Today Jeff talks with John Mariner, who at the age of 78 is a practicing psychotherapist and writer focusing in the area of elderhood from an integral perspective. As John writes:
There have always been Elders at every stage of humanity’s development. They were the wise and compassionate older men and women, never very many, and not always honored and revered during their lifetimes, who lived for the good of this world.
John describes elderhood as a stage of development that includes – and transcends – adulthood. He describes his own experience entering this new territory:
From age 70 until about 74 the question of ‘who am I?’, ‘who am I now?’ was constantly on my mind. At first I didn’t know I was growing out of Adulthood. At first I was an elder masquerading as an adult, carrying on my adult commitments, many of which I have continued into Elderhood. Gradually, I began to recognize the contours of my new home in Elderhood, the smell and the taste and the feel of this new stage of development. I have been transcending and including Adulthood for several years now. It is both joyful and life giving for me to do so, and I hope it may be useful to you.
You can find more of John Mariner’s insights into elderhood, including his beautiful letter to the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school, here.