by John Ashbrook
Over the last several decades, the external approach to maintaining youth has become a billion-dollar business. It seems that everyone is looking for that one secret that will keep them looking young and vibrant. We are constantly bombarded by advertising that promises to keep us wrinkle and sag-free. Pills, creams, and plastic surgery are the answer, or so we are told. To some degree, these things combined with a healthy diet and a good exercise regime can retard the aging process, but the real key to youth lies in approaching the problem from within, a serious commitment to the development of one’s soul.
There’s a strong connection between the development of the soul and the aging process. Soul development is the unfolding conscious awareness of unconscious fears that prevent the soul’s natural quest for diverse experience, personal growth, expression, and freedom. When these fears are realized in the light of consciousness, they can be examined, worked through, and released. This work fosters spiritual evolution. When a human embarks on a serious path to self-purification (release of paralyzing fear), the vibrational rate of the soul is raised each time buried fears are recognized and dissolved. Eventually, as purification progresses, this heightened vibrational rate reaches a point where the body itself is refined into spirit. At this point, the individual is no longer prone to disease, injury, aging, or even death. In fact, the individual who has attained this exalted level of spiritual development would not die, as we understand it. Instead, they would materialize or de-materialize at will, traveling from one dimension to another. This refinement of matter into spirit is the grand goal of the force of life.
What is aging? Spiritually speaking, aging is the result of resistance to change. It is the stubborn effort to create a final changeless state, to keep something just the way it is now – forever. Since the universe itself is in a constant state of expansion and change, anyone who strains to remain static is bucking the natural flow of life. Aging or looking old is the result of not being in the flow. The great philosopher Hermann Hesse writes, “He looked lovingly into the flowing water, into the transparent, green, into the crystal lines of its wonderful design. He saw great pearls rise from the depths, bubbles swimming on the mirror, sky blue reflected on them. The river looked at him with a thousand eyes – green, white, crystal, sky blue. How he loved this river, how it enchanted him, how grateful he was to it. Yes, he wanted to learn from it; he wanted to listen to it. It seemed to him that, whoever understood this river and its secrets, would understand much more, many secrets, all secrets. But today, he only saw one of the river’s secrets, one that gripped his soul. He saw that the water continually flowed and yet it was always there; it was always the same, and yet every moment it was new.”
We all know that when water sits, it becomes stagnant, it will not support life, but when water flows, it remains fresh and is drinkable. If you want to look and feel young, you must endeavor to be more like the river. If you are ever-changing, you will always look the same. Spirituality is not a final state; it cannot be static. Spirituality is a natural continuum and can never be the result of a forced intellectual discipline. There are no set of rigid rules to follow. Each one of us becomes spiritual in our own way; we will all ultimately come to the to the conclusion that spirituality is an ever-unfolding process. There is no final state. The soul is immortal, infinite; therefore, it contains unlimited potential for experience. If we are open to experience, it will flow from the unlimited depths of our soul to the surface of our conscious minds forever, like the fountain of youth. The aspects of who we are has no limitations. If we fear change and define ourselves by one identity, we limit our developing consciousness, we lose our freedom, we become disconnected, we become old.
All pleasures, creativity, abundance, and joy burst forth into reality through the openness of the unencumbered soul. Life is like the river, a river that flows forever, an unlimited journey of experience. If we choose to jump into that river with courage, faith, and patience, our spirituality will soar to unbelievable heights of exuberance, and we shall remain forever young.