One of the strange but ever present states of affairs in all beings is the desire to live forever. Even those in the presence of death every day have this illogical impulsion. This is what inspires the instinct for self-preservation in all of us.*
I just finished a must-read novel by Barbara Kingsolver called Flight Behaviour. Kingsolver is a master of metaphor and many of the word pictures she creates in this book will probably remain with me for a long time. I like an expression she uses in the book in which she describes most people as ‘fetishising youth’.
It’s true, isn’t it that we try hard to keep our youthful looks, and even attempt to restore them by all manner of means… from colouring our hair (I do) to cosmetic enhancements (I don’t).
I admit to embracing yoga over 40 years ago because I thought it would give me good health in old age, especially since my parents died at an early age.
As of this writing, I’m in pretty good nick, but I know very well from having had both acute illnesses and chronic disease that I am as vulnerable as the next person.
Yoga isn’t a cure-all and not the elixir of immortality, but it is a worthy and dependable companion for the vagaries of life.
Tasam anaditvam ca asisah nityatvat
There is a strong desire for immortality in all men at all times. Thus these impressions cannot be ascribed to any time.*
*Patanjali’s Yogasutras, translation and commentary by T.K.V. Desikachar.