Image for post
Image for post
Emmanuelee Janvier, Italie

A human being would certainly not grow to be seventy or eighty years old if this longevity had no meaning for the species. The afternoon of human life must also have a significance of its own and cannot be merely a pitiful appendage to life’s morning.

The significance of the morning undoubtedly lies in the development of the individual, our entrenchment in the outer world, the propagation of our kind, and the care of our children. This is the obvious purpose of nature.

But when this purpose has been attained — and more than attained — shall the earning of money, the extension of conquests, and the expansion of life go steadily on beyond the bounds of all reason and sense?

Whoever carries over into the afternoon the law of the morning, or the natural aim, must pay for it with damage to his soul, just as surely as a growing youth who tries to carry over his childish egoism into adult life must pay for this mistake with social failure. ~ Carl Jung — The Spirit

What is the one thing that has never been a ‘thing’ for you, a passing form? Your own presence, of course. You, in the deepest sense of you. You have been the One unchanging presence throughout every experience of your life, the silent background that has never appeared or disappeared. If it came or went, it wasn’t truly who you were.
You, as presence, cannot know the absence of presence. Who would know it? Who would notice it? Presence can never witness its own vanishing as ‘content’. That is why, for who you truly are, death is — quite literally — never an object of concern. It is Home, beyond all dreams of Home, and you are already there. — “THERE IS NO DEATH” by Jeff Foster

Witnessing the early demise of several close friends formed my attitude toward death for most of my life. To me it was no more or less than unquestioned tragedy. I was in my early twenties at the time and I never stopped grieving for them.

But I’m now approaching my eighth decade on earth. I notice how my view of both aging and death are mutating. Disappearing from this world looks different from this vantage point than for my twenty year old self.

No surprise.

I’m beginning to be able to guess what it has all been about, what my projects were and how they changed over time. The meaning of my life is starting to reveal itself to me a bit more. I doubt I’ll get the whole picture anytime soon, but I seem to be entering an intriguing part of aging. Death itself is changing its appearance from menacing to simply a natural shedding of identity and perhaps not even the final goodbye I imagined.

At least I can say I’m not a case of arrested development.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store