Integral Ageing: A Challenge to Take On
What are our concepts and beliefs about old age? How do they influence our reality? How was old age seen and lived in previous societies or in other parts of the world?
We are living in a youth oriented culture where getting older is considered inevitable but unfortunate and the end of life is something simply not to be dwelt upon – let alone prepared for. When over 60 are expected to make room for younger people as we are sort of useless in busy society. If we still have money we are considered valuable consumers, but we are left in a kind of nowhere space between work life and – don’t talk about it – death. This is a characteristic for an “Orange” society. But as we know, it was not always so… and won’t be so in the future!
In our presentation we will discuss the images of ageing throughout the spiral and explore what approaches from the past need to be preserved and what needs to be developed for the future.
What could an integral approach to ageing look like?
We certainly have to deal with the different levels of development older people are in, with their respective ideas, needs… AND GIFTS! And we have to find out what in ourselves needs to be more fully developed or more integrated into older age that we had left out in earlier periods of life when we had other – and legitimate – concerns.
As integralists we are called to take leadership in creating a brand new “elder”-culture, (between 55 and 90+) to fill the void between “normal” work-life and death, to consider it as an important – and increasingly longer – part of our lives with a huge potential for personal and collective growth and for service to the world. We need to step up to this responsibility. We need to make sure that we have sufficient means and support in case of necessity – and to give up the mentality of “being cared for” as opposed to “care for ourselves and each other”. We need to discover a new sense of life, a meaningful purpose which gets us out of bed every day – without being eaten up in the machinery of money and success which was so characteristic of earlier adulthood (circa age 25 to 55+).
In the conference we intend to explore with you the possibilities, the challenges, the gifts and – let’s name it: the duties – of growing older in a time where wisdom is needed. to face the enormous problems we are going through in order to not only survive on this planet, but to create an overall thriving.
About the workshop
It seems clear that we have invented stories about old age throughout the ages and levels of development which we have always taken for the truth. With deeper insights in the nature of mind, body and soul, why not re-write the story? Some of us are already successful in it, but what if we co-created the new story, a new culture of ageing together?
In our session we want to take a look at the different stories about ageing and elders during history and see what impact it had on people’s internal and external life. Then we ask the question about how getting older could be perceived and handled from a second tier perspective, and what the possibilities and needs are in all 4 quadrants. We intend to collect ideas and stories from attendees at our session and co-create a draft for a new story for the later years of our lives
Date: Friday 6th of May
Heidi Hörnlein – After my MA at the TU Berlin I became a singer and learnt to be on stage. From there: Teaching voice, singing and expression and courses in NLP, Gestalt, Music-therapy, Enneagram, transformative Coaching. Integral Theory (since 1997) Member of the German Integrales Forum (since 2000). Workshops about voice and voices in Integral Conferences. Since 2014 online live conversations with Integral Guests at “The Wisdom Factory”. Moderator and facilitator online (livestreaming) and in person(workshops)
Mark Davenport – After careers in teaching, drug and alcohol counselling, direct health care, retail sales, and a 35 year “apprenticeship” in Alcoholics Anonymous tempered by years of Integral study, Mark transformed the Abstinence Experiment into a post-Amber relationship with chemicals. Two years of weekly video interviews on a wide variety of topics has given him a ease live or in front of a camera which engagingly encourages participation. Mark is also an experienced Henry Kissinger impersonator.