STAGE OF ASCENT STAGE OF DESCENT FE/MALE INITIATION (Early Teens) “ HEROIC” JOURNEY (Ages 1-32 ) OLD FOOL CRISIS OF LIMITATION (Ages 35-50) EMBITTERING JOURNEY WISDOM JOURNEY HOLY FOOL ANGRY YOUNG WO/MAN Needs to make and keep promises to grow Needs to rest in God’s promises and model the wholeness/holiness for others Doesn’t get it; tries to keep ascending despite the Evidence and the invitation; the shallow fe/male. SELF- IDENTITY Necessary period of idealism. Healthy young wo/man needs to experience her/his own power and possibilities. Necessary egocentrism; not in love with God, but in love with the idea of being in love. Duty, responsibility, hard work delayed gratification, black and white world views. Immature and potentially dangerous righteousness, even though it is earnest and generous. “ Sacrifice” instead of “mercy”. Never gets to experience Her/his own power, goodness Or potential. (In some cases A head start on the Spiritual journey – early initiation – If s/he can see God in it and come To a deep sense of self.) Normally a negative acting out. YOUNG FOOL Appropriate sense of one’s own boundaries; a sense of self adequate to let go of the self: the “ grain of wheat that must die or remain just a grain of wheat” (see John 12:24) Needs spiritual guidance because rules no longer work in their old form. Letting go, trust, patience, surrender, holy abandonment, compassion, the dark night of faith; the Abrahamic Journey from what you have to what you don’t have. Finally secure enough to be insecure. Time of painful insights and major surgery. Painfully redefining victory and success; putting on the mind of Christ, the Paschal Mystery. Cannot fake prayer anymore, but must pray to survive. The shadow is not just tolerated, but embraced, forgiven and seen as a gift. The rejected stone becomes the cornerstone (see 1 Peter 2:7). “Mercy” instead of “sacrifice.” The mid-life crisis: a time of inner loss of meaning, sometimes accompanied by failure, falling apart and “acting out” to regain power and control. Confrontation with one’s limits, with paradox and mystery – with the cross. Heroic virtues don’t usually work anymore, nor do they always help. Needs humility, honesty. Early movement from self-control to the beginning of God’s control. God’s beloved daughter/son the mellow “ grandmother / grandfather” who can hold together the paradoxes because God has done it in him. God is finally in control. Return to simplicity to the garden; Beyond judgments, “ reason” and control to wisdom. Being human more important than self- Image, role, power, prestige or possessions. S/he has it all! Confrontation, but no enlightenment Wounds did not become “sacred” wounds; still looking for something to blame. The negative and cynical wo/man.
self identity Mid-Life Crisis wisdom journey descent of the "Soul" Embittering Journey Holy Fool Ascent of "Spirit" Old Fool Ritual Preparation Male Initiation Cultural “hero” of conformity: Tries to keep ascending. Despite the evidence and invitation. R.R. 04/24/99 John the Baptist Earnest, necessary idealism to “build the tower” and rise above ego and sensory suffocation. All is action, independence, struggle, seeking victory over “dragons.” Prefers “mind” over body and soul, answers over process or particulars. Not secure enough to admit the unconscious or to own shadow side. Must “fit it” to cultural definition of success. Virtues needed and admired: Duty, responsibility, handwork, delayed gratification, ego, morality of black and white courage, perseverance, self-confidence (largely drawn from outer images, because no real inner basis for confidence yet). Looking for the “treasure”. Young Male (usually up to mid 30’s in our culture) “ The Tower” needed and good sense of boundaries, sense of purpose, sense of other’s boundaries and sense of mission Ages 35 – 50 Inner loss of meaning sometimes accompanied by outer failure, falling apart, acting out. Confrontation with one’s limits: Paradox mystery. Suffering and death are met. Must let go of his self-image to grow. The virtues of the hero, if held onto in simple form, become his downfall. The rules must change: control to God control. Second Half of “ Life Journey” Letting go of what you think you have. Jumping off the tower. Abrahamic journey of faith feels like you are losing your treasure. Victory is redefined. Foe is now in here. Finally secure enough to be insecure, admits the conflicts of the unconscious. “Soul Morality” that admits a lot of gray areas: the Great Compassion, the Mind of Christ. Time gives painful insights, shadow is not just tolerated but even embraced and forgiven and seen as a gift. The Scarred Wound. Patience, tolerance for ambiguity and the other. Whenever God is finally in control. Re-enhanced universe, he expects “magic”. No more outer journeys required: Riches come to him at home. The lessons are all in the past and in the past great patterns. Second naïveté “primal man” who has moved beyond practical reason. Being human is more important than self image, role, gender, class, power. He has it all. God’s Son. Confrontation, but no enlightment, healing “salvation” Heroic Journey