The Stages of Life

Age 24-32: man establishes himself; normally marries; pursues satisfaction.


Age 32: traditionally the birth of the soul; transformation.


Age 32-40: spontaneity is important.


Age 40: Destiny discloses a pattern; the man destined for Individuality acquires own ‘I’; frees from pressures of necessities; one needs to avoid fixation – for example, of lower selves (material success for example).


Age 50s: Transformation must be taken seriously.


Age 60: it is rare for the course of life to be changed after this age.


Age 63: enter fullness of life if the Five Strivings have been kept in balance.

Old Age
The principal interest in childhood is Function.
The principal interest in the active years is Will.
The principal interest in old age is the consolidation of Being.



Fate affects man until the age of 63 (Grand Climatic) 9X7


At this point, there is a withdraw of energy from the Personality and a strengthening of the soul.


With men and woman who have worked with the Five Strivings, after 63, defects of the Personality become less evident. Life runs in a smooth channel. There is a more conscious longing for Being – this is not a fear of Death. Oddly, the study of old age is confined to the disturbed mental and physical effects, which require medical attention; not much to the positive potential of the last 10-20 years of life. Scientists are more interested in Function than Being. To undertake medical work to prolong sex, pituitary, and thyroid activity is at the expense of soul-stuff.
People with such medicine often lose their sensitivity, and become dependent on coarse stimulations in life. It is the reverse with those who have worked with the Five Strivings: sensitivity and understanding increases; they acquire serenity (consciousness is detached from sensitivity).



The Lower part of the soul should be completed by the age of 60; but the higher part can scarcely receive the conditions of tranquillity and withdrawal that it requires until activity is reduced to a minimum. Such retirement of souls is necessary for those with a special task (contemplatives): they restrict their activity to the First Striving (maintaining life) and the Second Striving (satisfactions) – sufficient for the development of the True Self.



The Higher Part of the soul grows as part of a process beyond the Will. It has three stages: Meditation; Contemplation; Union.



Meditation is for those whose consciousness is not yet free from sensitivity (who cannot still the mind).
Contemplation is true soul-forming work (our part is consent and cooperation).
Union comes when the soul has formed and Personal Individuality is established. Man must devote part of his day to one of these – this requires withdrawal from activity. The final transformation – separation of consciousness from the physical body – can only happen if part of the day is spent in retirement.



Contemplation is not possible for long (here, lower parts of soul are brought into stillness). Retirement needs to be made up of meditation, study of sacred texts, verbal prayer.



The transformation of consciousness acquired through Contemplation is consolidation. Here, a new relationship to time and space is acquired: minutes seem like hours; the past ceases to be dead; the soul can re-enter it.



Such souls radiate a beneficent influence: they concentrate sensitivity and other finer energies – they can heal body and psyche. It can continue after death.



It is different for the soul who has done good work but neglected contemplation. Here, the ‘I’ may have formed, death of ego and union with Self-hood. But, Individuality is without a rightful dwelling – and unable to complete its formation. These people die with an important part of their earthly existence incomplete.



Some die with their lower soul incomplete; for example, premature death, or death after neglect of transformation. They need to do in old age, or even after death, the work they should have done in life. It is one of the states of purgatory. There are, however, worse states:-



If the Material Self remains dominant, then the soul-stuff remains unproduced. There is nothing but a shrivelled up self after death – lost when no longer in contact with material objects.



If the Reactional Self dominates in old age, individuals seem selfish; they demand attention to themselves; their old-age is not tranquil. However, if there is a good disposition, there may be a remarkable change and they become serene, tolerant and undemanding towards the end of their lives. There is the possibility that they will be purified after death. However, the lower part of the Divided Self remains requiring some awkward moments.



If the Divided Self remains dominant, individuals do have a greater sense of values than the two cases above. They remain intellectual, active, but they are determined to have their way and can be difficult. They understand the need for meditation but do not bring it to themselves. Those of the Divided Self will not find it difficult to devote their old age to the attainment of Being. However, they are unlikely to go beyond the transition to the True Human Self until the point of death. With such people, the great step is made at the end of life and they do attain Individuality. But, the higher part of the soul will be weak.



For those who have ‘found themselves’ during their active lives, this is still not a guarantee of completion. The True Self is the stronghold of Egoism and many men and women have acquired the strength from the conquest of the three lower selves, still fail at the last test. Three states are possible for True Self of man.


1) If the lower part of self is strong and ego dominates, then the man or woman is said to have an evil nature. They do more harm to other than weaker people. If they reach old age in this state, there is little hope of salvation. If there is intense suffering, the Individuality may yet act within the soul.


2) For those whose enemy is egoism but who are not cruel or vicious (they have a disposition for Truth) – in other words, they sought the truth but for ego’s sake – it is important that they work on contemplation and do not have dominion over others. They cannot be humble, so they must act humbly. There is hope for them: they will bear the death pangs of egoism.


3) These people are True Selves: they live their lives in the Higher Part of the Self: they are virtuous, humble, and only missed Individuality because they allowed life’s activities to occupy too much of life. They enjoy old age but do not make the great step to Individuality. But, they can do so at death or soon after.


Death and Beyond
Death is the separation of soul stuff from physical organism.



Death is not the simple cessation of vital activity. It has stages:



Cessation of breathing; soul-stuff disconnects from physical body. However, it does not do this entirely, but sometimes only after many hours, or weeks. Usually, after three days, the soul-stuff is liberated from the local field and is drawn into the soul-stuff-pool (SSP). This is the First Death.



After a moment, or years, or indefinitely, the soul-stuff disintegrates. When this happens, the higher part of the soul is set free and, with Individuality, enters the Hyparchic future. If the higher part of the soul has not formed, the Individuality returns to the Universal states – nothing of a personal condition remains. This is the Second Death.



Death is complex – it is different in different ways.



When it occurs before the self-hood has begun to form, the Personal Individuality returns to the Universal Individuality from which it came. The soul-stuff returns to the SSP and the physical body returns to earth and decays.



There are generally two reasons for death before of soon after birth. There is an effect on the parents, which is needed for their transformation. Or, some souls require to re-enter a human Totality in order to achieve completion, but do not need a selfhood. Such a transient life may be very important.



Death in childhood is usually a matter of destiny. Such unformed souls are instruments of the Personal Individuality, which returns to the source having accomplished a definite task. So, the death of the child is not tragic. There is no failure in not having formed a soul. These are not individualised and will be drawn into another conception.



The same can apply to early death.



However, there are tragedies of early death. Destiny is not guaranteed. This may still not be a disaster – something good can come out of it. The only real tragedy is those that, whilst knowing better, cling to egoism and harm others. Fate can only touch the lower levels of existence in eternity (cause and effect). In the higher levels, there is the possibility of hyparchic exchange, where Personal Individuality may pass from one soul to another.

Death during an active life, usually means a half-formed soul. During life, soul-stuff linkages are made (husband and wife, for example). A lasting contact is made which cannot be eradicated. There is, however, no union without an act of will: this cannot come from Personality or from lower parts of the Self-hood, but only from the ‘I’ or ‘point of freedom’ within the Self.



So, true marriage is a connection at the level of the physical, fusion of soul-stuff and union of wills. When this happens, the two become one. If one dies, the transformation continues in the one.



The state of soul coming from union of soul-stuff of husband and wife is called the Secret Abode. It is created by a human will and the creative energy (E3) associated with the sexual act. The indispensable elements in it are:



1) The soul-stuff organised to the level of the True Human Self;


2) The act of Will where there is union of Individuality.



Therefore, those men and women whose destiny is to be realised by way of contemplation, can come to the same soul state through love and worship directed towards a sacred image.



The Secret Abode is not necessarily monogamous; a man whose soul is of the right quality can be united – without sex – with women who are unmarried but in agreement of will to accomplish a common destiny.



The Secret Abode can therefore enlarge and permit contacts between more souls than a married pair.



Soul Expansion is reserved for those whose Individuality is wholly surrendered to the Cosmic Individuality. The transformation of will is accompanied by a vast expansion of the soul. This is for saints. It is raised in energy from consciousness (E4) to creativity (E3). This brings space and eternity into unity leading to an expansion of the soul. This is the Sanctified Abode, where saints can meet and communicate (the Communion of Saints).



Far beyond, is the soul of the Prophetic rank (the Abode of the Lord), receiving Revelation from the Supreme Being. This soul is raised to the Unitive Degree (Love E2).



The concepts for a full account of death – seven types of situation:



1) Lost Souls
Inveterate sinners: acquired a soul by directing to an aim, but only to feed egoism; they cannot escape retribution; they can change in life, but once dead the soul-stuff loses its instruments and can only suffer the pangs of impotent egoism.



2) Null Souls
Material Selves whose soul-stuff has lost touch with objective value; essence; slaves of the material world; they are ghosts; without sensitivity.
Ghosts of the Reactional self are attached to emotional situations.
Soul stuff returns to the SSP. Experience is automatic.



3) Half souls
These souls are partly formed on the sensitive level, but no development at the conscious level.



Lower art of soul forms automatically as a result of sensitive experience. Here, consciousness is caught up in sensitivity, and sensitivity is captured by automatism. Man-machines. Weakly developed self-hood, over-weighted personalities.



Soul stuff takes the shape of the physical body without developing higher powers. Then death comes.



Soul-stuff separates from the body, but it does not disintegrate, as it does not need renewal by food, air, and impressions. It is drawn to the soul-stuff pool. It retains its coherence. It imagines itself still in the material body. The lower part of the soul is composed of sensitive energy. It therefore undergoes experiences pleasant and unpleasant – they nullify those of preceding life. In this way, the soul-stuff is washed clean, retaining only those impressions that cannot be erased by sensitivity alone. There may be consciousness but it is inactive. The instruments of action are lacking.



Once the capacity for experience is exhausted, the soul disintegrates, and is taken to the SSP.



This condition is Sheol or Hades: neither retribution not transformation. Souls may here be blissful: husbands and wives re-united, parents find children. But, it is not reality and it cannot lead to reality. Soon, the soul-stuff loses its coherence and structure, consciousness withdraws, and the Second Death occurs. Nothing has formed which cannot exist without sensitivity. Therefore, nothing remains.



A half-soul may be drawn into a Secret Abode with one who has attained completion (the formation of a higher part). The link may not be strong enough to draw out the half soul from the SSP. Strong souls sometimes sense a half soul knocking on the door for help. All that can be done is to find those near to it in blood or affection. This is really what happens in Spiritualism: communication with half-souls in the SSP.