How does one stimulate mature people to strive to move on to a sage level of human development? Normal people routinely move through the stages of infancy, childhood, adolescence, adult to mature, but why do some move on to a more developed worldview and others don’t? Perhaps the question can be approached by asking why do some people stagnate at any of the even more youthful reality orientations?
For a breakdown of this chart into sentences go to Probaway – PATHS TO MATURITY – Chart expanded. Then return to the chart above to make your conception of the paths to maturity multidimensional.
Every mature person has probably spent some time in all thirty-six locations below their mature level, and it would seem reasonable that to achieve a sage worldview it would be necessary to also experience all twelve of the mature locations. To progress horizontally along the chart from any state of maturity to a higher one is most easily done at the top of the chart where the person has more mental and emotional flexibility. At the bottom of the chart the stress level is too high and a person is forced into various conditions of reflexive fight, flight, or freeze strategies, and there is no creative thinking going on, only reacting.
When a person is in an expansive frame of mind, at the top of the chart, they have the ability to think, to consider alternatives, and to realize the greater pleasure of being at the expansive top moving toward contented maturity, rather than at the contractive bottom and moving toward psychotic failure. Even at the sage level, when a person is in a maximally stressful condition they are reacting, rather than thinking creatively, but because they are highly developed their methods of reacting are beneficial for the rest of the world. The maturity of a person is observed in the habits they choose to cultivate. Thus, a sage-level person’s habits would be cultivated toward helping other people, even though they themselves were in a stressful situation.
At each horizontal stage of maturity when the person is on the top level of the chart they can advance horizontally. That is because at that level they feel expansive and have the flexibility to think and to consider their possibilities and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of possible new behaviors. Thus it is important when in a new situation to maintain as positive an attitude as possible so one’s responses can be as flexible and as adaptable to the new situation as possible.
Most people most of the time would be oscillating between the top level of pleasurably stressful, and the middle level of potentially dangerously stressful. This would be a typical work situation, or a social situation where things can easily become difficult. It is when they are in a frequent or consistently overwhelmingly stressful situation that they fall to the bottom of the chart and into a psychotic, neurotic, cynical, or realist mind set and tend to move to left, toward psychosis, if they can’t get out. In each of these overwhelmingly stressful mental states the people are not operating at a level that gives opportunity to be flexible and grow.
The revelation of this line of reasoning is that for mature people to move on to a sage level of being and behaving they need to move to the top level of maturity, and while in those enjoyable states of being to practice moving into the sage levels. When in a mature state of altruistic giving to achieve common goals, they need to consider Lao Tzu’s no-exampling to generate universal well-being. And, when they are in a state of exposing people to common problems, to practice Jesus’s methods of the Golden Rule and do to others as they should do to you. And when they are in the role of being a mature leader, like Moses, to give goals to people that aid in the creation of their self identity. When in the mature mode of thinking about creating attainable solutions to problems, to think like Buddha did when meditating, that is, when he is in his deeper meditations he explores beyond the attainable solutions and develops even better ones.
In each of these examples the goal was to get to the most expansive level at the top of the chart and then to move one group to the right. When a mature person is doing this they will be moving into the sage level of human development.
People grow in maturity when they are feeling expansive and take more responsibility for human welfare.