'
+1-800-870-4611 outreach@mkp.org

The Path of the Elder and the Elderhood Video Series

By Terry Joneseagle grounded by dog

There is a stage of life beyond adulthood.  The older men of MKP call it elderhood. Before the Industrial Era older people who were still on the land, accessible to the family and the community often acted as sources of wisdom, celebrants and mentors. They resided at the center of the village until they died ready to support the young in their Hero’s journey.  These elders taught about the mystery of our oneness with the universe. They fostered an oral tradition and offered what their long life experience taught them.

Eldering is the active form of elderhood.  When I am eldering I share wisdom, offer blessings, listen, mentor and tell my life’s story.  

I am not talking here about the elderly, the olders or the patriarchs.  There are old people who long for death or run from it in fear. There are old people who stay away from the young and are generally not accessible to to others.  There are old people who will not share their life story. This small number of older people intimidate the young. They have become a symbol of aging and make old age something to fear.

Elders, on the other hand, are needed by the young, the community and the planet.

There are some predictable stages of life after age fifty.  First, midlife itself, which nowadays impacts our life around ages 40-50.

Then comes the transition into the time after we stop working the way we did at mid-life (the transition into the mythical “retirement” for many). This takes two to three years!  Then we express our creative energy for 15-30 years and then, for a few years at the end we engage the “golden years” and complete life.

When you decide to be an elder, however, you add a stage.  At this “elder initiation” stage you make a decision about being a resource to others.  You will move at this time from the doing part of your life to a more active time of being.  You may find yourself less able to travel because you will be hanging around for the sake of others.  You will want to continue to grow and develop accepting that this can happen until you die. You will embrace your mortality understanding that you are closer to the end of life.        

When I was introduced to the role of elder by the ManKind Project it was life changing.  I had to accept or reject that I was wise enough to be a resource to others. I wanted to be a source of blessing and therefore went about the clumsy process of learning how.  I had to become accessible to those I would mentor and therefore became more connected.

In making a choice to be an elder I choose to continue growing. I am choose to seek pleasure like a child allowing chaos, play and creativity into my life.  I am synthesizing wisdom from my long life experience. I am trying to be accessible to the young, to the forgotten and oppressed, to my family. I now want to create a legacy and, therefore, tell my story so it is not lost.  I want to be a partner with Earth. I am preparing for a graceful end to my life.


Terry Jones is the author of “The Elder Within” and an active Elder in the ManKind Project. Terry has recently completed an eight part video series called “Elderhood” outlining the major stages of the Elder Journey that has been in use in the ManKind Project Elder Society for a number of years. Each Video is 5-8 minutes in length and provides a high level view of the Elder Journey. The videos are beautifully narrated and easy to listen to, Terry takes us on a conscious journey with easy to access language and stories. The full video series is presented here. 

The Elder Journey: Session 1

by Terry Jones

The Elder Journey: Session 2

by Terry Jones

The Elder Journey: Session 3

by Terry Jones

The Elder Journey: Session 4

by Terry Jones

The Elder Journey: Session 5

by Terry Jones

The Elder Journey: Session 6

by Terry Jones

The Elder Journey: Session 7

by Terry Jones

The Elder Journey: Session 8

by Terry Jones

Comments

comments