually practical spirituality. I began considering the process of growing old in society well before I knew that my spiritual explorations would bear significant results (I hoped they would, but I also was well aware that this was not certain). I found myself as a young adult pondering what seemed to be the most important questions about life, and some of the key ones had to do with old age and death. There is no use in putting a pleasant facade on what bodies and minds go through as they get older; it gets messy. I felt a sense of urgency to understand if this life had anything else to offer beyond the standard story of a brief life, and then struggle and decline toward the end. I was prepared to discover that this sad fact of life was all we had to look forward to. But I was not convinced of it yet, and needed to find out for myself.

Initially, I discovered that to add to this discouraging picture of the future, in many cultures throughout the world, those over 50 are increasingly devalued and marginalized as they age. It’s not surprising that many who are getting on in years simply give up in one manner or another, accepting an often degrading place in society. I should add here that I think it’s fine to stay healthy in body and mind, stay connected and “relevant” in society throughout your life. Why not? But what if there were options beyond just trying to “keep up” with the world? Why just take part when you can take the lead? You don’t have to look very deeply into this world culture to see it is, for the most part, run by poorly-evolved humans, driven by the most base levels of self service, mercilessness, and fear. Certainly it would be much better world with wiser, compassionate leadership, and an intelligent new direction?

I’m not the first to suggest that those of us who are older, wiser, and compassionate in this culture are arguably our best resource for true leadership. But as things stand, most of civilization does not listen to, or give a platform for, us to be heard. It’s clear that those who struggle for control will not allow us to make our way to the microphone. So I say, flank the whole mess and speak the truth from the roof next door. You won’t feel capable of doing that however if you “can’t see with new eyes,” and if you believe in the identity foisted upon you by your society. You need to take up your actual identity, and the new vision that comes with it. But how do you do this? This may seem a radical thing to do, but you must first begin to actively question all of your beliefs about who you think you are.

Most scientific disciplines involved in the study of personality recognize that our sense of self is basically a mental construct. It doesn’t amount to anything remotely like a coherent “person”. The problem is these disciplines do not go far enough in explaining your actual nature or how to realize it. You must see you are not somehow contained in the cells or sensations of this body, or in the thought patterns forming in the mind. You have a body and thoughts, but you are not your body and thoughts. You are something else. As you progress in investigating the false beliefs about yourself that make up the appearance of who you are, you will begin to recognize your true nature as this living awareness, or consciousness. Consciousness is the great equalizer, taking you beyond the false identity as an “aging person”. Recognizing that this is what you are will serve to increase your perspective and reorganize your thinking beyond the small minded framework of this world. You won’t divorce yourself from the body and thinking processes, they will simply find their proper place as necessary, and in many ways remarkable, tools for consciousness to interact with life.

You cannot live from this new identity until you get the false identity out of the way. That involves deep investigation of this sense of your self, questioning everything you have learned, and comparing it against all present evidence. I should emphasize that this approach is not about self-improvement. “Waking up” will not remove problems from your life directly. It will change your understanding of who you are and how you relate to those issues.

“Deep self investigation” is actually fairly simple in description, but can be challenging to maintain over time. What should keep you going is that it is transformative in terms of who you think you are, and how you see the world. There is a more detailed approach for this method that I would be happy to share with you if you email me using the contact form at the website below. No tricks to get you to buy anything else. I don’t sell water by the river. As a conscious being, this is your birthright. I’m just here to point the way.

You can visit Dan’s website and contact him by going here.


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