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

163 Responses to “Stage 4: The Mature Soul”

  1. 1 Soul in Transit 27 Aug 2014 at 10:23 pm

    Let me begin by saying that I give many thanks to the author of this site, and to you sir (Barry) for your insight into the matters of the soul and being. Now with that said, I also want to make clear that I DO NOT want to turn this into a discussion about drugs. Because my situation, condition, and/or confusion goes way beyond my use of DMT. My whole life I have been trying to figure out who I am and what is my purpose, and how do I fit into this world as a whole. And here I am 41 years old and still wondering. My life has been about a quest of knowledge and being able to express myself creatively. When I’m not people watching, lol… sorry, I’m trying to make sense of this crazy world. I have always been very interested in ancient history, religion and science, and I have always been an artist. I draw, write, paint, sculpt and make jewelry. As for jobs I have done interior design, architecture and civil and mechanical drafting, graphics and I have even dabbled in fashion design. So based on what I’ve read on this site, I am either a Mature or Old Soul, and more likely an Artisan, but could be a Scholar.

    My use of DMT started less then a year ago, but my interest and/or discovery of it started several years back with me finding and reading “The Perfect Way,” by Ann Bonus Kingsford and Edward Maitland. For anyone who has ever read “The Perfect Way” I do not need to express all the possibilities and doors that opened up. One of those doors was the Astral and the search was on, then, as I said I found DMT.

    I’m sure your wondering what any of this has to do with you, and to be honest I’m not sure. It’s just that you and some of the others on this site seem to be more informed and knowledgeable then others, and I need help. So I think before I go into too many details I should ask you if you are familiar with the Astral Body?

    • 2 barry 27 Aug 2014 at 11:03 pm

      Hi Soul in Transit

      So glad you like the site, and many thanks for the feedback.

      Based on what you’ve said about yourself so far, I’m guessing Mature (probably) or Old (possibly) Artisan with goal of Growth (quest for knowledge with confusion is the negative pole, comprehension of life, or wisdom, is the positive). And (possibly) mode of Observation.

      FYI, over the last few days I have had the feeling that I am in now the midst of some pre-orchestrated synchronicity. Seems like you may be having the same feeling. I won’t go into too many details about mine just yet as I would need the permission of other individuals involved, but I am in one private discussion about experiencing DMT and another with a real master of lucid dreaming who knows all there is to know about experiencing astral travel.

      I am familiar with DMT (though have never taken any) – I have the Spirit Molecule book somewhere in my vast scholarly collection.

      I am also familiar (more in theory than practice) with the astral plane, the astral body, astral travel, meeting nonhuman beings through lucid dreaming, etc. (Several books on all that in my house!).

      I’ve personally had a couple of lucid dreams which quite affected me, including one in which I revisited a past life in medieval Europe (the Pyrenees) when I was a guard, killed by a marauding gang leader who didn’t halt when I said halt but just cleaved my skull in two with an axe.

      Hmm, just went off on a tangent there, but my intuition is telling me to go with it…

      Look forward to hearing more,


      • 3 Soul in Transit 28 Aug 2014 at 4:01 am

        Negative pole… ouch. Well I guess that’s why I’m asking questions, just trying to bring myself out of this confusion. You have said that we preset our own lives, picking our parents, deciding major events or lessons that take place in our lives, etc. Do you believe that there are exceptions to this, and if so when, why and who?

        From what I have gotten from “The Perfect Way,” our souls are the keepers of knowledge of our past lives. And our Astral Bodies play as a kind of veil concealing our souls? Do you believe this? If so, if for what reason would our souls be revealed to us and how would we obtain this knowledge from her?

        I have so many other questions and things I want to say but I’m hesitant because I don’t want to sound crazy. Do you know of any meeting places or groups that get together whom discuss such issues?

        • 4 barry 31 Aug 2014 at 11:13 am

          Most of your questions are addressed already on the site, here and there, but to quickly run through them:
          – No, there are no exceptions that I am aware of. Why would we NOT choose our parents etc when all information about who they are and what will occur is automatically available to us? We know what we are doing when we set up lives … at least, to the degree that we understand, given our soul age.
          – Yes, between lives we have total access to all past life memories (and even future life probabilities). Our experiences are within our astral body, if you like. And all souls’ experiences are stored as part of the “Akashic records”.
          – When we incarnate into the body of a human infant, the soul memories become unconscious while our consciousness becomes fully identified with the intense sensations of the physical body, and the workings of the human brain. Thus we forget ourselves. Many refer to this as a veil of amnesia. It would be pretty horrendous to be a sweet young child with conscious access to all our past life traumas and karmic acts. Only a very old soul can handle that.
          – As we evolve, we are better able to start accessing our soul memories while in human form without being completely distracted, disorientated, confused or traumatised.
          – Meeting place / groups – there are numerous groups in Yahoo and elsewhere, just try googling “michael teachings discussion”.

          cheers SiT


  2. 5 Pauline Wood 28 Aug 2014 at 12:51 pm

    I have been reading into Michael teachings for around 8 months and I’m totally fascinated. I have struggled with low self esteem issues all of my life (which makes me think that I am probably a mature soul). Since reading the Michael teachings I do feel like a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I never considered before that I suffered from low self esteem in order to grow as a soul. Along with this realisation and discovering running I have not quite changed (I’m still the same person) but because I am not hindered with self hatred and self doubt, I’m allowing myself to become the person that I have always been.

    Of course I would like to know what age soul I have got and would consider a Michael reading in the future but in a way it doesn’t matter and neither does that authenticity of whether it actually exists. In my mind, if it makes you evaluate your life and helps you to forgive your imperfections then that is only a good thing. I will start forgiving myself more and think how I fit into my soul’s journey rather than just be caught up in a cycle of self hatred and doubt.

    • 6 barry 30 Aug 2014 at 9:37 pm

      Hi Pauline

      Great to hear that you’ve found the Michael Teachings helpful. It certainly is liberating to see where you and others fit in one big “matrix” of possibilities. As for soul age – yes, this particular site mostly appeals to Mature souls who seek above all to understand and be understood. But you’re absolutely right – the label isn’t what matters, if the result is you find greater freedom and self-forgiveness.


  3. 7 F 23 Oct 2014 at 11:04 am

    Hard for me to believe Obama is a mature soul. The guy, for starters, is a pathological liar. He seems to be anti-a lot of things as well. He has a fixed ideology and is unwilling to accept any other way! He doesn’t always vocalize (sometimes he does) what he really believes in. All one has to do it analyze how he behaves though. If Hitler is a Baby soul then Obama probably is too. The propaganda machine tries to prop him up as a “wise” or a “mature” and “caring soul” but he has been nothing like that as president. Everything he does is for political purposes and he cares a lot about he is perceived. He’ll use any tactic to get his way! As long as he can get away with it.

    • 8 barry 23 Oct 2014 at 3:12 pm

  4. 9 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.

  5. 10 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).

  6. 11 downbythebrook 28 Dec 2014 at 1:27 am

    I wouldn’t describe Tony Blair as a mature soul- that ego driven war mongering politician!

    • 12 barry 28 Dec 2014 at 9:48 am

      Actually I would describe him as very a typical Mature soul – conflicted between coming from ego and coming from heart, which I for one can relate to. Being a Mature soul doesn’t make one immune to making poor choices.

      I would say Blair is a Mature Priest with (in this life) a goal of Acceptance, an attitude of Idealism, a chief feature of Arrogance, possibly a mode of Perseverance. As a typical Priest, he was (and still is) out to change the world for the better as he sees it. With a goal of Acceptance he is warm and amiable, but prone to ingratiate, and hates to say “no” because he fears being rejected in return. With a chief feature of Arrogance, he is afraid of showing vulnerability (especially in public) and therefore prone to hubris (“I don’t make mistakes. Therefore I have no regrets.”).

      I suspect his war-mongering image will grate on him to his dying day, unless he has a sudden insight into how his own weaknesses led him to make terrible choices.

  7. 13 Trukon 06 Mar 2015 at 9:23 am

    I’m a 19 year old multiracial American male from North Carolina and I was raised from birth as a devout Presbyterian Christian. I’ve had a love for knowledge of history, science and the world around me since I was a small child but I struggled in school because I never felt driven in the classroom…I always wanted to be out exploring and experiencing the world for myself with all of my senses. I was also verbally picked on a lot from elementary school up until about the end of 7th grade because I was very different from my classmates but the bullying stopped by high school and everyone finally accepted me for who I was which led to me making many friends and great memories. I have a love for physical fitness and a passion for training in martial arts as well as competing in track & field and MMA which I would like to take to a professional level simply because it is personally the most satisfying thing I have ever participated in and it allows to truly express who I am and learn about myself. I’m a bit of a hopeless romantic I guess you could say and I’ve had my heart broken about 2 times so far which hurt me so much both times that it completely ruined my focus on martial arts and track but I always took away so much knowledge from the situations as time went on and one of my biggest hopes in life has been to find a wonderful soul mate to spend the rest of my life with. I’ve had a very stressful family life and my family is a bit dysfunctional to say the least but I’ve never really sided with anyone on issues, I’ve always seen them in this group of equals that are always fighting and hating when they should love and care for one another. One of the side effects of all this stress led to me having some bad anxiety which can really bother me at times and I’d smoked marijuana before but very rarely and I had no idea how much it could help with stress and anxiety. Well about a year ago I moved in with my close friend to just get a break from all the fussing and fighting at home and he and another friend recommended I smoke every once in a while to help myself relax so I started smoking. For a while I just would have fun and laugh and get hungry as hell and have all these little creative ideas on poetry and comedy. After a few weeks though I finally got used to thc and would get the nice mellow high that would really allow me to relax and think so clearly for the first time in years….it’s almost as if it was a meditative state but I have no idea how to meditate. As I would think I would do so very inwardly and it made me analyze who I was as a person and over time since the first day it has made me change myself into a better person than I was. Other times when I would think it would be different, I would think very outwardly and think of others and the nature of the universe which I had never done before and it lead to me renouncing my religion which left me in a very confused state. I believed only in what had been proven through science and didn’t believe in other realms of existence or souls until one day I had another revalation, we are all connected by an energy that makes up everything that is and I had this overwhelming sense that we are reincarnated again and again but beyond that I understood nothing. I’ve read a tiny article on what Buddhists think happens when you die but it didn’t answer my curiosity so I never researched it further and I’ve been thinking I’m fucking insane for the past few months or there’s something very different about me at least. I’m sure you’re wondering why I’ve given so much information and it’s because I want you to try and understand what little I’ve explained and tell me what you think. I’ve studied many western religions but I know almost nothing of eastern religions or mysticism and spirituality beyond Christian prayer. A while back I started researching my thoughts and started with spiritual revalation through drugs which lead me to learn about dmt. The people’s description of what they realized while on the drug was almost exactly the same as the realization I came to over the past year and a half just sitting and thinking so deeply. I’ve read and learned all kinds of stuff about psychedelics since then but haven’t tried any yet. Today I read about Tao for the first time in my life and I just felt like I had made another breakthrough or something but I wasn’t really sure what to think because all these revalations have made me skeptical of world religious views but it seemed so true to me. Earlier today I was just sitting and thinking about why I have these radically different views with no human influence whatsoever so I pulled out my phone and Google do I have an “old soul” now mind you I’ve never seen or heard that term used anywhere and it’s brought me to this. I read other articles and sites first about this and it has pretty much gone along with EVERYTHING I “realized” and filled in so many blanks but I still have so much more to read as I’ve only read about the soul and it’s journey so far. It’s funny I don’t even know what this religion or philosophy is called, I just read this article because when I started reading I thought I was an old soul but the mature soul seems to describe me very closely while the young and old not nearly as much. What’s happened/happening to me? What kind of soul do you think I have? How could I have come to this with no person’s guidance? I’ve never read anything like this before and no one I know personally has this view. Sorry I typed so much I just feel like a fascinated little kid…this is so amazing!

  8. 14 Bri 21 Mar 2015 at 6:33 pm

    I didn’t always know I was a mature soul, but there was always a part of me that knew I was different. As a child, I suffered a depression that probably all mature souls can relate to. It wasn’t caused by the chemistry in my body or hormones and it wouldn’t be helped with medicine and I never talked about it before to anyone. Just a second grader, I suffered this certain distraught that drained me mentally, physically and mentally. I never thought my parents would ever care because I knew they’d just call it complaining. I was always feeling like I was looked down on even though I was very respectful to everyone else. Ten years later, I still feel that way at times, but my experiences have helped me deal with it in a positive way. I now recognize it as having wisdom in a world so broken in an age of entitlement. For seventeen, have this powerful empathy for people a high level of intuition. and I have this knowledge and self-assurance that was mentioned above. I also am curious about the world and have no desire for most of the things that young souls hope to acquire. I aspire to use my compassion for other people through social work and channeling my wisdom through reading the Bible. The book of Proverbs talks all about wisdom and the benefits of being wise. It has helped me with numerous areas of my life and I know that God made me an old soul for a reason. One of my goals that I really hope to accomplish is to connect with old souls and inform them of the benefits of having a beautiful spirit inside of them and not to let the brokenness in the world stop you from what you are meant to accomplish: changing the world.

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