Audacious Aging



Audacious Aging is an anthology edited by Stephanie Marohn. This is a collection of chapters authored by a select group of individuals who express unbounded ideas about aging.


Dr. Vassall’s contribution examines some of the conventional views of aging. He takes the reader along a unique journey that leads to the discovery of a different perspective on aging, as a “loss of substance”. This leads to different concepts on how one can live while aging at a different rate than is normally expected.


He uses some concepts from quantum mechanics and incorporates them into the idea of yin and yang of Traditional Chinese Medicine to provide a unique perspective. These concepts invite the mind to wander away from traditonal western views of aging.



 ARTICLE ON AGING by Alford N Vassall Jr.

There is a thought that aging has to do with the passage of time, but this thought takes us in a direction that is misleading. This makes us think that we age, because we gradually become less effective, because we grow and age as time passes. In this view, every year that passes brings us closer to shutting down, simply because of how long we have been here on the planet. This is how we have been brought up to look at things and this is what we inevitably perceive.


In fact we may take a look at how objects age in the world. If we look at an automobile it may seem that each year as the car sits there it ages. If we look further, however, it appears that the age of the car has to do with how many miles we drove it. Each mile that we put on it seemed to affect its age. If there is salt on the road it seems to age more. The upholstery seems to age because of the use we put on it. If we put the car out in the sun every day it appears the paint loses its gloss. It becomes dull, doesn’t reflect the sun any more and seems to lack life.


If we look at the clothes we wear it seems as if they undergo a similar process. Over time they lose their gloss, they seem to have less life, and they lose their sprightliness. The shoes we wear also seem to lose their sense of appearance. Even if they have never been worn they seem to lack the newness that they had previously.


If we look closely it turns out, however, that the change is one that is associated with the loss of substance. The substance within an object actually seems to wear out. In fact the automobile, even though the car ages with the addition of miles, it is actually the reduction of the substance of the car that ages the automobile. Each time the machinery works in the automobile a little more of the substance of the car wears away. In fact the sun oxidizes the paint and there is some reduction of the substance of the paint. The same thing happens with the salt used on the road that affects the metal of the automobile.

This truly is the essence of aging.

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