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The Purpose of Aging

Rabbi Schachter-Shalomi, the author of From Age-ing to Sage-ing and founding of Sage-ing International, tells us, “Elderhood represents the crowning achievement of life.” Jean Houston adds, “The years beyond sixty, the years of our second maturity, may be evolution’s greatest gift to humanity.” And Carl Jung opined that old age would not exist unless it had an evolutionary purpose. So this is what we need to understand – how can aging be the crowning achievement of life, the greatest gift to humanity, and a purposeful stage of human evolution? Isn’t it just about falling apart and dying? Far from it!

The purpose of this new aging is the breakthrough of a new human consciousness. As a baby bird must break its shell, a seed it's husk, a plant it's pot, a caterpillar its cocoon, divine consciousness is now breaking through the ego, cracking its hard walls of thought, identity and belief. And aging represents the perfect time for this breakthrough to occur. With the ossified identity of our middle years fading away, time beginning to feel timeless, and the heart cracking open in love for the world, we sense the divine transforming our everyday consciousness and being. It's happening. Can you feel it? We are poised on the threshold of a new kind of human saturated by sacred consciousness.

I live in this larger consciousness. I sense it around and through me, permeating my being, changing my cells, and bringing forth a new and wider experience of joy, wonder and love. Merging consciousness and being, I can barely stand its power. This is the potential of humankind's developmental stage called aging. As consciousness suffuses elders, the world brightens with their light. We are on the verge of a new kind of human being. Though many shells are impenetrable, others are opening and porous, and because you are reading this, you are one of new breed. If, as the mystics tell us, consciousness is really God's consciousness, and being is really God's being, what must be happening in and through you right now?

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