Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Part of the credentialing process for religious educators is a varied reading list. I'm currently studying Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi's _From Aging to Saging_.

...elders refuse to follow the well-trodden path marked "aging." Instead they trail blaze unmarked paths that lead to an exciting and fulfilling future. These pioneers represent a new shoot on the tree of life. As member of humanity's vanguard who devote the afternoon of life to developing their full human potential, they look upon aging as a developmental process whose goal is an ever-widening expansion of consciousness and a growing sense of unity with life...

People don't automatically become sages simply by living to a great age. They become wise by undertaking the inner work that leads in stages to expanded consciousness. The elders I have in mind refute the notion that old people are close-minded, set in their ways, slow and often senile--"old dogs who can't learn new tricks." They can and do undertake new learning by using growth methods from our contemplative traditions and exciting breakthroughs from brain-mind research.

I'm several years from the crone stage myself, but even I am getting quite a bit from this book. And while some of the content is a bit on the New Age side, it has a lot to offer to many in our (s)ageing congregations. A lot of power in these pages.

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