Jesse Anson Dawn, age 52, author of the national award-winning book, Never "Old", speaks out about a most stirring subject: how and why we age.
Presently answering the Question: "In your writings, you often emphasize the importance of what you call 'intensity of experience'. Can you again explain how this so-called 'intensity of experience' affects how we age?"
"More intensity of experience!" exclaimed Henry Miller, echoing the feelings of D.H. Lawrence who declared, "We ought to dance with rapture!" Indeed we should, as true rejuvenation is bogus unless it is about struggling against the death of spirit, unless it's about overcoming dying spirit by seeking new sparks of truth and rhythm.
Yes, real self-renewal needs to be less about laboratory gimmicks and more about the proverbial "Dance of Life", or as Miller (in his captivating style) says: "The real proverbial "Dance of Life", or as Miller (in his captivating style) says: "The real purpose of the Dance of Life is metamorphosis." For what else can it be? And as long as we're on the subject of intensity of experience, let me share with you this exquisite passage from Miller's stirring book titled The World of D.H. Lawrence, this justifiably fancy tribute to the subject of self-renewal:
"The man moving from within outward, steadily, like a sun piercing its rings of light, the core burning always brighter and brighter, shedding the light rings, the luminous waves of spirit, in order to reveal the flaming body, the immortal, incorruptible body in which the torch of life is revealed . . ." Mmmm, seems to me that the experience of reading or writing rarely gets more intense than that.
But of course there are all kinds of claims to what defines "intense experience". The typical Hollywood "movie"-maker claims "intensity" is about bloody "action" and grit. Yet I find that truly self-renewing intensity involves an interaction with what is truly real, perhaps interaction with the beauty of Nature, especially Nature in all its regal splendor . . . realizing that true upliftment and rebirth has little or nothing to do with brute force, but rather the crucial need to expand and further consciousness."
Clearly, the self-renewal involved with this intense "Dance of Life" (along with embracing truth and Nature) can be likened to a kind of revolutionary dance, a dance both rhythmic and expressing our human rights (as reggae music often does). "Chase away down-pression, set the captives free!" chants Bob Marley via radios and cassettes throughout the world. Marley who improvises with original words that clarify meaning, substituting "down-pression" for depression, or "over-standing" for understanding, because it's surely more self-renewing to be rising up than being pressed down. But the most difficult part seems to be REALIZING when we're being down-pressed by someone or something, or under-standing rather than over-standing something, overstanding it enough to gain freedom from down-pressing effects.
Am I making sense here? I hope so, because spiritual renewal versus apathy is a subject that needs to be clarified again and again, if only to counteract the bombardment of spirit-killers that are an innate part of [trapped-in] life.
Again, the best way that I've found to revitalize spirit is to take journeys into the beauty of Nature, whereby I seek out splendid and serene places, just to take a break amid the timeless womb of the natural world. It seems that escapes into the beauty of Nature for the sake of personal renewal are when we really learn to enjoy life, and not as an option, but as something as vital as breath. Yes, that must be what the Creator intended beautiful places to be used for, for the vital quest of self-renewal, for the crucial interlude into timelessness. For the uplifting journey into the REAL Big Picture, the eye-opener that goes beyond conflict, TV, sex, politics, or even jobs and money.
"Have you ever tripped through reality?" asks the Hawaiian singer in a reggae song on the radio, a song which pleads for less Honolulu and more of the natural "Hawaiian style" that I find so effectively rejuvenating. But whether it's the revitalizing splendor of rural Hawaii, or a trip to Yosemite or Big Sur that you choose as an escape, my message right now is YES INDEED to the vital spark that it surely renders.
As again I wish you happy journeys of YOUthfulness, dear reader, and as ever and ever, happy rejuvenating!
For the whole "anti-aging" story, Jesse Dawn's 258-page book, Never "Old" (nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and winner of the National Association of Independent Publishers Award for Content) can be quickly received by charge card. Simply call World Changing Books at their toll-free number 1 (800) RENEW-22 (736-3922) or send a check for $11.95 (includes book, 1st class postage and handling) made out to World Changing Books and sent to them at P.O. Box 5491, Hilo, HI 96720.
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