The grand theories of human development of the last one hundred years are concerned mostly with alleviating mental sickness. The mental health measured by the DSM-5 is focused on various forms of mental problems. My theory of human maturity is concerned with a normally healthy person, both physically and mentally healthy, moving through the natural stages of – infant, child, adolescent, adult, mature, sage, and possibly beyond, to a stage which I have named ourora. The value for the individual is that with each higher stage of maturity the person will experience a deeper and more frequent sense of pleasure and a less frequent and more resigned experience of pain. The decrease of pain is because it is only the body that is hurting and the mind is less exposed to suffering.
People in present-day society are not enjoying themselves enough because they are not aware of where they might place their attention to develop more mature habits for responding to the problems that will come their way. Some of the philosophers from ancient times have sought pleasure and avoided pain, such as Epicurus. That is okay but to seek pleasures directly is in my new system labeled as childish. It may result in many laughs but simple pleasure doesn’t go anywhere, and after a while, it becomes boring and then painful. Shakespeare wrote, “And they surfeit of honey and any more than just enough was far and away too much.”
Adolescents striving to prove themselves worthy in their own estimation, and to be considered a valuable person in their friends’ estimation, have more opportunities for pleasure and more complex forms of pain too. The goals they can set for themselves create personal challenges that bring on longer term satisfactions when they are successful. The adolescent personality structure involves comparing themselves to others and wanting to prove that they are superior, at least in some special ways, that other people consider important. That more complex worldview generates more varied ways to experience pleasure and pain.
The more mature the personality structure of a person is, the more options they have for enjoying themselves.