The Life Cycles and Lifestyles module gives a fascinating insight into the stages of human life and what to expect from our psyche as we move through our life experience. Here are my notes from one of Karta Singh’s level 2 Life Cycles and Lifestyles lecture about what to expect from our different ages and stages in life. For me, so much of this rings true…
0-25 years: We are born into the ashram of life. In the first 25 years of our life, we are learning, developing and growing.
0-7 years: Is about our physical body, growth and expansion. Our cultural psyche and individual tastes are formed along with our belief systems. We absorb everything, including fears imposed by our parents. Until the age of four, we say yes to everything, then between four and seven, we say no to everything (I was sitting next to a sweet woman with her five-year-old son on an aeroplane the other day, and it seemed that ‘NO! NO! NO!’ was all he was capable of saying! ‘Juice?’ ‘NO!’ ‘Bathroom?’ ‘NO!’ ‘Cuddle?’ ‘NO!’ ‘Teddy?’ ‘NO!’).
7-14 years: Building our ego and positive mind, our sense of I and how I express myself. Our adult teeth grow giving us the capacity to sink our teeth into life, to chew through and process our experiences. We develop individual characteristics, testing everyone to see where to position ourself. It’s imperative to practice art, to learn. Because we want desperately to fit in at this age, it’s difficult to know how to be ourself.
14-21 years: Here is more about emotional and mental growth than physical. We establish our faculty of judgement and evaluate friendships, culture, religion and politics. We work out how to be part of society. At this life cycle, we need to be trusted (Trust your teenagers, parents – or at least, trust that life will bring them the experiences they need!). At this age, we need time and space to explore and experiment. Here we learn responsibility and the impact of our choices.
25-50: Here we learn about sacrifice. Nothing is mine – not our body, not our children, not our partner. We risk losing anything we cling to. We need to check our attitude – with sacrifice, there is a tendency to become bitter.
21-28 years: How can we fit in? How can we enter society? Here we learn trust, self-assessment, we learn to rebel against our family and not necessarily follow the family line. We need to cut from our youth, take responsibility and see our purpose.
28-35 years: We must free our creativity from our personality. If we didn’t manage to cut from our family, there is a tendency to crystallise ancestral beliefs. The individual is the totality of the inherited past, but now is the time to bring in the new and not keep repeating family patterns.
35/36 years: Mid life crisis! Here is a knot, the crucial post in our life cycles and lifestyle. We realise we have a soul, and we struggle with how to meet our soul purpose in this life.
36-54 years: Here is the core of life. At 36, we need to face, and adjust and listen to our soul. We make a decision about what to dedicate our life to. Here is a big change. Our physical and our soul combine and we start to see who we really are. We realise our true self. We need to abandon our constructed/imposed ideas about ourself, let go of the image we have of ourselves.
50-75: Here we learn to share everything, to integrate, to meditate and to share what we have learnt. We teach others about our experience.
42-49 years: The 2nd body, the negative mind, is prominent. We objectively see how much we have limited ourself with beliefs and personality. Cleverness, strategy and success have blocked us. Energy and sharpness decreases and a time pressure is there. We have a choice: try again or change career.
49: Reverse tree, Adamic fall. We realise that our merit is zero. We are sensitive to another presence – our higher self. The door opens to this wisdom, we feel guided. Let things come.
49-56 years: We are socially responsible. Now is the time to abandon any memories of success or failure. Discern whatever wasn’t in alignment with our soul and let it go. Eliminate it. Find the courage to move forward. Heal our lineage and start a new life.
56-63 years: Master the mystery – the subtle body. Amazing power in the word, we inspire people with our presence. This is our third birth, where there is a mixture of personality and spirituality (or, on a negative aspect, we have crystallised the self and we try to affirm a power that everyone distrusts – we are desperate to prove ourself). If we combine the personality with the soul, we become the seed of the future, we give the younger ones a direction. When we respect our higher self, we can help the world and elevate others.
75-100: This is known as the next ashram, where we prepare for our next life.
63-70 years: We return to our physical body. We need exercise and to take care of our physical self.
66-67 years: There is a shift. We are ready for a spiritual adventure. We have left everything of this world behind. But if we are not open, crystallisation accelerates and we lose our physical health.
72 years is considered one karmic lifetime. Half of 72 is 36. The age of 36 is crucial in governing our path. Expect a change at this time in life, for a serious reset.
So, those are my notes taken from Life Cycles and Lifestyles module – not as extensive as they could have been! If anyone has anything to add, please do share!
Sat nam x