I don't feel my age (60). But when I ponder my inner sense of self, it seems that I don't feel any age.
That said, often I'll admit to having an adolescent personality. But since I'm a man, this pretty much is taken for granted. (Witness my instant infatuation with iFart.)
Plus, it's obvious that if we're going to feel like we're a different age than what we are, it's going to be a younger age, since we have no experience with being older. So when people say "I don't feel my age," I suspect they're referring to what I said above:
Consciousness doesn't have an age, though the body does.
This explains the strange disconnect that shimmered through my psyche this afternoon. I was chatting with Troy, the guy who is drilling a new well for us, during a noise-free break to grease some machinery.
In the course of talking about this country's screwed up health care system I mentioned that in less than five years I'd be eligible for Medicare.
As soon as those words left my mouth I thought, "Who the hell are you talking about? It can't be me. Medicare? Me???!!!"
The weird thing, of course, is that "I," "you," and "me" were all the same person -- the guy who is writing this blog post. But like all of us, I come in various guises, which accounts for the feeling that there's more than one of me hanging around.
Social Security thinks that I'm sixty years old. So do I, sometimes. Such as when I look at the age spots on my hands. Or my gray beard.
But ordinarily I don't feel any particular age.
If I shut my eyes, ignoring my hands and the rest of my body (aside from a basic internal sensation of being embodied), I can't discern any difference between how I remember feeling at sixteen and my current sixty'ishness.
Along this line, there are indeed disgusting lecherous "dirty old men." However, if consciousness is ageless, old is a chronological rather than psychological phenomenon.
Meaning, men (and women also) don't have a feeling of being a certain age. So when a older guy acts toward a sweet young thing as if he were part of her generation, at that moment he might very well feel that he is.
On a more elevated note, likely this ageless consciousness sensation helps explain the widespread belief in an immortal soul.
Since my internal feeling of "I" doesn't seem to grow older, it's easy to see why people would jump to the conclusion that the essential me continues on unchanged after death.
As this "Non-aging consciousness" essay believes:
Consciousness does not age, ever. You may not appreciate this statement until one day you realize that you ‘still feel young’, which of course tells you that your body has aged. The ‘still feeling young’ is consciousness reminding you that no matter how old you are consciousness is ageless. You always feel the same age regardless of how old your body is.
From your first day upon this planet to your last, consciousness remains perpetually constant: another indication of your spirit reality. Consciousness is the only constant you have, everything else is in continuous change. The material or physical is that constant change; it is in unceasing alteration, never remaining consistent. This is the world of the physical and it ages. The world of spirit on the other hand is ageless. It is complete in itself. Consciousness never alters; everything alters around or within it.
Well, maybe. Seems that way now, but after death we might simply be nothing -- neither ageless nor aged.