Conscious Ageing and the Wisdom of Elders – Abstracts


Diana Clift – Adding Life to Years

The rapid increase in life expectancy for over 60s across much of the world tends to be regarded as a problem rather than a great new resource. Evidence is growing that some simple changes in attitudes and behaviour can help unleash this potential benefit for society and the individual.

Dr Peter FenwickOld Age gives us Another Chance

As Socrates (not Plato) said, when he was choosing death rather than exile from Athens or a commitment to silence: “An unexamined life is not worth living.”  Old age gives an opportunity to look back and see the context of your living.  Lester Levinson said when his heart was weakened and he was dying, “It is negativity that drags you down and love that brings happiness and health. By remembering and clearing negativity from his life, he transformed himself, ‘awoke’ and entered full consciousness.    His heart healed and he lived for many years.

And this is the joy of old age.  After birth the structure of the ego is such that it clasps and constricts your consciousness.  But now we have a chance to clean the machine, to bring love and understanding into every aspect of our lives, to awaken.  And if we enter the death process in our true multi-dimensional nature, we have a free pass to continue.  Then, as Merrell Wolff said, you get to choose to go on at death in to a multidimensional universe, or to return to help humanity – or if you fail, you may lose your free pass and need to return for retraining!

Anne GeraghtyThe Teachings of Death

Camus wrote: ‘There is but one freedom, to put oneself right with death. After that everything is possible.’ I learned the hard way what he meant when my son suddenly died and I was catapulted into an exploration of death. I now understand that life is about something far greater than being happy, famous, wealthy or successful; it is about freedom, love, creativity, many things, but above all, life is about being alive. Life is therefore also about death – because, life without death would have no meaning and whether we like it or not, ‘eat or be eaten’ is the law of life on this planet. Yet our modern culture tends to live in a denial of death. This needs to be addressed because wisdom is not something granted to us, it evolves within us through living life, and any wisdom worth having therefore involves, at some point, consciously facing death. As Jung said: ‘What we most need is often hidden behind what we least want.’

Dr Tim ReadSoftly Seeking Self

I will offer an archetypal perspective to the ageing process.  The midlife transition holds the promise of a softening of the ego structures leading to an opening to the transformative energies of the Self archetype.  This can be a straightforward process or a complex and challenging journey.  The prize is a ‘goldening’, a mindful, joyous and stable high archetypal penetrance state.  But there are a number of barriers that may impede our progress.  I will discuss some of the psychological and archetypal factors that help or hinder this process.