Essay 9 It’s time to grow up: Maturing through stages

As we enter a new era—the start of a new epoch, really—we are going through a time of crisis. But the clashes going on now are just a normal part of growing up. Ready or not, it’s now time for humanity to step fully into adulthood. Let’s look at where we are heading next.

During transitions, turmoil is inevitable

When all that is negative is stuck and deadened, the destructive forces appear to be quiet. But then, during a growth process—which is a fundamental aspect of living—there will be a temporary time of turmoil. This is what is happening now.

Humanity is just now emerging from adolescence. It’s time to grow up.

Over the last century or so, there have been many, many more souls arriving here. Many of these souls are highly evolved, more so than in former times. At the same time, many are also arriving who are lower in their spiritual development. In the world today, we can these two groups clashing. This conflict, while inevitable, has also been absolutely necessary for moving us all forward.

It works the same in the individual as it does in the collective. For example, if a person has been doing their personal self-development work, they will expect their life to gradually get better. Problems and pain should diminish. And while this will indeed be true in some areas, it won’t be true where deep-rooted problem remain. There, the conflict still exists, and it must come all the way out into the open so we can eliminate it. Simultaneously, positive creative forces are being mobilized in the soul, and the two will clash.

Conflict must come all the way out into the open in order to be eliminated.

This will necessarily create an inner tension and frustration. Unless this is brought into a person’s conscious awareness, they won’t understand why they feel all this unease. The person may doubt their progress and become discouraged. But in truth, these opposing forces must both be mobilized—brought into conscious awareness—and then clash before unification can happen.

This same thing is happening with humankind as a whole right now. A tremendous development is going on. Strong, new forces are coming into this earth plane—positive forces that haven’t existed here before. And they are being obstructed and feared by the negative forces—present to a greater degree in those who are less developed—that are also becoming doubly strong.

The more we can recognize the truth of what is now happening, the more we can relax and create a healing climate to support this transition. For when we know the truth, we create a special feeling, and that feeling generates a special atmosphere that is very healing.

Clarity and understanding are key

As we usher in this new era, we will recognize spiritual values more and more, and we will live by them instead of deny them. The cold, mechanistic, materialistic approach many have developed toward life will soften and transform. There will be upheavals, but we will be able to overcome them.

We will learn to move past the darkness in our souls that blurs our connection with our inner divine self. We will begin to see that what concerns one concerns all. For currently, in our three-dimensional state, we make a distinction between me and you and God, between this and that, up and down, here and there. But all these are illusions. Whatever is inside us is also everywhere else.

So any tiny step we take toward unfolding our inner wisdom, courage and beauty—where we connect with our own divine nature—is incredibly significant for everything and everyone that ever was, is, or will be. What we each do every day counts.

The deep insights that come by way of self-confrontation can truly set us free. We can liberate ourselves from compulsions and choose a new course. But such change is only possible when it is our free choice. And for us to make the best choices, we must have clear understanding.

Any tiny step we take is incredibly significant.

There are spiritual laws that God has created and which guide each of us. We need to get to know them. Humanity too, as a whole, is an entity that certain laws govern. And just as there are aspects of ourselves we don’t yet understand and can’t control, humankind contains hard-to-understand aspects that work to destroy union and disrupt peace.

At first, as we each grow, there will still be times of confusion and depression. But gradually, as we master our own inner darkness, the negative periods will become shorter and less frequent. Peace, freedom and joy will deepen. We will realize that the negative times contain lessons. And if we master those lessons, we will be able to pass the tests.

The gift of growing up

Long ago, Earth was in its infancy. It had to go through millions of years of evolution before the first primitive humans could appear. Like a human baby, primitive humanity had no sense of itself back then. Everything came down to an immediate reaction to sensations of pleasure or pain. There was little logic or knowledge of cause and effect. Everything was physical, just like for an infant.

It’s still this way in the parts of our psyche that are immature. While various parts of us have grown up and know better, somewhere there remains a selfish, self-centered, limited infant. And this is in conflict with the rest of our personality. The only way for these parts to grow up is for us to stop suppressing them. We must see our immaturity so we can transform it.

Being self-centered and being dependent are linked.

For to whatever extent we hold onto infantile attitudes—wherever we are neurotic, immature and still have inner conflicts—we remain dependent. These are what rob us of our freedom. Being self-centered, then, and being dependent are linked. What an inner conflict we create for ourselves by insisting on staying self-centered while we struggle against being dependent on others!

So maturing means developing a sense of self, which paradoxically leads us to become more concerned about others. This is what leads to creating fairness for all. Then we become capable of foregoing an advantage for ourselves if it creates an unfair pain or disadvantage for someone else. As such, we move into an awareness that surpasses bouncing between pleasure and pain. This is how we begin to transcend duality.

Such mature people are free and independent, but not omnipotent. They have a social sense and a feeling of responsibility that leads to creating a harmonious whole. Whereas primitive humanity fluctuated between ruling and being ruled, today we have the choice to discover healthy interdependence, if we are willing to grow up.

Growing and going through stages

The transition from being utterly self-centered to having concern for others marks a crucial period in development, both for a person and a society. But every growth transition is fraught with crisis. Let’s consider a human baby. The birth process itself is a crisis, for both the mother and the infant. Then the infant is weaned, which is also a crisis. Starting school is another crisis. Leaving the parent’s protection, too, is a sort of crisis. Teething and puberty are other forms of crisis that lead to individuation.

If we fight against these growing periods, they will be painful and filled with conflict. But to the degree we embrace them, life brings us new experiences and challenges.

By now, humanity has left behind infancy as well as childhood, having transitioned into adolescence roughly two thousand years ago. When the spirit of Christ incarnated in the person of Jesus, there was the kind of upheaval and turmoil we associate with puberty. At that age, young people have lots of idealism and strength, while at the same time having cruel, violent and rebellious impulses. All this was going on during the time of Jesus Christ.

Development periods are uneven

It may seem odd that so much time lapsed on Earth between humanity’s infancy and childhood, and between childhood and adolescence, while only two thousand years have gone by since we went through puberty. And now here we are, standing on the brink of maturing. But we can’t measure the phases of growth for the overall Earth entity in the same fixed way as for a human being.

Growing up doesn’t automatically make the destructive aspects go away.

Consider too that an individual may be more or less a mature adult yet retain destructive and immature elements within. No doubt, the average adult has a number of mature, responsible aspects that operate freely, while also harboring problem areas where a selfish child still reigns. So while growing up and maturing are sure to bring a great deal of betterment—to both the world and to a person—the destructive aspects won’t automatically go away.

In our world, there are groups, countries, religions and sects that have different outlooks and attitudes. We lack peace due to their split aims and conflicting ideas. In the same way, we each have contradictory inner convictions that we only learn about through our work of self-exploration. After we discover our inner splits, it’s no longer so hard to see why we feel disturbed—why we are at war with ourselves.

All of humanity is divided within itself. As long as we hold onto self-centered pursuits and harbor wrong conclusions, we will continue to operate unfairly and blindly. We will continue to be destructive and wasteful.

It’s darkest before the dawn

It’s time now for humanity to leave the stage of adolescence. But that doesn’t mean our societies are any more harmonized than the average adult. Yet just as with a person who lives maturely—in spite of immature trends remaining in their psyche—we could reach a more mature state of living. And the more we grow, the less confused we will collectively be about what’s constructive and what’s destructive.

In the past, when we were in the child and adolescent stages, we couldn’t always tell truth from lies. We couldn’t spot crass injustices and we would allow cruelty to parade as being done for a righteous cause. (Public hangings, anyone?) After all, a child’s mind can’t be discerning and it refuses to make the effort needed to sort out difficult situations. But as each person outgrows their destructive, childish trends, they develop the ability to reason and understand. So too, then, must humanity grow and grow up.

As a result, we are now perched on the threshold of greater maturity. And we can feel the state of crisis we’re in looming over us, like a great wave. We are in the darkness before the dawn.

We must dig deep to find real solutions

Life is not a process that is separate from us. Humanity is the sum total of all its people. The two are identical. Just as each person must go through tests in their own lives, we must start to work together to navigate this great test that is life. By understanding this, we will understand this world we live in much better. And we will deepen our own self-understanding.

Everything that is split becomes sick. In order to heal, we must come to see our own inner darkness and how we are projecting it onto the world. Then, the more we come to understand our own selves, the more we will understand the workings of the world. The deeper we go within ourselves, the more will we have fruitful connections with others. The less we know ourselves, the more will we withdraw from the world.

When humanity was younger, we didn’t have the ability to look more deeply into ourselves. We couldn’t look inward to find the inner causes behind the effects happening in our lives. So far, humanity as a whole hasn’t done much better in this regard. For looking at outer factors alone seldom fixes anything. It leads to short-lived solutions and bigger problems down the road.

But when we make the effort to truly look beyond outer appearances—to really face into issues, even when it’s unpleasant—we soon see the situation’s not hopeless at all. We find wonderful, realistic, creative ways forward that people have the ability to manifest. When the collective spirit of this world starts operating this way, all existing problems will find genuine solutions.

Looking at outer factors alone seldom fixes anything.

The more we each overcome our resistance to finding and facing the truth inside ourselves, the more will we each contribute to all of humanity reaching the phase when we resolve our problems through reason and fairness, rather than by trying to triumph through the use of brute force.

After the whole span of humanity’s existence, we are just now emerging from adolescence. The maturing process will certainly take a long time to reach the full individuation of the spirit. For all individual parts must mature in order for the totality of humankind to live in harmony. And don’t forget, this integration must always respect the free will of every person.

Yet the faster we mature overall, the faster will the progress go for those who limp behind. Over time, as this evolutionary process continues, each person’s emanations will become finer and finer. As our matter becomes more subtle, we will eventually be drawn to a different world that is a match for our finer matter.

Then we will no longer be drawn back to this dualistic sphere, which is currently a match for our split inner selves. We will have passed the test of living on Earth, and we will graduate to living life without the difficulties of duality. Then we will all live together in peace. And doesn’t that sound like paradise?

– The Guide’s wisdom in Jill Loree’s words

Blessing from the Pathwork Guide

“My dearest friends…receive very special blessings for your continuous development and self-realization…go your way in peace. Keep the inner light burning so that further growth, further individuation, can proceed within each one of you, thus enabling you to reach out and contact others in their true inner state. You will become more independent, more free, more responsible, less isolated. Our love, our blessings go to all of you. Be in peace. Be in God!”

– The Pathwork Guide Lecture #120: The Individual and Humanity

Adapted from The Guide Speaks, Q&As with the Pathwork Guide on Earth Conditions, and Pathwork Guide Lecture #120: The Individual and Humanity.

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