By Lana Mitchell
Society has it well engrained that as we age, we need to slow down, take it easy, and look after ourselves. With old age comes a frailty, and seemingly a lessened ability to work and engage with life as we did in younger years.
That has always seemed a little odd to me. Particularly as it is the body that is aging – not the being.
My mother does not fit with the norm. She is past retirement age, however she still works several days a week, and plans to work until she is physically no longer able to. Her father (my grandfather) lived to the age of 102, so I suspect she will still be doing some form of work right into her 90’s.
Mum is physically very active on the farm and in the garden, pushing wheelbarrows and even hauling firewood. And that is on top of the couple of days a week she spends doing detailed and intricate craft projects with my kids. She has an active social calendar and wide circle of friends and large extended family.
Those who meet her area always amazed to learn how old she is – as she simply does not look her age at all. And when people ask her what her secret to youthfulness is, her answer is “I stay active.”
I think she is right – but that there is more to it than that.
Comparing her with some of her peers, it is obvious that many of her friends of the same age have seemingly withdrawn from life. Considering that they are not capable of what they used to handle, they reduce their activity, their responsibilities and also their sphere of influence.
I have an uncle who retired as soon as he turned 60, and when I asked him what he was going to do in his retirement, he replied “Nothing! I worked my whole career and now I am going to do nothing.”
That was 8 years ago and the rapid acceleration of his aging was astonishing. He not only started to run into real body problems (such as being diagnosed with Diabetes) but he also started to lose his memory significantly and become quite neurotic in many ways. His day to day activities have been reduced to some gardening and light maintenance around the house – when priorly he had been the owner and manager of a busy real estate office in a large city.
I am guessing that if he had used my mother’s secret of “I stay active”, maybe there would be a different outcome.
It is clear to me that this whole process of aging is not quite as it seems.
Here is what LRH says about it:
“In other words, aging is caused by a lessening ability to confront action. That is all. It’s not because the person can’t, but he merely ages because he believes that he can’t. Do you see how that goes?
“See, it’s a reverse look. Well, if the way age is regarded at the present time doesn’t solve old age, which is that an individual gets less and less active the older he gets (do you see that one, the less active, you know, the older he gets, the less active he is) – if they follow that through uniformly, let me point out to you that this does not result in a knock-out of old age. So it couldn’t possibly be true. See, if everybody believes this implicitly, it couldn’t be true. Because, boy, they really believe that one. The medicos and everybody else believes that one.
“The reverse is true: that a person gets as old as he is incapable of confronting energy, whether it’s a civilization or an individual or anything else.
“You hear of somebody coming off the beaches at Dunkirk with his hair turned white as snow. Yes, well, he aged. Well, why did he age? Well, he looked at a lot of fury and ran away from it. See why? See how that is?*
“By the way it’s now past – it’s about four minutes past your leavingness time. Do you want me to let you go on schedule? Cause we had the (line?)
“Are you being polite?
“Well now, the age of the individual is established by his ability to regard action.
“The concern of an individual with action is coaction or attack of action. You can act with or you can attack an action, or you can avoid the attack of an action.
“In other words, you either have a lot of energy which you are merely utilizing, or you’re attacking energy or being attacked by energy. See, I mean, turning the band saw on and off and sawing up some lumber probably never made anybody insane yet. But attacking everybody because they saw up lumber with band saws and going on a considerable vendetta on the subject, and then shooting all those people, or something like that, or being shot at in return – that will cause an aberration, because it singles one out from his natural ownership and responsibility of the universe.
“An individual is first as big as the universe, and then he selects out half of it to fight, and so becomes half the size of the universe; and then selects out half of the remaining universe to fight, and so becomes one quarter the size of the universe; and then selects out half of the remainder to fight, and so becomes one eighth the size of the universe. And I could go on and enumerate these steps, but why should I when here you are?
“Your size in relationship to the universe is directly determined by only one thing: is the amount of randomity you care to confront in the universe, or the amount of attack you think you’re subjected to or care to subject the universe to. That determines your thetan size. That’s how big you are as a thetan. It’s how much you feel you can take on, or how much you feel may take you on.”
LRH, SHSBC Lecture 135, 4 March 1962