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Maturity ☼

Being mature is a phase, just a phase. It will pass. In nature, a year matures through spring, summer and early autumn, and then the winter sets in. Consider an apple too: from flower to fruit, and then someone comes and eats it when it is mature; it may happen. So "enjoy the stage of life you are in," comes with some caveats. It is easy to be run over.

The Austrian Rudolf Steiner holds that the whole plant is not just what you see from it at any moment, but throughout its stages throughout the year or longer, as for trees. He is also among those who say that a very similar view applies to humans, only that in additions to the stages where childhood and adolescence may be compared to spring, adulthood in part to summer and later to autumn, and then the winter of old age sets in. However, just as a tree manifests through various stages in a yearly cycle, it survives winter and starts over again in spring, presumably. Likewise with a human, he comes back after death, born again, carrying with him or her the valuable experiences, karma, samskaras (deep impressions). That is a part of the karma- and reincarnation teachings that Buddhism and Sanatan Dharma have also. (McDermott

Being oneself does not mean a standing-still, but is a requirement for further development according to the built-in design. That applies to fruit trees and humans alike.

Life Span Development

Coping changes as people age. Successful development, or healthy coping, involves increases of gains and decreases of losses. (1)

People differ; there are different ways of getting and being mature. (2)

The family life cycle crucible begins with mate selection, but a high percentage of marriages end in divorce in several countries, like Sweden, often creating financial hardship for those involved, and behavioural difficulties for children. Also, for many people, marital satisfaction persistently declines over the life of a marriage, and severe disillusionments may come when problems and conflicts escalate. Studies suggest that marriages are successful or satisfying to the extent that positive factors outweigh negative factors. Among problematic factors are: criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling in some of its forms.

Cognitive changes with age are best studied with longitudinal methods. A mixed pattern of improvement and decline occurs. That is to say, the relative balance of gains and losses shifts as people get older. Growth is more common in childhood, and regulation of loss is quite common in old age. (3)

Ask yourself, "What will maturity bring in the final chapter?"

In middle age, people generally feel they have reached the peak of their career in terms of expertise, income, and advancement. Middle adults usually function in many roles, and people who score high on measures of generativity report higher levels of self-esteem and happiness than others.

Processing speed and inhibitory mechanisms, begin to show declines in middle adulthood. The capacity of the working memory tends to decline with age, so that fewer pieces of information can be held in mind simultaneously. Semantic memory, however, continues to expand with age, and therefore older adults often solve problems better than younger ones if the old ones draw on larger "data banks" inside - that is, a store of factual information, a richer network of interrelationships as a result of greater experience, allowing for retrieval of information through more routes than a younger person (p 490) (5)

Knowledge is hardly as likely to decline, and for many people it grows throughout middle and even old age.  

(A source: Broderick and Blewitt 2015, 522-25, passim)

Summary: Coping differently may lead to different roads toward different sorts maturity, or not amount to much, and also away from maturity, as the case may be. And an aging expert's capacity to keep factual information intact, can even grow into old age.

Robert A. McDermott

Steiner describes four levels of apprehension corresponding to four levels of human nature. While the first level, sense perception, is not itself knowledge, the three remaining levels are progressively higher stages of knowledge, as follows:
  • Sensory perception, made possible by the physical body;
  • Imaginative knowledge, made possible by the etheric body;
  • Inspirational knowledge, made possible by the astral or soul body;
  • Intuitive knowledge, made possible by spirit, or the "I." (McDermott, 1984, 99 ff)

Points to consider

If we get well integrated, we may be able to survive a lot untoward.

A careful guy is careful not to fall down into false liberty and rudimentary goings.

Limited ideas encircle some and trap others.

Never subjugate yourself in an attempt to destroy the ego - that aspect of selfhood. People aiming at taking advantage of you could foster such ideas.

Maturity is also knowing when to be immature. - With Randall Hall

Spiritual work should, generally, be delicate and pleasant, having hallmarks like: delicate, non-wicked, subtle, greatly enjoyable (bliss), clear and good, and Self-understanding.

The American psychologist Abraham Maslow (1964, 1987) has made many lists that can be worth looking into.

Age is no guarantee of maturity. - Lawana Blackwell

Say no to people who always waste your precious time.

Maturity could be a high price to pay for growing up, and maturity endures not being supervised.

It may take a long time to bring excellence to maturity. - With Publilius Syrus

According to ancient Hindu works there are misleading gurus and misleading yogas. The Siva Purana (Shastri 1969, 802-50) tells of how the hailed guru Narada is a cruelly deceiving guy. Others say he is their ideal. Opinions differ. [Narada]

What is good and well understood, needs to be well implemented too. That is the crux of the matter more often than not.

How to behave at a fine restaurant without clothes is a telltale measure of social maturity or training. Or both.


Maturity issues, Literature  

Broderick, Patricia C., and Pamela Blewitt. The Life Span: Human Development for Helping Professionals.. 4th ed. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2015.

Liberty, Larry. The Maturity Factor: Solving the Mystery of Great Leadership. Paperback ed. Carmichael, CA: Liberty Consulting Team, 2011.

Maslow, Abraham. Motivation and Personality. 3rd ed. New York, HarperCollins, 1987.

Maslow, Abraham. Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences. Columbus: Ohio State University, 1964.

McDermott, Robert A., ed. The Essential Rudolf Steiner: Basic Writings of Rudolf Steiner. San Francisco, CA: Harper and Row, 1984.

Salkind, Neil J., ed. Encyclopedia of Human Development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2006.

Shastri, J. ed. Siva Purana. Vols 1-4. Delhi: Banarsidass, 1969.

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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