Older or wiser?

“Growing older either reveals or hides the mystery of existence.

If you are becoming a sage
you will grow in trust and contentment.
You will discover the light
of life's deepest truths.
If you are merely growing older,
you will become trapped by fears and frustrations.
You will see only the darkness
of infirmity and death.

The great task of the sage
is learning to see in the darkness
and not be afraid.

There is one primary choice
facing every aging person:
Will we become sages,
harvesting the spiritual essence of our lives
and blessing all future generations?
Or will we just grow older,
circling the wagons,
and waiting for the end?”

– William Martin, ‘The Sage's Tao Te Ching

Now 51, spending several hours each day on the practice, study and teaching of Zen meditation and mindfulness, becoming sage is very much in my thoughts. Far better to become sage, than to circle the wagons and lead a life of fear, waiting for the end.

At 50, I felt like my life had only just begun, yet aware of my own growing wisdom, in many aspects of my life.