“Thoroughly unprepared, we take the step into the afternoon of life. Worse still, we take this step with the false presupposition that our truths and our ideals will serve us as hitherto. But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning, for what was great in the morning will be little at evening and what in the morning was true, at evening will have become a lie.” ~ Carl G. Jung
Stages of Life
Wen my mentor and spiritual teacher, Wayne Dyer was alive, he used to talk quite a lot about the 4 stages of life we all go through, stages that were mentioned by the Swiss psychologist, Carl Gustav Jung in his book, Modern Man in Search of a Soul. And according to Jung, there are 4 archetypes, 4 stages of life we all go through, stages that shape our lives and give rise to new worlds through us. These stages are:
The 4 Stages of Life According Carl G. Jung
1. The Athlete Stage.
During this stage, we are mostly preoccupied with our looks, with the way our body looks. During this stage, we might stay for hours looking and admiring our reflection in the mirror. Our body, our looks are the most important thing to us, nothing else.
2. The Warrior Stage.
During this period, this stage, our main concern is to go out there and conquer the world, to do our best, be the best and get the very best, to do what warriors do, and act like warriors act. This is a stage when we continually think of ways to get more than everybody else, a stage of comparison, of defeating those around so we can feel better because we have achieved more as the result of us being the warriors, the brave ones.
3. The Statement Stage.
At this time, this stage in your life, you realize what you have achieved so far is not enough for you to feel fulfilled, to be happy… you are now looking for ways to make a difference in the world, for ways to serve those around you. You are now preoccupied with ways to start giving.
You now realize what you chased after until now, money, power, possessions etc. will keep on appearing in your life but you no longer attribute them the same value as before, you no longer are attached to those things because you are now in a different stage of your life, where you know there is more to life than that.
You receive them, you accept them and you are grateful, but you are ready to let go of them at any time. You are looking for ways to stop thinking only about yourself, of ways to receive and start focusing on living a life of service.
All you want to do at this stage is give. You now know that giving is receiving and it is time for you to stop being selfish, egotistical and self-centered and think of ways to help those in need, to leave this world better than it was when you arrived.
4. The Stage of the Spirit.
According to Jung, this will be the last stage of our lives, a stage where we realize that none of those 3 stages are really who and what we are. During this stage, we come to realize we are more than our bodies, our possessions, more than our friends, our country, race, color, gender, religio, and all the things we once used to identify ourselves with.
We now know that we are divine beings – spiritual beings having a human experience, and not the other way around – that this Earth is not our home, and that we belong to a world far greater than this one.
We come to know that, although we are in this world, we are not of it.
More than 2500 years ago, Lao Tzu was trying to teach us just that, was trying to teach us how to get to this last stage of life, this spiritual stage:
“Can you step back from your own mind and thus understand all things? Giving birth and nourishing, having without possessing, acting with no expectations, leading and not trying to control: this is the supreme virtue.”
And these are the 4 stages of life, the 4 archetypes according to Carl Jung. What are your thoughts regarding these 4 stages of life and in which one do you think you’re in? You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below 🙂