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Senescence. Thursday May 5, 2016

I came across this word the other day and was immediately attracted to it – for reasons I know not.

Senescence comes from the Latin word senesere, meaning 'to grow old'. It is all about our gradual deterioration as organisms.

What this radio programme highlighted was that senescence can be slowed and delayed and some were predicting a future where there is no reason why we should not be living over one hundred years!

Now...did that strike fear or hope into you?

My work often uses the four quotients, in order to make people aware of what they can do to make themselves healthier and more balanced to also improve their families and organisations.

PQ – physical – Human Living – To Live
IQ – intellectual – Human Doing – To Learn
EQ – emotional – Human Being – To Love
SQ – spiritual – Being Human – To Leave a Legacy

Most organisations, I believe, falsely focus on their IQ (the cognitive ability to memorise facts and solve puzzles) almost to the exclusion of the other three.

This follows on 'schooling' from the age of five – and we see the present rebellion against yet more IQ tests in primary schools presently.

I believe it would be far better if education was far broader than almost solely IQ schooling and included, in some way, the other three quotients (health, relationships and meaning) i.e. the whole person and not just the brain. In this present 'system', our bodies are simply mechanisms for carrying our brains around, with our heads tilted to one side - the left – to grow our rational abilities!

As far back as 1934 it was discovered that too many calories not only made us fat but also doubled the speed of our senescence!

So we have the clear IQ understanding that calorie intake can half our lifespan and yet last month was the first month in the history of this planet, that there were more obese people than starving people!

There is also the latest research that not only does exercise keep us more mentally healthy, it actually increases the size and ability of our brain. This is clearly shown by halving senescence in degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

So my question on senescence, on a mental health web site is, 'What are we doing in all four quotients to ensure we stay as healthy as we can and while like me, not avoiding mental health issues, reducing them to the smallest effect on our lives and the lives of our families?'

"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life." John Lennon

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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the room above the garage Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 6:12am

Thank you Les, I learn again, and love to see John Lennon's name appear.

Les Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 8:45am

Hi RATG - nobody should ever stop learning - if we do - we effectively stop 'living' as there is no growth or development.

the room above the garage Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 10:49am

The thing that has long bothered me is my struggle to do 'paper' learning. I know I am not ignorant and yet I feel I have a brick inside my head that not only prevents me from having enough brain space to comprehend a lesson but also stops me having memory space. I think I may have something like dyscalculia but don't think I am dyslexic. Anyway, that is a side line from today's blog! The sun is out, my gym session done, the snow has left the top of the hills and I'm off to one of my volunteer roles. Looking forward to it and feel a bit better today. I feel I should have annotated my score with this instead of blabbing on...peaceful day to everyone, love ratg xx.

Les Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 12:02pm

Hi RATG - sounds as tho you are pretty educated to me.......A quote from ’Giraffes Can’t Dance’ – a child’s book by Giles Andreae. Our pupils who are blind with multiple disabilities (MDVI) did a little musical with RSNO using the book – it’s great for self esteem with children. Gerald the Giraffe (whom everyone initially laughed at) learned how to dance from the wise words of a little grasshopper and was hailed at the Jungle Dance as the world’s best dancer! When asked by the animals how he did it, he said: “We all can dance when we find music that we love.”

the room above the garage Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 4:53pm

Les, I love that book! Read it to my children many, many evenings, and potty times!! It was one of my early blogs on here...I wrote about Gerald the Giraffe...will look for it when home.

Les Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 6:02pm

Hi RATG - Cool..........we all just have to look for and find the good 'stuff'....that is our duty, especially as parents. //// Again for me, what we look for we probably just takes more effort and time than most are prepared to give and so start moaning about their situation - their job - their marraige - effectively their 'lot'.... //// See Frankl story below.....those that thrive happily compared with survive unhappily - look for the good and then go and create more- PERIOD. // Sounds like your kids have a great chance......keep introducing them to the good 'stuff' and they'll be able to dance like Gerald, to the music they love :-)

the room above the garage Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 9:35pm

An early blog on here from me about Gerald...the comments are gone now so I can't see who was around then but it's still fun to see it again :-)

Hopeful One Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 7:06am

Hi Les- Thank you for pointing out the discrepancies in our approach where we chase one of the four quotients at the expense of the others. The question is why does it happen even though we have all the facts?

This is what the Joke Squadron found in its gun sights this morning.

Keep laughing- Dr Lee Berk at the Loma Linda University did blood tests after his subjects had watched a funny video and found that harmful cortisol was down by 67% but what shocked the team was that cortisol and adrenaline decreased by 38% and 70% before anything funny was seen."It seems that merely having a merry heart in anticipation of the happy experience lowers stress levels" said Dr Berk.

A couple went on vacation to a resort up north. The husband liked to fish, and the wife liked to read. One morning the husband came back from fishing after getting up really early that morning and was taking a nap. While he slept, the wife decided to take the boat out. She was not familiar with the lake, so she rowed out and anchored the boat, and started reading her book. Along comes the Game Warden in his boat, pulled up alongside her boat.He asked her what she was doing? She said, "Reading my book." The Game Warden told her she was in a restricted fishing area. She explained that she was not fishing. To which he replied, "But you have all this equipment. I will have to issue you with a fine!" Angry that the warden was being so unreasonable, the lady told the warden, "If you do that, I will charge you with rape." The warden, shocked by her statement, replied, "But I didn't even touch you." She said, "Yeah, but you have all the equipment!"

Thank you all for your comments to yesterday's offering.

Les Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 9:24am

Hi HO - the reason it doesn't happen, is that the 'end game' of IQ is to turn everyone into professors and since so few can do that - the system and thus people 'fail'. //// The outcome of IQ and knowledge is that people make conclusions and as we so clearly see from politicians conclusions don't improve society! In fact we are rapidly becoming more and more obese - even knowing it increases our eminescence in fact doubles it - so we are killing ourselves, even although we KNOW it! //// Change is ALL down to a growth in EQ and desire - as the outcome of EQ is action! Knowledge itself doe snot lead to change. /// We need wisodm not cleverness. ////// So as you say we have all the facts - what we do not have are enough feelings to make it happen! //// I belive in 15 years or so, that obesity wil be seen the same as smoking - otherwise the NHS will fail and only those with money will be able to pay for health insurance.....we will have killed the golden goose, of healthcare for everyone. But no politician will ever admit that - as they will loose so amny votes by telling the truth! //// Humans seek too much power and control to create a healthy society in all four quotients. We slaughtered the societies that were sustainable not only for themselves but also for the planet - American Indians and Aborigines......needless to say for 'our' gain.

Hopeful One Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 5:23pm

Hi Les - thanks for your answer for my question .

WIP Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 8:31am

Oh wow Les - I loved your blog on senescence. How true that today's 'system' so neglects many important aspects of being a human and living a full life. I also like what you say about not avoiding mental health issues but learning to reduce them. I'm training to be a therapist and the approach I'm learning seeks to banish low mood depression etc. I can't help thinking that this is wrong - low mood depression etc serve a purpose, to some extent, and should be respected/explored. We can't have the ups without the's tolerating the downs that we need to work on. And how smart was John Lennon!

Les Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 9:35am

Hi WIP - You are so seek to banish something that cannot be achieved is to 'fail' right from the start, as while being a great aim - is false. It's like the 'war on drugs' or the 'war against terrorism' to banish them - it will never happen - so we set expectations up to fail and as we see everyday, its fails more and more spectacularily!! //// Once again people in power wnat to seemas tho they have the answers - they do not. WE as in society can have the answers if WE can actually start authentically communicating - which we do not. Politicains are the second lowest to the media for being the least trusted roles in society!!!! SO in IQ terms we KNOW that - yet nothing is done to chnage it - as thsoe in power will NEVER wnat to change it. //// Therapy trainers can play the same game......our courses will banish depression - CRAP!! //// We are humans NOT machines to be 'fixed' - we can fix things phsyically which the NHS does but really hasn't another method than chemical for mental health. //// You are right...low mood and depression is our bodies telling us what our 'heads' in some way do not - as we are so scripted to keep on working, even if it is against our values....its our spirit / soul, conscience letting us know something is wrong......otherwise we'll all be barinwashed into automotons - robots for the state. //// Please challenge that system..... 'We have to be the change we wnat to see in the world.' Gandhi

WIP Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 8:57pm

Thanks for your reply Les. It's so encouraging to find people who "get it" and are willing to challenge the norm. Please be assured that I am doing my bit and challenging and examining everything I'm being taught. No spoon feeding for me! And great you're in Scotland - we're badly in need of challengers up here!

Richard Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 8:58am

Thankyou, Les. You've made my day.
Peace & Love,

Les Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 9:37am

Hi Richard - thank you

Still picking figs Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 9:09am

Les, I enjoyed learning from your post, thank you.
Yesterday in the supermarket queue, I found myself looking into the shopping basket of a very old looking gentleman in front of me, who was perhaps in his nineties. The contents were very sparse, and I don't recall much of what I saw except two small unsliced loaves of white bread. I guess I thought that the secret to long life was in there.

It felt very special standing next to him. He eluded a kind of magnificence and magic. I was pleased when we began a conversation - he began it by doing a pretend double-take at all my toilet roll!

He was firing on all four quotients. I wonder where humour comes in? It seems to reach across them all. Hopeful One, you are on to a winner there!

The gentleman was slim, too. I wonder if laughing burns up enough calories to forgo chocolate...

Les Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 9:40am

Hi lovely title - If there is no humour, there is no hope :-) If you stop eating chocolate (although never completely) you can laugh all the way to a longer, healthier life as you will have more 'deposits' in your health bank you will be laughing all the way to the bank......we need other banks than simply financial - the thing is WE control those banks......we can't blame the bankers for life then......only ourselves.... Scary!!!!

Still picking figs Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 10:13am

Thanks Les, and for spotting that I meant to say 'not to forgo chocolate.' ;-) Something the ruling elite can't get their hands on is our soul and the right to be true to ourselves. I don't believe for a minute that we live in a democratic society (cue angry mob...) as it seems to me that the agenda is already set. All the world's a stage and so on... Things looks set to get tougher, especially if you don't have millions in the bank. But you are totally correct of course, we have other depositories, (love, light, compassion, humour, hope...) people share them on Moodscope all the time. I meet a lot of refugees in my line of work, and they brought their 'riches' with them, trust me. Stay strong, amigo!

Les Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 10:29am

Victor Frankl in his book 'Man's search for meaning' about living in the Nazi concentration camps, where those that survived had a 'belief/reason' to want to live - reminds us that if we focus on what's ugly, we attract more ugliness into our thoughts, and then into our emotions, and ultimately into our lives. By choosing to hang onto ones corner of freedom even in the worst situations, we can process our world with energy of appreciation and beauty, and create an opportunity to transcend our circumstances. ///// What we look for we find.....see my post of last Thursday.....continually writing about our negativies, simply brings more negativity and can affect others.

Mary Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 10:57am

My birthday today and I was given a box of chocolates by my family. But these are very special chocolates. I think there are ten of them, and they will certainly last at least ten days! Life is too short to eat bad chocolate and then deal with the guilt!

Les Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 12:05pm

Hi Mary - ten days and the savouring of the love of your family sounds like a great 'deposit' in your emotional bank account - as well as further controlled deposits to reducing your own senescence :-)

Skyblue Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 3:48pm

Mary, Happy Birthday. Enjoy those chocolates and the symphonies they bring. xx

the room above the garage Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 4:55pm


Hopeful One Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 5:21pm

Hi Mary - Many happy returns.

Eva Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 10:15pm

HB Mary :)

Sally Fri, May 6th 2016 @ 8:57am

Happy birthday Mary. Those chocolates I can just imagine. A friend gave me a similar box when we met up last year. I can still savour them now. I ate one each day until they were gone. Worth the wait. I hope you are doing well, Mary ?

Skyblue Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 12:33pm

Lovely Les, another great blog. Could you find a name for that alignment of PQ IQ EQ SQ? (There's the word PIES in there but Pies Alignment doesn't quite right:)) I think of it as a sacred alignment which helps us live our purpose with more joy and wakefulness and, as you say, to 'hold on to our corner of freedom'. Thanks for this, and thanks to everyone for the wonderful comments. xx

Lex Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 1:33pm

Would make a great compass!

Skyblue Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 1:56pm

hehehe yes! And the needle would point in the direction we need to go (assuming we're never in perfect alignment).

Les Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 2:40pm

Hi Skyblue - Hmmmmmmm........ To me the ultimate is come from a focus on SQ first. Once you get the core of who you are, or this society is, then PQ, IQ & EQ fall into place with that 'end in mind'. ///// If we start in traditional PQ as the present human 'process' would have it....its a challenge to 'move' onto IQ (and we lose about 40% of society on that journey alone..... as they are cast aside by IQ 'rules' as unintelligent and told they are failures and often then become mentally 'ill' without a supposed future....... and that is by the time they are 14 years old!!!).........For the 60% that get to IQ, I reckon about 15% get to EQ (to know and control self while serving others).........and from that low base, probably only about 1% finally arrive at SQ!!! ////// Gandhi, Mandela, Buddha to name some.....they change the way we see the world. ////////// If we start however from the SQ 'end' of that continuim, rather than FEAR ruling society.......FAITH comes into play, which starts with a faith in human positivity (nothing to do with mostly divisive religion).... ///// People who feel alienated will quite rightly turn their emotions into anger.......from the IS to Jnr Doctors................same 'stuff'. ....//// the world needs to be interdependent NOT independent.....we need to share the planet and its wealth (in whatever 'currency' that is. Which is also why I in Scotland, see the SNP as solely divisive - independence my ass!!! :-) /// Go that route and every council should be 'inedpendent' of Edinburgh and then every estate should be 'independent' from the town centre and finally, every house should be 'independent' of its neighbour!!! Dear oh dear oh dear..... /////// oopsss slipped into Les mode there :-) TO answer your question Skyblue for me the alignment of all four quotients is quite simply 'BEING HUMAN'.

Skyblue Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 3:46pm

Beautiful, Les. Agree with everything you say here, especially SQ as the ultimate starting point, but couldn't have expressed it so well and so interestingly. As you would say "fab stuff". xx

Lex Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 1:32pm

Awesome - what a wonderful word, concept, hope and blog! Thanks, Les

Les Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 2:42pm

Hi Lex - cheers my man - hope things are as good as they can be with you.

The Gardener Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 4:43pm

Your 'magic four' Les leaves me pretty bitter. Mr G has been scornful of any mind-games - even chess - so in his leisure hours he never stretched his mind. He has had, like most farmers, 'back troubles' Eldest son and I ditto - told by surgeons and physios that non-treatable, 'up to us' exercise as much as practical, keep those muscles strong. Mr G told same thing, never did a thing to help himself. Never, and proud of it (they were boring) got involved in any social or charitable organisations

The Gardener Thu, May 5th 2016 @ 4:48pm

Result, I am living with a man who, now the 'chips are down' has no fall-back, friends, memory games, social intercourse - some people say Alzheimers is inevitable, pthers say it can be held at bay. Were we supplied with this incredible mechanism, human body and brain, to waste? I try and be reasonable, understanding, charitable but as life gets toughter any sainthood which might have been me has flown - grumpy old woman isn't in it.

Leah Fri, May 6th 2016 @ 2:02am

Gardener, My mum had all 4 Qs in abundance and still had dementia. I think the advice we have know about exercise, diet, socialising, and using our minds is helpful but people will still get dementia despite following all the guidelines while others will do none of the 4 Qs and not suffer from dementia. Life is what it is. You are honest and realistic not grumpy. Keep on sharing your thoughts.xx

Sally Fri, May 6th 2016 @ 9:02am

Gardener, you are venting and that is fine. I am sensing you feel very unsupported in your demanding role as carer. When I was one, I didn't get enough help. With hindsight, I should've shouted louder. Can you get more respite for yourself? If you are to have any sort of quality of life yourself, that is going to be vital, you know. And we only get one life...

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