We will become old, we will arrive at being old (and die old). But it is not something to live with, nor is to be tolerated with. The only way the young can ‘look’ (through his imagery mind,) at his old image in the mirror – is with great shock.
No doubt the outer layers (and partly the functioning attributes) are being damaged severely by time.
But not like animals, that for them, old age and its limitations are only it, we humans have a kind of another potential- privilege, which could begin to run parallel and opposite to this physical decline. A parallel line that with every year that we lose in our appearance and physical functional ability – something else could be germinating in us, and then growing in the opposite direction, and reaching in old age, in its full blossom;.
This something is at the roots – gathering knowing’s, at the plant level it is pumping up understanding towards the top (the fruit), where the wisdom is.
As the external declines, the internal should mature, and as the external is close to collapse, the internal might be close, or already within – the kingdom of wisdom.
Once it was like that; in ancient tribes, the old were the wise.
The wise old man (also called senex, sage or sophos) is an archetype as described by Carl Jung, as well as a classic literary figure, and may be seen as a stock character. The wise old man can be a profound philosopher distinguished for wisdom and sound judgment. (Wikipedia). Of course when I write about a wise man I refer at the same time to women. In the middle ages wise women where considered to be witches. This issue of the wise or developed woman is expanded in the book: by Jungian analyst, author and poet Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.: “The woman who run with wolves“. But today, unfortunately, the old are not necessarily the wise.
The person who is carving for himself the path of becoming wise, is doing it against the stream of life, which is moving from birth to death, but he is in the opposite direction. In other words: a rebel, a rebel against the flow from bloom to decay of any organic being. The only rebellion act against this terrible flow of time from young something to wrinkled nothing, is the way of the minor, who digs in the opposite direction of the decay; instead of wasted experience, gone with the wind, he is doing great effort in excreting from the experience a knowing (grape juice): he is turning it into: understanding: (fermentation) of the grape juice, that will turn to wine: (wisdom). he has to wrestle against the comfortable flow of his aging, and instead of letting himself surrender to its flow, he is turning to the other direction of the decay of time, in order to extract out of every experience an equal piece of knowing, which is possible to save.
Any arrival at a state of wisdom, could not be done without a preliminary stance of breaking the old and the rigid format, standing in defiance of what the old truth stood for, and creating out of the unknown of now, a new knowing which is fit for now, and could develop into understanding and from there to the golden crown: shining wisdom.
Without rebellion against the destiny of aging, with all our might, by the only way left for us: not to leave any experience delivered to us by the passage of time, without extracting out of it a knowing, that will grow to an underdoing, that will condensate to another droplet of gold, droplet of wisdom – we will become empty old man, the consumption of the experiences left us poor, with no resources whatsoever.