Saturday, May 30, 2009

Show me the face you had before you were born?

More than ever, I hate looking in mirrors. Because I swear to god it is not my face looking back at me. It is nothing like the face that is in my mind, the face I had before I was born.

Oh sure, part of it is the denial of aging. I do not accept the gray hair or the flabby skin and dark circles under my eyes. That middle aged face and flabby body can't be mine. My mind's eye doesn't recognize this decaying mockery of my self.

Seriously, that reflection can't be me. But all of our vision is filtered through chemistry and our brains, right? We literally create the image of reality in our heads. The brain is supposed to be a virtual minister of propaganda for our psyche filtering self-image to match expectations (which would explain why some people think plaid is a good fashion choice). So what is wrong with my brain that it doesn't filter out that mirror image of time slipping away?

It is not that I so much want to be in denial about the reality of aging. I have been campaigning against self-delusion for some time now. But why does reality have to be so harsh?

It is not just me. I see people I have known for 20 years or so and gasp at how they have changed. It is particularly hard when you haven't seen someone for a long time and you have this image of what they looked like a decade or so ago. And then wham, you are confronted with their aging self. I pity poor movie stars who are taunted with permanent records of the beauty of their youth and then paraded around in the media after the bloom has gone.

I am not sure why I feel guilty when confronted with my aging. Oh, I suppose it is this thought that I would look better if I had taken better care of myself...ate less, ate better, drank less, slept more, exercised more. But at what point do you give up living just to try and stave off the inevitable.

I suppose aging is what drives many people on spiritual quests. When the body betrays us we look to the soul champion our cause of perpetual youth.. Ironically most of my spiritual quests took place when I was young and naive. I really don't have patience any more for religion or metaphysics. You can only burn incense and stare at a crystal for so long before you realize you don't like the smell and you are just holding a pretty rock.

I marvel at born agains who are so certain that they are on the right path through Jesus. But that takes me right back to my last post about "those who know" and "those who don't know." Stupid people hold fast to their convictions and smart people always have doubts.

Well, I think I've chased my own tail enough on this topic. It's time to face the music and move on.
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