How to become an elder
today at 8:00 am
Do you have to take a test? Be ordained by a licenced guru? What is it that bestows the designation “sage” on a person?
Maybe you just wake up one morning and realize, “I am wise. I have experienced life sufficiently to know what it is to… intuitively know.”
It’s not as if you get ‘smarter’ as you get older, I’m pretty sure the brain levels off at a certain level of intelligence and rank on the IQ scale. What does widen as you age, however, is perspective. That emotional tree that felled you when you were young is just another part of the forest when you’re farther along the mortality chart.
What once was overwhemingly important becomes proportional to the world at large. You can be a ‘foodie,’ for example, if that’s your passion, but when a continent is sufffering from a drought the recipe for a classic Boeuf bourguigon is not the headline.
Perhaps this Taoist text by Lao-tzu, the founder of Taoism, provides the guide to follow, the philosophical focus being living a simple and balanced life in harmony with nature. His book, written around 600 BC, is entitled “The Book of the way and its Virtue.”
Of its many maxims addressing reflection and experience, I like the one headed “It is Never too Late.”
It is never too late to become a sage,
never too early to begin.
There is no seminar to attend,
no certification to obtain.
There is no quest to undertake,
no mountain to climb.
We simply wake up,
and look around,