Wisdom of the Ages
The Vibrant Elder Journey
What is the difference
In the Eastern worldview, there is a Zen notion that life is a joke; the difference is that the elder laughs knowing that s/he is the joke. The fear or worry of elderly folks generally keeps them from appreciating this joke because they often take themselves so very seriously.
Most of those we know as elderly have adopted someone else's fixed idea of what their particular life should look like or be like. On the other hand, most elders have broken away from conventional thinking; they are generally free and willing to risk. These are people who are still growing and changing and learning and trusting.
The Developmental Process of Becoming an Elder
As a society, we've lost many of the ceremonies and passage around becoming an elder. There are still some societies that honor their elders. They respect the wisdom of those who have lived and experienced their life into maturity. Research from Hawaiian, Spanish, Native American, and more primitive societies shows us that the path into elderhood is "a declared journey." It is a movement that does not take place all at once, but rather in small and sometimes imperceptible steps.
It is a journey from the world of doing into the world of being.
As an elder, there is nothing more to prove (ego is unnecessary) so the beginning elder learns to let go of any "doing" that demonstrates prowess or competence, and s/he replaces it with an awareness and ability to just BE.
This is the sweet spot of genuine freedom and radical bliss, that creates a new lifestyle and a new consciousness.
Definition of an Elder
by The Elderhood Institute
The elder, unlike the elderly, knows he or she owes advocacy and wisdom to others. The elderly complain about aging while elders continue to deepen their experience of living until they die.
The elderly remain angry about experiences that hurt them throughout their life. They have not yet forgiven. The elderly don’t celebrate long life in the way the elder does.
The person expressing eldership begins each day with a sacred intention to show thanks for each new day and seeks to affirm life in others even in small ways. Because of this devotion to the celebration of life, elders elicit extraordinary deference from their community.
The archetypal elder has been the same force in most cultures over most all of time. An “archetype’ is a model for a role that has survived time.
Within each person is an energy and a spirit that once accessed allows a person to express eldership in the way elders have from the beginning.
Just as “instincts” seem to account for recurrent behavior patterns in man, so the archetypes seem to account for recurrent psychic patterns. Psychic patterns are expressions of one’s psyche: all of an individual, which is not physical.
When we seek to nourish the soul through an expression of elder energy an elder role emerges.
Elders’ roles include:
To inquire about: