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Myth of Maturity

transformation Jul 12, 2011

The wound is the place where the Light enters you. ~ Rumi

Culturally we hold a huge assumption about human maturity. We assume once a person reaches a certain biological age that they are mature. Or at least they should be. So we think of maturity in terms of the stages of biological development, which can be grouped as: pre-birth, birth, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, death. Once a human being reaches the age of adulthood (which can vary depending upon the culture), we assume she or he is mature – has reached an advanced stage of mental, physical, and emotional development.

But this is rarely the case. The fact is almost everyone over the age of 18 is psycho-spiritually immature, effectively a child in an adult body. This is neither a judgment nor a criticism; it’s simply the nature of the human ego to reach adulthood still interpreting and responding to others and life in ways determined by our childhood experience.

While the biological definition of maturity is useful in a general way, it is incomplete for our purposes. It leaves out the greatest developmental potential of being human.

This profound potential and stage of development has fancy names such as enlightenment but we’ll refer to it as psycho-spiritual maturity. In essence, it simply means moving beyond the imprints of your past and consciously awakening to your True Nature.

While the term “enlightenment” may conjure up images of meditating in a cave in the Himalayas for 30 years, psycho-spiritual maturity is both accessible and practical. Modern psychology has added critical pieces to our knowledge about how the ego forms, catalyzing the development of new technologies that expedite the process. Rather than leaving our homes, families, and work for ashrams, we can utilize our normal human challenges with food, relationships, and money as fuel for our transformation. The resulting maturation is useful not only for our sense of self, but also for optimizing the way we live our daily lives.

There are two parts to this psycho-spiritual development. The first is commonly called self-realization and points to the fairly accessible state of awakening to the direct experience of self as Being, as opposed to ego. Intense mental/emotional crises, near death experiences, and meditation and other spiritual practices commonly provide openings for self-realization.

The second part is called self-actualization, pointing to the additional process of stabilizing and integrating – actualizing – your realization in your daily life. There’s a common misconception that development ends once this stage of maturity is reached.
While one’s usual experience of self and life can change significantly and immediately with realization, actualization and deepened understanding of life’s mysteries are ongoing processes.

In addition, we have the potential to evolve our consciousness to higher stages or levels of maturity. Experiencing a shift in state – realization and actualization – at your particular level of consciousness (referred to as horizontal development by Ken Wilber and other Integral theorists) is a significant development. However, humans also have the potential to mature vertically to higher levels or orders of consciousness. We’ll learn more about this later. For now, we’re expanding our understanding of what we mean by human maturity beyond the biological so we can see and embrace our true potential.

A visual comparison of the differences will help illustrate the place of potential, or gap, we are exploring.

“Interesting,” you say, “but what does this have to do with losing weight?”

Nothing, if your compulsive eating behaviors and inaccurate self-perceptions aren’t at the core of your issues with weight. However, for many, many people, they are, which is why just eating less and exercising more doesn’t have much impact long-term. Mentally enforced behavioral change simply doesn’t reach the core of the matter.

Unlike psychotherapy, which aims to fill in what’s needed to have a healthy ego, Taking Your True Shape (and other approaches recognizing our ultimate human potential), aims to use the imbalances that manifest in the shape of ego as portals for development beyond ego identification. Distortions in body shape and food behavior provide evidence about the core of our particular case of mistaken identity. Working at this core level of changing your relationship to your body, food, and eating, metabolizes and digests the imprints and remnants of past conditioning otherwise known as ego. When you metabolize aspects of the false self (ego), what’s left is the true you.

Since the false self is what holds your compulsive behaviors and false shape in place, its digestion allows your false behavior and shape to fall away. Your inaccurate blueprint dissolves.

Just like advancing from stage to stage biologically, there are certain conditions that support your development from adulthood to psycho-spiritual maturity. For example, an infant requires the physical conditions of nourishing food, loving, dependable holding, bathing/changing, and comfortable sleeping in order to have what it needs to advance into it’s next biological stage of childhood development. The conditions a teenager needs is different than what an infant needs to develop to the next stage. Similarly, as an adult, you require particular outer and inner conditions to support your realization and actualization of Taking Your True Shape that are different than what you needed at other stages.

The Impermanent Approach to Weight Loss and the System of the Lie do not provide these conditions. On the contrary, they produce barriers to your psycho-spiritual maturity.

This approach is designed to provide the inner and outer conditions you need to psycho- spiritually mature and Take Your True Shape. Step-by-step, every exercise and practice herein helps you embody the conditions that naturally support your maturation and development beyond ego. Just like being unable to return to infancy after becoming an adult, once you mature beyond your false self you are unable to go back. As you grow beyond the patterns and perceptions of the past, you embody your true, inalterable beauty, which bring us to our final myth – the Myth of Magnetism.

Exploration

How do you feel about growing into your potential?

What’s your experience with inner work or personal/spiritual development?

Is it a natural part of your life or is it brand new to you?

What strikes you most from the Myth of Maturity?

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