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Let me know in the comments at the end of the post. Say as much or as little as you wish.

For me there have been two big changes.  The first is being settled in myself.  This happened in my early fifties (I’m now 58).  It was the sense that I have a good enough idea of who I am (strengths, limitations, preferences, etc) and my part of the world (getting on with others and knowing how to make my way around the places and structures that impact me).  The feelings were a settledness mixed with, ‘well, let’s get on with it’.  (“It” being making the world a place where all can thrive.)

The second, which happened in my mid-fifties, was realising, that the appropriate way to respond to my earlier behaviour, was often with a mix of guilt and shame.  Not in a big way, more in the, “Good grief, what was I thinking?” way.  (Not about everything – and which things and I others would probably disagree on.)  This has lead to greater focus, and embracing the wisdom of small steps.

This year has been a fresh start for me.  I’m back at uni – discovering new areas of interest, and perhaps pursuing some old ones in a different way.  My situation at home has changed (our niece and nephew, both in high school, are living with us) too.  And a couple of years ago, due to an inheritance, we were able to buy a house.  I haven’t lived this “normally” since my late-teens, early twenties.

This is what aging has been like for me, over about the last decade.  How has it been for you?

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Christmas Meditation 2017

 

This child is god.

Even most Christians can forget how shocking this is. We are more comfortable with the omni-god. The god who is All-Powerful (Omnipotent), All-Knowing (Omniscient) and Self-sufficient (“aseity” in the jargon).

A child is weak, almost entirely ignorant, and entirely reliant on others for their life. And the Christmas message is: this child is god.

And when this child grew up they had lots of time for children. When grown this person even said that to follow them means becoming like a child again.

This is still counter-cultural. Our world is designed for adults not children. Adults are rapidly destroying the world that children will inherit.

“We say we love children; but wars still exist.” – J Krishnamurti.

This god gives freely. That all-knowing, all-powerful, self-sufficient one is not attached to knowledge, power and self-sufficiency – they give it all up. And they give to all, not just their friends, but even to their enemies.

“Your life comes free (you didn’t do anything to earn it)” – me

This god gives of themselves, empties themselves. When we give ourselves to a task or person, or something of interest – so long as we remember we are not god, but finite, ignorant, dependent – this is when we are most alive. A kind of self-forgetfulness is health, we don’t lose the ability to choose but the choice does have a sense of inevitability and even should; we do lose the idea that we are the centre of the universe and it is only our cares and interests that matter. That is: we lose our egotism if not our ego.

This god embraces the physical. The spiritual is made real in the material. Giving not only of ourselves to others, but our goods as well. Caring for others embraces giving stuff as well as giving of ourselves.

This is the Christmas message – not clinging to ourselves and our own stuff. Letting go into life so that we give to others – presents and our presence. This is the way of life abundant.

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