My partner asked me my age for health insurance reasons, and I noticed a brief period of confusion – which age does she want? Which one is appropriate in this context?

Age, as anything else, can be seen from different views…

Small Self

In the Relative world, we as small selves have a particular age. We were born, as this small self, and that was a particular number of seasons ago.

Even within this view, there are differences – in particular in how/if we attach a particular “value” to age. Some cultures value youthfulness, and abhor aging. Other cultures value wisdom and experience, and appreciate aging in that sense.

And we can hold the two views as complementary and appreciate youth for their youthfulness and aged for their life experiences (and see the drawback of lack of experience in youth, and the drawback of lack of youthfulness in the aged).

Relative Existence

Moving beyond the boundaries of the small self, we see that all of Relative existence is a seamless fluid whole. It is a seamless whole which continuously reorganizes itself in always new ways. What used to be energy is now matter. What used to be hydrogen molecules is now this Earth. What used to be molten rock now [is formed into human beings and] sings opera, as Brian Swimme like to remind us.

This small self does not have a fixed and separate existence. It is a temporary pattern through which the matter and energy of this Relative existence continues to flow.

From this view, our age is that of the universe – 13.7 or so billion years.


And when we come to our Absolute aspect, we cannot find any age. It appears distinct from the world of phenomena. Distinct from time, aging, birth and death. Those concepts somehow does not seem to apply. There is a sense of timelessness, yet existing within time and allowing time to arise within it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.