This chapter takes the prevailing anti-aging sentiment and cultural practice as the starting point of a critical analysis and shows that the modernist worldview of materialistic individualism is at their foundation. Exposing and critiquing the limiting deficit understanding of human aging and human development in this worldview, the authors propose a developmental model that moves beyond materialistic individualism and egoic development and sees human beings becoming progressively integrated into larger and larger circles of being that include not only human others but also non-human others such as Nature and Cosmos. This wider and holistic vision of human development is influenced by classical Asian philosophies that posit post-egoic notions of human being. Using biographical materials to identify the themes relevant to post-egoic development, the authors sketch a model of lifelong learning and growth with what they see as essential elements of such growth: secure bonding and connection, nurturance and nourishing, spirituality, self-cultivation and inner work, community development, virtue cultivation, healing, meditation, and contemplative practices.
Copyright is held by the author(s).
You are free to copy, distribute and transmit this work under the following conditions: You must give attribution to the work (but not in any way that suggests that the author endorses you or your use of the work); You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
Member of collection