Ancient Philosophy for Seniors

October 14, 2012 · Posted in Ancient Philosophy · Comments Off on Ancient Philosophy for Seniors 

According to the Greek philospher Epicurus and the teachings of Zen Buddists, always striving after the next pursuit in the later stage of life, as we do in younger days, is as foolish and empty as chasing the wind.

When we are young it is a time for seeking out and exploring new avenues, seizing the brass ring, but after a certain point in life it is better to find contentment in what you have created and the relationships you have fostered.

Activities such as reflection and appreciation can be richly enhanced by a full and varied past. Constant striving precludes our ability to be, and enjoy being, a wise, reflective and grateful person of a life lived; to enjoy the state of being as opposed to constantly becoming.

DANIEL KLEIN, a writer and Wall Street Journal contributor, wrote in a recent article, October 12, 2012, on page C3 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: The ‘New’  Old Age Is No Way to Live, about his quest to understand what ancients had to say about old age wisdom. He provides as an example of wisdom in his friend Tasso, former Athenian judge.

Tasso has come to value friendship for friendship’s sake. “But Tasso does not want any of his friends to tighten up his summary of a case before the court, as he frequently desired a lawyer to do during his days on the bench. Tasso feels no need to manipulate, exploit or in any way maneuver his companions to do anything. No, Tasso simply wants his friends to be with him. ” Source

As a record number of baby boomers enter their retirement years, (I am one of them), perhaps we should join Mr. Klein in a quest for a wiser philosophical bent as later years are upon us.