June 16, 2012
How old are you?
For those who struggle with form-filling like myself, answering the question about one's age is generally one of the easier ones.
On the face of it, it's not controversial, not a matter up for debate.
How long have I been on this planet? Then that's how old I am.
But of course it isn't, or not in any very profound sense anyway.
The mistake we make is to assume there is only one 'I', one me. We walk around as if we are a single person, speaking, living, reacting, from a single 'I', a single me.
This is far from the case, obviously. In truth, we are a multiplicity of people, of figures inside, who each come to the fore depending on our state. The 'I' when we are at peace or feeling secure is very different from the 'I' when angry, and different again from the 'I' when fearful or the 'I' when aggrieved or the 'I' when threatened.
We are a multiplicity of 'I's' and some of these are very young indeed, remaining unexamined and unchanged in us for years.
Some of our 'I's' are childish and these can cause a greatdeal of trouble.
So yes, physically we are one age, but psychologically we are many different ages. We are an all-age community within.
Which means that when we tell someone to act their age, they may reasonably say to us, 'Which particular one?'
That question on the form about your age - it isn't really discovering much about you at all.
Enjoy your many 'I's' today, watch them come and go. You may even be able to put an age to some of them...
Posted by Mr Bojangles at June 16, 2012 06:19 AM