Life situations of fulfillment at young and old age

Thoughts about the Totality of a life in Jesus
Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

 

 

 

1. What is the difference between the young and the old? Being young is identical with our openness to the world, the diversity of our responsiveness and our capacity to lifelong learning. The old age can be described with an experience encoded as an effective behavior pattern, the wisdom of distinguishing the substantial issues from the unimportant ones and the restraint from the extremes. The young and the old behaviors are not linked to the chronological age. Systems become complex if they are capable of both behaviors – alternately. (If you would like to read about this more, please, read my essay here.)

 

2. Life situations of fulfillment at young and old age. Young age is the age of exploration and enrichment of the information of the environment. In young age there is no permanent order. The young cannot be controlled, it is vigorous and happy. For the young every moment is a whole life. The fulfillment of the young breaks the limits and creates a new world. The old age is the age of clarity, the capability to identify what is important and what is not, thus the age of wisdom. The old age has learnt to wait. The old age has learnt to listen. For the old the whole life is a moment. The old age has experienced the beauty of purity and silence. (If you would like to read about this more, please, please, read my essay here.)

 

   

3. Life situations of fulfillment in Jesus. The man living in Jesus is not alternating between young and old but he has entered the timelessness of the Holy Trinity where he can be both young and old at the same time. Jesus as the Door (John 10:9), opens the Totality of the Father that gives an unlimited space for the youth to grow and enrich. As the Path and the Truth, Jesus endows the old age’s capability to identify the essence with the Totality of Vision. Jesus, as the Life, joins the impulsivity of the youth with the timelessness of the old. Man living in Jesus lives in the Resurrection where death is not the end but the door opening to God’s Totality. (If you would like to read about this more, please, read my essay here.)

 

 


 

Introduction. As I wrote in my first essay in September, I will go along a whole course of a spiritual retreat with my essays until summer. With the Christmas post we have arrived at the end of the first week of the four weeks’ long spiritual retreat: Christ may have been born within us, we may have been given places in the House of God and we may have realized that we were the Children of God. My four essays covering the second week of the spiritual retreat confronted us with our sins. Both our community sins and our own personal sins have been examined, we have thought about the conditions of our good choices, and we have answered the question what is the most important decision of our whole lives. Until the coming summer we will go along the second two weeks of the four weeks’ long spiritual retreat: praying throughout the whole earth life of Christ, our Lord.

-----------------we reached this point in our prayer--------------------------------------------------------

 

1. What is the difference between the young and the old?

 

 

My essay’s interpretation of the young and the old is not connected to the chronological age. Anyone can be old at a young age – and young at an old age. The essence of the young and the old age is not linked to the biological age either: someone may be young in a body that is limited or old in a healthy body, too. For me as a network researcher, being young is identical with our openness to the world, the diversity of our responsiveness and our capacity to lifelong learning. In the network context sense, the old age can be described with an experience encoded as an effective behavior pattern, the wisdom of distinguishing the substantial issues from the unimportant ones and the restraint from the extremes. A young network is less ordered than an old one. A network is settled by the encoding of just that piece of information (experience) that the old system possesses compared to the young one. The result of exactly this learning process is that orders the network. This network ordering becomes the knowledge of the older age that gives an effective, reliably repeatable and in most of the cases quick response for already known situations. However, old age knows not only what to do in a certain situation but (as a much more important characteristic) it also knows what is not worth doing in a given case. The duality of „what to do” and the „what is not worth doing” is the wisdom that refrains from the extremes staying in the golden mean. Moreover! If a wise old experiences some extremes in his environment (in order to stabilize the surrounding world) he does something against it. I finish by what I have started with: the young and the old behaviors are not linked to the chronological age. Systems become complex if they are capable of both behaviors – alternately.

 

The alternation of the young and the old behaviors is the complex systems’ mode of existence. The young, exploratory behavior is quite important when the environment is variable. The old behavior recognizing and exploiting the advantages of a situation becomes useful in the case of the environment’s stability. However in a steady environment the repeated, effective response of the old system upsets the stability of the environment. That is why after a while the old behavior (that tries to stabilize also its surroundings) has to give way to the young, exploratory behavior. However, the diversity of the exploratory behavior becomes "a noise" at the level of the larger system of the environment that allows the environment to stabilize. (This is because noise helps the environment’s larger system get through the barriers that have prevented its stabilization before.) In the stabilized environment learning and practicing the optimal response becomes important again which turns the young behavior into the old behavior again. So the alternation of the young and the old behaviors is the key of effective learning and surviving as I have explained it in one of my earlier essays. (For those interested in the topic I recommend to read the two scientific articles downloadable from here and here.)

 


 

2. Life situations of fulfillment at young and old age

 

Young age is the age of exploration and enrichment of the information of the environment. The life situation of fulfilling the young age is growth, the collection of experiences, the feeling of "I am capable of everything", playfulness and exploding joy and relief. Young age neither knows authority, nor obeys anything, nor limits itself. In young age there is no permanent order. The young cannot be controlled, it is vigorous and happy. For the young every moment is a whole life. The fulfilment of the young breaks the limits and creates a new world. The old age is the age of clarity, the capability to identify what is important and what is not, thus the age of wisdom. The life situation of fulfilling the old age is balance, temperance and the intimate serenity of knowing what life is about. The old age understands what situation requires action and knows what to do. The old notices the problems in his environment and helps to solve them. This is because the old already knows what pain is and he also knows what can be done against it. For the old the whole life is a moment. The old age has learnt to wait. The old age has learnt to listen. The old age has experienced the beauty of purity and silence.

 


 

3. Life situations of fulfillment in Jesus

 

   

 

The human-face of Jesus with His left hand holding the New Testament and His God-face with His right hand giving blessing can be seen together on the Jesus Christ Pantocrator icon of the 6th century originated from the Saint Catherine's Monastery. (The mirrored, smaller images show the human and the God’s face of Jesus separately.) This ancient icon has an important message. Living in Jesus does not deny our manhood but fulfills it raising it to God. The life fulfilled in Jesus raises us before the first sin, reaches Totality of knowledge, and restores the original purity of the created man in the Paradise.

 

The man living in Jesus is not alternating between young and old but he has entered the timelessness of the Holy Trinity where he can be both young and old at the same time. Living in Jesus makes both the young and the old age part of the Totality at the same time. Jesus as the Door (John 10:9), opens the Totality of the Father that gives an unlimited space for the youth to grow and enrich. The space of the Father is not only spacious, not only unlimited, but it opens opportunities with countless directions and dimensions that are unimaginable for the human mind. As the Path and the Truth, Jesus endows the old age’s capability to identify the essence with the Totality of Vision. In Jesus the Totality of God’s knowledge is revealed. However, God’s knowledge is not an assembly of information but it is order. God’s knowledge does not make things complicated but simple. God’s knowledge does not differ from God but it is God Himself. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God". (John 1,1) God’s Totality is that Purity and Silence whose initial seeds are the most beautiful virtues of the old age. However God’s Silence is not a deafening silence without a response. God’s Silence is the Silence of understanding and mercy. God’s Silence is the Silence of pervasive love. God’s love spread lavishly on us is what fulfills the youth living in us. Jesus, as the Life, joins the impulsivity of the youth with the timelessness of the old. Man living in Jesus lives in the Resurrection where death is not the end but the door opening to God’s Totality.

 

Thinking over the essays describing the spiritual retreat since last September, let us read and let us try to say the prayer of Saint Ignatius:

"Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my intellect, and all my will
all that I have and possess.
Thou gavest it to me:
to Thee, Lord, I return it!
All is Thine,
dispose of it according to all Thy will.
Give me Thy love and grace,
for this is enough for me." Amen.

 

 

Key topics: 

Key words: