What measure does one use to gage if one is old or not?
The logical, rational people simply count years. If you’ve lived many moons you are old. A very literal definition that doesn’t consider the paradox of life.
One could consider age as proportional to biological capabilities. If an older person can do 100 pushups, or a fancy yoga pose, they might be considered to be biologically younger.
You can measure age in how you look.
Once I saw Ricardo Monteban on The Johnny Carson show. Ricardo told Carson he’d been ill and feeling poorly. Carson couldn’t believe it. “You’d never know it, Ricardo,” he said. “You look great.”
Ricardo said: “Johnny. Let me tell you a secret. It’s better to look good than to feel good.” I’ll never forget it because it’s true for many people.
I measure age in how much joy, and laughter one has.
Adults tend to live seriously. We have responsibilities, daily duties that must be accomplished. We have ambitions to get somewhere, to be something other than who we are. How can we not be serious? We’ve been told from a very early age that we need to take life seriously if we want to get ahead.
Yes, it started long ago, back when we actually were childlike. Parents told us we’re lazy, teachers told us that we’re not trying hard enough, and the priests have told us we’re sinners and must go to hell.
The mountain of mental concepts we carry is an intense burden. It has poisoned us, tied us up in knots. Our internal energy, the river of life, gets crystalized as if frozen. We stop flowing. If the inner river of life isn’t flowing, it stagnates. Seriousness is merely a symptom of our restrictedness.
Break The Mold
There was an old western movie on television. The outlaw, a fugitive being chased by the law, was a man with a heart. He championed animals, children, and those in need. Most endearing to those he met was his ability to have fun, relax, and flow with life.
One day, as he was fleeing from the posse, he crossed paths with a young boy sitting by a stream. He taught the boy how to set up a fishing line, and took the time to eat a meal with the lad. The boy sensed he was running and asked him why he was being chased. The outlaw said: “Those that lead a carefree life are a threat to society.”
There is almost a tacit agreement in society: an adult is expected to struggle and be serious. Very few are able to shed the burden of it.
Become a Child Again
Spiritual paths advise becoming as a child, as if having the consciousness of a child is a secret path to awakening—it is.
A child is closer to joy, and wonder than an adult. A child smiles and laughs easily, for no reason at all. A child’s mind has not been filled full of garbage. A young child has not lived long enough to dam the flow of their lives with their habits and opinions.
Laughter: The Real Fountain Of Youth
Laughter is unique in that it instantly pierces the mountain of mental concepts and makes us fresh and young. Laughter interrupts the pattern of the ego mind. A good laugh brings us back to our true nature, back to our essence. The more we laugh the greater the possibility of remembering our true selves.
Some try to teach laughing as a technique, to fake it till you make it
Maybe it can work. Just look at the sheer ridiculous of our lives, the humor of it all. Soon you will be laughing for real.
A real laugh is a refreshing spring, really the fountain of youth! The inner river flows again.
If one is able is to laugh at life, laugh at themselves, they will retain their childlike nature.
Check out this Youtube video. It is one of my all time favorites!
Wake up to Laughter!