Everyone we see gets old faster than we do. Our parents, not to mention our children, age before our eyes. The self behind our eyes doesn’t age as fast as human bodies do, so we see other people aging past us.
The animals around us age more rapidly than we do. Pets go from puppies to tired old dogs while we feel hardly a change. It’s a matter of life span: humans live longer than most animals. We don’t encounter the exceptions, like the Galapagos tortoise which lives for more than 150 years.
What’s it like to be, say, a dog that ages and dies while its human companions hardly seem to change?
One can get a sense by looking at the world around us, which changes on geological time – Gaia, if you will. A cycle of the seasons is like the world breathing in and out. Our lives flash by in just a few of Gaia’s breaths.