By Lana M

We had a great discussion last week about dying — and along a similar vein, I wanted to write about the subject of growing old.

I have an uncle who retired from a busy and successful life as a real estate man at the ago of 60. He was excited about this change and at a family gathering I asked him, “So Uncle John, what are you going to do in your retirement?”

“Do?”, he asked. “I am not going to do anything! I have been working my entire life and now is the chance to do nothing. I am retiring!”.

His answer surprised me. I can’t personally imagine doing nothing — so I persisted.

“I understand — but are you going to play golf, or garden, or travel? How are you planning to spend your time?”

He did not feel understood and repeated “I am doing anything – I am going to put my feet up, relax and do nothing. That is what retirement is!”.

Five years later and my uncle John has aged about 15 years, he has been diagnosed with Diabetes and has a heart condition, he is losing his hearing and is acting more and more potty.

Comparing this with his earlier dynamic, healthy, active lifestyle — there certainly was a change.

I have told this story to many friends, to acquaintances and even to taxi drivers. And the general response I get back is that when people stop doing, producing, exchanging, communicating — they die. There are many, many people who retire from their careers and continue to live very busy, interactive and productive lives. There are also people who live for many many years in almost solitude, but they are busy with the things that they feel are important. My grandfather lived to the ripe age of 102. My great grandfather to the age of 106.

I have recently been working on a project for my retirement age mother, that will give her work, income, pleasure and fun over the next 10 – 15 years of her life — and she is enthusiastically embracing it as she feels that there is no point to life if you cannot be producing, communicating and servicing/helping people. She already looks 15 years younger than her actual age, so if I am going to follow in her footsteps, I have a good deal.

I found a great LRH quote which talks about ARC and aging, which talks about this point of growing things, creating things, communicating as you get older. This point of being of use – being of help – is repeated.

If there is anyone out there who would like to assist in contributing articles, LRH quotes, stories and successes to the MS2 blog — your communications and contributions are always welcome. And heck — it will keep you young – LOL.

“For instance, an interesting fact that has impressed me several times when I have looked over the Florist’s Guide is that the obituary column always carries little items like, “So-and-so died at Spring Lake or Floral Manor, of a fall down the hillside with a wheelbarrow at age 97.” Or, “So-and-so died of some automobile accident, age 105.”

“Here are people who are growing things, and these people seem to live forever. I have seen some of these old people and they are quite remarkable.

“The quickest way to make a person old is to put him where he is of no use. Take him away from new growth. For some reason or other, affinity goes in that direction. There is something to be known from this if one is looking it over to try to find out why.

“On that person who becomes unnecessary, affinity breaks down. Check up a couple of years later on the man who goes to the old soldiers’ home. One would think with all the rest and quiet that he would be in good shape, but this is not the case. He really looks old. But put such a person in charge of writing advice to the lovelorn in the county and this person would probably do very well, because that is real communication.”  LRH Lecture 4 August 1950, Relation of Affinity, Reality and Communication

11 thoughts on “Growing old

  1. ps. The image for this story is from a Pixar short animation where an old man plays chess with himself. It is brilliant and somehow fitting with the message of the article.

  2. For those like me, not from Australia, “potty” in the sense that Lana meant, means “silly or slightly crazy”; also “to like something very much” (not the meaning she had in mind). In the U.S., a potty is a small toilet where young children go to the bathroom.

    Just to clear things up, since I had to go look this up myself. Oz is a land of endless interesting slang, fair dinkum. 😉


    P.S. “Fair dinkum” is Oz slang for “for real”, “for sure” or “really and truly”. Used for emphasis.

  3. This is a fantastic quote, Lana. And it makes total sense.

    I posted this in an earlier thread, but I think it has much to say that is relevant to this thread as well. As Life is a game, and as a game consists of purposes as well as barriers and freedoms, one can see how it can be applied in life.

    “It is dangerous, alike, to a thetan, to have too many wins or too many losses. Give him too many wins, and he will correct in the direction of reducing his knowingness as represented by his dexterity, his prediction, his activity. Give him too many losses and he will seek another game, even to the point where he will die and pick up another body. Because the decision is on the basis
    of knowingness, the decision is always downward. One does not decide upward toward greater knowingness, actually, unless one has the full and complete intention of winning in a new game. If one discovers that there are no wins or losses either to be found in this new game, one will reduce one’s own knowingness, even to the point of forgetting all of his knowledge concerning it, in order to ensure a game.

    As there is not an infinity of games in progress, one is apt, as he comes down seventy-four trillion years of track, to play out the available games and to put them in the category of “it must not happen again.” One then becomes bored. One is only bored when there is no game possible, from his viewpoint. Actually, all he has to do is become enthusiastic about the game on his own consideration and he will begin to know more about it again.” LRH (HCOB 5 May 72R, The Remedy Of Havingness)

    A corollary to this would be the reference about reviving the dead by rekindling failed purposes. Personally, I find these references go a long way to explain living as well as giving one a solution to the problem of Life and Death.



    A stuck picture or a motionless org are similar. Each has behind it a failed purpose.


    That law (it comes out of OT VIII materials) is so powerful it would practically revive the dead!” LRH (HCO PL 14 Jan 1969, OT Orgs)

    Perhaps your uncle needs to find what his failed purpose is in life.

  4. And one of my favourite quotes, by Hunter S. Thompson:

    “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!””

  5. “I am not going to do anything! I have been working my entire life and now is the chance to do nothing. I am retiring!”.

    I think an interesting question to ask your Uncle, Lana, would be, what is it about working he didnt like, or something of the sort. As per the reference Chris quoted, real estate must not have been on his purpose line or the purpose was blunted somehow.

    I read an LRH reference recently, (paraphrased), that to get a change in abberated behaviour, you need to find what the postulate they made was, get them to recount the counter effort and emotion and then find out what they postulated about that activity. (This is my understanding of what I read). From my understanding, this can be done just by talking to the person, but of course, formal auditing would really clear it up.

    I also read the Introspection R/D bulletin recently. There is a simple brilliance to this of which LRH seemed to be rightfully proud. I now find myself wondering about major events for people such as suicide, and what happened for the person before they made the decision to take that course of action and how easily well applied Scientology could have sorted that out for them.

  6. Humor from Dr. Bob Scheckler, Class VI Auditor:

    “I really ENJOY growing old. I truly love it!
    …..especially when I consider the alternative!”

    • I just realized that perhaps no one here knew Dr. Bob.
      Here is his story in brief:
      He graduated from the US Maritime Academy with a degree in Engineering. I believe that he and his wife, Dori, were at St. Hill in the ’60s or ’70s and I think that is the first time he did the SHSBC. At some point he received a telex from Ron to please come to the Apollo to handle the diesel engines. Bob arrived with his 3 kids and the whole family lived on the ship for a time. (He was not SO.) While on the ship he adopted another child. Later he moved back to LA where he did he SHSBC again and co-audited with Dori. That’s where I met him. There he worked as an engineer for Hughs Aircraft for many years. He, his wife, and his children were on course almost continually. At some point he got a wild hair and decided to become a chiropractor, which he did. For years parked his old motorhome near the complex every weekend and gave discount or free adjustments to staff and public Scientologists. Dori had some health problems so he made sure that she got onto OT Levels and through OTIII before she dropped her body. After she did so and he was not caring for her any more, he published two books and became active in the Libertarian Party before passing himself a couple of years later.
      One of his children, Nancy, was also a Class VI.
      And as you can see from the quote, he had a great sense of humor!

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