The term maturity attached to the theory of human development has always bothered me a little because it creates a hierarchy of perceived value. That was discussed previously as being a choice of mental attitude in a given moment. The great maturity seen in children’s hospitals where dying five-year olds take on roles of helping other sick children. Their behavior skips right past childish grasping at things for me, and well beyond adolescent ego-driven assertions of I, and even beyond adult creating of value for their family. The dying children when able use what little energy they have to give hope and meaning to the other children, and that is clearly beyond adult behavior which still has some selfish qualities. Some of the dying children even have sage-level thoughts. They are clearly trying to create generalized meanings for human life itself, like the great prophets Moses, Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammad, even if that life is going to be short and painful.
The nomenclature for the paths through life needs an age-independent quality. The sequence of infant – child – adolescent – adult – mature – sage is reasonable and easy to learn, but it is too easily linked to age alone. It is obvious that there are many old people whose behavior is childish, and many young ones whose behavior is mature. The names for the behaviors need to eliminate the ageism and status-ism, and emphasize the individual’s thoughts and behavior in the moments of decision. The prayer #2 emphasized the paths and the voluntary quality involved in what path a person chooses. Let’s go over it again and make it better.
“I honor and respect the forces of the Universe that brought me to this time and place, and I ask for help in finding my way to being a more bountiful person. There are many paths before me, and I need help in choosing from the always changing new ones the path that will be best for me, so I can be healthy and of service to promoting the well-being of humanity. I need clear signs that will guide me away from destructive paths, and signs that will help me to reveal the newly discovered paths for others to consider. I respect people’s ability to see clearly and choose wisely. I encourage them to choose their own paths, and to live within their own ideas of goodness and wisdom..”
The first sentence sets the tone of thanks, and respect for being granted life and consciousness, and asks for help in finding a proper path through life. The help is not from any particular conscious being, but from the processes that brought us to our present being of existence. The goal set is not only for personal well-being, but also to be of service to humanity, life, and the Universe in general. The prayer concludes with a granting of final decisions of the paths chosen to those who are closer to the events and can see them much more clearly.
The prayer is abstract in tone, but if understood can be used by all people. The friends who discussed the prayer with me liked it, but asked that it be made shorter, and more easily understood by ordinary people.
Reveal the proper paths to us, that we may participate fully in life.