The conditioning is in the perception that it is “ME,” the one “getting old.” Some will share this perspective by complaining about it: Decline in physical abilities, diseases, etc. Others will talk about the “beautiful aspects of getting old.” Today, there will be new perspectives.
The first one is the perspective of the “I.”
“I” was a baby, “I” will return to that stage.
“Getting old” is the way that Life has to take us to our beginning in this lifetime. Physically, a baby is as unprotected as an old person is. Although, the body cannot shrink back to a baby’s size; the body becomes feeble, walking becomes a new experience as we age. Therefore, to be childlike is the characteristic of someone who is becoming harmoniously older.
Do we notice that?
Of course, there are others whose mind relentless demand to be the “same.” That insanity will take the person into desperation, bitterness and an unpleasant experience. For instance, a father who is old enough to be a grandfather (or a small child) who still believes to be the “boss in the house.” Even though his mental abilities have declined, his pride (ego) will demand the same responsibilities that he once had.
Have we noticed how the “young look” may not work for many individuals who try all sort of cosmetic help? It comes a time, when it is not harmonious. Our character dictates how pleasant our face is in later years.
We are born as babies. We should go back as babies before we die. That is the cycle of Life. Our perception is to call the stage of “going back” as “old.”
The majority could observe all of the above, as most are aware of the perception of the “I.”
A less frequent perception, is when there is no identification with an “I.” There is no “old age” there. Who is “old”? “I.” Without that, there is only NOW.
“Look at this old picture. Look what everyone is saying.” It is in the perception of the majority, how we feel identified. There is no old age but only in comparison, when the mind is used to compare the “before” and “after.”
Every day is a new experience. Every day is a new “I.” That “I” has static memories, which no longer exist. It is the past. Bodies change all the time, and so experiences and personality. Everything is bound to change! However, our names may remain the same and our memory through the mind, brings the idea of a static self.
No matter what perception we take about “old age,” we will need to recognize that there is nothing static, nothing permanent, nothing that we could hold on; no matter how hard we “work on,” or how much effort we put into.
We are already flowing in Life, but our minds are painting a static, unchangeable picture, which is responsible for our sour taste of feeling powerless to change things our way; what we think it “should be.” That wall of beliefs will hit the reality of change. That wall is meant to separate. It is that feeling of separation constantly nagging us to look for meaning.
Our “old age” is not the time to search for meaning in Life or look for “salvation.” It is the time to enjoy the freedom of naturally losing the rigidity of our mind. That is not a small thing in our mind-based society.
Less mind means greater capacity for enjoyment in Life.