6. TIME TO LET THE SUN SHINE
From life’s mid-point - 35 to age 42
Age 35 is the archetypal life ‘midpoint’ in the sense that the soul is now fully incarnated. From this point we will be working on and unfolding our path in the world. The years 35-42 involve the activation of the higher will, so we can consciously create our world as we embrace the challenges of our blueprint.
After 35 a mirroring of earlier phases begins. Thus, this phase mirrors years 28-35 when we were learning to express our destiny creatively. Now we have to activate it fully, avoiding the danger of becoming rigid in our thoughts, feelings and deeds.
Let’s detour for a moment to look at the archetypal life span in the diagram below. It tells us that in the rhythm of 7 x 10 we have fulfilled our purposes by age 70.
a) from the age of 35 the mirroring of earlier stages happens on a higher level as the soul begins the return to spirit.
b) the soul has a life in the spiritual realms before it incarnates into a physical body.
c) earth life often extends beyond the archetypal ‘end’ at age 70 – this in spiritual terms is ‘time on’ with its own learnings and challenges.
Today people often live much longer due to enhanced living standards, modern medicine and/or healthy lifestyle. And there’s plenty we can achieve. It’s our ‘age of wisdom’. For our soul and spirit this extension of years can be a real gift for us and the world – or not. We will explore reasons why people cling on to life here, both positive and negative, when we head towards the end of our seven-year cycles. But right now, here we stand at life’s mid-point.
The soul's third function
The soul functions in three ways; through feeling, thinking and willing. Feeling and thinking are the concerns of the first two adult cycles – in years 21-28 feeling is honed via the senses; during years 28-35 thinking and mental processes are developed.
In this cycle from age 35-42 we are looking at the awakening and operation of the will. It’s called the period of the consciousness soul; what you have become conscious of must now be put into action.
There are two aspects to this expression of the consciousness soul. Firstly the ‘will’ aspect. From the soul perspective the will signifies the ability to bring our creative impulses and ideas to life. We live out what we have invested our energies into. That is, will is about manifestation and we can discover the joy of action and the satisfaction of taking on a job and completing it.
There is a power attached to the correct application of the will. If we embrace the challenges that we have given ourselves in our spiritual blueprint, then we consciously free ourselves to pursue higher purposes. The will in this sense doesn’t relate to desire. Unfortunately, our will can be applied to all kinds of negative activities that derive from ego – from assertive pushing and gaining power and control over others to actions that are really about avoidance. It’s a very common strategy to sidetrack self by doing other stuff we pretend is important. In these years we often accumulate possessions. The danger here is becoming possessive and acquiring things for the sake of it.
Most of us seek confirmation at this stage through outwardly directed activities in which we can see ourselves reflected. The late thirties bring us the opportunity to compare our accomplishments with those of others. In business, for example, this comes through comparing personal incomes. The focus is really on self-worth. All the while if our actions are directed towards doing the good, then this augurs well for what follows.
The second aspect is the ‘conscious’ aspect. Most of the time we are conscious of course, but this is in relation to the world. In terms of the spiritual aspect of our lives, we often remain unconscious. We can use these years to wake up to the patterns in our lives, perhaps review our goals. We can look for the reasons behind what we have done, our associations, not just to question but to perceive and understand, work through and resolve through conscious effort. The rise of a greater objectivity and awareness of the consequences of one's actions corresponds with the emergence of this third cycle of the inner self.
One warning: After 35, conscious work on our spiritual development can come to a fullstop because the spiritual will is not in play. The astral body, through which our soul expresses itself, can stultify. How many concepts and ideas about things do we have that have become fixed, unthinking reactions? ‘Women always ....’; ‘The Americans are ...’; or ‘I am no good at ....’ which is simply self-propaganda. From 35 on it’s easy to become set in your ways. Anyone on the spiritual path needs to be spontaneous and open minded, to ‘turn and become like children’ as Jesus said (Matthew 18:3).
Lessons from the counterpart stage
If you have missed out on a stage, it can be addressed in the corresponding one as the cycles turn once more to spirit. This stage is a mirror of the previous 28-35 cycle and the thinking aspect of the soul.
In that stage round from around the age of 28, you encountered your important karma, such as major relationships or radical life events. You discovered the big lessons and found the opportunities to rectify past mistakes – to create the balance and set in place your path for this next phase. If this didn’t happen it will be more difficult to take conscious action. And if you are merely operating ‘on automatic’ there will be the need to first break through limited or materialistic thinking, to undertake a ‘crash course’ in self-discovery. And many people do this work on self through courses, groups or therapy. Yet life itself may offer this awakening – sometimes through some dramatic means.
It is important to be aware that we can use life’s lessons and challenges either to build our ego, or to refine our consciousness. Our temperament and personality tendencies will settle during this soul development. We can either concretize them or bring them to full expression. We will discover these tendencies by observing our nature – are we sensitive, impulsive, easily distracted, methodical, irritable, firmly anchored, slow to decide, inflexible, self-determining? Do we dwell in the past or present or future? Do we instinctively offer leadership or look to others to inspire us?
We wear our inner disposition like a garment. During all three soul cycles (from 21 to 42) we are tailoring it to ‘fit’ our individuality. We can help ourselves to grow in many ways – by exploring nature and the best of human achievement, expressing ourselves creatively and surrounding ourselves with beauty and refinement, all of which stimulates our inner landscape. We need to use our thinking in a disciplined way to shed light on who we are and what we must do. We should practice applying our will to control undesirable tendencies. Just as the cells of our body are transformed every seven years, so too is our consciousness. This is evolution in our miniature universe.
Morality is important. If we have developed our soul qualities, our inner life, appropriately values will emerge from our own life experience and continue to relate to the situation in front of us. But often our attitudes and morality take a rigid concrete form. It doesn’t help us to hold unmovable opinions, ideas and values. It doesn’t help us to judge, criticize and close ourselves off because our parents, culture or religion has deemed something immoral. The real question is: Do these values build a road for me to walk or a box which confines me? Our body and soul will bear the consequences for good or ill in later in life.
Through the activity of the consciousness soul we can disentangle ourselves from personal likes, dislikes, opinions and external influences whenever we make decisions. We can learn to judge according the objective circumstances and inner knowledge of rightness.
Truly, if we fully accommodate the learning of this stage it is as if the Sun shines fully in our soul. Consciousness is equated with light, and we are en-lightened if we have developed the three aspects of our soul. If by 42 the feeling, thinking and willing aspects of our soul are aligned with our spiritual destiny, then our spiritual self, our I AM, can come to life in us in all its beauty and power and we can be a blessing to our family, friends and strangers we meet along the way.