Those undergoing the fourth stage of reincarnation are known as mature souls. At this stage, life is about embracing otherness — other perspectives, other people, other cultures, other parts of one’s own being.


Knowing Me, Knowing You


The lives of mature souls focus on exploring the true nature of self, life and especially others. Reaching beyond the forthright independence of the third stage, the major challenge at this fourth stage is to discover how to live inter-dependently with others, and other-ness in general.

So …

  • Whereas the young soul focuses on being assertive, competitive and successful, the mature soul focuses on being sensitive, cooperative and authentic.
  • Whereas a young soul insists that its own perspective is right, the mature soul recognises that other perspectives are equally valid.
  • Whereas for the young soul self-interest is all-important, the mature soul is more concerned with the self-other relationship.

Mature Soul Perceptions

The mature soul develops an ever-deepening sense of both self and others. Life is no longer simply a matter of what happens out there in the world, but also what is going on “in here”, where we are coming from, what it all means.

Through understanding more and more of its own psychology, the mature soul also learns about what makes others tick. They come to recognise that all others are their equals, at least on the inside. In fact, their own perspective is nothing but one among many equally valid perspectives.

In other words:

I see life from my perspective and you see life from your perspective. I accept that my point of view is just another perspective, and not necessarily the only ‘correct’ one. All perspectives are equally valid. And we can arrive at mutual understanding by sharing our perspectives with each other.

As an aside, you can see something of this respect for others’ perspectives in, for example, the films of Steven Spielberg (a Mature Artisan). Whereas stories like Jaws and War of the Worlds could have been little more than routine action movies, the director manages to show the validity and fluidity of each character’s perspective – whether child or adult, male or female, strong or weak.


At this level there is also the development of empathy — appreciating others’ experiences from their perspective.

I can appreciate how you experience life. I can perceive life as you perceive it. I know how you feel, and I understand why. Though our perceptions are not the same, we are all the same on the inside.

But the mature soul’s sense of self can become confusing because of this empathy with others:

I am very aware of how you perceive me, how you feel about me. I can also identify with you, yet I am not you. So who am I?

The mature soul keeps being reminded that all perspectives are valid but not necessarily correct, and that there are perspectives on perspectives on perspectives… So begins the search for a deeper truth that will ultimately lead back to oneness.

Other Mature Soul Characteristics

In contrast to the outward-bound adventures of the young soul, there is at this level an inward focus on perceptions, meanings, issues, relationships and the meaning of life.

Mature souls seek understanding, authenticity and integrity, especially in relationships, but also in other aspects of life including art and spirituality. They come to appreciate both the diversity and complexity of life, but there can be a lot of ‘naval gazing’ as they struggle to get to the bottom of it all.

Because of their willingness to accept and include others, and their empathy for others’ experiences, mature souls can be overly self-critical at times. While young souls tend to blame anyone but themselves for their own problems, mature souls will readily look for their own faults.

And whereas young souls like to have their own opinions and assert them forcibly, mature souls are more ambivalent when it comes to taking sides on any issue.

At the beginning of the stage, they will tend to reject and criticise the competitive, materialistic thrust of young soul culture. (Ironically, many mature soul writers, artists and performers have achieved fame and fortune this way.)

But by the end of the stage – sensitive to life’s complexities – the very fact of holding a strong black-and-white opinion for or against anything (even against young soul culture!) comes to seem dubious and even absurd.

Mature Soul Relationships

More than any at other soul stage, mature souls are likely to bond for life in a positive, loving, intimate partnership. It is a time for soul mates to get together and help each other work through their issues to create a mature, healthy relationship.

At this level, love is generally experienced and expressed as appreciation, a genuine acceptance of the otherness of another.

Irrespective of whether you make me feel good or not, and irrespective of how you feel about me, I love you for who you are.

The mature soul is attracted to opportunities to express this appreciation of otherness, or diversity, the more unfamiliar and ‘alien’ the better. For example, one may develop a love of exotic wildlife or of foreign cultures.

Mature Soul Lifestyles

Mature souls can have sophisticated, avant-garde or post-modern sensibilities, but in private they may struggle with basic emotional issues. Because life is now all about optimising one’s relationships with anything and everything, mature souls can find life to be intensely complex and stressful, filled with emotional turmoil, sometimes overwhelmingly so. Inner conflict is very common.

Hence there is often a need to find time and space for introspection, or psychotherapy, or perhaps an artistic outlet, to confront the confusion and negativity within oneself.

Hence also a desire to keep well away from both the enforced limitations of baby soul cultures and the me-first competitiveness of young soul cultures. Do it any place but here is the mature soul motto, and this often shows in their facial expression.

There also emerges at this level a desire to explore the deeper and quieter forms of spirituality, such as Zen Buddhism. Mature souls tend to gravitate to liberal, multicultural places like London and San Francisco, though they prefer the relative tranquillity of the suburbs to the push and shove of the city centre.

Some Famous Mature Souls

There are many well-known mature souls, predominantly in the arts. In contrast to the “can do, will do” attitude of young souls, it is the subtlety, sensitivity and sincerity behind mature soul accomplishments that makes them stand out. Many of the world’s great artists, novelists and musicians have been mature souls, including Botticelli, Michaelangelo, William Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, Dostoyevsky and Van Gogh

Mature souls: Michaelangelo, Shakespeare, and Van Gogh

… as well as Mozart, who apparently reincarnated as Michael Jackson.

The same soul? W.A. Mozart and Michael Jackson

Many of the world’s great movie actors are mature souls (as opposed to self-stylerd movie stars, who tend to be young souls). As the mature Artisan Michael Caine has said, a movie star will want to change a script to better suit their public image, while a movie actor will change themselves to better fit the script. Some obvious examples of Mature soul actors include Kate Winslet, Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep and Helena Bonham Carter.

Soul mates? Mature Artisans Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter

In the field of politics, mature soul leaders tend to be liberal, inclusive and internationalist rather than conservative and nationalistic. This is something many baby and young souls can find incomprehensible and detestable.

Recent examples include Tony Blair and Barack Obama (both typically earnest Mature Priests).

Tony Blair Barack Obama


The Five Stages of Reincarnation

Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3
Stage 4
Stage 5
Infant Soul Baby Soul Young Soul Mature Soul Old Soul

Related Posts

159 Responses to “Stage 4: The Mature Soul”

  1. 1 almira 23 Nov 2014 at 6:44 am

    Hi Barry, I’m so glad to stumble on this site. I’ve been reading this site for 2 days now when baby Kai is asleep or preoccupied.

    I always feel blessed every time I read up the thoughts of kindred souls. It affirms the words of my spirit guide that I need not worry. Everything is alright. Whenever I need help, help will always come. Right now I feel stuck. I’ve been practicing Twin Hearts Meditation of Loving-kindness with a group, on and off. It’s my stress reliever and the energy in the center is uplifting.

    But somehow, it seems I’m more critical and unkind in my thoughts of others. I’m struggling with character building and self doubt if I could truly let the Higher Self come through in daily life. But I know I will stick with the meditation since this gave me the experience of Divine Oneness years ago. In my core, I know that duality can be transcended and all of my struggles in this incarnation are just levels of the game of life.

    Ever since I was a child, I’ve known that we are more than the personality that we are born with. That our lives have purpose. But at the same time, those thoughts made me think of suicide during my teenage years. I looked at my elders, those who are successful and not so successful in society’s view. I judged (cringe!) their lives as devoid of meaning. They seemed to lead lives of quiet desperation. I said to myself then that I would rather die than be that. I would have committed suicide then if not for my love for my parents. They would have been shamed if I did. I promised I would do so when they’ve died. Lol! I was so young then.

    I’m glad help came. I’ve been given the grace in my 20s to get over that stage which I call the dark night of the soul. My belief that our lives have purpose has been affirmed. My purpose is to be happy. Helping others by sharing what I have gives me happiness.

    I’m still struggling with doubt, anxiety, stress and lack of sleep as a new mama. But I know I’ll get through because help will always come. I’m just remembering that as I’m typing.

    The reason I’m taking up space in your site is actually to thank you. It is people like you, strangers in a sense, but not really who helped me then and now. Whose writings and wise counsel gave me strength to carry on.

    Thank you Barry and all the men and women, long out of body or still in the body for reaching out to those of us who are lost and need a little light that your words provide.

    God bless.

  2. 2 Elisabeth 28 Nov 2014 at 12:56 am

    By the way: Mozart was an old soul old-2 (2 3/2 5 6 5 7/2 4/7) and Michael Jackson was mature-7 (2 3/2 5 6 5 7/2 4/7).

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