7 Stages of Life


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Parts
of
The Seven Stages of Human Life

edited and adapted
by Beezone
*

Adi
Da’s teaching of the seven stages of life systematically
describes not only our physical, emotional, moral and mental
development, but also all the phases of Spiritual,
Transcendental, and Divine unfolding that are potential. It
is an invaluable tool for understanding how we develop as
individuals, and also for understanding how the Teachings
and practices proposed by the various schools of religion,
psychology, including various science and spirituality fit
into the entirety of human potential.

The model of the seven stages of
human life created by Adi Da Samraj is meant to clarify and
help understand, the spiritual implications of all the
individual and collective expressions of human experience
and knowledge.
We all share in the common experiences
of life and are therefore candidates to use the blesing of
his (and potentially your) understanding.

The following is an outline and
short summary of the Seven States of Human
Development:

 

1. Human life develops or
evolves in seven stages. This development is outlined in a
chronological order but its unfoldment both includes and
goes beyond a simple timeframe linear development.

2. The first three stages of
human life are the stages of functional physical,
emotional,mental, vital, moral adaptation and integration
with life to the universal Life-Energy that is the source
and ground of all life and nonlife forms.

Until the first three stages of
human life are developed in a moral feeling manner (to one
degree or another) conflict with oneself and others. This
will be evidenced by ones life in total. How persons adapt
or don’t adapt to their basic physical and emotional
development at this stage of life relates to ones life work,
job, career, money, food, family, love relationships and
sex.

The common method of grasping an
understanding of this stage is one of psychology, religion
and philosophy.

3. Religious life occurs
within the context of the first three stages of life. In the
first three stages of life the natural state of the
brain-mind is Faith, or relaxed and confident abiding of
brain and awareness in the Radiant Bliss of the Universal
and Divine Life-Power.

The Spiritual process does not begin
(fully) until the fourth stage of life is entered into (see
#4).

In the third stage of life, which is
associated with the thinking mind, the personality which has
a will can and must become responsible for the first two
stage of life to become intergrated and adapted to vital
life. Most people struggle and remain at this level of
development and only achieve what is conventional understood
to be happiness; a good life, a good family, fame, riches
and ‘the ideal vacation!. This is why the ‘lesson of life’
or what Adi Da in his more recent communications calls
‘Positive Disillusionment’ be understood. The third stage of
lifes lesson is that life is transitory and perfect
happiness can not be sustained and ‘ego’ is at the root of
‘dissatisfaction’. Life is not about realizing a perfect
world of happiness and pleasure but of understanding and
taking responsibility for ones life. There are no victims
and there are no one to blame, there is only
responsibility.

“In the first three stages of
life the ego constantly hunts for an other. The ego-“I”
hunts an other in order to be gratified, consoled, and
protected. The compulsive hunting for an other is generated
by the feelings of un-happiness, emptiness, and separateness
that possess and characterize the self-contracted
being.

Once an other is found, the
ego-“I” clings to the other, at first pleasurably, and then
aggressively. The ego-“I” depends on the other for
happiness, and, over time, the ego-“I” makes greater and
greater demands on the other for fulfillment of itself. Over
time, understanding the other cannot or will not satisfy the
absolute demand for attention and consolation. In that case,
the ego-“I” feels betrayed, and the ego-“I” begins the
strategy of punishing, rejecting, and abandoning the
other.

Every conditionally manifested
being has often been the proposed victim of this strategy of
separate and separative selves. Even more, until the heart
gives way to Divine Love-Bliss, every conditionally living
being is the original genius and grand performer of this
strategy of separate and separative selves. It is the
strategy of narcissus, and it is the dreadful work of all
conditionally living beings who are not awake to the Truth
beyond the ego-“I.””
Adapted from
The Dawn Horse Testament

The core of the problem of the third
stage of life is one of adolescent phasing, the struggle to
remain independent. It is characterized by all kinds of
patterns of phasing, of being clear-headed and in control
and being irrational and self-indulgent. Someone in the
third stage of life is always phasing between those two
qualities because they haven’t fulfilled the third stage of
life in it’s entirety. They do not become responsible for
their vital life. They can’t choose to live lawfully and
then do it, stick with it. They constantly fade, become
weak, irrational, distracted and become overwhelmed by the
vital and the potentials of human and earthly
potential.

The development of this conscious
personality which can be responsible for itself and live
lawfully, live right conditions in its life, the development
of that disposition is not an end in itself. It is simply
the third stage of life.

In the third stage, ego develops
three strategies or impulses with which to relate to its
projections: indifference, passion and aggression. These
impulses are guided by perception. Perception, in this case,
is the self-conscious feeling that you must officially
report back to central headquarters (mind) what is happening
in any given moment. Then you can manipulate each situation
by organizing another strategy.

 

“The self is believed to
be exclusively within and above, in or at the brain. This is
the chronic state of the usual man. Observe it yourself.
When you consider your foot, doesn’t it seem to be “down
there”?”

 

The liability in the third stage of
life is attachment to abstract and independent mental
states, with the verbal and lower mental dimension of the
world and the body-mind. It is the tendency toward a mental
consciousness and a willful manipulation of merely physical
or elemental conditions, without intuitive and feeling. It
is the tendency toward superficial or merely objective
awareness, or attachment to the waking state as if it were
without a psyche.

In the third stage of life faith,
prayer, moral activity, and right personal discipline are
the keys to the purification, adaptation and integration of
the whole bodily being, and its transformation and sacrifice
to God.
Beyond these general
descriptions, each individual must make specific changes in
his action to counterbalance his characteristic personal
quality before a full transition can be made to the next
stage of human development.

 

4. The Fourth Stage Of Life
is expressed in the region of the left side of the heart and
the frontal line (descending current) of the body
mind.

In the fourth stage of life the
grosser objects of the outer personality are observed and
transcended

5. The fifth stage of human
life is the stage of mysticism and astral dimensions, or
evolutionary adaptation to the higher brain and mind.

Anandamayakosha is the fifth sheath
and corresponds to the fifth stage of lie, the sheath of
conditional bliss and is described in the Hindu
tradition.

In the fifth stage of life the more
subtle objects are observed and transcended.

The fifth stage of life is a yoga
associated with the middle region of the chest or of the
heart. It is linked with the ascending fourth stage and the
fifth stage of life, in the spinal line.

In the great traditional literature
and practices the firth stage of life associates Realization
with the experience of various kinds of bodily bliss,
healing powers, psychisms, visions, internal sounds, Yogic
powers, and ascent to trance states of mind or other subtle
phenomenal regions of Cosmic Nature, while being laudable as
a conditional development of human potential

In the fifth stage of life there is
a tendency to become distracted, absorbed and disoriented
from the ultimate purpose and become devoted to the
potential objects and experiences associated with ascent and
only experience a stage of development, a stage of
evolution, a stage of transcendence

There are of course also many fifth
stage traditions that have nothing to do with spirituality
either. They are philosophically oriented by means of
technical practices to achieve something. They don’t involve
any spiritual transmission and therefore are only schools of
‘mind teachings or mind dharma’ or teachings of what Adi Da
called the ‘talking school’ as opposed to the ‘practicing
school’.

Fifth Stage realizers are very rare.
Some examples of fifth stage Siddhas are Akkalkot Swami, Sai
Baba of Shirdi, and Rang Avadhoot.

6. The sixth stage of human
life is the stage of ego-death, or transcendence of mind,
independent self, and primal fear.

7. The seventh stage of human
life is the stage of bodily Translation, or Transfiguration
of the total body-mind and the atomic soul in the Infinite
Radiance of the Living God.  


see:

Basket
of Tolerance
– Literature
associated with each stage of life.


Keys to remember as you read
and/study the wisdom teaching of Adi Da’s Seven Stages of
Life:

If you do not fulfill a stage before
proceeding to the next one, then there will be
complications, and any attempt at future growth will in
effect be retarded.

Stages of life overlap one another.
There is a period of time at the end of each of the first
six stages wherein some characteristics and capabilities of
the next stage begin to appear.

Education in every stage of life is
not a one-shot matter. The study of even the basic points
must he entered into again and again and again, throughout
one’s life.


The Seven States of Life – on the
Beezone 

My
Way of Schooling in the Seven Stages of
Life
– Sunlight on the
Water

Seven
States of Eternal Life
– The
Way That I Teach

The
Seven States of Eternal Life

Enlightenment of the Whole Body

The
First Three Stages of Life

Dawn Horse Testament

Birth
Until Death: The Culture of
Resurrection
– Vision Mound

Excerpts
from Enlightenment and the Transformation of
Man

Introducing
the Seventh Stages of Eternal Life

– Laughing Man

 



* This article is a compilation of talks
and essays by Adi Da but also includes sections from other
teachers such as Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche as well as
editorial additions by Beezone.