Seeing Old

The other day I was in the kitchen with my brother. We were cutting some vegetables and I said to him, “You know the Mirror Song by Live?”

“How does it go?”

“I know that I should be giving, should be helping out, should be living, but I can’t seem to rescue myself,” I said.

He said, “Yeah.”

I said, “That’s how I feel today.”

He laughs. “You think you need to be rescued. That’s usually what you need to rescue yourself from.”

We never admit that everything is okay. It’s something we don’t want to believe. How can everything be okay? What would we do then? That wouldn’t be okay because I need to improve.

Yet, the one who’s doing the improving is the one who needs to be improved. So we can’t do anything. Then, we tell ourselves. “Okay, so I can’t do anything to make my life better.”

Why do we say that even? We think that deep down, if we tell ourselves that, something will change.

We think we have a problem and we can’t find one, so we think that’s a problem.

The tricks the mind plays that keeps us gripping the branches like monkeys are so many. The thing is that it’s not something that we want. What we want is to want something. We crave the craving. We are addicts to addiction.

Cheap Trick had it right when they sang,
“I want you to want me. I need you to need me.”

They wanted the wanting. They needed the needing.

I’d like to suggest a principle I learned recently from reading a blog by Sacha Chua. The blog was called, “Living Like You’re Old.”

A principle that is explained well by Michel Foucault in the Hermeneutics of the Subject.

“With regard to our life, and this is the central point of this new ethics of old age, we should place ourselves in a condition such that we live it as if it is already over. In fact, even if we are still young, even if we are adult and still active, with regard to all that we do and all that we are we should have the attitude, behaviour, detachment and accomplishment of someone who has already completed his life.”

This attitude of ‘being old’ brings us a clearer vision of how we would act if we were old (if we’re not.)  Would trivial matters bother us as much? Would we search for improvement with so much angst?

I’ve been recently asking myself, “In the long-term commitment of my life, what do I want to commit to?” Perhaps I don’t know all the details at the moment, but these are good questions.

My old-self may just have an answer. He might say, stop asking like you don’t have it and meditate.

2 thoughts on “Seeing Old

  1. Hi Anthony, I loved all your questions here. The main question is: Why we are not happy as we are? Maybe we are just perfect and do not need to strive all the time for perfection…

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