The Four Phases Of Life According To Carl Jung

The Four Phases Of Life According To Carl Jung

The four phases of life according to Carl Jung you never knew existed!

Human lives are inherently mysterious by nature. But what makes it complete? Most importantly, what are the different phases of life and how do they influence our perception of the world and human lives in general? According to the eminent psychologist Carl Gustav Jung, we go through four phases of perception shifts in our lifetimes.

Sometimes, people remain stuck in the first or second phase. Some leap directly into the fourth step altogether. While others, keep coming back time and again to the previous phases. So the physiology of these phases is not strictly defined. They keep overlapping and often branches off to and fro depending on the circumstances.

So What Are These Four Phases?

Jung proposed the following phases that eventually change our perception of human lives and the kind of purpose it serves in the world. They are:

  • Athlete Phase
  • Warrior Phase
  • Statement Phase
  • Spiritual Phase

1. The Athlete Phase

The athlete phase is the particular time period when we’re overly conscious about our physical appearance.

It is the psychological state when we aspire to better physical accomplishments, as in, having a better external appearance, looks, features, etc. The main reason behind such behavior is unknown but it is believed, as proposed by Jung himself, are the direct results of the significant physiological changes that we go through during our teenage and early adolescent years. That’s why this particular phase generally occurs when we’re yet to become adults.

Read 20 Profound Quotes By Carl Jung That Will Help You To Better Understand Yourself

2. The Warrior Phase

This is the second phase that usually follows, but doesn’t necessarily have to, the athlete phase. It is when we start setting professional goals and create checklists for all the things that need to be done. It starts from our high school days and continues until we attain a desirable position in the company we are about to work. In this phase, our mind tempts us to be the best version of ourselves in the material world. We crave higher rankings, better facilities, social status, respect and more wealth than our peers.

Basically, every material success one can dream of is strived for in this warrior phase. We fight like a warrior to become something better and feel better with time. It is this pursuit that engages a person until his/her middle age. It eventually shapes our physical, mental and social conditioning, thus labeling us a socially accepted definition of a successful human being.

3. The Statement Phase

And then comes the turning point. The statement phase is perhaps the buffer between the spirit phase and the warrior phase. You can call it the psychological adolescence since it marks a gradual shift from a less mature warrior and athlete stage to a more emotionally mature spiritual stage; much like the way, our adolescent years catapults us into the years of adulthood. In this stage, we realize the emptiness that awaits to haunt us.

The looming question “what have I achieved outside of myself?” “What did I do for others/society/humanity?”, “Am I something more than what I have gained in all these years?” This shift in mentality usually happens when we become compassionate towards others. When our soul grows tired of the material hassles, it starts contemplating something beyond the world of commercial gains and starts thinking on altruistic lines. As a transition phase, it eventually leads us to the next stage i.e. the spirit phase.

Read These 5 Factors Are Crucial To Living a Happy Life according To Carl Jung

4. The Spiritual Phase

The last and the most significant one of the four- the “Spiritual Phase.” It is that point in our lives where we tend to give up on all the chronic earthly pursuits. The mirage of reality shatters in this time period and our mind is introduced to a whole new genre of perception. In this stage, we tend to ask “What is the purpose of my life?” “Am I really happy with all that I have accomplished?”, “Am I something more than what I’ve been made to believe?” “What is the true nature of happiness?” “If the material gains were unable to fill the primal hollowness in my psyche, then where can I find peace and contentment?”

11 thoughts on “The Four Phases Of Life According To Carl Jung”

  1. What about the phase that shows you are content with what you have accomplished and accepting of where you are in your life.

  2. We seem to have a crisis in America, or perhaps the entire western world, that people are stuck in Stage 1 and 2, without progressing naturally into Stage 3. There is still too much arrested adolescence and narcissism. I’d include myself there. I didn’t transverse Stage 2 very successfully; the “late morning” stage of life seemed filled with overwhelming and paralyzing crisis. I retired exactly a year ago (Dec. 2017), and with my increased leisure time, I started reading Jung. I now wish I’d read him 40 years ago. I’m definitely in Stage 4 (having unsuccessfully stumbled through my early afternoon of life), reassessing my spiritual convictions and trying to find meaning which would explain life as I experienced it, and I find that pretty much all of my friends of similar age are still fiddling around in Stage 2.

  3. Absolutely! As I approach my 60th year, I have lived each of the four stages….although, the fourth stage has been part of me from the beginning. Just a bit lesser in degree. I have to add, the understanding of the fourth stage and the incorporation of that wisdom generally takes an individual multiple lifetimes to truly embrace. Sometimes many lives to actually truly understand. Every lifetime presents a myriad of experiences which helps us evolve into a more compassionate and loving Being. Time or the number of lifetimes is really irrelevant. Eventually, each and every one of us will achieve all that can be learned by choosing to experience this dimension. At some point, each of us will only have one stage and that will be the fourth stage listed above. Then we will choose to move beyond this dimension and seek other avenues of learning and ultimately evolving into a more aware, compassionate and Loving Being.

  4. Most of us end our lives living in the second stage and gloating over it . The few of us who make it to the third stage feel very satisfied with it .
    Those who might make it to the stage 4 – and it has nothing to do with age, might be the happiest ones .
    But then happiness also being just a state of mind, does it even matter ?
    Who are we to say that one stage is above the other ? Blessed are those that are happy being where they are !

  5. The 4th stage I can c as being a final stage we all go through. But I am not sure that some of the other stages really truly surpass us. And I believe that perhaps many ppl will go through the warrior stage but not everyone. It depends on the person and life situations s that r specific to each individual.

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