Watching Point 392
From 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter
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392 — WATCH that you rise to meet the claim of advancing age with alertness and activity. Sometimes it helps to call it witchcraft, since that is what it is. Mrs. Eddy once analyzed its workings as follows: “Malicious animal magnetism haunts you with a personality all distorted by mortal suggestions; makes it hideous and hateful to you and urges you to adopt ‘this’ as being created by God. It suggests a mental picture of age, failing strength, failing memory, dim sight, dim hearing, withered skin, bent form and every other suggestion to bolster up the lie of age.”
In the Christian Science Series for May 1, 1889, we find Mrs. Eddy writing, “Is it possible to change the aged form to one of youth, beauty and immortality, without the change called death? In proportion as the law of Truth is understood and accepted, it obtains in the personality as well as character. The deformities and infirmities said to be the inevitable results of age, under the opposite mental impressions, disappear. You change the physical manifestations in proportion to your changed thoughts of the effect of accumulative years; expecting an increase of usefulness and vigor from advanced years with as much faith as you look for decrepitude and ugliness, a favorable result would be sure to follow. The added wisdom of age and experience is strength, not weakness, and we should understand this, expect it and know that it is so, then it would appear.”
Someone has written, “Age is a condition, not an indestructible fact, and it can be made just as apparent at twenty-five as it is supposed to be at seventy-five, and is, therefore, to be courted or avoided as you like.
“One destructive force to youthfulness is constantly to allude to yourself as ‘growing old,’ or ‘feeling old,’ or as being too old for this, that or the other thing any longer. Powerful, youth-giving thought for you to keep steadily before your mental vision is that you are never too old for anything that life may bring to you. By this habitual allusion to yourself as having become incapacitated, you actually put the age limit upon your efforts, and from repetition to others, oblige them to do the same for you. Not only should you refrain from any such suggestion, but you should not permit the idea even to find lodgment in your own brain. The instant the timid thought shadows your mind and you find yourself about to say, ‘I cannot, I dare not, do this thing,’ you should feel firmly and reassuringly assert that you have always done it, and do it well.
“You will be amazed and delighted by the revitalizing effects of this confident attitude, your step will have the spring of youth in it, and the dread of old age will slink away out of sight.
“Another thing to guard against is mental and physical inertia, particularly the former; when your interests begin to narrow down to what principally concerns yourself, look out; this is one of the first signs of old age. By living on a diet of self, you will slowly but surely deteriorate into a dried up, uninteresting character, neglected and really unworthy of anything but charitable notice.
“Disinclination to go out among people finally produces physical disability to do so. Limbs stiffen and your body refuses to do your will without the suffering you dislike to impose upon it. All routine tends to produce atrophy of mental activities, and again has habit robbed you of your youthfulness. Instead of dreading changes and fighting off the opportunities for making them, welcome them eagerly as you would a glass of water to quench your thirst — they are youth preservers for you. But don’t make the mistake of holding fast to that youth which belonged to your twenties. The charm and poise of your assimilated experiences have far greater value as an asset for your attractiveness than anything of the distant past. You are fitted to meet the world from any source whatever, if you have lived and lived deeply.
“A sense of humor is a divine gift. It is the very stronghold of abiding youth. It slays care, sustains hope, and has the world with it from the start to the finish. If it is not yours by right of heart, then cultivate it as a fine art. It is too valuable to be ignored.
“And don’t look on life from any viewpoint with a protest. Cultivate a love for people — exclusive of yourself — and let it be that divine love that sends out joy to everyone and so happiness to self.”
The handling of the claim of age would be approached with expectancy, did the student realize that it is but a false argument, since faculties and functions directed and sustained by Mind, can no more wear out or become impaired, than can a mirror wear out by being used. A wholesome active determination to meet these lies of age cannot help but be efficacious.