"The New Aging and Death"
My interest is aging. It seems like the one of those topics that very few people really want to discuss. It’s either too scary, too depressing, or too far in the future for most of us to want to think about. And Boomers, with their eternal optimism, think that we can conquer aging with exercise, diet, anti-aging creams, positive attitude, now jobs, cosmetic surgery, and more sex. Especially between the ages of 65-70, we're in a kind of honeymoon period - hey, this is not so bad. I can do this! And so we keep on being boomers! But let's look at aging more deeply. What's really going on here? The answer is this: Something truly extraordinary is happening. The first wave of 76 million “Baby Boomers,” representing 28 percent of the American population, began turning 65 in 2011 (ten thousand people each day - the silver tsunami!) and they will, on the average, live longer than any previous generation in history – at least 15 years more than their parents! Why is this important? We are beginning to experience an entirely new stage of human life. So I've been asking: What is this revolutionary longevity for? Just to get old and ugly and die? My work answers this question with a resounding "No!" My perspective on aging is not about decline and death, it's about the tasks, gifts and growth potential of this new time. It's about a new developmental stage driven by three powerful forces: initiation, transformation and revelation. Men have particular difficulty with aging and are often unable to shift from warrior mentality of quest and conquest to a more spiritual or contemplative understanding of the meaning and purpose of age.
John C. Robinson, Ph.D., D.Min. is a clinical psychologist with a second doctorate in ministry, an ordained interfaith minister, the author of eight books on the interface of psychology and spirituality (along with numerous articles, book chapters and guest blogs), and last but not least, an aging Boomer with grown children and a gaggle of grandchildren. His professional work specialized in midlife, men's issues, the integration of psychotherapy and spirituality, the nature of first-hand mystical experience, the psychology and spirituality of aging, and the archetypal revelations of myth and fairytale. A full time writer now, his interest has turned to the psychological, spiritual and mystical potential of the new aging.
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