I'm thinking in terms of the changes that aging brings upon the physical body-- disease, aches and pains, weakness, various limitations such as poor eyesight, poor hearing, slower reflexes and reaction time, and so on.
There's an obvious effect on one's thought processes and self-awareness as one confronts mortality and the loss or limitation of some of their bodily functions and physical abilities that marked their youthful years. It's been my observation that many older people become more introspective and thoughtful about life, its purpose, their priorities, their hopes and dreams, and their relationships with others and their God.
What's the relationship between the breakdown of the physical body and spiritual growth? Do weaknesses, limitations and infirmities tend to bring insights that can deepen our spiritual awareness?
Unfotunately, I think we as humans do have to go through some sort of crisis, whether it is related to the breakdown or ageing of our physical body or related to some other subject in order to start to question life more and become more spiritually aware.
I used to take the subject of spirituality pretty lightly until I was faced with physical breakdown of a part of my body. Although I was aware of the "Law of Attraction" and I knew that I had inflicted this upon myself, I was going through a very hard time. Because to me, a crisis related to my body was far worse than anything else in the world.
That was a major turning point in my life in terms of spirituality. I started to question the way I was living life and my attitude towards life. I started to get more involved with the concepts of the "Law of Attraction" and how I could apply its concepts to improve myself (in terms of my reaction to future issues that I am likely to face) and also looking into ways that would make my life better and prevent serious physical breakdown like the one I was facing to happen again.
So, in summary, yes, I do think that physical ageing/breakdown makes you start to get more spiritually aware. That is one of the reasons why most young people are not very spiritual. It is mostly when they get older (early thirties or later) and they have started to face physical ageing/breakdown that they start to get more involved with spirituality.
answered 10 Oct '10, 09:32
Great question John! We do expect a correlation between the growth of the physical body, aging, and the growth of the soul, spirituality. Since all is manifested by thought, including the body,then its deterioration is caused by the toxicity/scattering of the thought process. Which can thus be redeemed and/or prevented through a positive/focused one.
Let us not forget the assumption that aging means one is closer to death, which can be quite daunting. The correlation between aging and spiritual growth is more likely to occur in an older soul readying itself for exit rather than with a young one, hence, botox, plastic surgery,willing your stuff to charity after your passing :)
Limitations and infirmities of the physical body are a great way to force one to look within! Captive audience at its best, and is often used by our higher self to point us back to where we're supposed to focus.
Thank you, namaste
answered 07 Oct '10, 08:51
It depends on a number of variables: health factors, culture, your religious beliefs and values. Some people will grow spiritually, as they age, or some people will start to discover their spiritually in their latter years as they grow older. Or there are people who are fatalists, and will continue to live their life one day at a time without a second thought of the spiritual aspect of things in their life; mostly because they do not believe in the saying of going to heaven after they pass on. Then there is yet another group of people that will grow closer to the spiritual aspect of things, based upon their personal experience with sickness, and aging. These are the ones that know that their journey here is coming closer, and closer to the end, and they would like to build a strong spiritual connection with their God to secure a place in heaven.
There is also the psychological, and physiological effects of human nature that can affect the whole body function of the aging process, and that can therefore create illness that leads to depression, and other malfunctions in the body that can divert a person’s rational thinking, and can therefore give them a set back to grow spiritually; maybe because they are too catch up feeling depressed, and out of touch with reality that they have lost hope, and faith in their God, and has given up trying to make the spiritual connection, that they have missed out on. Of course there could be a number of reasons for the disconnection.
So the answer to your question is both “Yes, and No.” It all boil down to who you are as a person, in your younger years, what transformation you have gone through in your later years, what you perceived your life to be like, and what you want for yourself at this time in your life. now that you are older. It is a very personal, and individual decision, and it is different for everyone.
answered 10 Oct '10, 00:32
Inactive User ♦♦
The body exists in the world of space and time. The experiences you may encounter in your sixties are as necessary as those in your twenties. Your changing image is supposed to tell you something. When you pretend alterations do not occur you block both biological and spiritual messages.
In old age the organism is, in certain terms, preparing for a new birth. The combined events of spirit, mind and body involve not only the passing of one season but preparation for the beginning of another. The situation includes all of those supports necessary to carry you through, not only with acceptance but with the great aggresive drive toward new experience.
To refute your reality in time, therefore, results in your being stuck in time and obsessed by it. Accepting your integrity in time allows the body to function until its natural end, in good condition, free from those distorted, invisible concepts about age. If you believe that youth is the ideal and struggle for it while simultaneous believing that old age must involve infirmities, then you cause an unnecessary dilemma, and hasten aging according to the negative aspects of your mind.
Source: The Nature of Personal Reality (A Seth Book)
answered 27 Jul '12, 19:24
I think the more we notice that we can't count on our bodies as much as we used to be able to count on our bodies that many turn to God or some sort of spiritual quest seeking for something else.
I do know others that seem to not change at all and don't bother looking for something more.
I think that search is because many come to a place where as the body is failing and death seems to be getting closer many want to know that they will be saved. People want to know there is something more to existence than just this physical life.
I believe that is why those that do change as they grow older do so. As for me my search started years ago and continues on to know God personally as a Father and Best Friend.
answered 27 Jul '12, 22:18
Thanks for your thoughts! Wonderful reflections. I know that aging will involve loss and suffering. It can be a painful and frightening process. I personally believe that this process is meaningful - that this new stage wouldn't exist unless it had a purpose, a sentiment Carl Jung expressed in his writings. I also sense that aging is a homecoming, that we move toward dissolution back into the divine energy we came from. But we resist, understandably, and so it is the defeat of the ego, over and over, that brings us home. Can this become a more joyous process by understanding this necessary surrender? Is this the greatest opportunity we have in life to give up the ego and discover who we really are? It seems like aging, in this regard, is enlightenment in slow motion - a spiritual practice of non-attachment, surrender, living in the present, in the Presence, and accepting everything as divine.
Aging seems to be comprised of three powerful processes: initiation, transformation, and revelation. The events and problems of aging initiate us into truly new and different time of life, marked by losses, questions, and some of our deepest seeking. As we surrender identity, time and story, we become aware of the the consciousness in which who-we-think-we-are arises, and to become conscious of consciousness, consciousness without thought, opens perception in astonishing new ways. Then the world, too, is not what we thought but something mysterious, amazing, radically beautiful, and infinitely precious. I remember my grandmother sitting in the back garden just starring at the wonder of nature, and beauty of being. I think we return to the "Garden" in aging if we can embrace these processes instead of clinging to ego, control, and history. Aging brings us into the present like few other life processes - because time is running out. Death is a startlingly powerful teacher. In the worlds fairy tales, the story always changes when the protagonist decides to meet death. This, too, is our destiny but we won't learn much unless we explore and value the procures. I know I am going on too long but this so important to me. I want a new vision of aging in this culture! John
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