May 09 2017
We see a new picture of dementia when we look through the eyes of Agelessness. We know the physiology of dementia, how brain cells begin to over produce protein that eventually coagulate into plaques that in turn block neuronal pathways that gradually cause “mental decline”. We know the process but perhaps not the mystery of dementia.
The last spiritual developmental task of life is called “creative completion”. Here as the end of life approaches we prepare more vigorously than before, for what comes next in our spiritual cosmic journey. This preparation necessarily requires surrender, a giving up and letting go of our ego-driven world and opening ourselves to the next. This process takes great creativity.
We are called to surrender our very personality, so we can cooperate with Jesus’ words “ I make all things new”. We’re called to shift the six functions of our personality, how we formerly: 1) believed, 2) perceived, 3) thought, 4) felt, 5) decided, 6) acted. This “becoming new” process is of course a life-long endeavor, yet in the creative completion years its pace quickens dramatically.
And what is dementia but a process of surrendering our former personality and entering into the new mystery of life. Might what we call confusion or emptiness or mental vacancy or simply say he/she is no longer there, actually be a spiritual movement to internal contemplation that becomes all consuming? We see only the shell which hides a robust and new spiritual involvement and activity unlike whatever came before.
St. John of the Cross entreats us to surrender our memory, so we can more fully capture the truth, beauty and goodness that surpasses human understanding. Might this memory surrender be some of what we call dementia? Agelessness lets us see with new eyes and allows us to shift our perception and thinking in ways we never imagined. Such is the mystery we live.
Living Ageless in the Lord,
Richard P. Johnson, Ph.D.