I’ve had my nap and now I am thinking about a Martini. You may not believe this but when I stir the Martini (you never shake the martini), the idea for the talk takes a germinal form, like an embryo in the mind that wants to get born. I’m going to flesh out this Theme of the Joy of Aging that I started last night.
The two student doctors that visited me yesterday afternoon to learn about aging are now my friends. As long as they don’t break the martini glasses I gave them, they will remember me.
As you know I’m a Martini Priest. But that is a metaphor isn’t it. So I’m a metaphorical priest. This means that I am a priest; I am not a priest. Now which is it, the Zen master would say after giving your this koan?
If you want to understand the Joy of Aging, you have to understand metaphors. I am old: I am not old. Now which is it? You see…Logic cannot understand, cannot fathom aging. Aging if life. Life is not logical. Logic divides; metaphor unifies.
Remember Jaws. All movies are metaphors that point to the Buddha within. Jaws points to our fear of death, the fear of being eaten by Life. Jaws tells us that our boat of western understanding is too small to integrate death. We try to exclude it, keep it away, even kill death, if our medial institutions would have its way. A War on Death.
So how can you have the Joy of Aging (which is death) if you are having a War against Death. You need a bigger boat.
A bigger wider meaning of death is Loss. Death in whatever form, great or minor, is loss. Everywhere today the Media Camera runs from one loss to another. OH, NO…there is loss in a Mass Shooting, and now in a fire, and there is so much loss that we can only focus on the big losses. Minor everyday loss doesn’t even get the camera’s attention. We even like to watch people crying over their loss. The more intense their emotional grieving, the more the camera likes it. A good Loss gets endless replays.
But this is a vicarious Loss because we get to feel Loss, death, without having to suffer it. We need a bigger reality map, a bigger boat, one that includes life as death.
But this can’t be an objective map. It must be your subjective map. You must come to term with Loss. Life IS loss, said the Buddha when he said life is suffering. The sand is running through the hour glass the moment the hour glass of time is born. Our Western map is a map of time, space/time, to be accurate. This is an external objective map. It is not the Buddha Map.
If you want to discover the Joy of Aging, you need a Buddha Map. But again, this is a metaphor. There is no objective Buddha Map like a religion of a philosophy or psychology. Oh, you can find one, but that is not the. “bigger map” we are taking about because it’s Your Death, Your Loss that you want to find the joy in, not mankind’s. There is no joy in mankind. Mankind is just a noun, an idea or concept. There is no joy in a concept. There is only Joy in your, and you are not a concept.