Seven years ago, February 25, 2010, I posted To behave as a sage requires intelligence, experience and thoughtfulness. Six years later I posted How people can move from maturity to sagehood, and these were developments of a series of posts, then named Probas – Paths to human maturity, published on paper in 1994, and online in 2007. Last week I began a new expansion the idea in How to mature from Infantile to Sage and beyond.
I’ve been exploring and massaging those seemingly simple ideas for over twenty-two years, and usually when there is a breakthrough the idea is obvious, and has already been explored before by most other people. The difference from those people’s ideas is that they were not enfolded within an understandable framework that informed the individual what to do next or why. The difference between success and failure of an idea is usually timing. At every moment in people’s lives they have had to cope with their problems as unique. Suggestions like how to be guided along the proper path were unclear as to what that proper path consisted of and which way to go, and when. It becomes clearer using the Maturity Chart which way to go when various levels of maturity have been achieved. At all levels of development, People can grow when they are feeling good, and wither when they feel bad.
That is such an obvious idea, and easy to apply, and yet as one observes human interactions the path taken is usually some form of insistence on conforming to a standardized form of behavior that brings constraints and suppressions. The constraints are usually applied when an individual is exploring, ever so slightly, the pre-defined limits, and they are enforced with words to conform, and if that isn’t enough, with physical punishments.
We can easily see on the Maturity Chart that punishments bring on anxiety, fear, defensiveness, emotional shrinkage and failure to grow, and everyone knows rewards bring on joy, confidence, expansiveness, and success. So what is the proper path to follow?
It is when an individual is feeling good, at the top of the chart for each of the maturity levels that a person can explore reaching for alternatives. However, that means departing from the present state of euphoria that they are in, to explore other states of being. Each more mature state has new problems that have obvious demands and don’t have obvious rewards, but returning to less mature states means going where they have experience and can easily enjoy themselves. Even a child when feeling good and expansive can choose to return to an infantile state of just crawling about with a big smile. An adult would feel foolish when retreating to crawling around a public park with a big smile and would risk being arrested for a psychiatric evaluation. That behavior is okay for a child, but not an adolescent, and certainly not an adult.
A brief path of human growth.
A pre-language Infant when feeling good will crawl about and is programmed to explore and test everything that is available, and to seek to please his mother or caregiver.
When we are a Child and feeling safe, because we have a caregiver available, we will walk about and explore things and try to understand why things work, and seek approval.
When we are in an Adolescent frame of mind, and feeling that our personal identity is highly respected, it is time to begin some Adult work that’s fun. Work in this context is something that is productive for acquisition of personal well-being, that is, making money or taking on jobs, clubs, or sports that give measurable social status.
An Adult who is feeling good about his performance of generating real value for himself and his family and when feeling expansive is ready to take on responsibilities of a Mature person.
A contented Mature person is ready for the responsibilities of maintaining and improving his personal social groups, like family, clubs, churches, and government.
A Sage communicates to everyone what he has found works best and seeks to generate methods for maintaining and self-actualizing the human species and promoting the Earth’s well-being.
A serene Sage can choose to be an Ourora and help the Universe to self-actualize its potential for self-consciousness.
The steps through these stages of maturity are where you place your attention when you are ready.