Every Seven Years (7) You Change

I have republished the book and have improved and  enlarged  it enormously. The whole book is now available in ebook and in paperback in the USA – UK  – AustraliaBrazilCanadaFranceEspanaIndia – ItalyJapanMexicoNetherlands


Does your personality change too?

By Tony Crisp

2nd Edition

Copyright © Tony Crisp 2018

ISBN 9781916438309

All rights reserved

Most cells in your body are renewed over a period of time.

Does your personality change, too?


About the Author

Tony Crisp is an internationally renowned expert on dreams and their interpretation and is the author of the bestselling Dream Dictionary: An A to Z Guide to Understanding Your Unconscious Mind. Based on material from thousands of dreams gathered during three decades of research, Dictionary has become a classic of the genre with a previous version being translated into seven languages worldwide, and working as a psychotherapist for twenty years he gathered a wide understanding of the human condition.

Tony has worked at the vanguard of the personal development and self-help movement for more than fifty years, co-founding in the 1970s one of the first human growth centres in the UK. In addition to teaching and leading groups in self-development and yoga, Tony has worked variously as a photographer, journalist, writer, psychotherapist and broadcaster both in the UK and abroad, acting as LBC’s resident dream therapist for seven years.

Tony’s website, DreamHawk.com, is one of the longest running dream interpretation sites in existence, with thousands of people accessing its database of dream symbols, interpretations and reference material every day. He has five children and currently lives alone in a cottage in Wales.

Table of Contents


The First Cycle: 0-7 Years

The Second Cycle: 7-14 Years

The Third Cycle: 14-21 Years

The Fourth Cycle: 21-28 Years

The Fifth Cycle: 28-35 Years

The Sixth Cycle: 35-42 Years

The Seventh Cycle: 42-49 Years

The Eighth Cycle: 49-56 Years

The Ninth Cycle: 56-63 Years

The Tenth Cycle: 63-70 Years

The Eleventh Cycle: 70-77 Years

The Twelfth Cycle: 77-84 Years onwards

Living Forever


Are you the same person now that you were fifteen years ago? In fact, are you the same person you were just seven years ago? Most of us have heard the old saying that every cell in the body is changed over a period of seven years; but recent investigation has uncovered facts of far more significance to us as human beings. This concerns the emotional, physical and mental changes that seem to occur in approximate seven-year intervals.

Of course, there are no fixed boundaries and so we may achieve these levels of maturity at any period of our lives. So what follows are simply the general changes you may find. Rudolph Steiner, the great teacher of Anthroposophy, said that the seven-year cycles continue throughout life, and are of the utmost importance to doctors, teachers, psychiatrists and the social sciences. Without some smattering of these changes it is difficult for anyone to understand the relationship of any given individual with his or her environment.

I have tried to summarise what Steiner, myself and others have said about the cycles. By way of introduction, I feel it is important to say that as humans, in fact as any life form, we are creatures of great polarities.

We exist strung between enormous duality – sleep and waking, male and female, pain and pleasure, light and darkness, life and death, and death and resurrection, war and peace, matter and anti-matter, negative and positive, the void and bodily existence. To be whole we need to accept and meet these opposites. In the pursuit of love we need to recognise that we must integrate the other gender to become whole.

One of the great paradoxes of our lives is that we constantly go through such enormous changes every day. Each of us is immersed in a ‘river’ of constant change. If you think about it, you have been carried, pushed, impelled by this current as you were moved through babyhood, childhood, teenage and adulthood, and there are more stages of growth beyond adulthood. And as we pass through these changes we die to our old self in order to change to the new. We actually experience ‘dying’ but most people are so out of touch with death, because they are scared of it, that they do not recognise the experience as such.

I use the words ‘death’, ‘life’ and ‘inner world’ a great deal, and to make what I write understandable I need to explain where I get these ideas from, because most people do not understand.

To start with, while we sleep our conscious self is largely or totally unconscious, and while we dream our voluntary muscles are paralysed – therefore another will or motivating force moves our body and creates our dreams. So, in life and sleep we have two powerful actions working in us. The first is our waking experience based on having a body, its limitations, vulnerabilities and a particular gender. This is our Conscious Will. Our second Will is the power that gives us Life and in fact runs all our important life processes, such as our heartbeat, breathing and digestion, and in sleep continues to express as dreams. This is our ‘life’, to which I have given the description Life Will.

That is not a new idea.  Many ancient thinkers and writers have expressed it in one way or another. For instance, Jakob Boehme, who lived between 1575 and 1624, wrote:

Thou must consider that there are in thy Soul two Wills, an inferiour Will, which is for driving thee to Things without and below; and a superior Will, which is for drawing to Things within and above. These two Wills are now set together, as it were, Back to Back, and in a direct Contrariety to each other; but in the Beginning, it was not so.

Here is an experience of my own

In 1953, when I was sixteen, and already deeply interested in the possibilities of the human mind, I took a course in deep relaxation. I practised every day for three months, tensing my muscles, relaxing them, then passing my awareness over and over my body, dropping the feeling of tension and letting go. After three months I was quite proficient. One evening, after coming home from dining out with friends, I went to bed thinking I would leave my usual practice, but in the end decided to practice even though it was late. After going over my body several times I suddenly lost my right arm. I had no sensation of it other than space, hugeness. Then I lost my left arm, and – my whole body. It was like falling through a trap-door into the stars. I had no sense of having a body. Thoughts had ceased, except for a murmur apparently a thousand miles away. Yet in blackness, in immensity, in absence of thought I existed vitally as bodiless awareness. We think that we are our body because we have no other experience of our existence. So, we identify with our body and so are terrified of dying – which in a sense is what we do every time we go to sleep and leave our sense of a body behind.

“I felt at the time, and still believe it correct, that I had fallen asleep yet remained awake. Waking, critical awareness had been taken through the magic doors of sleep into a universe we seldom ever see – deep dreamless sleep.”

The world I entered was a completely different world than waking consciousness – I call it the ‘inner world’, and it gives one access to areas of experience normal waking life does not.

Now, coming to my use of the word ‘death’, I use it to mean that any one of us can enter the inner world if we know how to die to our own ego and conscious, thinking mind. So, as described above, I have learnt to die to my conscious self by entering that amazing and huge world.

So when I mention Life in this work, I am referencing the huge possibilities that are open to us all, once we have learnt how to still the ego and calm the surface life in order to access our inner world.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that in addition to the summaries included in this short book of the work of others in relation to life cycles, my own observations on the subject arise from having lived a long and full life, much of which has been given over to the study of my own and others’ inner lives, with the result being that I am able at times to have a broader view than many.

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 The First Cycle: 0-7 Years

One of the most important of these cycles is the first, from birth to seven years of age. Its importance lies in the fact that it is the beginning of everything, the foundation upon which the later structure will be built. Birth gives individual life to an infant body. Even at birth, this small being already has its given potential of intelligence, creativity and personality. But this potential has to come to terms with its environment, which includes its own body. In a human being we cannot have awareness without consciousness; we cannot have thinking without the tools of thought such as language, concepts or ideas. So during our early years we are largely moved by the instincts of hunger, need for love, survival, protection and support, along with pain and the impact of our environment. All this while we build up the inner, mental structures that in later years will allow us to think, to feel, and to be aware of ourselves as an individual.

The most important of these inputs is that of the unconscious behavioural responses we learn. From the moment you are born, perhaps even prior to that, you are learning, or there are pressed upon you, responses to what you are experiencing. The culture you are born into is a huge ready-made set of behavioural responses. For instance, an Australian aborigine would easily respond to a huge living grub/caterpillar by eating it. This would be a very difficult behavioural response for most Northern Europeans or Americans. As babies we learnt everything from whether we respond to opportunity with fear or eagerness; to love with fear of warmth; to food as a glutton or with healthy appetite.

At birth there is a very different physical and glandular system than in later years. For a start the sexual organs have not developed, meaning responses to sex and sensation are very global. Also the thymus is very large and in later years becomes smaller. It has been said this, in these early years, gives the child a very primitive response to truth, right and wrong, and what later become moral codes. So the child only slowly develops any real sense of social morality. In a way a baby is a wild animal, and only slowly develops ‘human’ qualities.

But something so mysterious happens to us during this first seven year cycle that once done it can never be fully undone. The Roman Catholic Church recognises this by saying that if they can have the first seven years of a child’s life that is all they need to insure a lifelong influence. Napoleon also observed that as the twig is bent, so the tree will grow. This is borne out by seeing the cases of children who have been lost and brought up by animals during these formative years. Even with the best tuition they never learn to become a self aware personality as we know it. Time is a mystery to them, and even though their brain size and function is normal, they never approach the usual capabilities that education gives to modern women and men.

So, in the first cycle we pass through an incredible process of learning. This includes motor movements, speech, relationship to ourselves and to our environment. And that means learning a vast amount about what is useful, entertaining or harmful; about what responses we get from others, and developing habits of response that may be difficult to change in later years. We learn a sense of personal awareness and move toward becoming an individual. In other words, we learn to say “I” and know what we mean.

The learning of language is like a powerful computer programme that gives us the ability to develop an identity and self awareness. This is shown again by children reared by animals. Language also adds limitations which we can overcome if we recognise them. The life of Helen Keller throws an enormous light on such children’s ability to learn. Helen was struck dumb and blind at an early age when she had only learnt one word, so was like a child reared by an animal. She lived life as such without self awareness until the age of eleven. Then she was taught by a deaf and dumb teacher and remembered the first word and quickly began the climb to become a human person. [Source: The Story of My Life by Helen Keller].

The stories of such children’s lives show us the enormous influence the early years of learning have on our mind, and how language is like a huge computer programme that alters our natural awareness, allowing us to have self awareness and a personality.

Rudolf Steiner would add that during this first stage of development the developing inner forces are working to transform the body of the child from one that was inherited from the parents, to one that represents the full personality of the child.

Emotional Age 

Something often overlooked about the stages of growth is one’s emotional age.

From age zero we are completely dependent upon the loved person for our needs, physical, emotional and social. Great anger, jealousy or pain are felt if the loved one relates to anyone else, is lost, or threatens to leave. If we do not mature beyond this emotional age, in adulthood this enormous feeling reaction may also be felt at a time of emotional withdrawal of the partner, even if there is no sign of an actual physical withdrawal on their part.  In the infant and toddler there is a desire for unconditional love and a need to be always with the loved one. In an adult with this developmental level of love, sex may be a part of the relationship, but the main need is a bonded connection. This is sometimes felt as a need to have the loved person want us as much, or as desperately, as we want/need them; possibly the greatest fear, one that can trigger great anger or an enormous desire to placate or earn love, is the threat or fear of being abandoned. Obviously many people never develop beyond this level.

The point is that certainly in the past, and still today in many parts of the world, abandonment means death. The greatest and most prominent drive in a baby animal is to stay connected with its parent or group; if it doesn’t it will almost certainly die. That instinct has been built into us as vulnerable animals for millions of years. The baby cannot help but feel that imperative. It will react with tremendous emotional force, swinging between extremes of placation and murderous rage. In a baby that can simply be noisy, but many adult still carry this ‘baby’ inside them, and its responses can be tragic for them, or even end in murder.

This is so important, that if during this and/or the next, second cycle, any feelings that you were abandoned or lacked love were felt, then you need to be aware that you have a huge time bomb that can be triggered in your life.

Adult men and women with that time bomb in them can become painful victims of their desperate need for ‘love’. This can happen at any time of life, even the late sixties or beyond.

A woman can be triggered by any signs that a man or woman ‘loves’ her, and can be so hypnotised by such attention that she becomes a sexual slave for a man, and when he has finished with her, or she demands a loving and not just sexual relationship, is cast off, often leaving great painful wounds.

A man can equally fall in the same way. So it is important to recognise whether you have been the victim of abandonment, sexual assault as a child, or just unloving parenting. If so, recognise you are very vulnerable when someone takes an interest in you.

Another very important part of a child’s life that is barely recognised in our culture is that we all learn enormous amounts in a similar way to how a fox cub learns from its parents – without any verbal communication. Just as a fox cub ‘learns’ how to hunt from its parents, so we absorb the deeply etched survival strategies of our parents simply by being around them. The process instinctively draws in the survival tactics that perhaps even our parents themselves have never really been aware they live by. In doing this the higher animals learn what cannot be passed on as instinct, what is not ‘hard wired’ into them. This holds in it a tremendous advantage because ‘hard wiring’ takes a long time.

So, not only can one have a ‘gene pool’ from which our body is formed, there is also a ‘behavioural pool’ acting as a similar resource. This does not so much shape the body, but certainly gives form to the character and responses. But we absorb not only the helpful attitudes and behaviour of our parents but also the awful strategies many people use to survive.

So if we can develop something of the ability to stand outside the attitudes that most of us identify as ‘us’, it is useful to see if we can find and assess these deeply buried behaviours.

 The Second Cycle: 7-14 years

The second cycle, from seven to fourteen, continues this growth. The concepts and association of ideas and emotions that began in the first cycle begin to be discovered by the child. The physical changes also prepare the growing personality for the next stage. The thymus gland decreases rapidly in size, allowing the development of a sense of right and wrong and social responsibility. A sign of this physical and psychological growth is the loss of our milk teeth and the emergence of our adult teeth. This marks an entrance into a new maturity.

The child has learned, with the advent of its concepts and developing emotions, to create an inner world of its own. It is a world of heroes, heroines, danger and vivid imagination. As the thymus fades, and the sexual organs develop, the personality glides into the turbulent world of puberty and adolescence.

Sometimes it is already evident, even from the preceding cycle, the direction of interest and activity the child will take in maturity. Although for the very observant this might be seen in very early years, it becomes more evident as one approaches puberty. This may show itself in what they play at imagine themselves as. I noticed my son often playing with aeroplanes; as an adult he learnt fly and also the skill of hang gliding. Sometimes this love cannot support them financially but they choose it as a second path.

In all, this cycle is a time of inner expansion when we begin to experience and test abilities in the broader sense of the outside world. We may learn to share and interact, controlling earlier instincts in favour of group dynamics. The habits learned in the first cycle are now part of the character of the growing child.

Erik Erikson and his theory of personality

Erik Erikson was a psychoanalyst known for his theory on psychological development of human beings. The development of identity seems to have been one of Erikson’s greatest concerns in his own life as well as in his theory. He studied the Montessori Method of education, which focused on child development and sexual stages. He is best known for his book, Childhood and Society. His notes on childhood development are therefore helpful in understanding the growth stages we need to pass through.

Competence – Industry vs. Inferiority: School-age/6-11. Child comparing self-worth to others (such as in a classroom environment). Child can recognize major disparities in personal abilities relative to other children. Erikson places some emphasis on the teacher, who should ensure that children do not feel inferior.

Fidelity – Identity vs. Role Confusion: Adolescent/12 years till 18. Questioning of self. Who am I, how do I fit in? Where am I going in life? Erikson believes that if the parents allow the child to explore, they will conclude their own identity. However, if the parents continually push him/her to conform to their views, the teen will face identity confusion.

Intimacy vs. Isolation: This is the first stage of adult development. This development usually happens during young adulthood, which is between the ages of 18 to 35. Dating, marriage, family and friendships are important during this stage in life. By successfully forming loving relationships with other people, individuals are able to experience love and intimacy. Those who fail to form lasting relationships may feel isolated and alone.

On ego identity versus role confusion, ego identity enables each person to have a sense of individuality. According to Barbara Engler in her book Personality Theories (2006), when role confusion occurs, “the inability to conceive of oneself as a productive member is a great danger; it can occur during adolescence, when looking for an occupation.”

Because in the West we are often pushed to become a part of the huge industrialisation of society, and through the influence of some parents’ belief that they know in what direction their child should go, young adults are often left in conflict about their own innate direction.

Here is an extract from a dream, as an example:

I am at my original flat but come across an extra room or sometimes a part to the flat no one knows about. I am always surprised when I find it, but inside myself I know of its existence. It is as though it belonged to me although I am unaware of ever having used it. It is usually a bedroom but sometimes a lounge with a bed in it. It’s obviously lived in. The bed is unmade and it’s a little untidy but comfortable. I feel very familiar with it but recognise none of the contents as mine.

The dreamer explored this dream and discovered it held her artistic abilities left to her from her father’s influence. Because the father and mother didn’t get on well, he left. The mother subsequently told her daughter that her father didn’t amount to much and to forget him. So, she was delighted to find within her the gifts he had left her. See Individuation

 The Third Cycle: 14-21 years

This is the third cycle, from fourteen to twenty-one. During it we become conscious of ourselves in a new way, and with a different relationship to life. One might say we become ‘self-conscious’. The emotional range expands in all directions and with this a new appreciation of music, art, literature and people begins. It is found for instance that at puberty the ability to distinguish subtler tones of colour and sound develops. Besides this the person might go through the difficult struggle of breaking away from home life and/or parental influence. It naturally produces conflict as the person learns some degree of independence. Also, the opposite sex, or sex as an urgent impulse, often becomes all important as the new emotions pour in upon our personality.

Because as I write this as I have reached the age of 85 and so have lost most of the glandular and sexual impulses that are incredibly powerful in a teenager. This has led me to have a new view of the range of feelings, many youths experience which gives them a different relationship to religion, relationships, and life’s mysteries. Something I have realised through this is that ‘falling in love’ as it is called is purely a glandular event. It fires enormous stimulus to our emotions and leads us to see certain men or women as wonderful. Of course that is nature at work in us, and if the urge is traumatised it leads to neurotic behaviour. Understanding that we can work with instead of being dominated by it.

All this huge change, as one approaches twenty-one, produces an individual with some sense of social and individual responsibility, or if not that the beginning or a sense of a direction or life purpose. This might not be recognised as such at the time. But it is a time of searching for life purpose, independence, a realization of choices plus a testing of social and personal limitations as well as an awareness of a burgeoning sexuality. As this is a traumatic period of life for most of us, it is also likely to be a time of many unforgettable dreams. See Exploring a Dream

Just before or during this cycle females face a great adjustment: the start of menstruation. For a young woman this may be particularly potent for it confronts her with the fact that she is part of nature’s cycles, that her body is not totally her own and that Life in her has its own agenda. It connects her with the forces of death and renewal occurring within her during every menstruation. It connects her with the tremendous link with natural forces of mothering and the strength of womanhood and the female principle in nature.

Because of the new range of feelings, many youths experience a different relationship with religion and life’s mysteries. All this, as one approaches the age of twenty-one, produces an individual with some sense of social and individual responsibility; or if not that, the beginning of a sense of a direction or life purpose. This might not be recognised as such at the time. But it is a time of searching for life purpose, independence, a realization of choices plus a testing of social and personal limitations as well as an awareness of a burgeoning sexuality. As this is a traumatic period of life for most of us, it is also likely to be a time of many unforgettable dreams.

The period is a time of adding maturity, dignity and poise to the person. If these changes have not occurred by the age of twenty-one, then the person has in some way not covered necessary aspects of development, and both psychology and the law recognise that they are lacking maturity.

This third cycle is also one of great and sweeping changes, sexually, physically, emotionally, morally and mentally. Such enormous changes often do not occur without an experience of loss. In this case the world of childhood is fading, or it might even be torn away, leaving scars.

It is also a time when many new features of the personality have their beginning, i.e. the religious sense, appreciation of the beautiful, of music, literature and art etc. Although such things have their beginnings here, they sometimes remain undeveloped until later years.

Because of these changes, and because such a lot is being revealed in these years, it is obvious why so much thought should be given to early marriage. Because of one’s changing viewpoint, the particular partner one would choose at the age of seventeen or eighteen is likely to be different to the partner chosen at twenty-one and beyond. See Surviving Love and Relationships

The emotional development at this age is possibly seen as initial uncertainty or clumsiness concerning emotional and sexual contact. It often involves desire to explore many relationships, unless there are forces of introversion or personal and social uncertainty at work. We are still finding out what our boundaries and needs are, and the sexual drive is in full flood. Any partner we have at this time may be loved for one’s own needs, rather than out of recognition for who the other person is. The person during this cycle may experience great emotions of romantic and spontaneous love, that are often difficult to maintain in face of challenges we meet in developing a more mature personality.

Many women often remain at this stage of emotional development, and search for romantic teenage love dreams their whole life, causing much emotional pain. Men may not move from the very genital phase of this period, so go on a lifelong search for the next woman’s vagina to fill with their dreamed of big penis and great manhood.

An example of a woman’s dream explains this:

Example: I dreamt of being with a woman who was desperately seeking a man. I was also with my own female companion. I believe the woman had been suddenly dropped by her man, and I and my partner were close and with her.

Still in the semi-awake state I tried ‘being’ the woman, and had a very clear response. I experienced being her, but was also me with experience of seeing into myself in some degree. I saw that the woman, like most of us, was a female creature whose instinctive drive was to find a mate. But she was not aware of this as an instinctive drive but as a personal feeling. As such she had become, like many women and men, lost in a huge web of personal ideas about whether they were attractive, sexy, with many complications about love, gender mixed with childhood unconscious traumas and the heartbreak all that brings.

In some degree, to become a mature and full individual we must accept that we are not alone but an integral part of the huge process of life and therefore of everyone and everything. One of the great areas of learning for this period of time connects with how we meet other adults outside our family. We begin to turn toward strangers for important reasons such as intimate attention and appreciation; looking for a mate; finding others to work with or acknowledge our own ideas such as music, writing, etc. We try to make things happen in human society, and so meet the co-operation and antagonism of others more fully than protected childhood and its groupings allowed.

During the change from adolescent to adult, one of the greatest of our childhood needs becomes apparent in the way we meet situations, and the choices we make. The need is for parental enthusiastic love and recognition of oneself as a unique person. If we have not received this love we carry in us such pain and need, it influences all our decisions. Even without any maltreatment, the lack of love traumatises us. There are so few of us who have actually received this love to the degree we needed, that the dealing with this inner lack is one of the major tasks before us if we are to reach our full potential. This is often worked out in our relationships and the tribulations that arise out of our desperate need for, or pain regarding, intimacy.

Becoming a Woman

In this cycle which last from thirteen to twenty you go through the massive change of leaving your childhood and facing becoming a woman. In today’s world girls are bombarded with images and suggestions of what it is to be a woman. This happens very strongly in the western world where huge forces of advertising and influence for commercial interests have developed very powerful methods to gain a way into your life. So I am going to say things to you that you may not accept or believe at first, but I feel are important for you to have heard.

First, you are an animal, a female mammal. To have reached the point of becoming a human female you went through millions of years of animal life. If you doubt that you must realise that you are left with a reptile and mammal brain as well as the human brain.

The neurologist Paul MacLean gave a definition of these physiological and psychological facts of our brain in 1990. He said that these levels of the brain work like “three interconnected biological computers, each with its own special intelligence, its own subjectivity, its own sense of time and space and its own memory”.

Prior to MacLean’s findings it was assumed that the highest level of the brain, the neocortex, the human brain, dominating the other lower levels. MacLean, and since him others (Earl K. Miller), have found this is not so. In fact Miller was recently able to demonstrate that the older brain learns fast, and it gradually ‘trains’ the prefrontal cortex.

Returning to MacLean’s definition the base brain is the Reptilian. The next level he called the Mammalian or Monkey Brain, and the third is called the Neomammalian or Human Brain. See Levels of the Brain

To ignore that we carry our animal past with us and that we are still very influence by our past, can lead us to live in a way leading to enormous confusion and emotional pain, because in doing so we are living a life in conflict with oneself. Such conflict can lead to the depression, being lost in relationships, painful or passionate, and anxiety and panic attacks.

It can also help us to realise that consciousness on our planet started in the slime of creation, the slime we return to, to procreate. And from that slime which is a vehicle for our seed to exist in, our awareness goes through the whole process of evolution, the dividing of cells, as happens in plant growth, the forming of structure and organs as with animals, the creation of a creature with gills such as fish use, and on to a human form ready to breathe air, carrying our seed onwards.

Yes, you grew from a seed, but no plant or creature grows from a dead seed, and each living seed carries within it all the past gathered from all its forebears. So, the seed in your mother’s womb is as old as and even older than human kind, and you carry that wisdom or memories in you. But in this life you developed a new brain, and the memories you gathered this time are what you built your personality from, but beneath that is a very huge and ancient self. For in a real way, you are simply a conscious personality riding an ancient beast, your body. If you value this wonderful animal you ride, you will care for its needs; it needs exercise, food it has been eating for millions of years that has not been made by manufacturers, like white flour and white sugar products; so eating and drinking what nature produces, and a need for sexual expression in some form.

Being in touch with your ancient self is the way to wholeness. It might help you to make contact with that wonderful wisdom and growth energy if you try Intuition – Using It

Because the cell that you grew from has a vast life experience, for the cell started its life when life began on Earth. A cell doesn’t become old it is immortal, for it keeps dividing and doesn’t die.  Of course it produces your human body, but to do that it does not produce an exact copy because it does this to experience a separate self you call your ego or personality. In that way it gathers new experience which is carried forward in the eternal sex cells.

So, as a human woman you have a massive background of being many, many life forms. What was said above points to you arising not simply through evolution but through immense cosmic principles, a form of cosmic mould or archetype. Older cultures recognised that and though up the title of Great Mother. For somewhere, deep below the surface of your waking mind, this stream of life starts its flow. In underground caverns it moves through channels formed in ancient times, bringing life to all those tiny lives that, separate or in unity, form the shell you call your body. Within the universe of yourself you are a young goddess playing at creation with the stuff of life. Whatever thought or feeling, longing or emotion you harbour takes form, and is given life, beautiful or awful as it might be. And when you do not own that power, when you push back any part of that flow into the dark caverns of your mind, where fears and wounds, black angers or unspent vengeance lurk in shadows, they are given life. They grow strong until they wrestle with you, invade the living tissues of your body with their sickness, or burst out into the world as action.

“There for any to see the splendour – Of this most ancient goddess – Revealed and revealing – She was and is the revelation.”

So never think you are simply a no account human female. For though you arise from an ancient mould, the same as any mammal, you have a uniqueness through personal memories, we call personality.

It is important to see if you can feel the lioness within you, because otherwise you might remain one of those helpless modern screaming females who are victims to their own fears and panic and end up being hurt, abused or even murdered. Of course, there are thousands of other strategies you are capable of once you are open to your wider self.

Sometime see if you can explode in angry energy – it helps if someone threatens you. Believe me it is possible, and if you learn a few self defence moves it gives you so much more confidence. The throat is a point to understand as you do not need to dance around if you can hit it.

The wider self can also warn you about opportunity or danger.

Another big part of being an adolescence, and something that will become a dominating part of you is your sexual nature. Remember that you evolved from animals, and sex was a natural part of their existence. As such they didn’t think about it, study it or wonder if they were good at it – after all, they/we have had millions of years living with it – they just did it.

So, don’t make it terribly personal, because sex has been an urge not just for millions of years, but billions. Because, honestly you are basically another mammal driven on by nature itself. But as humans we make the whole business very complicated by our thoughts, our emotional reactions, and from the immense advertising cleverly disguised as truth. You cannot completely escape from its influenced, but you might be able to mitigate it a little by understanding what you are facing.

Example: I dreamt of being with a woman who was desperately seeking a man. I was also with my own female companion. I believe the woman had been suddenly dropped by her man, and I and my partner were close and with her.

Still in the semi-awake state I tried ‘being’ the woman, and had a very clear response. I experienced being her, but was also me with experience of seeing into myself in some degree. I saw that the woman, like most of us, was a female creature whose instinctive drive was to find a mate. But she was not aware of this as an instinctive drive but as a personal feeling. As such she had become, like many women and men, lost in a huge web of personal ideas about whether she was attractive, sexy, with many complications about love, gender mixed with childhood unconscious traumas and the heartbreak all that brings.

A huge adaptation you will meet concerns your sexual feelings, which in turn includes your emotions, your self image, your dress sense and many others things. We are each unique, and because of factors such as self confidence, level of physical and psychological strength, traumas we may hold within us, difficulties or ability in meeting challenges we will choose different paths to sexual expression. To list the main ones:

  1. A heterosexual and long term relationship; with or without children
  2. Relationships with a number of partners, none of which you choose to stay with long.
  3. A polygamous relationship either with one man and several women, or a single woman with several men.
  4. A homosexual relation ship with just one partner or with several different partners.
  5. No sexual relations but a friendly partnership, or a non sexual life without partners; also maybe a religious loving life.
  6. Quite a number of people are neither one nor the other, so are married with children but are also homosexual.
  7. Some choose to either act out becoming the opposite sex, or have a sex change.

In one sense we have enormous choices how we express sexually. In another sense we may be pushed to choose because of fears, traumas, or programming by parents, peers, and social and media influence. See Programmed 

All of us are born with genius as a fundamental part of us. But of course things get in the way of it expressing. Our body for instance, our programming from parents and culture, also our inherited attitudes such as – “I was always told I was no good and would not amount to anything.” When or if you are feeling hopeless and helpless watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNZVV4Ciccg

Your personal consciousness is a mirror in which your innermost hopes, longings, fears/terrors and genius are made real. They are made real of how you react to and experience people, animals and relationships. Perhaps your genius has been buried deep, but it is there by the immense number of lives that left traces of genius, or persistence against odds, of curiosity or love. See Ancestors 2Seed

If you are unclear about that take time to recognise that as a personality you are almost totally unaware of what is taking place in your body right now. You are not aware as personal experience of the huge history of evolutionary changes your being has gone through in order to become you. You perhaps have little conscious insight into the massive background of social, religious and family influences that go together to enable you to function as an individual and a social entity. Your self consciousness may not include awareness of how your present personality was shaped out of those influences. Maybe you do not know what the major life lessons are that confront you, or what your innate genius and passions are.

In general you are barely awake of whom you are! But that is not unusual; most of us are in the same boat. Only here and there does an individual wake up with such wide awareness and shine with light, love and creativity.  Yet that light and love is in everyone. See Edgar Cayce – Individuation

Any journey we take into uncertainty takes trust in ones own innate processes and genius. Without calling it genius, it takes trust in oneself, ones own innermost voice. In general we are barely awake to who we are! But that is not unusual, most of us are in the same boat. Only here and there does an individual wake up with such wide awareness and shine with light, love and creativity. See On Being A Man

 The Fourth Cycle: 21-28 years

The cycle that follows from twenty-one to twenty-eight, can more or less be called a process of enlargement and refinement. It is the period when we mentally and emotionally enter into adulthood. We start to build the foundations of our careers and intimate relationships with a driving energy that we hope will gain us entry and respect in the larger world.

One of the most marked features of this cycle is the developing sense of discrimination. The faculties of insight, intuition, judgement and understanding begin to come to the fore. The personality softens and begins to mellow. The sparks of interest that were awakened in the previous cycles begin to be developed along more definite lines. The abilities of the last cycle also flourish. The adult emotional age may begin to emerge if one has successfully grown through the previous levels. This shows as a growing sense of recognition of the needs of one’s partner, while not denying one’s own. It is followed by an ability to be something for the partner’s sake without losing one’s own independence or will. One becomes more aware of the issues that colour or influence relationships and meeting them in co-operation with others. Independence and connection can appear together instead of opposite ends of a spectrum. We move toward becoming caring sexual partners through discovering each other’s needs and vulnerability.

Sometimes we make people into our satellites in a relationship. We do not see them as themselves, but as someone or something which serves our personal needs or fears. We use the person much as we might use a car, as something waiting to fulfil us. I use the word satellite though because we see the person as someone attached to us, orbiting around us, responding to our signals.

This is really about not recognising that each person is unique and different from ourselves. This factor of difference in other people is of immense importance and underlines a lot of human problems and misunderstandings.  Even so, if that is recognised and understood, independence and connection can appear together instead of opposite ends of a spectrum.

In this cycle we also begin to confront the issues that we were born with or which arose through the challenges and pains of our infancy and childhood. These usually show as the way in which we handle intimate relationships, whether or not we can really meet in partnership with the opposite sex, and how we respond to the external world, its challenges and opportunities.

At this time what is revealed may not be addressed as a personal problem or issues to be healed or re-evaluated. Such issues will be faced more directly later if not dealt with now.

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 The Fifth Cycle: 28-35 years

The changes become more subtle as the years pass. This cycle is one where the creative process of mind becomes most active. Researchers and inventors seem to make their greatest advances during these years. It is interesting to note that physical science finds evidence of the reason for this in the fact that the association centres of the brain come to their peak efficiency at about thirty-five years of age.

This is even more interesting when we see that most of the great religious teachers and philosophers came to some vital experience at thirty-five. Jesus, Buddha, St Paul, Dante and Jacob Boehme were all in the region of thirty-five years of age at the point of their greatest insights. It would seem then, that if there is an inspirational influence at work in the life, it would possibly reach its peak during these years around the age of thirty-five.

Here we take stock of ourselves and the emotional influences that have shaped our personality. We begin to determine what is ‘us’ and what traits we have been pressured by family, peers or society to adopt. It is also a time in which we begin to ask ourselves the big questions of who and what we are, that is if we have not done so beforehand. Who or what are you?

If you have never wondered about this it might be worth trying to because as I mentioned elsewhere, if you haven’t given time to learning how to improve the quality of your life – not the quality of your house or work – it is worth investing some of your efforts in doing so, because later years may present you with what you have not dealt with inside you.

A first step in this direction is to recognise that your personality did not arise out of your own efforts. Then you offer yourself to be acted upon by whatever underlies your existence. And this offering means some measure of becoming empty, of becoming receptive or surrendered to an action other than that of your own thoughts, your own emotions, anxieties and habits.

A technique that is ages old is to sit daily and ask that question for at least twenty minutes – Who am I, or what am I?  That is the total practice, but its simplicity hides a great deal of hidden value. Although it may sound very cerebral – that one sits and responds to a question – in fact the thinking mind is transcended and you come to realise that you are the answer, not your thoughts or emotions, not what your work is or your dreams are – but you.

A person using this practice described it to me as follows:

I had been posing the question for days, ‘Who are you?’ Suddenly I realised that it was a silly question, because I was the answer. All thought then stopped and I existed as the answer. My being had always been this. In this state there was an awareness of being connected with everything around me, in the beginning of creation. This was the first day.

You need to be clear that you already are this Self, but perhaps you haven’t realised it. If you are it, why haven’t you realised it?

The answer is that the noise of your thinking, your desires, your concepts of yourself and the world are like loud music covering up the simple melody that constantly plays as yourself. Your awareness of existing has been lost in an enormous mass of language and feelings about who you are, what you are, what the world and life are, and these you take to be real. As explained at the beginning, these are only attempts at copying reality.

What is meant by that is that virtually everybody believes their thoughts and ideas are reality. But our thoughts are all word and concept based, and words are sounds or images attached to what is experienced and are like photocopies of reality. Reality doesn’t have words or thoughts, it just is, and the real you is exactly the same. When you think of a friend or loved one, your thoughts and feelings about them are simply that – your thoughts and feelings.

As T S Eliot wrote, in The Four Quartets:

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope

For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love

For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith

But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.

Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

This is mentioned because you are about to enter your greatest period of creative realisation. Make use of it. Even practising the waiting as Eliot described would be excellent. I imagined waiting for a friend without expectations, feeling that when they arrived I would feel a tap on my shoulder. It worked.

But of immense importance for you health is

Here we take stock of ourselves and the emotional influences that have shaped our body and personality. We begin to determine what is us and what traits we have been pressured by family, peers or society to adopt. Something that we might over look is a long view of our health. In trying to advise people and having myself live a long life there is something I learnt of vital importance, For example my father died and 63 of high blood pressure. He was apparently healthy apart form one medical operation on his prostrate. It was not cancerous. Also my mother gad several stroke attacks and she died from one as did her father.

What has that got to do with you? Your parents gave you the gift of their genetic makeup and it passes on. So my father left me the gift of high blood pressure. My mother the gift of tendency toward strokes. It is only now in my eighties that

I really understand my and your need to be aware of these hidden gifts. Despite having an excellent diet. 20 or more years a vegetarian and teaching yoga and other healthy practices I still live with high blood pressure and had a real killer stroke. I only survived through the real skill of the surgeons at the Hampstead Royal Free Hospital in London. See Tony’s Experience of Stroke

 So my advice is to check your families health to see what illnesses they suffered or what killed them. Then find out how you can avoid them. Often it isnot the regular doctors who advise preventing illness as most doctors usually prescribe what they feel cures the disease not prevent it. For example, Dr. Noakes made a statement to the public in South Africa that the ‘normal’ foods they ate are the cause of the many illnesses they experience. The normal foods are those manufactured that we eat. The main ones are all products made with white flour that is highly manufactured and is no longer a natural food. This includes many of our staple dietary floods such white bread, pizzas, pancakes, white sugar and white rice. He suggested a low carbohydrate and hi fat diet. He saw that the manufactured foods were causing many of the ‘civilised’ illnesses. Strangely enough, cancer of the digestive system is vey common in today’s population, yet many year ago I read that no native Africans even suffer from cancer of the colon. Doctors said it was because the native people always had plenty of roughage in their diet, yet I see people scrap off the skins of carrots, and potatoes eating only the outside of apples neglecting the core full of roughage. I take a multi vitamin and mineral capsule each day – my insurance.

 The Sixth Cycle: 35-42 years

From the thirty-fifth to the forty-second year, depending upon one’s personality and what one’s circumstances allow, one begins to feel a new restlessness. In some degree a desire to share whatever one has gained through life with others comes to the surface. Thus we find many successful business men building libraries, or aiding colleges and the arts at this period in their life. What has been developed or realised can be taken to greater subtlety during this period. This is almost like unfolding something, perhaps similar to the way a flower unfolds a bud that has been developing in earlier phases of its growth.

This period is when we reassess the results of what we are doing externally in our life. Our relationships, careers, habits and the ways we interact are all put under scrutiny and modified or changed. It’s a time of facing up to what does and what doesn’t satisfy us.

You may reach heights of realisation and creativity not touched previously. The profound breakthrough of one’s innate genius that emerges around this time will no doubt be expressed in some degree. However, whatever is attained or realised will be enlarged and synthesised in later periods.

You are about to enter the most creative period of your life. I see it as a burst that opens in us that colour all the years afterwards. But you need to be ready to burst, like flowers do, that are green one moment and then suddenly burst into colour.

In your dreams you create a world and experiences which are new every night. To bring forth the new is a sign of great creative genius – and that is you. But perhaps you have not taken time to consider the wonder of your creative process in dreams. Every night you create a new drama. You conjure out of your own being the people, the creatures, the surroundings of your dream. Then you give life to what you create; not only life but purpose and drama. You are a supreme dramatist, playwright, actor and actress. You are the great Creator in your dreams. Considering this, have you ever wondered why that enormous creativity does not flow into your waking life? You can see that some people have that creativity and are enriched by it personally and financially. Why not you?

Well, the answer is simple – we hold ourselves back. We do not allow that passion, that ability to feel all the wonder of all the characters we hold within us, and dream about, to enter our conscious life. Most of us have inbuilt mechanisms which prevent this spontaneous creative activity. Think about it – do you like meeting the new, the force of wonderful change in your life; can you face your own passionate emotions, your fears and wonder? If not, you are holding back the force of Life in you. Life is a passionate, living, moving, evolutionary thing, and dreams are a product of life.

I remember watching a young lovely woman who had just had a cast taken off her broken arm, who was talking noisily to a group of her friends. Suddenly she slipped on the wet floor and banged her arm. She lay on the floor crying with the pain, and immediately all her friends scattered and left her lying alone. Why were tears or pain so awful?

Another memory strikes me as an example of such avoidance. I and a friend were sitting on a slope of a park outside of the children’s enclosure of a zoo. It was a lovely summer day and many family groups were also sitting and enjoying the view. Many animals were wandering about mixing with the children in the zoo. Suddenly a male donkey mounted a female donkey. An explosion of people happened as parents picked up their children and literally ran away. It struck me that people are frightened of Life.

Life is a mystery whose secrets we as a species try to learn, but so far often fail to fully understand. A large text book on the biology of living creatures, states, that “Life is a mystery”. But you are an expression of that mystery. Therefore, although you may not intellectually understand the depths of what you are, nevertheless, you are that mystery discovering itself. By allowing the depths of your being to unfold, you move closer to knowing the mystery you are.

You can take the first steps toward this by recognising that any beliefs you have about what you are, are incomplete. You do not know the full nature of your body, mind, or the universe, and therefore you do not know, even if you are very well educated, the full extent of what you are. To drop such preconceptions, opinions and beliefs is the first step. To stand before oneself naked of preconceptions is to begin the process of opening to your potential. feathers2.jpg (480×35)

 The Seventh Cycle: 42-49 years

In the next cycle from forty-two until forty-nine a major change usually takes place. It is as if one takes all of one’s life experience up to this age and begins to digest it, and extract from it new ideals and a new direction in life. There is often tremendous unrest in this period and that following it. The unlived aspects of life cry out to be recognised and allowed. The desire to make a mark in life if it has not already been achieved presses for action here.

At this point it occurs to many of us that we have reached the mid-point of our life and from here on there will be a decline. Even if this is not so it is often felt very strongly and acted upon in one way of another. People change partners, life directions, and even attempt major personal changes, although these latter may have begun in the last cycle.

Sexual urges are primarily based on reproduction. So, in the middle age, many men often leave the marriage to go with a younger woman.

The woman may find her impulse and passion for sex at this time changes too. Of course, we are often very active sexually at this period, but our society has not built into its accepted standards such radical changes. The old idea of marriage for life was partly built around the fact that many people did not live past thirty, so a great deal of pain and change goes on at this time. The spiritual aspect of these needs must be defined and explored. For example, is there an alternative to the reproductive urge cycle in the older male and female?

Also, the emotional age and the maturing of love may at last show signs of an unconditional love. If this is not appearing in small degree, it might be one is still locked in earlier ages of emotional development. Strangely, many of us maintain the emotional age of a child right into mature years, feeling all the fear of abandonment, jealousy and possessiveness of our childhood. Many divorces and new directions appear around this period.

In these years we move from old stereotypical roles with a new-found confidence in our individuality. We are prepared to please our self, rather than society and gain a real understanding of our uniqueness, accompanied by a sense of urgency to express our true self before it gets too late.

I include the following dreams to illustrate some of what is met in this and perhaps the next period.

I am a mature 40 year-old, don’t normally dream, and am not unduly fanciful, but this dream has really shaken me. It felt like death. In the dream, my husband and I are at some sort of social club. The people there are ex-workmates of mine and I am having a wonderful time and am very popular. My husband is enjoying my enjoyment. Then he and I are travelling down a country lane in an open horse-drawn carriage. It is very dark and is in the area we used to live in. We come to a hump-backed-bridge, and as we arrive at the brow of the bridge a voice says, ‘Fair lady, come to me.’ My body is suddenly lying flat and starts to rise. I float and everything is black, warm and peaceful. Then great fear comes over me and I cry out my husband’s name over and over. I get colder and slip in and out of the blackness. Then I start to wake up. It takes a tremendous effort, as my body is very heavy. I am extremely cold and absolutely terrified, with a feeling of horror. There seems to be something evil here. I force myself to get up in the dark and go downstairs. Even with the light on I feel the presence of great evil.

The first part of this woman’s dream and what she says of herself shows her as an outgoing person, with a happy disposition. She likes people, and they like her; she is probably good looking, and healthy. She feels herself successful in her work, and has left having acquired friends. The relationship she has with her husband is also depicted as one in which pleasure can be allowed within caring independence. Her dream image of herself is therefore created out of her own confidence. Dreams frequently summarise the quality of one’s life and the ‘story so far’ in their first scene.

The second scene is made up of several parts – the journey, the woman’s relationship with her husband, the force of nature symbolised by the horses and the countryside, and the unknown seen as the bridge and the voice. To understand what this reveals of the dreamer, look at the vital clues: what she has said about herself and what she felt in the dream. If you strip away images to see what attitudes or emotions are exposed, you can see the forces behind the dream plot. The most poignant statement she makes is in saying, ‘It felt like death.’

If we consider the central image of the dream, the hump-backed bridge, in relation to what she says about her age, the feelings of death’s approach make sense. When you approach a hump-backed bridge you climb, but at the very brow, the descent begins. Isn’t that a powerful symbol of life? In our younger years our strength, sexuality and ability to meet life with resourcefulness and independence increase, until middle age, when the decline sets in. You cross over – as this woman crosses the bridge – from one type of experience or view of life to another. The passage of time is seen here as the horses pulling her carriage inexorably towards the change.

But the dream’s beauty, its depth and drama, are in the voice, and in the discovery of how death ‘feels’. They tell us something about women’s inner lives, plural. They reveal how, in her prime, a woman confronts change and the view of death in a way few men do. “Fair lady” the voice of change calls, “come to me.” And it beckons the dreamer towards a hefty mid-life crisis, asking her to exchange her sexual peak, her firm body, her fertility, for the different perspective of post-menopause.

Some people create nocturnal horror movies when leaving school or sitting exams. But middle age is just another phase of life, with as much potential for growth and love as any other phase – and as much room for failure. This woman fears what she imagines middle age will do to her. The dream isn’t an intuition of her future, which is an invitation to a new form of identity – the darkness. Darkness in dreams is often an example of stepping beyond our three-dimensional experience of the world in a body, and an offer of life in a new dimension beyond our knowledge of three dimensions. But it is so new and vast an experience that many people react in fear or terror.

Many women – men too of course – gain their sense of value as a person from their ‘attractiveness’; losing whatever it is that makes them sexually desirable and socially popular – or fearing that they are losing it – will lead to a significant change in their way of life and their feelings about themselves. This is what makes the dreamer call for her husband. This is what produces the feeling of isolation and terror. A woman needs reassurance and love at this point in her life. She may behave indecisively and deflect the advances of her man through a lack of self-esteem. Fortunately, the human personality is resilient. Even though we are reared to identify ourselves with what our body looks like, what it can do, what sex it is, what age it is, and how others react to it, we can grow to mature independence without constant reassurance.

I feel a huge misunderstanding exist in people about their rights, their ability to be in charge of their life and body. We have a dual responsibility – 1: Responsibility for our personal actions and reactions. 2: A responsibility to Life within us, that is all the time causing our existence and consciousness.

If you are uncertain of that try holding your breath as long as you possible can. Life process take over. The same with stopping a sneeze or vomiting, you may hold it back but you cannot stop it – for Life is largely in control of your life.

You may say that is all automatic. My view is that we have not realised that we are basically instinctive animals that have attained self awareness, and our culture has not helped us to recognise that we have all the worst of animal instincts without any training to help us transform our reactions – as many tribal people do. Also, we are almost all carrying huge infant traumas from childhood.

But there is more, while we sleep our conscious self is largely or totally unconscious, and while we dream our voluntary muscles are paralysed – therefore another will or motivating force moves our body. So we have a Conscious Will, and what I will call a Life Will. The first one we have experience of as we can move our arm or speak in everyday activities; but the second will takes over when we sleep. See Sleep Paralysis

This Life will can move us to speak, to move our body, and in fact do things that we cannot do with our Conscious Will and in fact runs all our important life processes like heart beat, digestion and also dreams, as shown in dreams.

Life Will created your body and pre-existed you as a person you know today. It was working in you prior to your ability to speak or know in the way you do now. But of course it has fantastic wisdom and skills, as can be seen in animals. In thinking about this remember that no plant or creature grows from a dead seed, and each living seed carries within it all the past gathered from all its forebears. So, the seed in your mother’s womb is as old as and even older than human kind, and you carry that wisdom or memories in you. But in this life you developed a new brain, and the memories, education and programming you gathered this time are what you built your personality from, but beneath that is a very ancient self.

It is this ancient self or Life Will that if we are completely out of phase with it we are out of phase with what give us life.

There is a philosophy being promoted that you are fully in control of your life, and can get anything you set your heart on. While there is some truth in that, it is also as unbalanced as saying that to have full control is the way to be. Letting go of control is equally necessary. There is a middle way. We certainly cannot control the Universe, but we can learn to work in greater harmony with the forces of nature and intelligences we are interwoven with. For example you have no control of your digestive process, the process that pushes you through the ageing process as you pass through childhood, adolescence, that mature years and on to old age.

Carl Jung says that, “An ability to control one’s emotions that may be very desirable from one point of view would be a questionable accomplishment from another, for it would deprive social intercourse of variety, colour, and warmth.” Also it would deprive you of the guidance the Life Will can give. See Opening to Life

Such resistance of the life in us causes us to create awful dreams and fears as a means of avoiding our own inner world and its wonders. We feel that we will be swallowed up by something evil and we will die. It is important to say that when we meet the experience of powerlessness through becoming aware of the hugeness of our life, of which we are usually unaware, it feels like something alien or attacking and it is a shock. This is shown in the woman’s dream as “I am extremely cold and absolutely terrified, with a feeling of horror. There seems to be something evil here.”

Here is a dream from John H., in the same age period:

I recently reached my fortieth birthday and dreamt I was walking uphill. It was quite tough going. When I got to the top I saw the road on the other side was very steep. I felt frightened of going down it. I looked around and saw that the top of the hill stretched away on each side, so there was plenty of space, like a plateau. I realise that I can walk around and there is no hurry to go down the hill.

I commented on this dream by saying that before the dreamer actually got to middle age he obviously had the idea that it leads directly to a fast decline – going downhill. His dream corrects this by showing that in fact he has worked hard to climb to a plateau of ability and possibilities that he can now explore. Each portion of life has its rewards, and in fact the dream depicts this period of his life as more relaxed than the first half.

To balance this view a little, if there are still past difficulties to be faced, these will certainly present themselves. But a drive in many people is in some way to actualise them, to express themselves in a satisfying way. If we use the analogy of a plant, it is as if they have grown and reached full stature, but for some reason have not flowered and spread seeds. They have not produced fruit.

There is no one way in which people feel or seek this fruition prior to death. But it does become an imperative for many. It may involve receiving or giving love. It might be a need for expression in one of the arts, or simply in breaking away from habits and roaming the world. The next dream illustrates this theme.

I flew over a farmyard and a large pig saw me and began to chase me, along with her piglets, as a dog might, but with the sense that she wanted to eat me. She chased me snapping and leaping into the air trying to ‘get’ me. I felt a bit apprehensive at times that she would get my leg. This lowered my confidence in flying and I began to worry about altitude and flew over a barbed wire fence and the pig and her young could not follow. I flew low over small trees that were just coming into leaf. They were beautiful soft green leaves. I knew it was autumn and the leaves were only just coming out because it had been a cloudy, overcast summer. I felt the leaves would have time to mature because the sun would be out in the autumn, and the trees would not die.

The dreamer was in his fifties at the time of the dream and had distinct feelings of something missing from his life. He felt very clearly that the late autumn expressed how he felt, that the best of his life, his fruition had not yet occurred. This was because ‘it had been a cloudy, overcast summer.’ By this he meant his life had so many difficulties to deal with, he had not had a chance to ‘flower’. But the dream promised there was still time. In fact he actualised so much from there on.

And here is another dream example showing the same thing:

I am in a bicycle race with many other people. I came to a very long hill. It is difficult and I have to push my bicycle. It takes me until midday. When at the top I meet a lot of family. Then I cycle on, realising that because the road is flat, I can go much further before nightfall than I covered in the morning.

The man was in his late forties at the time of the dream. It shows him feeling as if the first half of his life has been a long difficult climb. His assessment or intuition of the second half of his life is that it will achieve much more, cover more ground, and that he will have more human and warm relationships, represented by his family. The bicycle represents his personal efforts to deal with life and his place in the human race; and as it suggests, he can go much further before nightfall – death – than he achieved in the morning of his life. This actually occurred for this man.

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 The Eighth Cycle: 49-56 years

In this cycle from ages forty-nine to fifty-six and the cycles that follow, the physical changes bring about a mental or spiritual climax. The slow decline of physical prowess and vitality forces the person to direct their attention inwards more frequently. Any problems of personality, such as maladjustment and repressions, will undoubtedly become more urgent in these years, impacting upon one’s marriage and professional life alike. The problem is that we have to learn to live with ourselves in a new way. We slowly have to adapt to our new-old body, and habits of long-standing do not die easily.

Usually our life situation begins to change in this stage. There is the start of a great shift and adjustment, both in terms of external activities, but also in how we deal with and feel about relationships. Part of the difficulty is that we have lived a long life as a younger person, and the old ways of dealing with things is often difficult to let go as things change. The opportunity to experiment more fully in life helps us to reassess ourselves and what new way of relating and being suits us or is satisfying.

The psychiatrist Carl Jung and others such as Nietzsche developed a whole theory about this period of life that Jung called Individuation. Perhaps the influence of this began in the cycles during our forties but becomes more marked now. As an individual we may come to recognise that our make-up is formed out of the collective experience of our family and the culture we have been exposed to. The question, ‘Who am I?’ leads us to look more fully into what makes us who we are. This awareness and the insight gained from it transforms us. The change is that of becoming more fully independent of the forces and culture that formed us. This means we create something new of who we are, and perhaps leave something of this new self in the world by what we do, create or live.

This is when we take an inventory of our life. It’s a time of spiritual questioning and review of our life purpose. If we haven’t successfully understood who we are by this stage and achieved our goals, then some degree of depression, moodiness and turmoil will plague both our waking life and our dreams.

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 The Ninth Cycle: 56-63 years

This period is often a time of inner tranquillity and acceptance. Being more at peace with ourselves and more accepting of where we are and what we have achieved marks this period. But many things that were lying unlived within us might arise at this time, too, either as a form of unrest, or as directly living out those things that duty or work – or even self-restraints – kept us from doing or being.

We are leaving middle age behind and are entering, maybe slowly, old age, with all it brings with it. It may bring changes in our health, our sexual feelings and family connections in some form. It may be that we have stepped back from the intense feeling of being a parent or a lover, and this opens whole new ways of relating to opportunity and ourselves, and, of course, others.

Dirk Gillabel [1993, for the website Soul-Guidance] writes the following about the process:

This means that one becomes a person, an individual, a totally integrated personality. It is a process of self-realization during which one integrates those contents of the psyche that have the ability to become conscious. It is a search for totality. It is an experience that could be formulated as the discovery of the divine in yourself, or the discovery of the totality of your Self. This does not always happen without pain, but it is necessary to accept many things that normally we would shy away from. Once a person has accepted the contents of his unconsciousness and has reached the goal of the individuation process, he is conscious of his relationships with everything that lives, with the entire cosmos.

During these years we may meet feelings or situations that can be devastating, but there are ways through.

I remember a sunny day when I lay for hours in Port Meadow, Oxford, trying to find the roots of my desperate situation and depression of that time. As I looked deeply at who I am and what I felt, the gloom of my situation gradually got worse. I was estranged from a wonderful wife by my own doing. I had started a small business that was going nowhere and my finances were dwindling. I had in the past been very creative and yet at that moment it seemed all of that wonderful spring had dried up. It felt as if the person I had been had died, and in his place was a feeling of emptiness and disillusion.

As I experienced all this I was wondering how to come to terms with being a second-class sort of person in a second-class life situation. I started thinking about all the potential and mental possibilities I had touched in the past. How could it be that I had come through so many things, transcended myself in so many ways, and yet at this moment was locked in apparent decay and decline?

The question was like a bomb that exploded in me. It began to fracture the apparently real environment of gloom and death in which I was encased. Having asked the question, I could see I had fallen into a negative feedback loop. Because I was stuck in this place I feared I was a failure, which produced the certainty I didn’t have the resources to change, which produced the feelings of despair, that set going the certainty it was real and the inability to move on.

The changes I faced at that time were loss of employment, apparent loss of creativity that over most of my life had led me to produce saleable ideas, loss of a great relationship in marriage, homelessness, loss of contacts that had been doorways to employment, and my age, which was sixty, acting as a barrier to getting work. It was quite a load to face all at once, but I came through to an even better life than had existed previously.

What I learned in those years is that everyone has an inner genius that can meet any circumstance life throws at it. Although this is true, our personal genius is usually locked up and made ineffective by early education, social programming and personal fears or attitudes. This is so important it needs to be spelled out:

  1. There are lots of ways we can react to a problem. We can run away, hide, make out it doesn’t exist by denial, try to get help from someone else, identify with it, fight the situation, change position, find a different attitude, experiment with it to see what works, pray for guidance, get drunk or drug ourselves, and so on.  My reaction was to admit directly I had an awful problem and employ the inner genius that is within us all to solve it. This cannot happen if one is scared of facing and feeling the emotions of the problem in the first place.
  2. Another way to react to the problem is by identification with the situation. By this I mean that I saw that what I experienced was really true, was the real me. When I felt a failure I really believed I was. When I felt my body aching and depleted I believed I was an ageing and defeated old man. I am many years older than sixty now and my body is still fine and flexible, and I went on to relate to a woman twenty-seven years younger than I. Understanding what you identify with and what you believe yourself to be is one of the great secrets underlying how to meet challenges and change.
  3. When people read about the things I have said above they may think I am a special person, born with many talents. But that is another excuse for you to fail. I am actually the son of a shop assistant and factory worker and was thrown out of school early having failed at most lessons. At the age of twenty-one I still didn’t know the alphabet and couldn’t write a proper page of text. We all have it in us to change.
  4. You are not alone in your attempts to survive. That incredible wisdom that is millions of years old with experience of life on this earth, and has met just about every calamity, world changes, meteor strikes, ice ages, droughts, floods, changing continents and disease can throw at us, is within you at this moment. Also, you are part of a web of life; you are the child of countless survivors – your ancestors – and all of that is in the seed planted in your mother’s womb. So use it! 

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 The Tenth Cycle: 63-70 years

Now we have deeper acceptance and understanding of the people in our life. We appreciate the differences between ourselves and our friends and look to the good rather than the bad in people. This is a period where our accumulated experience seeks new creative outlets. Maybe we have the role of being an ‘elder’ of our tribe/family; in that way we have so many years of life experience, and we find pleasure in sharing it or even teaching it in some form.

A particularly noticeable process that occurs here is a conscious or unconscious sifting of life experience and moving toward what is the essence and best of what one has been or learned from the years and experiences. Sometimes, if we can actually be aware of and work with this process, it leads to a sense of being lost or uncertain. By this is meant that for most of us external needs have dictated the direction of much that we have done or was needed of us. Now, a great deal of this external pressure is removed. With its loss we realise that a great many choices or directions are open to us. It is like standing at cross roads with many directions. Which one do we want to take? Often it requires us to stand and observe before any direction from our own core wishes emerges. If during your life you have never worked at dealing with the difficulties and weaknesses or pains innate in you, then this period can lead to great confusion and the meeting of many shadows that you may not yet have developed the skills to deal with previously.

This is also a time in life when natural inner processes lead us to a greater awareness of what lies beyond death. Things fall away naturally if you let them. A greater detachment from things of the world arises and this in itself is a foretaste of death, in which we can let go of all that we have held onto. We realise in some degree that we have an inner life as important as the outer life and from that we learn to let go of much that was so important to us. That is a move toward death – not the loss of self, but the beginning of the realisation that we are more than a body; in that way we go gentle into that night and are not scared of death as Dylan Thomas’s famous refrain, “Do not go gentle into that good night” suggests.

Here is Erik Erikson again, talking about this period of life:

This stage affects the age group of 65 and on. During this time an individual has reached the last chapter in their life and retirement is approaching or has already taken place. Many people, who have achieved what was important to them, look back on their lives and feel great accomplishment and a sense of integrity. Conversely, those who had a difficult time during middle adulthood may look back and feel a sense of despair.

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 The Eleventh Cycle: 70-77 years

If the issues met in the previous cycles have been dealt with, then there is a new awareness of the subtle sides of life, and a changed relationship with those we love or come in contact with. There is a greater unconditional love and acceptance. By this is meant that awareness of the depths and subtleties of one’s own self are known more fully. If you are a person who has an active inner life, it can happen that the huge harvest of gathered life experience that was sifted and synthesised into clearer and more streamlined, or simpler concepts and meanings, is now expressed in your life and dealings with others. You may not be as powerful and active in the outer world, but you are gaining strength and effectiveness on people’s inner life if you are still healthy.

But if you have had an active and creative life, you will have learnt how to deal with life’s changes, as always, depending upon how well you dealt with the problems and traumas of your early life. You will hopefully have learnt from long experience how to deal with such difficulties.

As an example, a man in his late forties who entered his inner world by using a therapeutic way of working called the ‘Keyboard Condition’ told me:

I began with a knotted feeling in my stomach, went inside myself and found a lump that I had kept deep within that no one could touch or ever has done. I spilt the lump and there appeared two halves of a walnut with a picture of my mother and father in each half as they were when I was a child. As I looked the two halves crumpled into dust. This was the secret I have carried since childhood that I had parents unlike the other children in the orphanage, yet the truth was I too was left behind in the orphanage by my parents. The emotions really came to the surface and I really cried. After this wave passed I was left in a very passive state. I then went into the telephone box I dreamt of and tried to make the call to reconnect, but again another shock, there was nobody to connect with, again the realisation that I was an orphan. Another great wave of emotion tore me apart. I then turned toward the dogs as they came at me, I began to feel the sickness that I have always experienced in exploring my feelings, but I just shrugged and let the feeling wash over me, it felt like I have always ended up in hell by that route, and I realised afterwards that hell is hell and will never be anything else.

I felt that there was something deeper and so I kept to a centre line, again there was no feeling.  Then the crisis broke through, and there I was in the kids home as my father was leaving, I saw my self, or I should say my being, go out to him. I felt that if I loved him he wouldn’t leave us. I then saw that I was already bonded to my mother and in that moment of transference there was guilt and I was caught in the middle, then he left creating a schism in which I was left in my spine with a personality on either side. Schizophrenia is the word that describes what this state about: Schizophrenia is a mental disease marked by a breakdown in the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and actions, frequently accompanied by delusions and retreat from social life. I then felt what I would call the primal scream emerge from my being and then I was through. I then saw the dogs that attacked me in my dream as my anxieties that have taken up two thirds of my being constantly tearing me apart, also saw that as a kid I didn’t have enough information to redirect the energy elsewhere.

The following letter is an excellent example of a person who through long therapeutic activity has met their inner traumas:

Hi Tony – You probably won’t remember me, I used to come to Combe Martin in the 1980s on Richard and Juliana’s Intensives Psychotherapy workshops… I remember fondly how we all enjoyed your and Hy’s wonderful cooking!

Just wanted to say that as I approach old age (nearly 70), welcome changes are happening. Firstly, I’m accessing information I never knew I had, mainly evident in my enthusiasm for University Challenge on TV where I will often find the correct answers to questions on disparate subjects, they just seem to pop out of my head without consciously thinking which, in addition to surprising me, are sometimes not even guessed correctly by any of the eight panellists!

Secondly, synchronous-type occurrences are becoming more frequent. Things such as suddenly thinking of a friend I’ve not thought about for maybe weeks, only to have him or her then call or text me less than a minute later!

Also, the wider, world view you write of is becoming stronger in me, where I get a (intuitive) sense of the world at large, a strong feeling for the multitude and mass of humanity, and principally its collective suffering, which is a much more expansive experience than previously I’ve had most of my life i.e. my own small world and its restricted boundaries.

I’ve enjoyed, as I get older, the growth of my intuition, and celebrate its development in contrast to left-hemisphere mental (?) attributes such as intellect, objectivity, etc. I’m both fascinated and pleased to find your writings on these subjects, and more, on your website. It feels appropriate that I have come across your site at this time in my life.

Thanks for sharing all your wisdom on the site.

Best wishes. P

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 The Twelfth Cycle: 77-84 years onwards

During the three preceding cycles a new self developed. This emerged out of a summary and synthesis of all that we had lived. Perhaps, if a person has given  attention to their inner life, doorways of perception were opened through which was seen how our present life is a continuum of the long past, of ancestors and other influences. From this new self and widened perception we are acting and living in the world in a different way. The essence of the purpose, love and ideas we lived by is given new expression.

Something that I believe happens as we age, or if we meet stress or a shock, is that the threshold between our waking life and our underworld breaks down. Then these dark creatures begin to emerge. We see this in countless thousands of people in today’s world who only manage to carry on existing through the use of anti-depressants and other medical drugs.

To most people it seems highly unlikely that nearly all of us carry this dark world within us consisting of childhood miseries and of repressed parts of ourselves that were never allowed to grow. But most people have not, even for a moment, broken through that threshold into the darkness and light of that interior realm. And even if they have, they usually rush headlong for some means of pushing it back into the darkness. At least in part this is an explanation for the amount of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs that decrease our awareness.

I believe that the suffering we see in the elderly is at least in part due to them never having met and integrated the creatures of light and darkness in their underworld.

But there is another world than the darkness. It is a world of growing awareness, a world in which you can heal and transform.

We have had a long life, but of course a part of us has existed since the beginning of Life on this planet. For no plant or creature grows from a dead seed, and each living seed carries within it all the past gathered from all its forebears. So, the seed in our mother’s womb is as old as and even older than human kind, and we carry that wisdom or memories within us.

As for what Life is, it is like asking who are you? It is no good answering that you are a woman or man, or that you are a success or failure, a TV personality or a housewife because they are just words you have been taught apply to yourself. Words are sounds or signs we have associated with experiences of reality. Dog is a word we have fixed to a reality, so words are like photocopies of reality that we use and we believe to be reality.

Death is another word we use and often scare ourselves with – but in reality is not found in words. When we say someone has died, what we are really saying is tha that person body is no longer functioning. that has been defined by the findings of quantum physics and other disciplines.  Stanislav Grof, looking at this from another angle says: “What was uncovered was extraordinary. Grof summed up his years of clinical experience by saying, “There is at present little doubt in my mind that our current understanding of the universe, of the nature of reality, and particularly of human beings, is superficial, incorrect, and incomplete.”

To quote Gary Zukav, ‘Quantum mechanics is the theory. It has explained everything from subatomic particles to transistors to stellar energy. It has never failed. It has no competition.’ The implications of the theorem are enormous. Something can be in two places at once. Apparently distant objects, or people, are intricately linked in an immediate way. There is no separate existence as we previously thought. Our view of the world is not one supported by the facts of physics. Time and space are transcended. David Bohm, an eminent physicist, goes as far as to say that all things in our observable universe are inextricable linked. Nothing has separate existence.

Might we not speculate then, by saying that the biggest physical change of all – death – may be but a prerequisite for yet another cycle of life; an initiation into an entirely new type of awareness? In fact it can happen that from the last cycle onwards, if we dare to experience our inner life reasonably fully, we will already have experienced what naked awareness, reality, is like, or have penetrated the reality of what is called death in some way.

Meeting death while alive – relinquishing all we have considered to be the reason for our personal existence – dropping the urge to grasp what have been the goals of our life, such as sex, money, power, self-expression – brings a new life in which we realise our intimate oneness with life. And although this seems like an end as we enter it, as we die to it, the vastness of it promises new and wondrous life. It is an end to the life we have led up to this point. But ends are beginnings in the wider life. For at our very centre is the ever-shifting mystery that is life itself.

I said earlier that Life is a mystery, and as a mystery is little understood. But here is something that I feel captures something of that mystery. It is a quote by J. B. Priestley from his book Rain Upon Godshill:

Just before I went to America, during the exhausting weeks when I was busy with my Time Plays, I had such a dream, and I think it left a greater impression on my mind than any experience I had ever known before, awake or in dreams, and said more to me about this life than any book I have ever read. The setting of the dream was quite simple, and owed something to the fact that not long before my wife had visited the lighthouse here at St Catherine’s to do some bird ringing. I dreamt I was standing at the top of a very high tower, alone, looking down upon myriads of birds all flying in one direction; every kind of bird was there, all the birds in the world. It was a noble sight, this vast aerial river of birds. But now in some mysterious fashion the gear was changed, and time speeded up, so that I saw generations of birds, watched them break their shells, flutter into life, mate, weaken, falter and die. Wings grew only to crumble; bodies were sleek, and then, in a flash bled and shrivelled; and death struck everywhere at every second. What was the use of all this blind struggle towards life, this eager trying of wings, this hurried mating, this flight and surge, all this gigantic meaningless effort?

As I stared down, seeming to see every creature’s ignoble little history almost at a glance, I felt sick at heart. It would be better if not one of them, if not one of us, had been born, if the struggle ceased for ever. I stood on my tower, still alone, desperately unhappy. But now the gear was changed again, and the time went faster still, and it was rushing by at such a rate, that the birds could not show any movement, but were like an enormous plain sown with feathers. But along this plain, flickering through the bodies themselves, there now passed a sort of white flame, trembling, dancing, then hurrying on; and as soon as I saw it I knew that this white flame was life itself, the very quintessence of being; and then it came to me, in a rocket burst of ecstasy, that nothing mattered, nothing could ever matter, because nothing else was real but this quivering and hurrying lambency of being. Birds, men and creatures not yet shaped and coloured, all were of no account except so far as this flame of life travelled through them. It left nothing to mourn over behind it; what I had thought was tragedy was mere emptiness or a shadow show; for now all real feeling was caught and purified and danced on ecstatically with the white flame of life. I had never before felt such deep happiness as I knew at the end of my dream of the tower and the birds.


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Living Forever

About three years ago I came across a feature that said, “If you can live for twenty more years you can live forever. That is because of the rapid progress medical science is making, and in twenty years we should see advance in genetic and microscopic agents that can repair bones and other organs, making it possible to renew your failing body.

(My son Leon who gained a Science degree at Cambridge and has been studying ageing and the reversing of it for ages. Recently he found scientific results showing that substances can be taken which if taken for a year reduces ones signs of age by two years. He says the substances are Thorne Research – ResveraCel – Nicotinamide Riboside with Resveratrol and Cofactors – Which supports Healthy Aging – NMN Pure Nicotinamide Mononucleotide NMN goes deep below the surface, addressing the root cause of Ageing” NADIOL Helps support low ATP (energy) cells, to increase energy.and also Vitamin D3 3,000 IU & Vitamin K2 is a source of Vitamin D3, which contributes to the maintenance of normal muscle function, normal bones and normal function of the immune system. And a source of Vitamin K2 which contributes to the maintenance of normal bones and normal blood clotting.) 

Then recently a headline in the Guardian newspaper said, “Extreme biohacking: the tech guru who spent $250,000 trying to live forever.” The report goes on to say, “Faguet intends to live for ever, merging with robots and becoming an ultra-human. If that goal sounds creepy, laughable or unrealistic, it’s helpful to remember that it is one shared by many influential figures in Silicon Valley. Tesla’s Elon Musk has repeatedly argued that humans need to become cyborgs to survive the inevitable robot uprising and hopes to usher in an era of transhumanism with his new brain-computer interface company, Neuralink. Bill Maris, founder and former CEO of Google Ventures, the search giant’s venture capital arm, went on to say, the sole aim of which is to “solve death”. Last November, Sean Parker, the former Facebook president, described his vision of the future thus: “Because I’m a billionaire, I’m going to have access to better healthcare so… I’m going to be, like, 160 and I’m going to be part of this class of immortal overlords.” As much as Faguet likes to think of himself as a rebel pioneer, he’s an emblem of a far wider movement in the wealthy world he inhabits.”

Obviously, we as human beings carry some things we inherited from our animal past – the shortness of life. Some trees live for thousands of years, so why shouldn’t we with some manipulation? Technology is moving in that direction fast.

The sun gives of itself as it is dying. Through its dying, life can exist on earth. This is part and parcel of the processes out of which our universe has emerged. Also, what I see as the beginning of things, the origin of our universe and ourselves, was a massive change, a death was the beginning of our universe – the Big Bang. But I saw that our corner, our small part of the universe, has certain qualities that maybe others parts do not. One of them, especially regarding us is the shortness of life. We are tiny, short lived, biological creatures that have emerged out of the amazing processes of this world in its interplay with the cosmos and evolving life. We can see ourselves in one sense as little bags of shit. We can be thought of as little digestive reproducing bags. But   we hold such amazing potential, there has always been a possibility of more in human life.

As this species we have managed to emerge beyond the level of awareness of other living forms of this earth. We have developed complex language and enormous curiosity and creativity. But the shortness of our life is a big factor in our experience of ourselves. I was shown that this shortness of life is really important for us. This because an essential part of the mystery of the universe is death. Of course, what I am about to say will probably be dismissed by many but death I have seen as an immense digestive and absorbing of our whole life experience, and in doing so offers an integration and upgrade and from that a new life.

As I repeat often, “No plant or creature grows from a dead seed, and each living seed carries within it all the past gathered from all its forebears. So, the seed in your mother’s womb is as old as and even older than human kind, and you carry that wisdom or memories in you. But in this life, you developed a new brain, and the memories, education and programming you gathered this time are what you built your personality from, but beneath that is a very ancient self. To explore it see Opening to Life

Therefore, death is an enormous key to understanding the universe and life. Understanding death means that we become capable of letting go of ourselves, of delivering ourselves, of being able to give ourselves away to the mystery underlying our existence. The importance of this is because, if what has been said above is correct, then death is at the very centre of the mystery of life. It is at the foundation of our physical being. It is behind the urge that leads parents to a sort of death in giving themselves to the new being that emerges, to parents giving of themselves to their offspring.

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Breaking News

I am now 84, do not need glasses to see well, no need for hearing aid, my memory is still good, and I discovered a way of carrying on doing  well.

I wrote at the very beginning if this feature that, “We go through such enormous changes every day. Each of us is immersed in a ‘river’ of constant change. If you think about it, you have been carried, pushed, impelled by this current as you were moved through babyhood, childhood, teenage and adulthood, and there are more stages of growth beyond adulthood.

Maybe you have never given attention to that push that drives you onwards, except at this point in your life you may feel like getting rid of the damn thing driving you nearer to death. In fact you may be struggling to fight death and whatever moves you nearer to it. But I am not talking about the sicknesses many are trying to deal with at this period of life, I only am including those who are still afloat nut don’t wish to die because they see the sign of death has touched their body and it disturbs them.

What I am about to say may seem like I am hurrying you on your way to the end – but I tested it and the end seems further away. Your attitude of fighting off death is doing more to hurry you on. The reason is that the very force that has pushed you on through a  whole life of experience is still doing its upmost to keep you going, and negative attitudes do not help. Yes we are going to die sometime, and maybe our attitudes and life style are not helping, but working with the process of Life that grew you from the cell planted in your mother’s womb and has done its best ever since is the very best option.

Something that works for me is to imagine myself being carried along by the ‘river of constant change’ mentioned, and not go fighting it like Dylan Thomas did, “Do not go gentle into that good night.

See also Why Are People So Scared of Getting Mentally and Physically Healthy?


Firstly the self-regulatory process underlying the fact that your body and mind are still functioning without your conscious effort, holds in it the continuous move to heal whatever hurts you experienced. It does this by pushing those experiences toward your conscious awareness in any way it can. The depressed feelings, psychosomatic body pains, irrational reaction we have to some situations, and of course the strange and sometimes frightening dreams we experience, are all ways this process attempts to make conscious what was hidden.


Secondly, the difficulties we need to deal with are all lined up just beneath conscious awareness, like a queue behind a closed door waiting to come through.


Thirdly, the reason things do not surface, become known and resolved is because we resist them. These resistances are obvious and need to be meet for healing to take place. Dreamers wake with terror from a nightmare for instance and desire nothing more than to blot it out from their feelings. The nightmare is an attempt to make conscious the intense feelings from a trauma, but we resist this because we have not learned the ability to witness such feelings and personal emotions without fear.

Another resistance is the automatic withdrawal from pain. Just as we automatically draw our hand away from a hot surface, so we draw our awareness away from a painful memory. The methods we use are many – using redirected attention, as when we rush to entertainment, alcohol, talking with friends, nicotine, breath holding, and so on.


Such resistances are the main reason we do not find healing through dreaming, even though dreams are constantly trying to heal us. Of course another one seen in massive number of dreams is fear. Fear acts just like pain to make us avoid/resist the action of dreams.


So recognising these processes in oneself is the first step to self-discovery

An example of this from the life of Norman Cousins, who was at one time the editor of Newsweek in America. At a time when he faced enormous stress and became seriously ill and was hospitalised. In the hospital his condition degenerated. One day one of the doctors on his case left a note for a colleague who was to examine him later. Being puzzled and troubled about his condition Norman opened the envelope and read the note. It said, I feel we are losing Norman.

This was naturally a great shock to him. He had not realised how serious his illness was. Understanding now that the doctors felt doubt about being able to help him, he made efforts to help himself. He carefully considered his activities during the last year. It was obvious as he reviewed them that the year had been particularly stressful, culminating in the tension in Moscow. So his next step was to ask his wife to bring him books about stress. As he read through them he saw that in essence they were saying that during stress our glandular system produces substances which enter the bloodstream and have a destructive effect on the body and its health. During periods of pleasure and relaxation the glandular system produces substances which enter the bloodstream and are constructive to the body and health.

Norman was then faced with an enormous decision – whether to take his health into his own hands. He decided yes and had himself discharged from hospital and taken to a hotel apartment. He was in such physical pain he could hardly move, so had to remain almost immobile. He had friends set up a cine film projector and screen near his bed, and had them show all his favourite comedy films. In his bed he chuckled, laughed and roared at the antics of the great film comedians, and he discovered that for every hour of laughter, he had an hour of release from pain.

Over the following days his condition radically improved. That is to say, even such fundamental things as the condition of blood, which was part of his illness, changed for the better. During this period he also took very high doses of Vitamin C, which he had been told aided healthy collagen formation in the body. In two weeks he was back at work, his pain and illness gone. He had fought the battle of physical pain and negative emotions and had won.

Do You Want To Take Your Health Into Your Own Hands?

Well, maybe not entirely, but like Norman there are things you can do.

Is it not a sobering thought to realise that more and more of our race, through its growing diet of chemicals and manufactured food, are being born with malformations? Joan Grant, during an archaeological dig in the Middle East, collected forty sets of teeth. She says that there were ‘children’s teeth, middle-aged teeth, teeth of men who were so old that the surface of the molars was ground almost smooth and in none of the forty sets she collected was there a single decayed tooth, nor a jaw abscess, nor a wisdom tooth that had not grown in exact alignment with the rest.’

But it is not simply malformations but serious illnesses that are the result of our modern diet. So, in today’s world many, many of us are slowly creating illness in our bodies through our daily diet. For example Dr. Noakes made a statement to the public in South Africa that the ‘normal’ foods they ate are the cause of the many illnesses they experience. The normal foods are those that are manufactured that we eat. The main ones are all products made with white flour and white rice and the use of white sugar, all of which are highly manufactured and is no longer a natural food. This includes many of our staple dietary floods such white bread, cakes of all sorts, biscuits, pizzas, pancakes, white sugar, and white rice.

The main damage the ‘normal’ diet does is to deny us enough of certain vitamins such as the B group, vitamins A, E, D and sometimes C which were usually provided by eating enormous amounts vegetables, whole grains as in wholegrain wheat and rice and being exposed to sunlight. So it is wise to take a multi vitamin and mineral tablet daily as a precaution. Without the B vitamin group people suffer swollen ankles, white hair in their late sixties, neuralgic pain, especially back of the legs. But also many of us lack the enormous protection given by vitamin A, D and E. An example was that while in Australia I learnt that many native Australian’s who live in the centre of the land suffer badly from eye conditions, but those aboriginals who lived on the coast had perfect eyes. The reason being that on the coast they ate oily fish rich in Vitamin A. So it is also wise to regularly take this perhaps as Cod Liver Oil.

My son Leon who is a graduate of Cambridge University, UK, has made a study of how one can prolong ones life. His suggestions are to take these capsules, they are not medications but life enhancers.

Fisetin – Advanced Pterostilbene – Trans Resveratrol – NMN – Tru Niagen – Turkey Tail – Lions Mane

They are all available on Amazon or any good health store.


Yes, as you age many will find their sexual ability to slowly disappear. I am 85 now and find it is a wonderful freedom to not be under the influence of having all the time to want or seek out a sexual partner. I know many people do not cherish such freedom and fight to keep it active by drugs etc. Personally being without the huge waves of hormonal sexual impulse I see my sense of beauty for all living things has grown tremendously. Something I have realised through this is that ‘falling in love’ as it is called is purely a glandular event. It fires enormous stimulus to our emotions and leads us to see certain men or women as wonderful. Of course that is nature at work in us, and if the urge is traumatised it leads to neurotic behaviour. Understanding that we can work with instead of being dominated by it.



-April 2018-01-01 20:38:33

This article has left me at a loss for words, in a good, almost unexplainable way. However, I noticed that several comments relate to being in an older age (50’s or 60’s) and resonating with the younger life periods (0-14). What are your thoughts on someone like myself, who can feel and know the concepts of the 42+ phase, despite only being 22 years of age? Do you have any other works on experiencing awakening or consciousness at a younger age?

-Cozette Hallman 2017-08-01 23:36:19

I’m so glad that I found this Literature on the Aging Process, Physically Mentally Spiritually Emotionally and the stage of ~#Individuation
I’ve always talked with my children to individualize your Life, every 5 years, where do you see yourself and what you are doing to fulfill or Grow to that Purpose.

-moreblessing geti 2017-01-21 13:57:34

I have learnt a lot on waldorf education. Thank you

-pristine derma 2015-09-14 0:55:35

I’m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s equally educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head.
The issue is something which not enough men and women are speaking intelligently
about. I’m very happy I found this in my hunt for something relating to this.

-Thomyjeane lewis 2014-05-13 15:36:25

I love this. It is so true. I am 61 & I admit the changes I have gone thru is just as you stated. Thank you, now I know what to expect in the future. I wish I have known this years ago. Again. Thank you.

-Tanvi 2013-12-13 23:39:39

how many years is the first half of your life ?

    -Tony Crisp 2013-12-16 13:24:56

    Tanvi – We can only give an average, because some people die very young and others very old. So an average used to be forty because man people did not live beyond 80. But even though people often live much longer, between 40 and 50 is still a good measure, as the body starts to show signs of going over the crest of the hill about then.


-Amelia 2013-11-30 5:30:31

I want to to thank you for this excellent read!!

I certainly enjoyed every little bit of it. I’ve got you book
marked to look at new things you post…

-elham jafari 2013-08-29 20:50:49

i love this

    -Tony Crisp 2013-09-04 8:11:05

    Elham – Thank you. It is one of the most popular pages on the site.


-Tony Crisp 2013-08-23 20:21:05

I wrote this 40 years ago. How old is your teacher?


-Kate 2013-07-14 18:49:13

I saw a lion kill a little girl at the national zoo when I was 9. She was 2 & 1/2. I’m now 64. I was told when a traumatic experience happens in youth, you stay at that age mentally as far as acting like a goofy kid. I’ve held responsible jobs but away from work and the responsibility I’m nine. Does this really happen? Thanks for your response.

-Avery 2013-06-12 2:11:34

Have you ever considered writing an ebook or guest authoring on other sites?
I have a blog based on the same ideas you discuss and would
love to have you share some stories/information.
I know my subscribers would appreciate your work. If you are even remotely interested,
feel free to send me an e mail.

-virus scanners 2013-04-01 20:40:38

Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe this website needs much more
attention. I’ll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the advice!

-Mandy Merrell 2013-02-13 20:54:51

I really enjoyed reading this article!

    -Tony Crisp 2013-02-17 13:45:32

    Thanks Mandy. I enjoyed writing it, and it is something that has grown and developed over the years, and I hope will still carry on growing.


-D'Arcy 2013-01-20 11:14:50

I realized I have a 7-year pattern in my life – it seems that every 7 years I take up learning something new, specifically a style of dance. From age 6-10 I did ballet (5 years), from 10-17 Irish step-dancing (7 years) and age 18-25 Swing dancing (7 years). Now at age 25, I’ve started studying karate! Not a dance, but dance-like in movement. I was curious to see if this was a shared pattern & googled “7 years” and found this. Thanks for the insights! Maybe every 7 years you change because that’s how long it takes to master something, to integrate something until it becomes a part of you, and you can then use it as a foundation for something else, like teaching dance, or studying a new art.

-Kate Walker 2013-01-06 9:12:00

Well thank you ! Last night , I put it to the spirit world to help me with my life phases assignments……. this morning, in my n.z garden watching monarchs flying…. a little reluctant to go to a screen….well hey presto ! look whats here….. thank you !! And I love also the world of dreams…. Art and medicine…. Great to discover your helpful website Kind regards, Kate

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