|Getting old mentally|
I've been thinking (feeling, really) a lot about 'old-age' recently and thought I'd try to figure out what was going on. I was recently talking with a "old" friend (over 60), and realized, in a flash, that I was 'friends' with a person old enough to be my father - sort of. Well, in my head, since I'm only about 30, I guess he could be. Anyway, I realized talking to him, that people seem to 'slow down' quite a bit at that age, and although still active physically, they're practically inactive mentally. (hey, if you're taking any of this personally, don't - people start 'losing it' after about age 25, so don't feel bad - we're all in this together).
I'm not trying to be 'age-ist' but it is kinda strange, that people are so full of wonder and so curious about the world when young, but as they age, they are much less so, almost to the point of being completely disinterested in the wondrous. There's probably little reason for that, other than their hormones become even more imbalanced than they were when much younger. So one must have to compensate to stay mentally active, even to the point of over-compensating - due to the fact that the older one gets, the faster one has to 'run' just to stay in the same place (so it would hold that one would have to run even FASTER the older one gets to 'get anywhere').
I don't know about you or anyone else, but it does seem people just want 'to be happy' the older they get. They are no longer interested in what makes the world go round, or even what makes themselves go round, just that they continue to 'go round'. I know that seems like right order - that the older one gets, the less is required to stimulate one so the easier it is (or can be) to 'be happy', because it seems the younger one is, so much more is required, and very few are or claim to be 'truly happy'.
I asked my friend if he ever wrote - a journal, diary, notes-to-self, whatever - and he said no. I've asked this of practically every one I know, and they all said no. I'm thinking that that is the 'problem' I'm apparently addressing here. When you think about any (and all) of the 'great' people you know of, you realize they all were rather prolific writers, and probably speakers. Now, consider the 'greatest' of all the people you know of, and they probably were the most prolific of all. I discount Jesus in this and Buddha - all the 'wise old men' of old, especially those who lived pre-movable-type (and Johann Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press), because it was so much more difficult to do it, transcribe it, preserve it for the future. I also discount all authors of Fact and Fiction - for they are not really (usually) writing for themselves, for their own edification, but for the approval of others, and money.
Of course, I'm really speaking of people in this generation - the only people with whom, afterall, we can have any 'personal connection'. Personally, I'm only aware of a handful of people, if that, that I would consider 'great', and all are prolific writers. That is, they write everyday, EVERY FRIGGIN DAY, and not just compilations of lists of stuff they need to do, or already did, or wise-acre-ings about this or that. But thoughtful 'considering', active thinking about things they don't already know everything about, for the purpose of knowing more about it.
This is the most difficult thinking to do, of course, and practically no one likes to do it, and especially 'older folks'. You know, giving opinions about current events is hardly the kind of thinking being referred to here, since that is mostly re-active, not truly active. No, the kind that keeps the mind alive and growing, instead of stagnant and steadily depleting, is the kind that considers 'topics', self-originated 'topics', about what is going on - out there, in here, all around - but not always from the same perspective as is customary (taking everything (as-if) personally), but rather taking them from the point-of-view of GOD or something higher, like LIFE.
In other words, it's like asking (for example): how is it that Life is so constructed that People deteriorate with age, how is that in Life's best interest? And then trying honestly, forcefully, to gain some insight into that. Again, it's like starting with a premise and seeking to penetrate the secret, rather than just allowing some snap-judgement to come in, and 'stop thought'. Given the previous example, virtually 100% of people would come down either on one side or the other (quite mechanically, I would add) - 50% would say the premise is wrong (people do not deteriorate with age), and 50% would say it has nothing to do with Life's best interest, and who is this LIFE anyway??? In other words, they would stop any and all possibility of thought on the matter - saying, typically, there is nothing to be gained by it, so why bother.
Well, close, but no cigar. The primary purpose of thinking is thinking - either you can or you can't, and the older one gets, the less one can do it.
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