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.
- 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 comes 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.
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.
So rather than being cleverly sarcastic about those with alternative or less sophisticated views, the mature soul becomes more ironic and self-deprecating in their sense of humour.
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
The same soul? W.A. Mozart and Michael Jackson
Many of the world’s great movie actors are mature Artisan souls (as opposed to movie stars, who tend to be young Artisans). As the mature Artisan Michael Caine has said, a movie star will want to change a script to better suit their image, while a movie actor will change themselves to better fit the script. Examples include Kate Winslet, Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Robert Downey Jr. 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.
The Five Stages of Reincarnation
|Infant Soul||Baby Soul||Young Soul||Mature Soul||Old Soul|