It's very important & instructive to see to what extent we agree with the author Cathal Kelly. For him, the years after his 20s are "sad," because he stopped being in the moment, stopped living vibrantly, because awareness of his mortality prevents him from being blissfully distracted by senseless, compulsive, but completely engrossing activities. Now he's anxiously cramming stuff into his last few (60+?) remaining years before death.
We live in a death-denying culture that glorifies child-like behavior as long as possible. HOWEVER, aging wisely INVOLVES living in the moment, and is filled with progressively deepening, conscious JOY that's rarely experienced in childhood. It is NORMAL, HEALTHY and ESSENTIAL for adults to "let go of childish things" AND fully accept the reality, inevitability & universality of death - only THEN can we live freely & fully.
"I was born
when all I once feared
I could love.” Rabia Basri
Shelagh Rogers’ interviewed the author on Oct 1, 2018: https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1331958851980
SR “Cathal, you end your memoir when you’re in your early 20s - arguably the time you left childhood behind. What do you think shifts inside someone when they cross over that threshold and into adulthood?”
CK “Heidegger has a concept called ‘a being toward death’ - that there’s a point when all of us fully realize that we will die. And then our focus shifts from living in the moment to trying to accomplish something before that happens.
At that point in my life … there was a realization that things would not surprise you in the same way again. That there comes a point when you have run out of completely new experiences. So that is to say you will do things again and there will be much pleasure taken from your life, but in large part, you are never going to have those personal revelations the first time you heard a certain band, when you saw a movie that changed you … You’re just not getting that at 30. And you’re certainly not getting it again at 50.
And that’s a sad realization. In the final chapter is when I think I recognized in the moment that that was it. That may have been the last one. It happens in a farmer’s field in Western Europe, on a goofy little trip, still trying to figure things out, and I just realized this was the last one. From now on, there is going to be a sort of sameness to things. This is not a tragedy by any means. But it’s ‘triste’ (sad) you know - that sense of loss. And it’s something we don’t talk very much about in this culture.”
It's VERY easy to become depressed & cynical with advancing age - even on hitting the big 30!!! May I humbly suggest learning ways of aging WISELY? We ALL have far better QUALITY of life to enjoy than we can imagine, even if we have only a few months to live!: http://mindfulnessforeveryone.blogspot.com/2013/11/431-transformative-power-of-acceptance.html
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