Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist, in the early to mid 1900’s, credited with the creation of analytical psychology. His Thought and theories paved the way for modern psychiatric practices. He was also credited with the creation of the archetypes: th complex, extroversion, introversion and the collective unconscious.
He was a prolific philosopher that directly influenced great minds like Joseph Campbell, Herman Hesse, Alan Watts, Erich Neumann and many others. He linked together human’s innate spirituality and linked it to the various sciences. A Review of General Psychology survey named Jung as the 23rd most cited psychologist of the 20th century. One of his theories on the developmental stages of humans, broke down the stages into four general archetypes. How he choose to prioritize life and its processes is fascinating.
The Athlete Stage
This stage is marked by a preoccupation with with physical appearances. We come to grips with how our bodies look. Here we identify our strengths and begin to develop insecurities.
We use the physical world to begin to ground ourselves in a version of reality. After understanding how people react to us and how that makes us feel, our feelings begin to take priority. This leads into the next stage.
The Warrior Stage
We have come to identify certain feelings with particular actions and patterns. We start comparative thought to maximize what we can get out of situations.
This leads us to want to conquer and impose our will, for the our own good. We strive to be what we consider to be the ‘best’ not for any other reason than to be better than others. We want nothing more than wealth, influence and control.
The Statement Stage
After chasing down goals to serve your ego, you begin to seek out more fulfilling actions and ways of life. The inherent undercutting that occurs in comparative thought has become apparent. You start to realize that physical aspects of reality are not the way to true happiness.
You realize that there is merit to the physical world but you no longer attribute the same level of importance as before.
Up until this point you have been strengthening your monkey mind and ego. You start to realize that you mind and your desires are the root of what is stopping you from spiritual balance and contentment.
This stage is well marked by a desire to be of service to others. You look for avenues of wisdom that can tame the ego that you have built up.
The Spirit Stage
This stage is the last stage of life, and Jung pointed out that not everyone will get to this point of personal development. In this stage you recognize that everything up till this point was part of the journey and you have not been ‘you’ this whole time. You have been testing the extremes of the human experience.
In the spiritual stage you begin to develop internally as a person. You stop being archetypes and begin to be yourself, knowing that ‘you’ are a constantly evolving concept. Impermanence is something you now recognize in your day to day life.
After experiencing the extremes of the human ability and life, you can use this experience to your advantage. You can step back from your self and recognize the aspects that make up the sum of what and who you are.