Reflection of a Ageless Mind in an Old Body

Reflections of a Ageless Mind in an Old Body
Francis T. Sganga
April 1, 2015
As I stare at the tops of my brown-spotted, dry-skinned, veined hands, I am reminded of the imminence of Death.
I am 94, and as I tell my opponents on a racquetball court just before I am about to serve the ball, “Take it easy
on me; I’m only six years from being 100.”
“Bullshit!” they respond, knowing I am trying to “psyche” them out. “Serve the ball, and cover your ass!”
My Creator has been good to me. The body my Creator designed and produced has served me well. I can not only
hold my own on the racquetball court playing against guys twenty and thirty years younger than I, I can also handle,
with a minor bit of difficulty when I make U-turns, riding an 800 lb. Yamaha motorcycle. I am only 5 ft. 7 in. tall,
I keep my weight below 160 lb., my blood pressure averages about 110/65 and, very fortunately, I have no significant
Of course, I have had my share of setbacks, some quite serious. A couple of angioplasties saved me from having
a heart attack and a “triple A” surgery that repaired a dangerous abdominal aortic aneurysm, just before it burst
and killed me instantly. But, “all’s well, that ends well.” I am hale and hearty enough to still be sexually active
without requiring pills. I am currently married to May, 64, who has impacted my life for the better in every way
during the past five years of our marriage.) In fact, I take no pills at all, not even vitamins, assuming my regimen
of physical activity and nutritious diet (no junk food, bacon, sausage or hotdogs – mostly chicken, fish and vegetables).
All of my adult life I have rigidly adhered to the ancient adage advising us to keep a “sound mind in a sound body.”
As a consequence, I am a dedicated life-time learner (and Writer) who believes in the saying, “You are what you eat.” In
both cases, I ask myself, “Does what I feed my mind and my body have ‘redeeming value’?” When I adhere to “the plan,” my
Soul is satisfied, my self-esteem is at its peak and I am as contented as a well-cared-for healthy baby.
One of my Biblical heroes and “advisors” is St. Paul who said in 1 Corinthians 3: 16-17:
Do you not know that you are God’s temple
and that God’s spirit dwells in you?
If anyone destroys God’s temple,
God will destroy him.
For God’s temple is holy,
and that temple you are.

My Mind often contemplates its own existence, like:
Where did it come from?
Will it return from whence it came?
Why is it unique, unlike any of the billions of other minds that have existed in the past, are existing now, or will exist
in the vast future?
How great a miracle it is that my mind can communicate with other minds!
How does it recognize Feelings, like love, hate, pain, ecstasy, depression and boredom, what is beautiful and what is ugly,
thrilling music and art, and the need for its body to be free and “unshackled.”
Where do its creative impulses come from that burst forth in the creation of Michelangelo’s Pieta and Beethoven’s 9th
Symphony? Surely not from the Molecules we’re made of? Were they a by-product of Evolution, a process that merely causes
physical changes in what already exists?
The multitude of experiences that accompany aging bring about constant changes in perspective. A prime personal
example is the feeling of “patriotism” I experienced after Pearl Harbor was bombed and those I now harbor. I was 22
then and anxious to kill the Japs who murdered fellow Americans. As fate would have it, I was assigned to a medical
unit and became an x-ray technician spending 13 months in England in a kind of M*A*S*H* situation.
My current perspective re “patriotism” has diminished drastically, mostly due to our futile and unnecessary war
in Vietnam and the wars we have engaged in ever since. I now understand the role played by the six corporations
(General Electric, News Corp, Disney, Viacom. Time Warner and CBS) now controlling much of the world and the
mess they are making of it. Concurrently, my opinion of our “government” has also diminished significantly as I
came to realize our corporate-financed senators and representatives are merely corporate puppets.
My prognosis re the future of America? Like an untreatable cancer, the current path we are taking will
eventually result in our self-destruction. Even though I know I won’t be around when it happens, it saddens
me to contemplate the price Americans will pay for allowing it to happen while they spend their lives engaging
in inane and frivolous activities that have zero, or even negative, redeeming value.
Interestingly, as my Body ages chronologically and deteriorates, my Mind seems to improve with age. After
turning 80, I wrote eight ebooks that are available on Amazon’s Kindle store. After turning 90, I wrote seven
more. Just before I thought about writing this essay, I was working on a new book titled: The Great American
Dream Nightmare with the subtitle: Is the U.S. Destined to Become a Giant Concentration Camp?
I am very protective re my Mind. I deliberately try to disallow any bad karma to infect it, any more than
I would knowingly allow any pathogens or non-nutritious food to infect my Body. I view my Mind and my Body as two
sides to the same coin, and their “health” is what keeps my Soul satisfied and my sense of well-being a 10.
Some things I wonder about:
We humans are still at a primitive stage in our development considering the fact that there is no limit to
Time, and there are theoretically, millions of years to go. Today, people still beat each other up in boxing rings to
the delight of primitive fans; they kill and maim each other in wars, and inexplicably, there are serial killers
amongst us as well as suicide bombers. Presumably, our descendants will become truly humane when we all eventually
abide by the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule. How interesting it would be if a way were found for my ageless
mind to continue to exist in a robot that was initially embedded with artificial intelligence that also developed
The fact that I am relatively close to the end of my existence is very sobering, as is the fact that events,
like 9/11, that seemed to happen just a short while ago actually happened FOURTEEN YEARS AGO! So, as I sip my morning
cup of coffee in my rocking chair on our porch meditating for an half an hour or so, I gaze at the Florida flora and
birds flitting by and savor the experience of just being alive as I used to savor the final licks of an ice cream cone
when I was a kid. Louis Armstrong summed up my feelings when he sang:
I see trees of green,
red roses too.
I see them bloom
for me and you.
And I think to myself,
what a wonderful world.