"When I forget my ways, I am in The Way"

Philosophical and experiential notes on Nothingness, with supporting insights from martial arts, quantum physics and Taoism

25 May 2014

An Elder

An elder is not an old person. 
  1. An elder is someone who has been carved and shaped by nature into a guide, someone who knows they know nothing.
  2. An elder has rejected certainty, and has developed an intimate familiarity with the unknown.
  3. To become an elder is to see life, yourself and others through a magnifying glass. But it is bi-directional. Because all of an elder's own life's mistakes are also intensely magnified to others, making it easy to judge and to judge an elder as weak and full of unacceptable faults.
  4. To become an elder is a path full of the riskiest risk and the bottommost bottoms. It is about being ripped open repeatedly, and then, as if that isn't enough, it is about being turned inside out completely, and then folded and re-folded incessantly. It is the endless pounding of the sword on the anvil. It is not in the least a pleasant path. 
  5. An elder is not someone who, as a young person, charts a life path of becoming an elder, a wise old leader.
  6. To become an elder begins when you are far from being an elder, and its path welcomes you with derision, discouragement, mockery and constant temptations of insanity. You have little to no understanding that you are on the path to being an elder. It mostly feels like you are an outcast and a fool, a minority of one in the cattle herd of humanity.
  7. To become an elder guarantees a life of being misunderstood, isolation, and having your heart broken a thousand million times.
  8. An elder, in my opinion, is a bottom dweller, someone who has become accustomed to living in the mud, seen by most as a fool. I suspect most of them would deny they are an elder. Perhaps what the term does, in a genuine sense, is acknowledge that someone is inept. Repeatedly so. An elder would certainly agree.
  9. You'd be more respected if you claimed you are homeless than if you claimed (or someone else claimed) you are an elder. Such a claim would typically have you deemed as a misfit, or delusional.
when hope
is hopeless 
less is left
To become an elder is a constant struggle. It is not a life of ease.