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How To Die Young As Late In Life As Possible

by Jason Elias

Pub Date: Dec. 7th, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-9966542-3-4
Publisher: Five Element Healing Press

Twelve interviewees share how to “live all of life,” far into the elder years, in this self-help work.

In his sixth book, Elias sets out seven key tenets for reframing aging, gleaned from his 50 years as a psychologist and Chinese medicine practitioner. Twelve “pathfinders” speak to readers in excerpts from his interviews with them. These “modern-day sages” range in age from late 70s to 100-plus. Elias embraces “elderhood” as an opportunity for examining where one has been and where one refuses to go. As such, the book isn’t a bucket-list pep talk; instead, it encourages readers to remember their past selves, as when it asks them to revisit long-shelved dreams and pursue them once again. The work also suggests, among other things, that readers rewrite their life “scripts”; practice mindfulness; awaken joy through humor; exercise; and find one’s “tribe.” The author’s commitments to meditation, seeking presence, and other spiritual concepts dominate the latter parts of the book, but he designates “mind over matter” as the central theme. He effectively draws on his own experiences, as well, to round out his message, which isn’t focused on how to live a longer life, per se, but on ways to pack one’s latter years with vitality. The language is lively and often fun, in part because a colorful profile of each pathfinder opens every chapter. For instance, 80-year-old Carolee Schneemann, a maverick artist and feminist who in her youth attended Bard College on a full scholarship, says that she was once suspended for a year because she painted a nude self-portrait. Widespread recognition of her talents came late in her life, when, in 2015, the Museum der Moderne in Salzburg showed a retrospective of her art called Kinetic Painting. Her advice? “Keep sexually alive, eat kelp, and have a pet!”

Readers approaching their senior years will find a wealth of insights and motivation in these pages.