Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Gerotranscendence

secular and individualistic features of modern societies, may delay development towards gerotranscendence.

whether individuals practice their ` religion ' in a spiritual, nonorganisational way, or in an organisational way, may play a role for development towards gerotranscendence

@Lewin, F. A. (2001). Gerotranscendence and different cultural settings. Ageing and Society, 21(4), 395-415

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He describes the dimensions or signs of gerotranscendence as ontological changes on three levels : the cosmic level, the self level, and the social and individual relations level (Tornstam 1996: 42-3). These levels are explained as follows :

The cosmic level

  • Time and space. Changes in the definitions of time and space develop. For example the transcendence of borders between past and present occurs.
  • Connection to earlier generations. Increasing attachment. A change from link to chain perspective ensues.
  • Life and death. The fear of death disappears and a new comprehension of life and death results.
  • Mystery in life. The mystery dimension in life is accepted.
  • Rejoicing. From grand events to subtle experiences, the joy of experiencing macrocosmos in microcosmos materializes.

The self

  • Self confrontation. The discovery of hidden aspects of the self - both good and bad - occurs.
  • Decrease of self-centredness. The self is removed from the centre of one's universe.
  • Development of body-transcendence. The care of body continues, but the individual is not obsessed with it.
  • Self-transcendence. A shift occurs from egoism to altruism.
  • Rediscovery of the child within. The individual experiences return to and transfiguration of childhood.
  • Ego-integrity. The individual realizes that the pieces of life's jigsaw puzzle form a wholeness.

Social and individual relations

  • Changed meaning and importance of relations. One becomes more selective and less interested in superficial relations, exhibiting an increasing need for solitude.
  • Role play. An understanding of the difference between self and role takes place, sometimes with an urge to abandon roles. A new comforting understanding of the necessity of roles in life often results.
  • Emancipated innocence. Innocence enhances maturity.
  • Modern asceticism. An understanding of the petrifying gravity of wealth and the freedom of `asceticism ' develops.
  • Everyday wisdom. The difficulty in separating right from wrong and withholding from judgements and giving advice is discerned. Transcendence of the rightwrong duality ensues.

@Tornstam, L. 1996. Gerotranscendence ± a theory about maturing into old age. Journal
of Aging and Identity, 1, 37-50.
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Gerotranscendence: A Developmental Theory of Positive Aging
by Lars Tornstam PhD

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