Aging and Becoming: A Roadmap Towards Authenticity

Aging & Becoming
by Susan Scott & Susan E. Schwartz
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017, Kindle $9.94 ISBN 1541164016, Paperback $12.99 ISBN 978-1541164017
Reviewed by Susanne van Doorn, MSc.

 

 

Aging and Becoming, A Reflective journey

Susan Scott, one of the guest bloggers of my Goddess month on Mindfunda and author of In Praise of Lilith Eve + the Serpent in the Garden of Eden & Other Stories has a beautiful blog called The Garden of Eden.
Susan Schwartz Ph.D, is a Jungian Analyst and author of Couples at the Crossroads. Both ladies joined (Jungian) forces to write ‘Aging and Becoming -A reflective Enquiry-‘. In a time when age has been Botox-ed out of the conversation, this book is refreshing.

Profound but not in a preachy kind of way. Both ladies are so completely vulnerable and honest towards each other. Aging is presented as an excellent way to become authentic.

aging

 

I feel blessed every day that I have the luck to experience getting older. As Type 1 diabetic, I have experienced physical decay at an early age. I am consciously sporting each day, I am aware of what I eat, because I have cherished goal. I want to become a grandmother. Not just any grandmother. I want to be the best grandmother ever. To me it it has always felt aging melts away the things that never belonged to me.

Aging and the ALPHABET

Both of the Susan’s live in different continents. Susan Scott lives in South Africa, while Susan Schwartz lives in North America. They met when the American Susan was visiting Africa and stayed at the house of the African Susan.

aging

A friendship started, and both of the ladies exchanged letters/emails. Each year in April Susan Scott participates in a blogging challenge that requires her to blog for a month about a subject using each day a different letter of the alphabet. The ladies mapped their book accordingly. Their road to authenticity ranges from the ‘A’ from Aging and Attitude to the Z of Zero. Some chapters have only one theme, like the chapter on Grief. Other chapters have two or even three themes like Knowledge and Keys or Moon Mourning & Mystery.

Aging and Discussion

The Susans give so much more than just the letters of the alphabet. They discuss spirit, soul, money, omphalos (the arc of life) and the way things always look different from the end. It is filled with memorable quotes. One at the beginning of a chapter, one at the end. Written in such an articulate way, that their book is filled with memorable quotes. Here are some beauties:

“It was a face to be faced” (about a woman who felt bad about the Botox operation she had).

“Aging and its truth and the loss of time can halt the lies we make to ourselves. Somehow, if tomorrows are always there it seems like something might surface and create new or renewed hope and love”. (I just read that several times. Aging and its truth, don’t you love that. Don’t you feel in your bones how true this is?)

“Much that happens in life needs to be chewed on, masticated and swallowed, digested, perhaps dissolved”. (Here the process of alchemy is symbolised in such an inspiring way that I put a golden mental frame around it).

This book can easily be used as a thesaurus filled with symbols.

Aging and Dreams

“Becoming familiar with dreams is akin to learning a new language. We find doors opening to a place that we didn’t know existed. A dialogue begins with our inner and outer worlds. Links and connections are made as we become more fluent in this previously foreign language”.

aging

Several dreams are discussed in this book. The chapter dedicated to Dreams, Death and Depth, focusses on the jigsaw puzzle a dream can be.

“Recording my dreams and wondering about them is food for my soul. I’m always grateful when a dream presents itself and I can record it. Its message or meaning is double-dutch to me to begin with. It takes me a long time of wondering before I get a sense of what it may mean. I get a bit antsy sometimes when I don’t have dreams for several nights or weeks”.

We all know that feeling! The joy of remembering dreams, the gift you give to yourself when you spent time trying to fit the pieces of the dream puzzle together.  The feeling that there is so much more beauty and complexity in your soul than what you are aware of. To me that is the charm of dreams, that is why I devote so much time and energy in it.

Pro
  • You will be embraced by the immense Jungian knowledge of two very eloquent Jungian ladies.
  • This book will not only give you an immense knowledge on symbolism, it also has a lot to say about the practical use of mythology. Bluebeard and Baba Yaga will be strangers no more when you read this.
  • This book will stimulate you to ask yourself questions like: who has been your Bluebeard? Are you familiar with your own Baba Yaga? How and why do you use the sentence No?
  • It is a very affordable book, given its rich content.
  • The authors speak of “voice of the heart versus the voice of the world”. It reminded me of Jung, in his Red Book, wrestling with the voice of this time versus the voice of the depth.
  • This is a perfect book/gift for a woman who has reached a certain age. I don’t think younger ladies or gentlemen will truly resonate with the book.

Con

  • Sometimes I felt the need to read chapters about a certain subject, instead of the letters. Even though the actors did manage to squeeze in a lot of content, I missed chapters about becoming a grandparent, about the stages of life of a woman. Maybe it is just personal, because I am not used to books written this way.
  • This is a perfect book/gift for a woman who has reached a certain age. I don’t think younger ladies or gentlemen will truly resonate with the book.

Mindfunda verdict:
8/10

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2 thoughts on “Aging and Becoming: A Roadmap Towards Authenticity”

  1. Dear Susanne;
    Thank you for the extensive review of the book Aging and Becoming: A Reflective Enquiry. I appreciate the effort you took to both read and write about it–and for having your own reflective commentary commentary. I also think stages of life are not the same for everyone, as you noted about yourself. Likewise, the aging process, that we are engaged in every moment is applicable to everyone. It is just not a popular thought as we tend to deny so very much.
    Again, thank you for all the attention to what we have considered a worthwhile effort.

    1. Susan, thans you so much for your comment. I have been so eager to meet you (online) since I read your book. I enjoyed the psychological depth of your letters so much! And the synergy between you and Susan Scott is heart-warming. You both dare to be so open about your characters and the flaws within them that it triggers the reader to open up too, even though if it is only a discussion within the readers’ mind itself.

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