All posts by John Messerly

Tornstam on Gerotranscendence

 Lars Tornstam (1943 – 2016)

My post, Summary of Maslow on Self-Transcendence, elicited many thoughtful comments. One reader, Dr. Janet Hively, suggested that self-transcendence is connected with aging, writing, “people gain experience and wisdom as they grow older, reaching the age for generativity toward the end of life.” She also suggested that I look into the theory of gerotranscendence, Continue reading Tornstam on Gerotranscendence

Longfellow’s “Morituri Salutamas”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow photographed by Julia Margaret Cameron in 1868

In 1875, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 – 1882) accepted an offer from the American Civil War hero Joshua Chamberlain to speak at Longfellow’s fiftieth reunion at Bowdoin College. There he read his poem “Morituri Salutamus.” (The title of the poem means, “We who are about to die, salute you.”) Continue reading Longfellow’s “Morituri Salutamas”

My Lifelong Search for Meaning

Wandering around my backyard when I was about 7 or 8 years old I climbed a small mound behind our garage when suddenly it hit me: “Why is there anything at all rather than nothing?” Little did I know then that I had stumbled across perhaps the greatest question in philosophy. I remained inquisitive throughout childhood, especially about religion and politics, constantly badgering my father for answers to my questions. He replied as best he could, and I thank him for his efforts, but eventually, I outgrew his answers. Continue reading My Lifelong Search for Meaning