Thursday, October 2, 2008


What is called ‘the midlife crisis’ is probably an organic awareness of the body that it is mortal and that death is now the next major event to which it can look forward. We are told that life begins at the age of 40. This is both true and false. It is false because in a real sense it is at forty that death begins. After the long climb upwards to maturity, responsibility and respectability, there is no plateau, only a long slide downwards towards toothlessness, sclerous joints, breathlessness and dissolution. But mercifully, it is also true, because it is with the discovery of death that the discovery of creativity can begin for everyone, even for those who deem themselves uncreative and have so far exercised no creative activity. But there is a condition: you have to admit that you are approaching death; you have to embrace your death, and in embracing it, you have to view as secondary everything which so far seemed to you to constitute life. The discovery of death can be the transcendence of life; and the transcendence of life can be the liberation of the spirit. When human life is transcended, the spirit asserts itself in all its potential creativity. With increasing decrepitude of the body, the spirit can begin to assert itself with all its intransigence, its timeless indetermination, its unquenchable curiosity and need for movement, novelty, change

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