Category: General
Every Young Person Will Be 40 One Day

The older I’ve become the more aware I’ve become of the degree to which the wisdom of experience is under-valued in our modern culture. Having lived with a traditional culture that values wisdom, I know this is a real shame because wisdom born of experience is hard won and has much to offer.


I believe this devaluing of experience is mainly due to two factors — advertising and ignorance. From the 1950’s onwards we’ve been sold the notion that new is better. This might be true for products but it is not true for people.


To be clear, I’m not saying young people have nothing to offer (I work with a lot of young people and they are mostly awesome people).


No! I am not saying that at all. Rather, what I am saying is the notion sold to us by advertising and media companies that bright and shiny new things are of more value undermines our cultural in such a manner as to undervalue more than the products they are selling.


In short it is bad for all concerned. Bad for young people also. Why?


The video below is with a writer/director named, Zoe Cassavetes who happens to be a 44 year old and prime of her life! Yet she wrote the story presumably because she sees issues around turning forty — or knows people who are having these issues. This is sad.


The movie might be great and it is certainly a good idea to explore these issues regardless of how she deals with them (indeed another example of the power of cinema) but, when did turning forty become like this? Perhaps I’m overstating the issue? Am I?


Watching this interview, I kept asking myself…what is really going on here? The problem is not simply the number of candles on your birthday cake. (A side point you might find interesting. In traditional Tibetan culture many people had no idea when they were born. How old you were carried little importance. What was important were your actions. Period!)




What I find interesting here is how the devaluing of experience, and the effects this has on younger men and women, is directly correlated to how they see the process of maturing. In older cultures, the wise sage was revered. That is no longer the case.


My own mother is in her 70’s and stronger and brighter than she has ever been but instead we have a cult of celebrity as a pseudo-educator of today’s youth.


Indeed, how to act, what is valuable, and what one should aspire to, comes from a very limited and in my view narrow view of the world. A world-view whereby the marks of experience that appear on faces are deemed the signs of uselessness, and people are sold the notion that they must be vanquished with magical creams at any cost! …i enjoyed writing that sentence! But it’s true isn’t it! 🙂


But if our culture valued wisdom and celebrated knowledge then wouldn’t younger people look forward to getting older instead of fearing it? I think they would.


A culture of celebrity is killing our kids!


There are a number of questions remaining unanswered here. Questions crying for discussion. Questions such as: Does experience equal wisdom? Does youth have anything meaningful to offer modernity?


Young or old(er)? How do you feel about aging? Do you feel as if your experience is under valued?



Raw and Exposed


It’s a scary place to open yourself up to only hear silence.

But unless your willing to live in that space, as raw and exposed as
it is, you will continue to remain unfulfilled.

Do not hide your heart. Your pain. Your love.

Rather,  live life at 11. Raw. Exposed. Alive!



2014 – A Year of Continued Commitment

Be a traditionalist on the one hand; and a non-conformist on the other. This is the way to discovery.

I believe tradition is important as it is the foundation of proper practice.

We need teachers. We need mentors, and guides along the way, because we need to be shown the what and how of any skill we wish to develop. Yet at some point one must move on. One must move past the limits set by tradition.

This does not entail giving up on a tradition. It does not follow that you no longer care for a tradition, or even think a tradition limiting. But it is true that traditions limit individuals by their very nature as they are fundamentally models of, and for, education.

In the video below Jobs sees this point clearly and articulates it well. I have simply read it, or focused it on, “tradition.”

Check it out!

So be it a contemplative practice or something as mundane and yet important as art, understanding and respecting those that came before you, and the model developed by that collective wisdom, is fundamental to moving beyond it.

Yet moving beyond it is where the integration takes place. It is where self-discovery and true self-expression takes place.

Push up against the edges. Say no to something you would normally say yes to. And yes to something that scares the crap out of you! Do not think failure is defeat. It most certainly is not! Those that do not fail at something are simply too scared to even try!

I am a traditionalist on the one hand; a non-conformist on the other — no doubt! And I do not apologize for this.

Poll: How Long Would You Prefer Your Retreats?

It looks as though we have found the ideal facility for AICS retreats; but then what is the ideal duration? Given that most people are busy with work, family and so on, and while I do have my own opinion, as a method of gauging the right balance I thought I would put it to a vote.

While we would all like to do longer retreats, this is not always possible. So, please give a realistic answer taking into consideration your own personal circumstances.

Thank you,
Clarke Scott

** NOTE: if you are having trouble voting, or cannot see the results of the poll you may need to go to the website to view it. Click here.