Swedish gerontologist Lars Tornstam developed his theory of “Gerotranscendence” over a period of two decades. The core of the theory suggests that normal human aging includes a range of vital and commonly overlooked components. In brief…
- There is an increased feeling of affinity with past generations and a decreased interest in superfluous social interaction.
- There is also often a feeling of cosmic awareness, and a redefinition of time, space, life and death.
- The individual becomes less self-occupied and at the same time more selective in the choice of social and other activities.
- The individual might also experience a decrease in interest in material things. Solitude becomes more attractive.
Human beings have a natural and understandable tendency to resist change. In particular, we find our youthful identity an especially difficult gift to surrender. This sacrifice must, however, be made. It is of the price of admission to life beyond adulthood. Discovering the fullness of the third age requires us to go deep, to push ourselves into unfamiliar terrain. Letting go of the desperate urge to worry over situations outside of one’s control, for example, opens the way to a form of joy that transcends the stunted adult definitions of success and failure that have, for so long, held us in their thrall. It is in the process of re-examining the lives we have lived, re-evaluating the choices we have made and re-considering the painful feelings that we’ve always run away from in the past that we eventually find our true selves. This is where the path into elderhood begins.
Herb Astrow says
So far what I have read makes all good sense. I have just turned eighty and am in good health and wondering about the rest of my life. All the things I am reading from this post I have been giving thought to. Its all very fascinating for obvious reasons. I am in the throws of the category that is being addressed. I am not in declining health and until that happens, if it happens, my prospective on my current aging process is vigorous and vibrant. I wish to acquire all the knowledge available about the next paradigm.
Iam a student of Human Development in East bay University Hayward CA, you may want to read Gail Sheehy ,I personally do not like her because her book is a stock of all the work that other people have done but in a way it is good for you to have references to the work done by all of these people in one book .The book is called “The new passages.
[email protected] says
In the Eden Alternative Program who should be in charge of the medical aspects of aging.
Life’s experiences shape who we are today. As we age, one becomes more secure in one’s identity. Sometimes you hear people say “I have finally grown up”! You come to realize I am who I am. No apologies. It is through that realization (maybe a recarnation) that one is able to not hold back – meaning speak freely – open and honest using the “I” message. You find spirituality which keeps you grounded. One realizes the importance in life is giving back and helping others grow. One also realizes, I agree with you, you begin to accept the things you cannot control and move onto what you can control. This gives you a sense of peace knowing when things happen that are not within your locus of control you can move on realizing “..it happens”! You then are able concentrate on what you can do instead of what you can’t do.