Nona L. Brooks
Why do we get old? If the Law of Life is continuous progression, why do signs of age appear to us? How shall we account for the decrepitude that seems to accompany the later years of life? These appear to be mysteries, but there is a solution of any mystery in the contemplation of the life process from the basis of Omnipresence. Life is eternal progression in the thought of those who are keeping the faith. In the real there is no stagnation, neither is there retrogression. There is change in the process in the visible, but nothing is lost. Years are dreaded and feared by many because age, as we call it, has usually been accompanied by loss of power and joy; we are learning to live now, however, so that the signs that follow the passing of years are being done away with.
It is difficult to understand the experience of old age as we see it, unless we consider for a moment the fixed habit of thought in relation to the burden of time upon men. The race has thought for ages in terms of time; we have emphasized a past and a future, instead of a present. Why not live in the eternal present? In it we do not get old. He who lives in his thought in a living present begins to see the place of what we call age in the unfoldment of man. I am glad for every year; a birthday is a landmark in progress, not in deterioration. It is worthwhile to have lived three hundred and sixty-five days well, my friend. Have you ever thought of your birthdays in this way?
Old age does not mean the burden of years; it means the fruition of a life. Years are our friends, not our enemies, if we live in harmony with these, and think of them as opportunities for development. Each day of the year is in itself an opportunity to realize more of truth; but unwisely we resist the passing of the years instead of cooperating in spirit with the seeming flight of time. It is human ignorance in relation to process that makes us old, not the experiences of time in its passing. It is our attitude toward time that keeps us free from the limitations that the race would burden us with.
What about the signs of age? These are unnecessary in the world of continuous progression. There are some of us who are learning to come up over the old thought habits that made us feel weak and incapable. We are learning to demonstrate. It has been said that you and I are as old as we feel and act. I believe that we are. Age is a belief about the body; youth is of the soul; it is the joy of living. Age is the concept of separation from this very joy of living. I like to feel the dignity of the years, and I am proud of having lived a good many. Years I count not as the passing of time, but as opportunities for the gathering of wisdom. The well-spent years are very rich.
A race belief in a material process has dominated our thinking for many years. What are we going to do about it? Why not begin today to change our attitude toward the experience of age? There will never be a better time than now. Some people are getting old; others are growing old. There is a difference in the results of viewing age from a material or from a spiritual point of view. Which shall we see--youth and progress or decline and stagnation? This lies with you and me. Are we watching the passing of the years and believing that with each one we lose strength, intelligence, power, joy? Some of us believe so strongly that as we get old certain faculties grow weaker and are finally lost. Is this true or do we only think it is? Why are we seeing decay? The question is easily answered; we are thinking it. Men do not have to go down hill until their process ends, as we say, in death. To be here and not to live is the only death there is. If we consecrate our living to development in consciousness, we shall come into the whole truth about man. The knowledge of all the processes of life is with man. The belief in disease and old age is a phase of our misconception about ourselves.
It is difficult to tell just what old age is, even if we feel old. We are told by natural scientists that the body is in a condition of change, and that no part of it is over a year old at a given time, unless it be the teeth, which change about every two years. It is self-evident that age is a mental condition. The world has so long believed in process with a beginning and an end that we have much to overcome. The question may be asked, "If disease is a mental condition, why should animals be ill?" It is a case of the higher influencing the lower; animals respond to the thoughts of men; they do not originate mental images of imperfection, but they follow ours.
Thought bridges all things. There is neither space nor time that thought cannot obliterate. There is no age in eternal Being, neither is there youth. There is only one Source of life and health--God. We are illumined when we recognize our Source. The cause of all ills is the turning of the thought to an outer source. In the external there are all kinds of misconceptions; we are self-hypnotized into believing that there is much wrong with us because we are getting old. We get old resisting the outer. The only power that the external has is what we give to it. The race has believed in the decrepitude of old age for centuries; therefore, men have been greatly afflicted with the burden of years; they have watched for and emphasized the symptoms of advancing years. We are still yielding to race conceptions.
There is neither youth nor age to the one who knows God as his Life; there is increasingly powerful living. The use of our faculties should not be affected by the addition of years. What are years in themselves? How shall we keep young? How shall we overcome the belief in years? It is all worked from within. The mentality must be kept active and powerful by identifying it with the one Mind which knows neither youth nor age. Let us keep alert; inertia is a sign that we are forgetting to keep close to God. Loss of memory is another one of the ills that we bring upon ourselves by misconception. Divine Mind never forgets; it never overlooks a blade of grass in this Universe of its creating. As we identify with Divine Mind we see that there is no loss of memory possible, for constant activity is the state of Infinite Mind. Do not listen to the race belief that because we have lived on this plane of existence for three score years and ten we must begin to retrograde; there is no truth in it. Listen to the Life Principle speaking always in terms of Life, Life, Life!
Inertia keeps you out of the kingdom; alertness leads you in, if it is the alertness of truth in you. Keep alive; stay young; be joyful. Life is ever new; there is nothing old. Take your part in the progressive life of the race; do not stay behind. Thrill with the meaning of each new discovery in the world of natural science. Know yourself for what you are--a child of the living God. Keep close to little children; they love life and are happy.
There is nothing like the outpouring of love to keep us young. Do not allow the suggestion of years to enter into your thought about the conduct of life. He who thinks he can't run, can't; and he finds that he is falling behind in more ways than one. Remember that the strong man rejoices to run the race as much as he rejoices in reaching the goal. Consider your birthdays as days marking progression. Take no thought for tomorrow. The tomorrows will take care of themselves. Keep the present rich, vital, alive with God. Live more buoyantly and more abundantly. Forget the race misconceptions. Do not think that you must wait until you die to know Eternal Life. Life in its fulness is here now.
Make for yourself a list of the outstanding qualities of eternal youth. Ask yourself, "Am I learning to apply these qualities more truly with the passing of days? Am I expressing the inherencies of youth in my thinking and my doing?" Check up! Can you place a yes beside the following qualities: buoyancy, alertness, vitality, appreciation, cheerfulness, powerfulness? If you can, you are not getting old.
Is old age mysterious? Wherein lies the mystery? Perhaps there has been a mystery to those who did not understand that life is eternal progression. We grow old in wisdom, love, and joy, with the years. That is well. The mystery is solved; it was in your thought and mine. Life is eternally young; it is ever new. We thought it had an end. We thought we saw process end in the individual; but that is not true, for process is universal and eternal. Yielding to the race conceptions we looked old and showed the results of our thinking in signs of age. We called this a mystery, while it was only the effect of a cause in our thinking. The mystery of old age is solved; it is the sign that follows a thought process. Now that the mystery is solved, why not stay young?
"And thine age shall be clearer than the noonday: thou shalt shine forth; thou shalt be as the morning."
Table of Contents
Northwoods Spiritual Resource Center
Symphony of Love