Friday, June 20, 2008
Older and younger souls
Re: QUESTION: Mature vs. Old
> Here's a piece by Shepherd about the subject.
Shepherd's article on why an old soul isn't better than a younger soul is very good in theory for dispelling prejudices, but I think it misses something in practice. It makes the comparison of soul age to ages of people, pointing out that a child can be just as nice as the nicest adult, only they will act appropriate for their age, and therefore we just can't expect a child to solve complex problems such as doing an adult's nine-to-five job. That's a perfectly fine and true metaphor for a positive world, i.e. the way things were meant to be.
The problem is that current human society has deeply held negative beliefs such as the value of dominating by force and intimidation, to which people have adapted through many lifetimes. A child now, even raised under the best conditions, is forced to build negative personality reactions to survive the hurt and fear in the world just for the hope of making it to adulthood. Any parent knows that even the nicest child will have monstrous tantrums and go through various stages of rebellion, self-centeredness, and even cruelty, just because they're flailing at forces they can't yet understand. Growing up in such a world means that we all have many things to be ashamed of and forgive ourselves for. But if we can survive to functioning adulthold, and by extension to the old soul age, that is where in full comprehension and responsibility we can process the forces of negativity that thread through us all. Only then can we truly hold the high ground of compassion for everyone as we clean ourselves out, becoming living examples of spiritual potential and success. Many many people won't make it this far however, including old souls, and they'll show glimmers in the best of times but fall from grace repeatedly.
So it is my opinion that while anyone can be a fair weather friend, from child to adult or young to old soul, it is only the old souls who commit to spiritual growth that can become the truly safe, reliable, positive companions for every situation. Everyone else will have their limits beyond which they not only don't know what to do, but they also react dangerously, injuring themselves and others. This is just the practical consequence of the negative belief systems and adaptations that are common, if not predominant, in the world today.
So in this sense, being an old soul can definitely be better, providing the old soul is working on their inherent growth. This betterness is not a superiority of spiritual worth that looks down on others, but a superiority of functional capacity that can fix problems at the spiritual level while understanding why others can't and won't yet find their way out of suffering. Any old soul who thinks they're better in an arrogant judgmental way is automatically not, simple as that.
To summarize, handling physical life in a dangerous world is an adult's job, and by extension fully handling life as it is now is an old soul's job. Arguably, the younger souls could always manage just fine by inviting higher spiritual protection to pick up where they leave off, but then that's exactly the kind of assistance that unconscious negativity will block, hence my point. As I understand it, old soul is the developmental stage at which you can really begin to root out and transform your own unconscious negativity reflexes. Before the old soul stage the ego identity is just too tightly held and the best that can be done is amplification and suppression (please stay on my good side, don't push my buttons). Maybe I've just been burned on the dark side of too many people I trusted (including some immature acting old souls), but this view is helpful to me. And yes, I realize that it was my side of the negativity to push their buttons (playing the martyred truth teller can be so tempting), that's why I've become less interventionist and more philosophical in my old (soul or otherwise) age.
Comments anyone, feedback?
... and later, I wrote to someone: The stuff I said was really just my theorizing on what might be the characteristic operating limits of soul age, don't let me limit your actual abilities or discoveries. I'd like to hear about your ideas of what are differences between the soul ages. I know several people on the cusp, making the transition, and it's a tricky topic.