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THE SUMMIT ┃PSYCHOLOGY

Which Stage of Life Are You in According to Jung?

This article will help you gain a clear perspective on which archetype you are embodying at the moment.

Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

“Change is the only constant in life” — Heraclitus

The words above were first spoken by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus in his book Fragments. His famous assertion, “Life is flux,” is of the belief that everything and all things change. We thus go through cycles of life that allow us to mature and to move to the next stage.

According to the American Insitute for Learning and Human Development, the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung (1875–1961) did not formulate a specific stage theory of the human life cycle as did his mentor Sigmund Freud did.

But he did write an essay in 1931 called “The Stages of Life,” in which he mentioned four stages we go through on our journey on this Earth. As our life unfolds, we go through various cycles. It is normal and natural.

Just as Nietzsche’s stages of life in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Carl Jung does not break down these stages by age, but by the evolution of a person. And by evolution, I mean the progress of the emotional maturity a person is able to achieve in his lifetime.

According to Carl Jung, there are 4 stages of life:

1. The Athlete

This is the phase of our lives in which we are the most self-absorbed. We are primarily focused on our physical appearance. It is considered to be the least emotionally mature of the 4 stages. It usually starts in teenagehood.

And whilst being preoccupied with our exterior looks is ok in a healthy dose, there are some people trapped in this stage their whole lives. In psychology, they are referred to as narcissists. Some people can never grow beyond this stage of life.

2. The Warrior

In this phase, we start becoming more responsible and being in a goal-getter mode. We start seeing the bigger picture and set goals in order to achieve it. It happens when we redirect the self-focus towards objectives and people outside of us. We start comparing our personal and professional achievements to those of others. We want to accomplish more and do more.

And this stage can come back through our lives. Whenever we get into our yang energy and set on to achieve goals, we embody our Warrior archetype who fuels us with the energy and motivation to achieve anything we put our mind to.

3. The Statement

This is the next phase that follows after the Warrior. It is a time of self-reflection and becoming more service-oriented. We are more caring and more giving. We start asking ourselves: ‘What contribution can I make to this world?’ or ‘What legacy can I leave behind that would make the world a better place?’.

In this stage, we move away from the egotistical ‘me-me-me’ thinking and we start loosening the grip on the material possessions that don’t bring us as much fulfillment. This stage also correlates with parenting and how you can serve as better models for your children.

4. The Spirit

In this last stage, we turn more inwardly, towards our spiritual side and towards what makes us our soul saunter with joy and fulfillment. We realize that our experiences so far in the material world are not the essence of who we actually are.

Reconnecting back to our spiritual side is coming back to our true nature and divinity. This stage is finally being reached after having done a lot of inner work.

Jung notes that not every human being will reach this final stage, some will get stuck in one of the three above and won’t be able to progress. But for those who make it, this realization comes forth and brings along a sense of peace and liberation.

Final thoughts

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

Carl Jung

As we go through life, we realize that change is inevitable. Instead of resisting it, going with the flow can bring us smoother to the next stage of our life.

The four stages according to Jung are:

  1. The Athlete
  2. The Warrior
  3. The Statement
  4. The Spirit

We alternate in between these stages thought our lives, depending on which one we chose to embody at a given time. Ideally, we should be fluid and have the ability to move through them and finally reach the last stage, in which we reconnect back to our Divinity.

I have personally glimpsed into the Spirit stage at times, during meditation, or whenever I manage to simply be. When I can soothe my nervous system and I am in a high vibrational frequency.

At this moment I believe I am somewhere in between the Warrior and the Statement stages, alternating in between them.

Let me know what you think of these stages and in which one you think you find yourself right now.

Thank you for reading! I appreciate you!

I would like to give a shoutout to a wonderful and skillful writer, Nora for her amazing and inspiring writings. Today I want to mention her article titled The Healing Power Of Colors. As a psychologist, I found this article extremely well-documented and insightful on how the main colors affect our physical and mental state. You can find it here:

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Sorina Raluca Băbău

Sorina Raluca Băbău

Clinical Psychologist. Integrative Psychotherapist. Writer. Dreamer. Traveler. Pet lover. Avid reader. Chocolate's biggest fan. Yoga practitioner.